• June 2, 2020

ATHLETICS: Area schools save money from early end to spring sports - Odessa American: Sports

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ATHLETICS: Area schools save money from early end to spring sports

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Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 5:07 pm

The sudden, early end to the athletic calendar has had its effects in more ways than one for area teams, both at the high school and collegiate levels.

With spring sports teams now not able to finish their seasons, money that would be used for traveling and recruiting trips as well as hosting games can possibly go towards other things as the schools have saved some money.

“Our spring sports were at best, halfway through their seasons,” UTPB athletic director Scott Farmer said. “There are many traveling trips that have been canceled.

“There are many home events that were obviously canceled, so there will be some savings from baseball, from softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s golf. They will all have savings.”

The UTPB baseball team had 28 games remaining on its regular-season schedule, 12 of them road games.

The Falcon softball team had 24 games remaining in its 2020 season, with a dozen on the road.

The men’s and women’s golf teams both had three tournaments remaining, including the Lone Star Conference Championships, which were supposed to take place from April 21-23 in Arlington.

In men’s tennis, the Falcons had 12 opponents left on their schedule with five of them on the road, while the women’s team had 14 with six of them on the road.

While Farmer doesn’t have final numbers on the amount of money the athletic department will have saved, he knows they’ll have some savings left over.

“All of them combined will equal to a pretty good amount of money,” Farmer said.

UTPB’s athletic department’s budget, Farmer added, is $5.5 million for the entire school year.

He also anticipates a savings from recruiting, but is also not sure just how much.

Farmer said there are different ways that the surplus cash can be utilized.

“There are all kinds of things,” Farmer said. “First of all, there may be areas of the budget that went over budget, so you have to cover that.

“There may be a situation where a sport can order the equipment for now and get it in which pushes them ahead of next year’s budget. Equipment is probably going to be the one thing that we’re definitely going to look at and get ahead of the game.”

Ector County Independent School District is also looking at some savings.

Depending on how long the Universal Interscholastic League suspends spring sports (which is currently until May 4), ECISD athletic director Bruce McCrary said they are looking at somewhere between a $250,000-$300,000 savings throughout the district.

That’s money that would be used for travel and meals, as well as hotels for the spring.

“That depends on how long this lasts, but that’s a pretty good estimate,” McCrary said.

McCrary said ECISD will try and utilize some of the money to do some projects that it has been wanting to do but hasn’t done yet.

“One of the things we’re looking at is a restroom over at the Permian baseball fields,” McCrary said. “All of this has to be sent over to the school board for approval because we are utilizing some funds that were designated for one thing so we have to get permission to use them for something else.”

McCrary said the approval of that would have to probably wait until April’s school board meeting, but when that will take place is still up in the air.

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