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UH chancellor to ask deficit forgiveness

March 23, 2013
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Chancellor Tom Apple at the University of Hawaii at Manoa intends to ask the university's Board of Regents to forgive an $11.3 million deficit incurred by the athletics department.

Apple hopes to have the deficit forgiven as part of a major restructuring effort, according to Friday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

An independent auditor's report issued in January found that the athletics department's deficit had been mounting since 2002 and stood at $11.3 million. It is expected to hit $13 million by the end of the current fiscal year June 30.

At a meeting Thursday of UH's Task Group on Intercollegiate Athletics, Chairman John Holzman requested that Apple provide a plan at the May meeting to balance the books and deal with the deficit.

The regents created the group in November, in the wake of a botched Stevie Wonder fundraiser, to look into athletics oversight and make recommendations. Soon thereafter, an independent auditor's report described UH athletics as "technically insolvent," saying, "the condition of the athletic department is a concern."

Apple said after the meeting that the plan he is proposing includes retiring "the deficit that exists there."

Apple said he and athletic director Ben Jay will present a plan that "works toward" ending deficits. He declined to go into specifics except to say, "I think we have a pretty good, solid plan going forward."

The athletics department has finished in the black just twice in the past 10 years. One of those years was in 2008 and was because of the football team's appearance in the Bowl Championship Series Sugar Bowl, which carried a $4 million payout.

Apple has told the regents that UH athletics, which receives 32 percent of its funds from the state and students, is undersubsidized.



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