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Projecting an almost $20 million financial shortfall, BYU Athletics asks for donations

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe meets with the media at his semiannual press conference Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, in Provo, Utah.
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe meets with the media at his semiannual press conference Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, in Provo.
Mark A. Philbrick, BYU

A video released last week featured BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe saying that the athletic department expects a financial shortfall “just short” of $20 million by the end of the 2020-2021 athletic season and asking fans to give what they could.

Like other college athletic programs around the country, BYU has been hit hard during the pandemic as a result of lost season ticket revenue and sponsorship dollars. COVID-19 testing has also been a “major expense,” Holmoe says.

In an effort to raise money, the program has launched a campaign titled “All In” to encourage donations.

Noting that tithing funds from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not used in any way to fund the athletic department and that BYU has “operated without an annual financial loss for the last 15 years,” Holmoe asked people to give “whatever you’re able to contribute.”

The other major athletic departments in Utah have kicked off similar campaigns as they have been forced to reduce staff (multiple members of the BYU athletics communications staff were recently laid off, and furloughs and layoffs have come at the University of Utah) and make other cost-cutting measures.