The Southern University system Board of Supervisors (JC Canicosa/Louisiana Illuminator)
After losing their athletic program for over a year, Southern University at New Orleans is restoring their volleyball and basketball programs next year — partially at the cost of their students.
“We all understand the role that athletics play in the life of a university, and now we are in a position with a solid financial base and a solid plan to bring back sports to the campus,” SUNO Chancellor James Ammons said to the Southern University system Board of Supervisors Friday.
SUNO suspended the athletic program after the 2019-2020 school year to cut costs, according to a NOLA.com report. At the time, SUNO had been placed on a second consecutive year of probation by its accrediting agency because of financial struggles.
SUNO’s probation has since been removed, Southern University system President-Chancellor Ray Belton said in a July board meeting.
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To shoulder a share of the costs of bringing back the athletic program, the board implemented a mandatory $100 student fee for SUNO students, which Ammons said would generate about $360,000 for the university. The additional student fee was approved by SUNO’s student government by a 79-23 vote.
SUNO plans on using $360,000 from the general fund budget of the university and another $360,000 generated from future fundraising to bear the costs.
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Just SUNO’s volleyball and basketball programs will return next year, but “we will eventually have six sports… that is certainly on the agenda,” Ammons said.
“At this time next year, we should have basketball practice going on to get ready for the season,” he said.
Ammons said he has a four-year long plan to bring back the athletics program fully at SUNO.
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