Posted by Philip Poole on 2009-02-23

Samford University will benefit from recent cost-savings measures announced by the Southern Conference. Samford is one of 12-member institutions in the SoCon.

The initiatives, announced recently by conference commissioner John Iamarino, include reduced travel for conference office staff, fewer teams competing in conference post-season tournaments and eliminating media days for football and basketball. While some cost-savings will implemented immediately, most will be for the 2009-10 academic year. The plan was developed by conference athletics directors and the conference staff, with final approval given by the presidents of conference-member schools.

The plan does not affect post-season tournaments already under contract for 2009-10, including basketball and baseball.

Any savings realized by the conference, expected to be as much as $120,000 for the year, will be divided equally among the conference members, Iamarino said. The initiatives will be reviewed in January 2010 to determine if they should be carried forward for the 2010-11 school year.

The initiatives also will have a positive impact on Samford's athletics budget, according to Bob Roller, Samford's athletics director. In addition to potential revenue from the conference, the initiatives also will reduce Samford's athletics budget, Samford's athletics department staff already had reduced other expenses, such as travel and office expenses, as part of a university-wide effort to reduce operating costs.

"We realize the importance of being good institutional citizens while trying to maintain the level of play and participation that is expected of member schools in the prestigious Southern Conference," Roller said. "Our coaches and staff are doing everything they can to reduce costs, just as others across campus are being asked to do.

"These are unusual times. These are measures that no one wanted to take, but we know that something must be done."

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.