WSU special committee considering using outside company to examine sports

Missouri State guard Brice Calip (11) has her shot blocked by Wright State forward Shamarre Hale (10) during the second quarter of a college basketball game in the second round of the women's NCAA tournament at the University of Texas at San Antonio Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas, Wednesday., March 24, 2021. Missouri State won 64-39. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)
Missouri State guard Brice Calip (11) has her shot blocked by Wright State forward Shamarre Hale (10) during the second quarter of a college basketball game in the second round of the women's NCAA tournament at the University of Texas at San Antonio Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas, Wednesday., March 24, 2021. Missouri State won 64-39. (AP Photo/Michael Thomas)

Credit: Michael Thomas

Credit: Michael Thomas

Initial estimated costs would be maximum $50,000, trustees say

A special committee created to examine Wright State University’s athletic program is considering hiring an outside firm to help with the analysis.

Several board trustees on the Special Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics expressed concerns on Tuesday that the scope of what they had been tasked with would be too much for them to make a thorough and fair report in less than a year.

Trustee Doug Fecher said he had spoken to one company which does analysis of university athletics programs.

“They really take a deep dive into what an athletics program means, really trying to help an institution determine if an athletic program is aligned with its resources, its mission and its values. That’s a key aspect that I’ve come to learn in my research is that an athletics program must support the mission and values of the university,” Fecher said.

Fecher said the cost would be “very reasonable.” He said the company is doing a similar project for a university and is charging $35,000. He estimated the university would need to budget up to $50,000 for a similar report.

The report would be due back in three to four months, Fecher said. He did not name the company in the meeting.

Trustee Brittney C. Whiteside, who is the executive associate athletics director at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said she has also heard of a few similar companies.

ExploreNew Wright State committee to discuss future of athletics

Andrew Platt, another member of the committee, said he didn’t object to looking into what the companies could do for them and asking for a bidding process. He said his biggest concern was cost.

The members of the Special Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics decided to inquire about costs and get some estimates together at the end of the meeting. A decision would be made later.

The chair of the committee, Marty Grunder, said at the beginning of the meeting that the committee hasn’t made any final decisions yet.

“We have no preconceived notions of where this work will take us,” Grunder said. “We have a lot of information to gather and much to learn, to those who are passionate about Wright State athletics, who may be concerned by the very existence of this committee, I asked you to take a breath and relax.”

He added, “I think there’s a lot of things that that athletics brings to the table that maybe we don’t realize.”

Platt, who was captain of the golf team while he attended Wright State, applauded Grunder’s remarks. He said “I know I’m biased” when it comes to Wright State sports.

“Like you said, people like me just need to breathe,” Platt said.

The university recently announced plans to cut up to 113 faculty positions after several years of falling student enrollment. Discussion on a voluntary separation program, which faculty and WSU president Sue Edwards both advocated for, is expected to come Wednesday at a special trustee meeting. The meeting will be livestreamed at wright.edu/bot-stream.

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