Gov. Hobbs concerned about UArizona’s financial troubles, timing of revelations

Nov 13, 2023, 3:00 PM

The University of Arizona is having budget programs that could cause the school to cut athletics pr...

The University of Arizona is having budget programs that could cause the school to cut athletics programs. (Facebook Photo/University of Arizona)

(Facebook Photo/University of Arizona)

PHOENIX — Gov. Katie Hobbs expressed her concern Monday for the recent University of Arizona financial troubles that could see the Tucson school cut athletics programs and more.

University President Robert Robbins acknowledged during a Nov. 2 meeting with the board of regents that athletics was not producing the revenue that was expected following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robbins added that the budget issues, which stretch to the entire university, could get worse before they get better.

“I’m certainly concerned about these this coming to light now and the potential lack of oversight by ABOR,” Hobbs said at an event in Phoenix. “It’s something that we’re looking into.

“This is a problem and it should have certainly come to light sooner.”

Arizona’s athletic department was given a $55 million loan during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and before conference realignment was announced that hasn’t been paid back “fast enough,” according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Robbins has indicated that cutting sports is an option in light of the budget problems.

The university, along with Arizona State University, is in its final season as a member of the Pac-12 Conference before transitioning to the Big 12 Conference.

UArizona, in a statement, added that “the university will address current budget challenges by reducing expenses and finding additional revenue streams.”

Hobbs said she was ready to see a plan on how the university would address the issues.

“Well, I think it’s important that we make college as accessible as possible to Arizonans,” Hobbs said. “I don’t know where the issue came from, but certainly we need to look into it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Gov. Hobbs concerned about UArizona’s financial troubles, timing of revelations