St. Cloud State students raise their fees to save football

The chance that St. Cloud State University’s football team might be eliminated because of budget problems seems to be over: students voted themselves a fee increase that will save athletic programs at the school.

About 20 percent of the school’s students participated in the online vote on raising fees; it passed, and a student taking 12 credits will now pay about $40 more per year, says the St. Cloud Times.

The athletic program was facing annual deficits of more than half a million dollars in the coming years, leading officials to consider cutting some sports, including football.

But the new fees will add about $600,000 a year to the athletic program, enough for now, the paper said.

“In the short term, I’m not going to cut any sports,” said University President Earl H. Potter III. “I’m incredibly grateful for the work of student leadership in getting up the vote and grateful for the students who passed it. It’s a clear declaration of student body support and commitment for athletics. That’s what we needed to test.”

The school also plans to cut $200,000 from the athletic administration budget and increase fundraising for sports teams.

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