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UNM Regents set July 19 meeting for athletics vote

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UNM Athletics Director Eddie Nunez (Journal file)

The waiting game is almost over for University of New Mexico athletes and coaches wondering about their teams’ long-term fate.

The UNM Board of Regents has called a special meeting for July 19 to vote on cost-cutting measures in athletics — measures expected to include the elimination of at least one sport.

UNM has not revealed the specific proposal the regents will hear — in fact, Athletic Director Eddie Nuñez said Tuesday he has not yet finalized one.

The university has said it would make public a plan prior to any regents meeting on the matter, though neither Nuñez nor UNM spokeswoman Cinnamon Blair could provide a timeline for that announcement.

The plan is meant to address consistent financial shortfalls in UNM’s athletics department.

The routine red ink prompted regents this spring to approve a budget plan that includes $1.9 million in annual sport reduction savings effective in fiscal year 2020, but tasked Nuñez with determining how his department can best achieve that.

Nuñez has undertaken an evaluation of UNM’s 22 athletic programs based on numerous criteria, including financial and Title IX gender equity implications.

He will advance a recommendation to President Garnett Stokes for her OK. Stokes will then present the plan to the regents for final approval.

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