During a special meeting of the Coastal Carolina University Board of Trustees on Monday, the topic of the school’s displaced athletic teams traversing the country on extended road trips over the past three weeks was broached.
One board member wondered how the school was going to pay for all the extra travel expenses.
Well, the school’s athletic department has been working on that.
Coastal director of athletics Matt Hogue estimates the expenses will be several hundred thousand dollars.
With the campus being largely shut down, the school hasn’t yet audited the athletic teams’ travels, which also aren’t fully completed, so there isn’t a final number on the total cost.
“We’re talking about probably several hundred thousand dollars, but several hundred thousand dollars is not a number that scares me or I think scares anybody else when you’re talking about a university budget that is well into the hundreds of millions,” Hogue said.
With campus essentially closed to students beginning with the mandated shutdown of government offices on Sept. 11 prior to Hurricane Florence making landfall, student-athletes haven’t been allowed to stay on campus and teams haven’t been able to organize activities on campus, including practices and games.
“Your first focus is let’s make sure we’re addressing the teams’ needs, that we’re making sure they’re safe, we’re making sure they have a plan for what we’re going to do for however long we have to do it,” Hogue said. “So you’re not going to let cutting corners on dollars and cents affect that.”
The largest expenses have been lodging, food and transportation.
The football program was on the road for 12 days and required approximately 100 rooms per night, Hogue said, and the initial purchase order for the Renaissance Hotel at the World Golf Village in Jacksonville, Fla., was $150,000. That was before the team learned it would have to stay there nine nights because campus did not reopen the week after Florence hit.
The school has announced classes will resume Monday and residence halls will reopen at noon Friday, so Coastal’s athletic teams can resume normal activities on campus next week. “We’re nearing the final stage of this I think,” Hogue said.
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