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Looming budget cuts may mean cutting UND sports

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A few months ago, UND said they were keeping all 20 sports teams.

But now, the budget axe looms once again that may not be the case.

With cuts likely, UND is making preparations and everything is back on the table.

President Kennedy was out in Bismarck fighting for UND, making a case that they provide the state an economic boost.

He still says what's coming is concerning.

Mark Kennedy, UND President: “The world has changed to the degree of 25-30-some million dollars.”

Budget cuts are coming to UND.

Governor Doug Burgum says he wants to cut 5 percent more from the budget.

“There's great concern on the part of the administration,” says Kennedy.

Earlier this week, Kennedy made his case to legislators stating that UND is worth-while investment for the state.

He has some help in his corner.

Jake Blum is a freshman legislator and current student at UND.

Kennedy: “It's possible that kind of magnitude, that that kind of seismic change in our budget structure forces us to reconsider things that we would prefer not to consider.”

Last time cutting sports was on the table, he set the task to committee.

After facing a 1.4 million dollar shortfall, the solution they come up with was the University and other community partners should ADD an extra 7 million dollars to athletics and save all 20 sports.

“I don't know where you're going to find 7 million dollars. Because a lot relied on getting other people to do things. They're probably not going to do those,” says Kennedy.

He says in the coming weeks, the Athletic Department will have to create a plan to address the cuts.

Kennedy: “If you're not going to start doing things of a less quality and we don't want to do that. You have to do 25-30 million less stuff.”

Kennedy did say he's making whole on his promise to invest in Championship level sports.

He says he showed that by signing their co-champion conference football coach Bubba Schweigert to a 5 year deal.

Ryan Laughlin

Ryan Laughlin joins your home team from Minnetonka, Minnesota. Ryans journalism career started in high school. He was the sports editor of his high school newspaper. Then, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire he made the jump into broadcasting. Ryan started a hunting and fishing show called, EC Outdoors on the student-run TV station. He is excited to be living in a town thats as enthusiastic about hockey as he is and likes to hunt and fish when he has time. Hes a die-hard Minnesota sports fan and is glad to be out of Packer country.

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