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Severance, Foster Farms Bowl expenses contribute to Arizona athletics budget deficit, per report

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arizona-wildcats-athletics-budget-deficit-college-report-financial-fiscal Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona’s athletic department reported a $7.5 million deficit during the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to figures reported by the Arizona Republic.

That marks the third consecutive year Arizona has operated at a deficit, and far up from the $800,000 deficit it had at the end of the 2016-17 year.

Arizona reported $95.8 million in revenue but $103.3 million in expenses, per the Republic. A big contributor to the deficit was $8.2 million in severance payments to coaches no longer employed by the school, most notably former football coach Rich Rodriguez, who was fired in January 2018 but was under contract through May 2020.

Another unusual expense: $1 million attributed to the football team’s appearance in the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl, which proved to be RichRod’s final game.

Arizona’s athletic department hasn’t operated in the black since the 2014-15 fiscal year, when it finished with a $6.4 million surplus.