Ben Cohen

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Athletics Feels Economic Impact

The athletic department’s first strategic plan, approved by the Board of Trustees in May, proposed an approximately $325 million development campaign to compensate for rising costs of recruiting, maintenance of facilities, growth of coaching staffs and spikes in financial aid. The first step was to “design, test and develop” the fundraising plan that would tentatively appropriate $75 million for the Iron Dukes, $100 million for capital projects and $150 million for endowing scholarships.

The plan was more of a statement of best practices than a rigid model, and more analysis was already expected this year. Director of Athletics Kevin White was hired after its approval, and exact plans in “Unrivaled Ambition” were expected to change and evolve further, rather than be implemented this year.

Still, the Department of Athletics would have been in prime shape to accept donations given the positive publicity of Mike Krzyzewski’s leading Team USA to an Olympic gold medal and David Cutcliffe’s transformation of the football program.

But before the athletic department could see the financial results, Wall Street fell into disarray.

After sharp changes in the economy, $325 million seems a loftier goal than it did in May.

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