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Seminole Boosters focus on donations amid coronavirus budget cuts

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 18:29:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The COVID-19 pandemic has left athletic programs across the country wondering what's next.

At Florida State University, the athletic budget was reduced by 20 percent but everyone is working hard to support athletics in these trying times.

For Florida State athletics, the excitement was high. They have a new head football coach, a basketball team on the cusp of their best season ever, and a $1 million surplus.

"We ended this June 30, 2020, a million dollars over the prior year in annual fund, unrestricted giving," said Paul Phipps with the Seminole Boosters. "That's critical to the program."

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the surplus doesn't come close to what the potential loss could be this fall.

"The only thing for certain we know right now is we will fall somewhere short of 100 percent occupancy in the stadium," said Jason Dennard. "That's a given at this point."

There is uncertainty for the future, but they're trying to stay positive.

"We're going to come out of this stronger, we really are," Phipps said. "We're excited about in the midst of a real challenge that we have an opportunity here to really strengthen the support of Florida State athletics."

The shelter at home order opened new platforms for Seminole Boosters.

"We've done a lot of Zoom calls with former athletes and supporters," said Phipps.

Zoom offered a new way of connecting, and hopefully, a way to keep that money coming in.

"There's over a million people on different digital platforms that follow Florida State athletics," Phipps said. "There's a big pool to fish in and we're going to go out there and start fishing."

While the money keeps coming from donations a season, in any form, would help too.

"There are a lot of smart people working on these solutions and I do feel confident in the coming weeks we're going to be making decisions on these things because we're running out of time frankly," said Dennard.

Both Seminole Boosters and Florida State continue urging people to support the athletic program, saying that's the only way to come out on top in this time of uncertainty.