HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A state auditor's investigation of USM's athletic department has turned up no evidence of wrongdoing or mismanagement.
The Institutions of Higher Learning conducted an internal investigation into the school's athletic budget after comments were made by then Interim Athletic Director, Jeff Hammond, in April. Hammond suggested that fiscal mismanagement by the prior athletic administration was responsible for a $1.3 million deficit.
The state auditor's office was brought in to review the IHL probe for the years 2009 and 2012. The investigation concluded there was no mismanagement when it came to contracts and equipment purchases. The 2009 audit did show an $800 thousand dollar deficit. While the 2012 audit showed a $1.2 million deficit.
However, the audit concluded there were two main reasons behind the deficits. One of which was a small athletic budget that lacked a big pay game. The other reason was that the school administration reduced its funding to the athletic department.
IHL allows universities to transfer up to a million dollars a year from the general fund to the athletic department. The 2012 contribution had dropped to just over 800,000 dollars.