The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved a plan to spend $6.25 million on new video scoreboards and a sound system at Commonwealth Stadium.
The project will be paid for entirely with private funds. An earlier proposal had called for the project to be funded in part with a loan from UK at a variable interest rate initially set at 1.64 percent.
Faculty trustee Joe Peek, a professor of finance, said trustees need more information on the costs and benefits of such projects to be able to monitor the university's finances responsibly.
But other trustees disagreed. "I trust the Athletic Department not to do something stupid," said James Stuckert of Hilliard Lyons of Louisville. "... I call that absolute micromanaging."
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Trustee C.M. "Bill" Gatton, a Bristol, Tenn., auto dealer, said he agreed with Peek that the trustees should be notified when the numbers hit millions of dollars. "A million here and a million there, soon you're talking about real money," he said.
"The athletics department may be receiving too much scrutiny," said trustee Frank Shoop of Georgetown, an auto dealer. "Every time athletics brings something over here, we pick it to pieces."
Trustee Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera, said Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart told him the loan proposal would have brought the university $150,000.
It could not immediately be determined whether that figure represented simple interest paid on the loan, which was not to exceed five years, or whether UK could have made more investing the money elsewhere.