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Warde Manuel presents athletic department budget to UM Regents on Thursday. Angelique S. Chengelis, The Detroit News

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Ann Arbor – Regent Andrew Richner, during the Michigan Board of Regents meeting on Thursday, asked athletic director Warde Manuel if he had budgeted for another spring football excursion in 2018.

Manuel told The Detroit News on Tuesday that the football team’s trip to Rome in April was an estimated $750,000 to $800,000 and was paid for by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

He also mentioned that the men’s tennis team made a recent trip to Paris and women’s basketball is going to Italy in August. He said those trips are mostly supported by donations.

“We have in the budget some room to do that,” Manuel told the Regents about another football trip. “We have some donors, like we did last year, who have been willing to commit a donation in support of that if we do it again. The plan is to look at that opportunity, and we will be able to handle it within the budget.”

President Mark Schlissel and Regent Andrea Newman made a point to mention that Michigan’s athletic department is self-sustaining and covers 100 percent of its costs while also annually transferring money to the university.

Because many don’t know that, Manuel said he finds himself explaining the department’s financial independence.

“I do have to say that to remind people, particularly when they have concerns with the use and where our money comes from,” Manuel said. “I have to make sure I clarify it’s an independent operation. I’m glad we’re able to provide some money back to the institution in support of education and other initiatives.”

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