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NCAA Furloughing All Staff Members at National Office

Brock Fritz

With a limited number of college sports playing through the COVID-19 pandemic, all employees of the NCAA national offices will be furloughed for three weeks in an effort to combat economic challenges.

NCAA president Mark Emmert announced the decision Wednesday in a letter to all NCAA members, noting that every employee in the Indianapolis office will be subject to mandatory three-week furloughs sometime between Sept. 21 and the end of January 2021.

“Some staff, depending on the function of their positions and the seasonal timing of their duties, will serve eight-week furloughs,” Emmert wrote. “To help reduce expenses over the long-term we also are offering voluntary separation and early retirement packages to many of our employees.

“These decisions are unfortunate but necessary as we continue to identify ways to cut costs across the national office. They are on top of budget cuts in every national office group totaling near half of our operating budget; salary reductions for our senior executives; salary freezes for all employees; and a hold on filling open positions except in very limited circumstances.”

The cost-saving measures come about six months after the NCAA basketball tournaments were canceled due to COVID-19. Most of the NCAA’s annual revenue comes from the men’s basketball tournament, while the entire spring seasons were also canceled. The NCAA won’t hold any championships this fall, as many schools have postponed or canceled their seasons. According to the Associated Press, the NCAA cut its annual distribution to Division I conferences and schools from an expected $600 million to $225 million.

Universities also continue to deal with the ramifications of the pandemic.

University of Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte announced Tuesday that the athletic department expects to save about $13.1 million from a number of personnel decisions.

“Beginning September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2021, 26 contracted coaches and administrators voluntarily agreed to take temporary salary reductions,” Conte wrote in Forty Acres Insider. “Beginning October 16, 2020 through August 31, 2021, 273 staff members will receive temporary salary reductions, and 11 staff members will be temporarily furloughed with benefits. Temporary salary reductions are based on a marginal rate approach in the following manner: the first $50,000 of an employee’s salary will be reduced by 2.5%, the next $50,001 to $100,000 is reduced by 10% and any amount above $100,001 is reduced by 15%. Also, beginning September 1, 2020, 35 staff members will be laid off and 35 vacant positions will be permanently eliminated. Texas Athletics is also suspending the performance incentive program at this time.”

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported Monday that the Texas Tech athletic department is cutting 40 jobs and reducing pay for 198 employees, while The Detroit News reported that the Michigan athletic department has eliminated 21 jobs.

Related content: Iowa Cuts Four Sports as Deficits Hit Big Ten

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