Kansas athletics facing imposing budget woes

Oct 5, 2019; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; during a Big 12 football game between the Oklahoma Sooners...
Oct 5, 2019; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; during a Big 12 football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Memorial Stadium ©KellyRoss(KWCH)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 5:07 PM CDT
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The athletic department at the University of Kansas has told donors it will make across-the-board pay cuts and furloughs as it faces a budget shortfall of up to 20 percent, even if full football and basketball seasons are played.

Jayhawks athletic director Jeff Long said in an email that employees making less than $50,000 will face a three-week furlough this summer; those making up to $149,000 can choose between a 10-day furlough or a pay cut of either 3.5% or 5% depending on their salary; those making up to $299,000 can choose a 10-day furlough or cut of either 7.5% and 10%; and those making $300,000 or more will take a 10% pay cut.

Long joined football coach Les Miles and basketball coach Bill Self in taking pay cuts in April. When those are combined with the latest cuts, Long said the athletic department would save about $1.15 million.

“We prolonged enacting measures that impact our people as long as we could,” Long said in the email, “but it has become clear that the across-the-board reductions were necessary for the short and long-term financial needs of this department.”

___ Professional sports can resume but without spectators in parts of Pennsylvania where the governor’s stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the coronavirus is no longer in force.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Wednesday that teams and competitors will be allowed to practice or play in counties where the Democratic governor’s yellow or green designation applies in his stoplight-colored, three-phase reopening plan.

To resume, a team or a league must develop a coronavirus safety plan that has been approved by the state Department of Health. It must include testing or screening and monitoring of all “on-venue” players and personnel.

Wolf is allowing overnight camps and organized youth sports to begin or resume in areas where the green phase is in effect.