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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

University of Memphis Athletics announces layoffs & furloughs due to COVID-19 impact

The school's athletics department says 19 positions were eliminated & salaried employees will begin furloughs Oct. 1st.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis announced Friday that nearly 20 people have been laid off due to the financial impact of COVID-19.

Memphis Athletics said in a statement that 19 positions have been eliminated, and furloughs for all salaried employees making $40,000 or more will be effective October 1st.

You can read the full release from Memphis Athletics below:

In response to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Memphis Athletics announced a series of department-wide cost-cutting measures Friday, including the elimination of 19 positions and furloughs for all salaried employees earning $40,000 or more, effective Oct. 1. 

“As we have shared previously, COVID-19 has had a major financial impact on our athletics department,” said Memphis Director of Athletics Laird Veatch. “Our original budget projections of a $4.4 million deficit have now more than doubled to a range of $9 million to $11.5 million. While we were able to manage some of the projected deficit through cuts to our operational budgets, we have unfortunately been left with limited options and forced to make challenging decisions that impact the lives of our coaches, staff and their families.”

All full-time employees with salaries of $40,000 or more will be subject to furloughs equivalent to 10-20% of their salary based on compensation levels beginning in October through the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year. The most highly compensated employees will receive the largest cuts, with those at $250,000 or more experiencing a 20% reduction.

“We are extremely grateful to our fans who have chosen to help us Keep Memphis Roaring,” said Veatch. “Without the support of our loyal and generous Tiger Scholarship Fund donors, our situation would be even more dire. We estimate more than $2 million in savings from these difficult personnel decisions, which will be earmarked to cover unfunded scholarship costs for our student-athletes this year.

“This is a sad day for Memphis Athletics, and one that I hoped would never come. However, we are determined to manage through these difficult times, support our student-athletes and continue to position our programs to maintain the momentum of success established in recent years.”

Memphis Athletics took proactive measures in July to reduce costs by $4.4 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year that included a 14% reduction to administrative and sports operational budgets, in addition to significant personnel savings, as compared to prior year expenses.