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Texas Longhorns announce $13.1M COVID-19 financial cutback, layoffs and salary reductions

Temporary salary reductions to coaches and staff members, as well as layoffs and temporary furloughs, contributed to the $13.1 million financial cutback.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Longhorns athletic department announced Sept. 1 it had saved approximately $13.1 million due to a list of layoffs, salary reductions and temporary furloughs. 

In the Sept. 1 edition of the Forty Acres Insider, Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte announced the following financial cutbacks: 

  • 26 contracted coaches and administrators voluntarily agreed to take temporary salary reductions (beginning Sept.1 through Aug. 31, 2021 )
  • 273 staff members will receive temporary salary reductions, and 11 staff members will be temporarily furloughed with benefits (beginning Oct. 16 through Aug. 31, 2021)
  • 35 staff members will be laid off 
  • 35 vacant positions will be permanently eliminated

According to Del Conte's newsletter, 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%.

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Del Conte said in the newsletter that when COVID-19 canceled post-season basketball tournaments, as well as the remainder of the 2020 winter and spring sport seasons, UT "immediately put in place cost containment measures that mitigated the financial impact of COVID-19 related cancellations for the rest of the 2019-20 fiscal year." He did not clarify what measures were taken, but said the result of those mitigation efforts saved the athletics department more than $19.9 million. 

"Although this is an extremely difficult time for our department, we fully expect to bounce back from this experience stronger and positioned well to continue to provide the best student-athlete experience in the country and strive to compete for Big 12 and National Championships in all of our 20 sports programs," Del Conte said in the newsletter. "These are unprecedented times we are in and all of us in college athletics are facing unexpected circumstances, a lot of change and very difficult decisions. None of it has been easy, and we recognize the impact it’s had on so many and are deeply sorry for that. But we also know it’s our responsibility to position Texas Athletics to remain solvent, steady and perform at the highest level. Those are our expectations, and we know they are yours, too. So, we must stay positive and unite as one as we take on the days, weeks and months to come with vigor, enthusiasm and resiliency."

Looking at the fiscal year for 2020-21, Del Conte said Texas Athletics' top priorities were protecting the health of the student-athletes and "maintaining the services and coaching that directly support their academic and athletics pursuits." Del Conte said UT has taken steps to try to avoid expected revenue losses in the future, which include, but are not limited to: 

  • Reducing team and department operating expenses
  • Regionalizing team travel 
  • Reducing capital project expenditures

Texas will kick off its season on Sept. 12 against UTEP with a stadium capacity of 25%

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