Michigan Wolverines, Texas Longhorns eliminate jobs, cut salaries

The University of Michigan athletics department on Tuesday announced it has eliminated 21 positions as it faces a potential $100 million loss in revenue for the 2020-2021 fiscal year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said the department will also evaluate temporary furloughs and reductions in hours for staff as additional information about competitions and sports seasons becomes known.

"The decision to implement staffing reductions was not made lightly and is difficult because of the deep impact on all aspects of our department and especially those who are directly affected," Manuel said. "We will continue to identify all necessary strategies to mitigate our circumstances, and we will continue to support our dedicated colleagues who have been so greatly affected."

Manuel went on to say 15 positions that have come open in recent weeks and months will not be filled.

The cuts came on the same day that Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte announced the Longhorns also will be eliminating 35 staff members and that 35 vacant positions will be permanently eliminated.

The job eliminations are estimated to save Texas approximately $13.1 million. There will be additional salary reductions and temporary furloughs, including 26 coaches and administrators who voluntarily agreed to take temporary salary reductions, 273 staff members receiving temporary salary reductions and 11 staffers being placed on temporary furlough.

"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," Del Conte wrote in a letter to the staff. "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 able to perform at the highest level."

The temporary salary reductions at Texas will be based on a marginal rate approach depending on the salary, starting at a 2.5% reduction going up to a 15% reduction for anyone making more than $100,001.

Michigan's job cuts are in addition to a hiring freeze on full-time and temporary employees unless the position was regarded as essential, a reduction in all operating and team budgets, only allowing essential purchases for the department and a 10% salary reduction for staff and coaches.

The salary reductions were announced in June and included football coach Jim Harbaugh, men's basketball coach Juwan Howard and Manuel. At the time of the reductions, Michigan announced full-time staff members earning between $50,000 and $100,000 would see a 5% reduction in salary and employees earning between $100,001 and $150,000 would see a 7.5% reduction.

In a letter to the Michigan athletics employees, Manuel stated the elimination of positions is complete for the fiscal year, but he has asked his leadership team to work with managers to evaluate furloughs and reductions in hours. Those decisions will be communicated the week of Sept. 14 to anyone impacted.

"I am genuinely sorry for the position we find ourselves and that I had to communicate this manner," Manuel said in the letter. "Please support each other and your impacted colleagues during this challenging time."