UTAH UTES

Utah Athletics Furloughs Employees, Eliminates Positions Due To Financial Challenges

Sep 4, 2020, 2:12 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2020, 4:14 pm

Mark Harlan - Utah Athletic Director...

University of Utah's new Athletics Director Mark Harlan leaves the field at Rice Eccles Stadium on Monday, June 4, 2018. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – University of Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan announced the department has furloughed employees and even eliminated certain positions.

Harlan cited financial issues because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the furloughs.

According to Harlan, the furloughs are of various lengths and impact every department employee, including himself. Head and assistant coaches are also impacted by workforce changes.

Further, the University of Utah Athletics Department has eliminated all performance bonuses until further notice. Harlan announced the furloughs and layoffs in an interview at a local radio station.

KSL Sports received a statement from Harlan on the announcement.

“As I have previously shared, the financial challenges that we are facing at Utah has led us to make difficult—but necessary—decisions to mitigate the financial impacts of the pandemic. These changes include furloughs of various lengths for every Department employee—including me, our executive cabinet and our head and assistant coaches. In addition, in some select cases, we have also eliminated positions through reductions in force. We also have eliminated all performance bonuses until further notice.

“These decisions were not based on employee performance, but rather reflect the significant financial shortfall we face as well as the realities of the postponement of fall sports competition. We are prioritizing the areas of our athletics operations that directly support our student-athletes.”

Furloughs and layoffs have been a theme among college sports athletic departments especially those that are not playing fall sports at this time. The Pac-12 announced in August that all sports competitions have been postponed until at least January 1, 2021. The conference announced on Thursday that they have partnered with Quidel Corporation, a diagnostic test leader, in order to carry out daily COIVD-19 tests for its student-athletes that participate in “all close-contact sports.”

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott considers this news a “game changer” and could allow fall sports to begin competition earlier than January 1, if all goes well.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Utah Athletics Furloughs Employees, Eliminates Positions Due To Financial Challenges