NCAA will furlough its entire staff amid financial difficulties from the coronavirus pandemic

NCAA employees are facing furloughs this fall and winter.

The governing body sent out a memo to its staffers at its Indianapolis office on Wednesday outlining mandatory furloughs that will take place from September through January. While executives at the NCAA will not be furloughed, the NCAA had previously announced that its upper-level management would be taking pay cuts because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Associated Press obtained the memo, which notes that each furlough will be a minimum of three weeks:

The latest belt-tightening measures include voluntary separation and early retirement packages being offered to many NCAA employees.

“There decisions are unfortunate but necessary as we continue to identify ways to cut costs across the national office,” Emmert wrote. He said all the measures represent “top of budget cuts in every national office group totaling nearly half our operating budget.”

The NCAA lost over $1 billion in revenue when it canceled the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in March amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The money made from the tournaments is by far the biggest revenue-generator for itself and its member schools. Smaller schools without football teams in large conferences with attractive television deals are especially reliant on their payouts from the NCAA tournament to finance their athletic departments.

The NCAA was set to pay out over $600 million to schools at the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year. That payment went down to $225 million because of the pandemic’s impacts. Athletic departments across the country have instituted salary cuts, furloughs and even layoffs because of the pandemic.

Reports by the Washington Post and USA Today in April noted how the NCAA was far more prepared to handle a canceled set of basketball tournaments five years ago than it was in 2020. The reports detailed how the NCAA once had a cash reserve on hand of $500 million but spent much of that reserve in aid to schools to cover cost-of-attendance stipends for players and in a class-action settlement regarding the NCAA’s outdated amateurism rules.

The NCAA has already canceled championships for the 2020 fall sports season. The fall championships at all levels are the third straight set of championships to get canceled because of the pandemic. COVID-19 wiped out all winter and spring sports championships.

The College Football Playoff is not run by the NCAA and, as of now, is set to proceed as scheduled despite just 76 of the 130 teams at the top level of college football expressing their intentions to play in the fall.

NCAA logo, graphic element on black
NCAA employees are facing furloughs over the next four months.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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