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Friday, September 4, 2020

Long says another round of furloughs, salary reductions coming for KU athletic department; fans won’t be allowed on hill for Sept. 12 football game

Kansas chancellor Doug Girod and Athletics Director Jeff Long talk before the game Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.

Kansas chancellor Doug Girod and Athletics Director Jeff Long talk before the game Saturday afternoon at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019.

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Kansas Athletics Director Jeff Long said Friday that the department would undergo another round of furloughs and salary cuts as it continues to struggle with cash flow amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department announced a sweeping round of furloughs and pay reductions in May that Long estimated at the time would save KU Athletics an estimated $650,000 through the end of the year. The department had also implemented more targeted pay cuts in April, and altogether, to date, has saved an approximate $1.15 million in 2020.

Long announced the additional furloughs and salary reductions in a Friday meeting of the university's Athletics Advisory Committee, which is made up of a few dozen KU employees and students. He did not address specifics of what would be involved in the next round of cuts, nor when they would be formally announced.

Dan Beckler, a spokesperson for Kansas Athletics, told the Journal-World after the meeting that further information wasn't ready to be publicly shared.

Beckler did confirm that, as of Wednesday, the department has results from 2,504 COVID-19 tests of KU student athletes (it's not clear how many of those are re-tests), 69 of which have returned with positive results.

As the Kansas football team prepares for its first game on Sept. 12 against Coastal Carolina, Long said that KU administrators were working to designate safe places for students to watch the game, which will take place without fans, but noted that the hill near David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium wouldn't be one of them.

"I believe the hill would not be populated at all," Long said.

Tammara Durham, KU's vice provost for student affairs, attended the virtual meeting Friday and said that details weren't finalized for where students could watch the first game, which begins at 9 p.m., but confirmed that the hill was off limits. It's unclear what mechanisms are planned to enforce that policy.

Long said it was the department's "hope and desire" to get the Lawrence and KU community to comply with proper public health practices so fans could attend the next home football game, currently scheduled for Oct. 3 against Oklahoma State.

"We're hopeful to be somewhere between 10% and 25 or 30% of our stadium capacity," Long said. "We're hopeful, but we'll know that as we get closer to that game time and we see how the numbers are playing out."

More specifics on the financial outlook of KU Athletics will likely be addressed on Sept. 16, when the board of directors governing Kansas Athletics holds its quarterly meeting.

Comments

Brett McCabe 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Long and Girod. Dumb and Dumber. X2.

These two dipshts couldn’t find their a*es with both hands.

My actual, true hope for KU is this; we step back and reassess who we are.
We are Jayhawkers. Red Leggers. New England Emigrant Aid Loyalists.

Fire the dirty b-ball coach. Get rid of Major Milk Toast. Use those salaries to pay people who don’t cheat and mumble their way through life.

These a**holes shouldn’t collect another penny of pay.

Dane Pratt 1 month, 3 weeks ago

What about Coach Miles? Does he get fired too?

Tim Orel 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Brett probably doesn't think the football team could beat his Hawkeyes, so Miles is safe until they pose a threat. MBBHCBS's team would kick the Hawkeyes up and down the court so of course, Self has to go.

Chris Condren 1 month, 3 weeks ago

When you do not have a product to sell or when you do Have a product and you bar fans from attending the inevitable result is financial ruin. Screw the KUAD. It has betrayed its supporters for over a decade and has earned the situation it finds itself in.

Bville Hawk 1 month, 3 weeks ago

And the logic for denying fans access to the stadium or even the hill is what? Are they are trying to protect the players? Or are they trying to protect the fans from themselves? Why can't leadership ask fans to be responsible and maintain social distancing from people with whom they didn't ride in the car to the game? They could even ask fans to wear a mask. Again, what is the logic?

Dale Rogers 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Well, asking people to be responsible and maintain social distancing and to wear a mask has sure worked well in the rest of this country, hasn't it.

Bville Hawk 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Dale, I know you are being facetious in your question, but actually masking and social distancing has worked well for the rest of the country if the whole point is to flatten the curve, and that is the whole point.
The only place these actions haven't worked is where the decision was made to make nursing homes accept covid-19 infected patients.

Bville Hawk 1 month, 3 weeks ago

And apparently the leadership isn't trying to protect the fans from themselves, the following is from a Williams Fund email this morning:

"While you may not be able to tailgate on Campanile Hill this fall, we are excited to announce our new #TailgateAnywhere packages in partnership with Tailgate Guys and The Jayhawk Experience.

TailgateAnywhere packages contain everything you need to host a tailgate at your home or business: 20’ x 20’ tent, lighting, tailgate chairs, tables with linens, coolers, sanitation kits, home delivery & setup, and a video greeting from Coach Les Miles. Upgraded packages include TVs, tailgate games, catering, and more. Our outdoor setups will help you host your own tailgate party for family, friends, coworkers, customers, or clients while allowing for social distancing."

Len Shaffer 1 month, 3 weeks ago

Well, that's pretty horrible, but it's still not as bad as if they had fans in the stadium, because at least tailgating is usually done in fairly small groups.

Nevertheless, they shouldn't have sent that out. It's ridiculous.

Steven Haag 1 month, 3 weeks ago

As I’m watching college football on ESPN, EVERY game has had spectators in the stands. They are limited capacity and wearing masks. Imagine that. According to the EXPERTS, social distancing and masks work......right? So limit the size and require masks. What a bunch of bologna. An estimated 10 million Americans a day crowd into WalMart, Lowe’s, and other places. CDC comes out that only 6% of deaths are strictly COVID. So, let some people attend already.

Doug Roberts 1 month, 3 weeks ago

College athletics has been drunk with money from TV rights and apparel companies for YEARS. How else do you excuse 35 different uniform combinations for a home football game?

Now the chickens are coming.home to roost, and they're passing the sh*t it on to the employees with furloughs and pay cuts. Universities have no business running a business.

Steve Hilker 1 month, 3 weeks ago

10,000 socially distanced, paying fans, masks, and sanitation stations would go a long ways towards salaries. Leave the concessions closed. Open the parking 2 hours prior to kickoff. Close parking 1 hour after the game is finished.

Bee Bee 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Fans should gather on the hill and call it a RIOT. They'll be left alone to enjoy the game.

Jeff Kallmeyer 1 month, 2 weeks ago

From what I remember, WVU is the only other B12 school to impose complete stadium lockdown. So KU is going to miss out on fan revenue why? Don't you think we could go w/ 25% stadium capacity and make it work? We're either going to look real smart or real dumb w/ this ruling, my vote is for the latter.

Todd Hill 1 month, 2 weeks ago

25% Stadium capacity? Haven't they been doing that for years? Should be pretty practiced up by now.

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