On Wednesday, the NCAA sent a memo that it will furlough its entire Indianapolis-based staff, comprised of roughly 600 employees, for up to 8 weeks, according to the Associated Press.
NCAA president Mark Emmert sent out the memo to nearly 1,200 member schools. Starting on September 21st, all national office staff will go into a mandatory furlough, which can range from 3 weeks through the end of January 2021, depending on position and “seasonal timing of their duties.”
The furloughs were implemented as a cost-saving move resulting from the projected revenue loss from cancelling the 2020 men’s college basketball tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic. NCAA senior executives will not be affected by the furloughs, though executives have already experienced salary cuts in light of the pandemic.
“The decisions are unfortunate but necessary as we continue to identify ways to cut costs across the national office,” Emmert wrote. “We are committed to supporting our member schools and conferences and student-athletes in every way possible, and yet I expect that some of our services to membership may be limited or delayed during this period furloughs. I ask for your patience as we all strive to weather these difficult times together.”
Seasonal furloughs relate to all 3 of the NCAA divisions’ decisions to cancel all of its national championships for the fall 2020 season, though some conferences are moving ahead with fall sports anyway.
Earlier in the spring, the NCAA had cut its annual distribution to Division I conferences and schools this year by $375 million, shaving it down to $225 million. The cancellation of the 2020 men’s basketball tournament was projected to cost the NCAA $700 million in revenue loss. The organization chose to dip into its financial reserves, which was valued at an estimated $698 million in 2015. Other cost-saving measures the NCAA have implemented include temporary salary freezes on all employees, not filling any open positions, and offering voluntary separation/early retirement packages to select employees.