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The Berkshire Eagle

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts athletics department will be making major cuts in the department budget.

In a release, the school announced that it will institute a reduction in work hours or furloughs for 57 athletic department staff members.

"The uncertainty of COVID-19 has negatively impacted the collegiate athletics model and forced our department to readjust operations for this year to manage almost 20 percent in expected budget cuts," UMass director of athletics Ryan Bamford said in the release. "As we assess the best way to navigate the challenging fiscal realities in 2020-21, we are also supremely focused on the future of Massachusetts athletics and building a department that will rise from this adversity and be stronger than ever before."

The department budget losses are attributed to several decreased revenue streams including university support through the general operating funds, student fees, NCAA and conference distributions, ticket revenue and game guarantees.

Earlier in the summer, a majority of coaches and administrative staff on employment contracts took voluntary salary cuts of 2 to 10 percent. Seven vacancies were not filled, and the reduction includes a 12-15 percent cut to department operations. That could mean a shift to regional scheduling and reduced travel for many of UMass' 21 teams.

The department is also preparing for an additional $2-3 million loss in potential revenue based on potential changes to schedules.


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