Michigan Cuts Jobs As Athletic Department Faces ‘Significant’ Financial Loss In 2020

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The financial situation inside the University of Michigan athletic department is starting to get real serious to the tune of 21 job cuts, a hiring freeze, pay cuts and a revenue loss that could hit $100 million in 2020. The revenue projection from athletic director Warde Manuel was announced Tuesday on the Conqu’ring Heroes podcast where Manuel made it clear the losses would be higher than his $61 million projection back in August.

“The impact is upwards of almost half our budget, about $100 million,” a solemn Manuel said on the podcast, describing it as a “significant loss.”

“We have to take as many significant reductions as we can and cut back as we have already, and as we continue to do our budgets, salary reductions and those kinds of things. We just keep moving through it and try to figure it out.”

Manuel, speaking with Jon Jansen on the podcast, just like companies across the country making tough decisions, Michigan is no different.

“It’s not easy to have to think of all the things we have to give up that we are normally used to having. But that’s where we find ourselves during this time. Difficult choices have to be made in order for the long-term health of the department and the long-term health of the university.”

Michigan expects to have a final 2020 financial loss number at some point this month. It’s still unclear if the Big Ten returning in October would lessen the blow to the athletic department.

Big financial losses aren’t exclusive to Michigan. Iowa’s in the same boat. Ohio State as a university is making $252 million in budget cuts. And Penn State is right there with Michigan at $100 million in losses.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. This is the result of really bad leadership decisions, and it won’t be the end of the cuts. Apparently people didn’t understand that if you shut down athletics, stop crowds from coming, and stop productivity it means no more money. Shocking as it may seem to some, money won’t magically appear in your account if you stop people from working.

    The other universities who are playing while planning to restrict crowds and shutting off that revenue stream should take note of this effect. If you shut off millions in revenue there will be gigantic ramifications to people who can’t afford to lose their jobs. I think it’s time to let fans come back. Let fans decide. I’m not sure how athletic programs (or pro sports) can possibly survive for long without the fans.

  2. And last time I checked, Ann Arbor was a college town. So besides the revenue source that John mentions, what about outside The Big House…all the businesses that depend on game days, and depend on the travel teams and their fans coming to town…hotels, restaurants, bars and 100 other businesses whose livelihoods are threatened.

  3. Yeah kinda like you shut down the whole economy and throw tens of millions of people out of work businesses suffer go bankrupt who knew . We seem to keep shooting ourselves in the foot all these lock downs and restrictions mainly from these blue state govs and mayors its like they just don’t care about their citizens and now the violence hard to take it all in.

  4. I’ve said it twice now on Outlook forums….once with Clay on the radio and once with Jason on a zoom call……this is exactly what the university presidents want. Cry poor so they “can’t help but take tough action”. Fewer sports, less athletics department staff, fewer freshman exceptions, less resources tied up in guiding athletes, lower budgets and reduced power in athletics.

    This result is more money left with the school to pay the players (it’s inevitable) who remain in football and basketball who drive the revenue which they hate but are addicted to.

  5. Bye bye non-revenue sports. Yeah, these lockdowns of college campuses where it is unlikely anyone has died nor will anyone die from Covid were a good thing. Thanks a lot, leftists and panicky Karen’s of the world.

  6. So 21 people are going to lose their jobs because this tax-advantaged corporation with a $12.4 BILLION endowment decided not to play football this year. When their student-athletes are begging to play football. And when football will be played throughout the country safely this season at the high school, college, and professional level. If you’re a UM alum who continues to donate money to this corrupt institution, then please contact me. I have a cousin in Africa. He needs you to put some money in an account. But he’s the rightful heir to the throne of a country you’ve never heard of that doesn’t really exist. He’ll pay you double your money in a month. FOR REALZ.

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