Hunter Yurachek, University of Arkansas Needs to be Commended For Handling of Athletic Department Employees During COVID-19 Shutdown

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Photo Courtesy: University of Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — Hunter Yurachek serves as the University of Arkansas’ Director of Athletics, Vice-Chancellor, and to this point no one in the athletic department has been furloughed during this shutdown to COVID-19.

Yurachek was asked if the plan is still in place to not place anyone in the athletic department on furlough?

“That is correct,” Yurachek said. “There has not been a member of the university staff – remember we’re part of the university. We will follow the lead of the university in regards to anything that happens with our faculty and staff, because we’re part of the university staff. But there has not been anyone that has been furloughed. There have not been any salary adjustments to any of our staff members to date.”

Several universities and professional teams have taken a different approach. The Arizona Diamondbacks have laid off or furloughed about one-quarter of the team’s employees because of lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The remaining staff will take pay cuts that average less than 15%, with the Diamondbacks’ highest earners losing a bigger percentage of their income.

Iowa State had pay cuts of 10 percent across the board for its employees. Baylor has said it needs to cut $60-75 million from its school budget including athletics, Old Dominion has cut its wrestling program and Cincinnati did the same to its swimming program. Boise State is furloughing many of its employees which includes athletic department workers and coaches.

Boise State’s Bryan Harsin’s contract that calls for him to make $1.65-million a year and he will lose approximately $63,000 with his furlough. The majority or all of his assistant coaches will be subject to the same furlough.

The University of Louisville had installed paycuts for athletic department members. It will be 10 percent for the athletic director and each head coach. Each program will have 15 percent of its budget cut and senior staff members also took a 10 percent pay cut.

Among the other head football coaches that have taken a 10 percent pay cut are Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz, Kansas’ Les Miles, Syracuse’s Dino Babers, Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson and many others. Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez and the head football and basketball coaches each took 15 percent cuts.

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