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Houston cuts athletic budget by 7.5 percent, reduces staff by 18 jobs

Houston Chronicle logo Houston Chronicle 7/7/2020 By Joseph Duarte, Staff writer
a close up of a sign: The University of Houston, which debuted the Fertitta Center in 2018, will be trimming its athletic budget because of the coronavirus pandemic. © Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

The University of Houston, which debuted the Fertitta Center in 2018, will be trimming its athletic budget because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The University of Houston athletic department announced Tuesday several cost reduction measures for the 2021 fiscal year due to the coronavirus pandemic, among them cuts in operating budget and staff but no elimination of any of the 17 varsity sports.

In a release, UH said the cuts are “designed to minimize the impact on the student-athlete experience and lessen the financial burden” caused by COVID-19.

These measures will go into effect Sept. 1:

 The athletic budget will be reduced by 7.5 percent.

 There will be a reduction of 18 support and staff positions.

 Administrative units will reduce their respective budgets by 10 percent for the 2021 fiscal year.

 Sports programs will have a 5 percent budget reduction.

 Teams will employ a more regional non-conference travel schedule to limit costs.

 Staff travel will be reduced for the upcoming year, not including recruiting.

“These measures are difficult, especially for those that are impacting our staff,” vice president for athletics Chris Pezman said. “I want to acknowledge the commitment of those employees who will no longer be with us and thank each of them for their dedicated efforts to our student-athletes..

“Our intent is to limit the impact on the student-athlete experience and maintain our 17 athletics programs. We are hopeful that are our Coog Family will continue to support our student-athletes and teams as we go forward in the days and weeks ahead.”

joseph.duarte@chron.com

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