As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, UTEP has announced furloughs, elimination of positions and reduction in pay to their athletic department.

Director of Athletics Jim Senter made the announcement on Wednesday that some positions are eliminated or not filled since Sept. 1 and that the athletic department employees will take furloughs over the 2020-21 athletic year.

Some coaches such as men's basketball's Rodney Terry and football's Dana Dimel have taken salary reductions for the 2020-21 athletics year. Terry reportedly makes a base salary of $725,000 per season, while Dimel earns $700,000 in base salary. There was no indication from the school on the salary reduction that the two coaches took.

College athletic budget cuts have impacted many universities across the country. Previously, Senter explained how the athletic department at UTEP would not choose to cut any programs, citing that they would be under the Division I threshold. However, he did say that the latest budget cuts came as a result of the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with a significant reduction in revenue,” Senter said in a statement Wednesday. “We feel for all of our employees that are impacted by these decisions, which are difficult and unfortunate but ultimately necessary during these turbulent times. We appreciate Rodney and Dana recognizing the challenges that we currently face, stepping up to the plate and sacrificing their salaries to help offset lost resources in our department.”

“The last few months have been unprecedented for our country.  UTEP is among many universities and colleges whose athletic budget has been affected by these challenging times,” Terry said.  “I am grateful for the opportunity to make this sacrifice and help limit the overall impact on my teammates.”

“It’s tough seeing the COVID-19 pandemic take a toll on our staff, as it has in many athletic departments across the country,” Dimel said. “I’m glad that I’ve been blessed with the ability to help mitigate some of the damage.  We’ll continue to press forward with the expectation that better days are ahead for our community, UTEP Athletics and our football program.”

“Here at UTEP we have incredible leadership from Dr. Wilson,” Terry said.  “Her vision for on-campus testing has become a reality, allowing us to play football games and prepare for a basketball season.  With the support of our administration and fans, we will get through this and come back stronger than ever!”

“UTEP Athletics leaders have done an exceptional job keeping our program going safely for our student-athletes while minimizing the impact of the pandemic on our people,” UTEP President Heather Wilson said.  “These are tough decisions and they are leading with integrity.  I’m proud of them.”

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