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Nevada Wolf Pack lays off 20-plus staffers during budget crunch

Wolf Pack
The Wolf Pack cut more than 20 positions Friday. (KRNV)

Citing the Mountain West's decision to postponed fall sports to the spring, the Nevada Wolf Pack announced Friday night it had laid off more than 20 non-coaching staffers and restricted spending across the department while reducing staff resources.

Employees were notified earlier Friday of the decision, with multiple staffers telling Nevada Sports Net they had received 60-day notices.

"This is one of the toughest days in Wolf Pack athletics history," Nevada athletic director Doug Knuth said in a news release. "Our department has operated with one of the leanest budgets in the country and we've been able to achieve success, in part, because of the passion and devotion of our staff."

The Wolf Pack said earlier this week it would face at least a $10 million budget deficit in fiscal year 2021 with the fall sports season canceled and revenue streams drying up. Nevada also posted a $2 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2020 and owes the university $5.9 million if you include previous deficits, and that's before whatever amount the Wolf Pack ends up in the red in FY21.

Knuth said earlier this week the Wolf Pack has avoided salary reductions and will honor all financial aid commitments to its athletes and put a hiring freeze in place, but it was unable to stave off staff reductions. The Nevada athletic director said balancing the budget in the current situation is "one of those impossible challenges."

"This is happening across the country," Knuth said. "Everybody is facing the same type of thing, and there aren’t a lot of good answers right now on how you operate this year without any revenue streams. It’s pretty incredible. Nobody has an answer. We’re all trying to figure out and solve the same problem, and there aren’t a lot of great solutions and great ideas so far. That’s the challenge. We’re all facing the same thing, and people say, ‘At least everybody else is in the same boat.’ But I feel like that doesn’t help us, that doesn’t help our bottom line just because everybody is facing it."

As part of a university-wide furlough program, Wolf Pack staffers are expected to take a 4 percent salary reduction this fiscal year, Knuth said.

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