Penn State Athletics Set To Implement Furloughs

Penn State Athletics is preparing for department-wide furloughs, according to phone audio obtained by

Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour informed her department employees of the news on a Zoom call Wednesday afternoon.

“Furloughs at a minimum, are in our immediate future,” Barbour said. “I just don’t see how we get through this, how we get our gap or our loan number down to manageable size, a size that doesn’t cripple our department and programs, for years to come.”

The athletic department already announced in late July that employee salaries will be cut due to revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic. also reported that Barbour herself will take a pay cut for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

During a press conference earlier this week, Barbour did explain that Penn State has “north of $25 million” in reserves. Despite that, she added that “we as an industry are going to take a step back and look at how we do things.”

When the athletic director met with media in July, she stated that Penn State was looking into several “operational ways” to make up for its lost revenue and reduce cost. Barbour confirmed that many of the university’s losses will be covered by a loan.

Penn State hasn’t cut any athletic programs yet, but Barbour didn’t state Monday whether or not that’s a possibility in the future.

“Certainly one of my goals would be to continue that tradition of success across all sports,” Barbour said. “Having said that, this is going to be a very difficult financial situation.”

While the Big Ten’s fall sports are postponed, Barbour was hopeful Monday for a spring season plan, specifically for football. As the department’s highest earner, Barbour said that a spring football season would have a significant impact in terms of revenue.

“There will be some revenue for us should we play a spring season,” Barbour said. “That’s what we’re looking at right now, trying to look at what that [number] is.”

Barbour has already stated if football is not played at all during this fiscal year, the university will experience a revenue shortfall of at least $100 million.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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