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CU Buffs athletics makes staff cuts

Colorado continues preparing for revenue losses in 2020-21 fiscal year

As Colorado athletics braces for an uncertain future, the administration has had to make some tough choices.

This past week, CU laid off four employees in the athletic department, while associate athletic director/chief marketing officer Matt Biggers resigned his position, athletic director Rick George told BuffZone.

CU has also had some athletics employees take furloughs, while several coaches and administrators have taken pay cuts because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s extremely hard to figure out to what level we need to cut, but we do know that as we look at different scenarios (for the next year), even your best-case scenario is going to take a significant revenue hit, so you have to be prepared for that,” George said. “We’re doing the things that we think are necessary for us to be able to support our student-athletes in the way that we have in the past and be able to compete at the level we want to compete.”

Buffzone has learned through a source that Cymone George, the director of player development for the football team, was one of the employees laid off. George was the director of football recruiting last year under previous head coach Mel Tucker and had moved into a new role in player development under new coach Karl Dorrell this spring.

Biggers had been at CU for eight years, overseeing marketing and promotions, ticket operations and community outreach. He was also the sports administrator for the women’s volleyball program.

In April, CU announced that Rick George, Dorrell, men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle, women’s basketball coach JR Payne will take 10 percent pay cuts for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Other varsity coaches, as well as each of the 10 football assistant coaches, will take five percent pay cuts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major financial impact on businesses of all types. In college athletics, there is no guarantee that the fall sports season is even played. Even if games are played, it’s possible they are done without fans, or with minimal fans in the stands.

For now, CU and other programs are planning to play this fall, but the situation remains fluid.

“We’re just planning for every scenario that we can,” Rick George said. “Whenever decisions are made for us to move in a direction, we’re going to be ready for that.”