UTEP Athletics announce changes to staffing, salary cuts.

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Claudia Hernandez

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Michael Cuviello, Sports Editor

In response to the COVID-19 and its budgetary implications on revenue, UTEP announced Wednesday there would be furloughs along with positions being eliminated or unfilled in the athletic department for 20-21 athletics year.

Along with this action, both men’s basketball head coach Rodney Terry and football head coach Dana Dimel will take salary reductions for the athletics year. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with a significant reduction in revenue,” UTEP athletic director Jim Senter said in a press release.  “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.”

Both Terry and Dimel spoke about the pay reductions and the impact on the athletic departments.

“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.”

Terry expressed his support for the measures in an effort to do what’s best for the team and university.

“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.”

Dimel also weighed in on the pay cut and its impact on staffing decisions.

“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.”

In the press release, Terry gave credit to UTEP President Heather Wilson for her response to COVID-19 as related to sports.

“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!”

Wilson praised the job of the coaches and athletic leaders taken during the pandemic.

“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.”

Michael Cuviello may be reached at [email protected]