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UK Athletics projects $35 million loss in revenue for 2020-21

COVID-19 revenue loss continues to slam college athletics.

Georgia vs. UK Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive burden for college athletic departments nationwide, with nearly all seeing major revenue loss leading to smaller sports being cut, employee layoffs, and other significant changes.

At the University of Kentucky, athletics director Mitch Barnhart reported Monday that the school is projecting a $35 million loss in revenue for the 2020-21 athletic season amid the pandemic.

“The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have presented a historic budget challenge,” Barnhart told members of the University Athletics Committee of the UK Board of Trustees Monday afternoon. “But challenges are what we teach and coach our student athletes to successfully work through — as individuals and as teams. That’s what we are doing with this challenge that confronts our department in the face of a global pandemic.”

In a press release, Barnhart said the loss in revenue is in large part due to the “loss of ticket sales in football and basketball and a reduction in ticket-related contributions to the K Fund.”

At this time, Barnhart says layoffs and additional salary reductions are not being considered and that the department is not asking for any assistance from UK’s general fund operations.

“Our staff and team have worked around the clock for months to give our student athletes in all our sports an opportunity to compete and train this fall in as safe and healthy an environment as possible,” Barnhart said.