Univ. Of Illinois Projects $20M Loss, But Will Pay For Daily Testing
The Univ. of Illinois athletic department "projects to lose" $20M this season and "possibly more if football games or the entire season are canceled," according to Shannon Ryan of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Illinois AD Josh Whitman said that he has "taken an additional 15% pay cut over 12 months," while other athletic administrative leaders have "taken 7% cuts over 12 months." The athletic department also "did not fill 11 vacancies and eliminated 15 positions, including seven full-time employees, as a cost-saving measure." Meanwhile, Ryan notes Illinois athletes "will be required to take daily tests, with at least two PCR tests per week required by Big Ten protocol and saliva tests administered through the university." Currently, saliva tests are available "only on weekdays, but the university expects those to be available soon on weekends." The amount of testing at Illinois "exceeds what most programs have announced." The finances of testing have "become an issue between universities with more resources and smaller programs." Whitman said that the school will "absorb the costs of testing athletes" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/7). Illinois football coach Lovie Smith said of daily testing, "Not many can say that. Our testing, for the Big Ten overall, will be as good as it is in any conference. I think some of us at our universities, are able to do a little bit more" (Champaign NEWS-GAZETTE, 8/7).