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Employees Must Take Unpaid Leave

In a sign of the times, some employees of the Jets have been forced to take unpaid leaves of absence.

The New York Jets told employees on the business side of the team's operations Thursday that they must take two weeks of unpaid leave this offseason in an effort to withstand the sagging economy.

Rather than cut jobs, as several other teams and the league office have done in recent weeks, owner Woody Johnson approved a plan that requires employees to take furloughs during a four-week period in late-June and early July, Matt Higgins, the team's executive vice president of business operations, told The Associated Press.

The departments affected include marketing, media relations, finance and business operations. Employees on the football side, such as general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan, aren't included in the plan because those departments have already made reductions to their operating expenses.

"Like every other business in America, we're facing challenges and trying to weather those challenges," Higgins said. "We're implementing a furlough plan that reflects the fact that our business is seasonal. We really wanted to do everything possible to preserve jobs and keep our team together."

This is really sad. These people are living a dream working in pro sports, and that dream may now die.


I do not pretend to have access to the balance sheets of the team, but something seems fishy. The Jets can talk all they want about how "every business in America" operates. This is one of the few businesses currently milking its customers tens of thousands for personal seat licenses.