WVU Athletics Announces Salary Cuts, Furloughs
West Virginia University has joined a lengthy list of schools in announcing salary cuts, furloughs and other cost saving measures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The moves are expected to save some $3 million against expected shortfall of $5 million in the current fiscal year.
Director of Athletics and Associate Vice President Shane Lyons, football coach Neal Brown, men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins, women’s basketball coach Mike Carey and baseball coach Randy Mazey will voluntarily take a 10% salary reduction starting on July 1.
Lyons also announced more across the board cuts:
- Coaches and athletic staff making more than $100,000 will receive a 5% reduction
- Coaches and athletic staff making less than $100,000 will see a 2.5% reduction
While those cuts are significant, they pale in comparison to effects on additional staff. As part of university-wide furloughs announced earlier today, 65 of the roughly 195 individuals employed by the athletic deparment will be furloughed for 60 days. Those furloughs will run from May 24 through July 26. Additionally, an undetermined number of those employees will not return to the department as part of reduction in force measures. Current job openings will not be filled.
Almost 900 University staffers overall will be furloughed as part of this plan. In announcing the institution-wide cuts, the university indicated that those on furlough would retain their benefits, including health insurance.
“News like this is not easy. I appreciate the understanding of our staff in these uncertain times,” Lyons said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt us a financial situation that requires action, and our entire department will be affected as we work to minimize the effects and maintain a fiscally responsible operation.”
Lyons will be available at a virtual press conference at 4:00 p.m. on Friday to answer questions. No sports will be cut as part of the moves. To date, only three Division I schools have cut sports to date, including Old Dominion (Wrestling), Cincinnati (Men’s Soccer) and Florida International (Men’s Track).
The projected $5 million shortfall the athletic department is facing comes from multiple levels, including the cancellation of the Big 12 and NCAA men’s basketball championships, additional loss of upcoming conference and ticket revenue, as well as Mountaineer Athletic Club donations.
Lyons emphasized that salary reductions total $3 million in savings, and his administration continues to analyze the department’s overall budget to make additional cuts and savings.
“I am still optimistic that we will have a football season this fall,” Lyons said. “To date, more than 40 schools have announced budget reductions, 22 in the Power 5 conferences and six in the Big 12. Revenues, along with donor support, across the country have been affected by COVID-19, so we are not alone. However, we are trying to navigate this with the emphasis of making the least amount of negative impact on our student-athletes and department.”