By LARRY VAUGHT
Let’s give the University of Louisville credit.
The head coaches in 21 sports at Louisville along with senior athletic administrators have agreed to a 10 percent salary reduction for the 2020-21 academic year to help offset the loss of athletic department revenue due to COVID-19.
I’m not sure what other universities have also done this. I read that Iowa State did the same thing because of its anticipated revenue shortfall. However, I am guessing that more schools are doing have to do the same thing and 10 percent salary cuts may not be nearly enough to help balance the budget if there is no football in 2020 or even an abbreviated season that reduces revenue.
Louisville athletics director Vince Tyra said his goal is to find $15 million in savings for the 2020-21 academic year without eliminating any sports — a task that sounds near impossible to me. Obviously, some sports will have budgets reduced and travel may dramatically change for many.
Tyra didn’t ask coaches to do anything he wouldn’t do as he is taking the same salary cut and also not taking $150,000 bonuses each of the next two years he’s due.
I’ve not heard anything yet about Kentucky reducing coaching salaries but football coach Mark Stoops quickly said he would be willing to do whatever necessary to help when asked about this.
The other factor here is that 10 percent cut for a golf or soccer coach is a lot bigger hit because the coaching salary is not nearly as high. Stoops, John Calipari and Matthew Mitchell make significant salaries and 10 percent cut would be major dollars. But a coach making less would feel the 10 percent cut even more, so there are no easy choices here.
But I’ve also had friends ask why some coaches have not been furloughed or laid off like employees in other business have done.
At this point, who knows what might be coming but again let’s give credit to the University of Louisville for being one of the first to react to this financial crisis for college athletics.