(WFRV) – Times are tough for athletic departments around the country after the NCAA basketball tournaments were cancelled, as well as spring sports, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Saturday the University of Wisconsin announced they have asked some of their highest earning employees pay-cuts. That includes Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, head football coach Paul Chryst, and men’s basketball coach Greg Gard.
Each would take a 15 percent pay cut over the next six months as the university aims to save around $2.8 million dollars during the pandemic. According to a report by the Wisconsin State Journal, all have orally agreed to the pay cuts but need to have the acceptance formalized in their contracts.
“Reducing compensation and work hours is obviously not something I want to see for any of our Badgers Athletics family,” said Barry Alvarez in a press release. “But we are facing the same financial challenges that other organizations across the country are. We are working hard to minimize the impact on our employees while responding to the realities of the situation created by the pandemic.”
“I really appreciate our highest earners’ willingness to consider voluntarily accepting a temporary reduction in pay, as well as the rest of our staff who are sharing in this exercise by reducing their hours to help navigate our way through these unprecedented times.”
Most employees with the athletic department will have their hours cut as part of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Work-Share Program. In all 350 employees could see their hours cut 20% to 50%, and they will be eligible to apply for unemployment to make up for the lost wages.
The plan will tentatively run from May 18 to July 25th.