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WVU salary, athletic cuts to save $3 million

MORGANTOWN (AP) — West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons will take a 10% salary reduction for the next fiscal year in an effort to save the athletic department $3 million in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lyons said Friday that football coach Neal Brown, men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins, women’s basketball coach Mike Carey and baseball coach Randy Mazey also will voluntarily take the 10% reduction starting on July 1. In addition, coaches and athletic staff earning more than $100,000 will take a 5% salary reduction, and staff making less than $100,000 will take a 2.5% reduction.

Huggins and Brown have base salaries of $250,000. Huggins will enter the fourth year of a contract extension that also includes $3.8 million in supplemental compensation, while Brown is in the second year of a contract that has $2.85 million in supplemental compensation.

Lyons also said 65 employees, or nearly one-third of the athletic department’s workforce, will be furloughed for 60 days starting May 24. Some employees will not return to the department and current job openings will not be filled, he said.

Lyons said the athletic department is facing a projected $5 million shortfall due to several factors, including the cancellation of the Big 12 and NCAA men’s basketball championships; additional losses of upcoming conference and ticket revenue; and donations to the Mountaineer Athletic Club.

“News like this is not easy,” Lyons said in a statement. “I appreciate the understanding of our staff in these uncertain times. 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.”

College athletic departments nationwide are under pressure to cut costs during the coronavirus pandemic. Some schools have taken the aggressive step of eliminating some sports entirely, while many schools have asked their highest-paid employees to take salary cuts.

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