Ed Orgeron takes 2021 salary cut as LSU is expecting an $80M revenue shortfall

Ed Orgeron’s 2021 salary will be less than originally scheduled.

Orgeron is one of many athletic department employees taking a pay cut for next year as LSU struggles with budget deficits because of the coronavirus pandemic. The school said Thursday that it’s expecting an $80 million projected shortfall due to COVID-19 and is asking all coaches and employees that are on contracts to take a voluntary 5 percent pay cut as some staffers are being laid off.

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“As part of this plan, coaches and other employees with contracts will be asked to voluntarily reduce their annual salary by 5% in 2021,” LSU said. “Athletics Director, Scott Woodward, Head Football Coach, Ed Orgeron, and others have already agreed to participate. In addition to this compensation reduction plan, the Department made the difficult but necessary decision to restructure certain functions and eliminate several positions.”

Orgeron signed a six-year, $42 million extension after LSU went 15-0 in 2019 and won the national championship. He was scheduled to make nearly $9 million in 2020 and his contract calls for a base salary of $6 million. A 5 percent cut means that Orgeron will make $300,000 less than he was scheduled to in 2021.

Orgeron said Thursday at his news conference that he wasn’t reluctant to take the voluntary pay cut.

“Very willing,” Orgeron said. “I think that with the deficit they have it’s very understandable. The thing I like about it is that they didn’t cut anything from the football. Not from my athletes. We’re still traveling the same way, we still have the same amount of food.”


LSU said that coaches and other staffers would not receive their scheduled bonuses in 2021 and all non-contract employees making above $80,000 would take a 5 percent pay cut. The $9 million Orgeron made in 2020 made him the second-highest paid coach in college football behind Alabama’s Nick Saban.

Athletic departments across the country are struggling financially as the pandemic has limited ticket sales to athletic events and has also impacted donations. A big reason football games are being played during the pandemic is to give schools a portion of the television revenue they expected to receive this fall, especially after the NCAA basketball tournaments were canceled this spring.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron talks to members of the media after an NCAA college football game against South Carolina in Baton Rouge, La. Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is the second-highest paid coach in the country in 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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