FSU cuts athletic department budget 20% due to coronavirus pandemic

Florida State announced a 20% athletics department budget cut that includes job eliminations, pay cuts and other cost-cutting measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am personally heartbroken over the impact this pandemic has had on our employees, and I am disappointed that I must give you this discouraging news today,” FSU athletics director David Coburn wrote in a letter sent to all athletics department employees Friday afternoon. “However, I am sure you have seen that other athletic departments around the country are also making reductions.”

Coburn cites declines in football season ticket sales and donations to the Seminole Boosters annual fund among the reasons for the revenue shortfall as well as the expenses surrounding replacing the football coaching staff.

The school fired Willie Taggart in November just 21 games into his contract with the Seminoles. His buyout was reportedly more than $20 million. At the time, the school announced donors were helping cover the expense of replacing Taggart.

Coburn said he is taking a substantial pay cut and football coach Mike Norvell, men’s basketball coach Leonard Hamilton and women’s basketball coach Sue Semrau volunteered to take pay cuts as well.

“You should know that our head coaches have been remarkably gracious in this effort,” Coburn wrote.

FSU eliminated 25 full-time jobs in the athletics department and the remaining employees are taking the following salary cuts:

— 10% reduction in salary for employees making $150,000 and above

— 7.5% reduction in salary for employees making between $72,000 and $149,999

— 5% reduction in salary for employees making between $43,000 and $71,999

Coburn added furloughs were likely in addition to the pay reduction.

The budget adjustments were not applied to the university at large and just limited to the athletics department, which is self-funded.


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