MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – To help mitigate the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, West Virginia University Director of Athletics and Associate Vice President Shane Lyons has announced athletic staff salary reductions for fiscal year 21.
Lyons, along with football coach Neal Brown, men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins, women’s basketball coach Mike Carey and baseball coach Randy Mazey will voluntarily take a 10% salary reduction starting on July 1.
Additionally, Lyons said that coaches and athletic staff making more than $100,000 will receive a 5% reduction, while a 2.5% reduction will be implemented to staff salaries less than $100,000.
Also, in conjunction today with the University’s announcement of staff furloughs, nearly one-third of the athletic department’s workforce (65 employees) will be furloughed for 60 days starting on May 24 and ending July 26. Some employees will not return to the department as part of reduction in force measures, and current job openings will not be filled.
“News like this is not easy. I appreciate the understanding of our staff in these uncertain times,” Lyons said. “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.”
The projected $5 million shortfall the department is facing comes from multiple levels, including the cancellation of the Big 12 and NCAA men’s basketball championships, additional loss of upcoming conference and ticket revenue, as well as Mountaineer Athletic Club donations.
Lyons emphasized that salary reductions total a $3 million savings, and his administration continues to analyze the department’s overall budget to make additional cuts and savings.
“I am still optimistic that we will have a football season this fall,” Lyons said. “To date, more than 40 schools have announced budget reductions, 22 in the Power 5 conferences and six in the Big 12. Revenues, along with donor support, across the country have been affected by COVID-19, so we are not alone. However, we are trying to navigate this with the emphasis of making the least amount of negative impact on our student-athletes and department.”