Lincoln Riley, Lon Kruger among Oklahoma employees taking pay cuts due to COVID-19 pandemic


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Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley and basketball coach Lon Kruger are among Sooners athletic department employees who will take 10% pay cuts in anticipation of a decrease in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The school announced Wednesday that all employees earning over $1 million during the 2020-21 fiscal year will have their pay checks cut by 10%.

Riley, who was slated to make $6.15 million in 2020, will now make $5.535 million. Kruger’s pay will drop from $3.3 million to $2.97 million. The employees who will take 10% cuts also include athletic director Joe Castiglione, football defensive coordinator Alex Grinch ($1.4 million) and women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale ($1.1 million).

“All of us understand that a number of circumstances will unfold in the weeks ahead,” Castiglione said. “Our staff continues to monitor our expense and income projections closely and we’ll take other actions, as necessary.”

The cuts are a part of a $13.7 million reduction in the school’s operating budget in anticipation of a drop in revenue during the 2020-21 fiscal year. Despite the inevitable drop, the school was able to balance the budge for the fiscal year.

“It’s a testament to our staff and our practices that we were able to balance our budget for fiscal year 2020,” Castiglione said. “We have always benefited from excellent teamwork in our department, but our staff has come together as never before. I am very proud of our people.”

Oklahoma is the latest in a long line of FBS schools to institute cost-cutting measures for the upcoming year. It was announced earlier this week that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will take a 10% pay cut as a result of the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst has taken a 15% pay cut for six months, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck saw his salary reduced by 10% and Boise State’s entire staff was furloughed for 7-10 days.



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