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FSU athletics to cut operating budget 20 percent, cutting pay because of coronavirus pandemic

Seminoles football coach Mike Norvell and men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton are among people who have taken "significant salary reductions."
Florida State Seminoles watch the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida.
Florida State Seminoles watch the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida. [ Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Jul. 10, 2020
Updated Jul. 10, 2020

Florida State’s athletic department is slashing its operating budget, instituting pay cuts and eliminating jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, Seminoles athletic director David Coburn wrote in a letter to staff Friday.

Coburn said his department will cut its operating budget by 20 percent. The pay cuts range from 10 percent (for employees making $150,000 or more) to 5 percent (for those making between $43,000 and $71,999). That’s in addition to the 25 full-time positions that were cut.

Furloughs also “remain a strong possibility,” Coburn wrote.

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“The probability that the upcoming athletic seasons will be affected in some way by the pandemic exists,” Coburn wrote. “While we have been able to withstand most of the economic impact from the lost revenue this spring, the anticipated drop in revenue this fall will be damaging.

“The pandemic is primarily responsible for our current and projected financial issues. However, declines in football season ticket sales and donations to the annual fund of Seminole Boosters, and the unanticipated expenses related to replacing the football coaching staff have resulted in revenue shortfalls.”

First-year football coach Mike Norvell took a 25 percent pay cut of a roughly $4 million annual salary. Coburn took a 20 percent pay cut, while the figures for basketball coaches Leonard Hamilton and Sue Semrau were about 15 percent.

The news comes as schools around the country handle the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis. Earlier this week, Stanford — one of the top athletic departments in the country — cut 11 sports. At least 51 teams have been slashed across the nation. Boise State enacted furloughs in its athletic department earlier this year.