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OSU athletics announces reductions

STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is undergoing immediate cuts in personnel and operating budget due to fiscal challenges triggered by COVID-19, athletic director Mike Holder announced Wednesday afternoon.

The personnel decisions, along with previous cuts in the operating budget and a hiring freeze that keeps nine positions vacant for the foreseeable future, will remove approximately $13 million from OSU’s 2020-21 budget.

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The payroll cutbacks will take place in the form of furloughs, salary reductions and layoffs and affect approximately 232 of the department’s 241 employees. Sixteen of athletics’ 25 employees who have contracts agreed to voluntary pay cuts, including Holder and every head coach.

“These cuts were painful and not at all based on performance, Holder said. “They are byproducts of the unfortunate situation in which we find ourselves. I am especially thankful for the coaches that had the protection of a multi-year contract, but still volunteered to participate in the pay reductions.”

Ten employees of the department were laid off on Wednesday. Sixty-six employees will begin participating in a furlough program, beginning Sept. 16. Another 151 employees will see a reduction in their salaries beginning this month. The salary cuts range from 2.5 percent to 25 percent with the department’s highest paid employees taking the biggest cuts in pay.

Oklahoma State remains committed to protecting all student-athlete scholarships and sport programs.

“These cuts don’t solve the problem.  We are still facing a budget deficit estimated to be around $30 million, which may require additional measures in the coming months.   However, we exist to serve our student-athletes,” Holder said. “Their academics, health, safety, and their ability to compete remain our top priorities and will not be compromised.”

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