“They are contracted in specific manners, so there are very complex and ongoing conversations that are going on right now about how to do that,” Heeke said. “I think everyone recognizes the significance and the seriousness of where we are, and I would anticipate that people would do things to help support the overall cause of the university and more specifically athletic department.
The University of Arizona’s announcement that it will furlough most of its staff in May in an effort to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will apply to the school’s athletics staff, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
The school announced that the number of furlough days and subsequent pay reduction mandated will be based on each employee’s annual salary. University president Robert C. Robbins told the Star that even though the athletic department is mostly self-funded, the cuts would apply, but added that some athletics employees will not be required to take furloughs.
Athletic director Dave Heeke added that contracted coaches “need to be considered in different ways” when the Star asked if they could be forced to take a pay cut.
“But those are very personal and specific conversations with contracted employees.”
According to the plan released Friday, Arizona employees making up to $44,449 a year must take furloughs equaling a 5% pay cut, those making between $44,500 and $75,000 will take furlough days equaling a 10% pay cut, and those making between $75,001 and $150,000 are to take furlough days equaling a 15% pay cut. Those making between $150,001 and $199,000 will get a straight 17% pay cut and, and those making $200,000 or more will get cut 20%.
According to the Arizona Republic’s database of government employees’ salaries in the state, head men’s and women’s swimming & diving coach Augie Busch has an annual salary of $155,000. That would get lowered to $128,650 if the new policy applies to him. Clif Robbins, an associate head coach, currently makes $66,000 (associate head coach Peter Richardson is not included in the database), and assistant coach Jesse Stipek makes $52,000. Assistants Anna Heller and Dwight Dumais are also not listed as relatively-new hires.
The Star reported that overall, Arizona coaches could take a combined $3 million in salary cuts without the inclusion of head football coach Kevin Sumlin and head men’s basketball coach Sean Miller. Sumlin makes $3.5 million and Miller makes $1.8 million plus $700,00o in “university-paid peripheral duties compensation.” If they were to take salary cuts in line with the rest of Arizona’s staff, it would total $1.2 million.