Texas Tech will eliminate 40 positions from its athletic department and reduce the salary of many remaining employees in the face of an expected $25 million reduction in revenue over the next year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The cuts announced by the department Monday night, the final day of the fiscal year for the department, are expected to save Texas Tech roughly $4.5 million. Employees with annual salaries of $30,000 or more will see reductions of 3% to 14% in pay, while those making less than that won’t have their salaries reduced.
“Today was an extremely difficult and challenging day,” athletic director Kirby Hocutt said. “COVID-19 has had a major financial impact on our athletics department, and it was necessary to make these very difficult decisions. We will continue to support our student-athletes and each other as we move forward.”
Robert Giovannetti, a senior associate athletic director, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that 20 of the 40 jobs being eliminated Sept. 30 are currently unoccupied positions that won’t be filled. Giovannetti said 198 employees are taking the pay cuts, and 38 full- and part-time employees, plus student workers, are not affected.
The athletic department took in about $95 million in revenue for the fiscal year that ended Monday, but is projecting about $70 million in revenue over the next year. Among the factors for the big reduction is a drastically limited capacity for home football games this season, and one fewer non-conference home game than expected.
The Big 12 school previously reduced operational budgets for most of its athletics programs and individual units this summer based on revenue projections. Each of the school’s teams were asked to reduce their operation budgets between 3% and 20% for the new fiscal year that starts Tuesday.
All coaches and Hocutt previously voluntarily agreed then to withhold any performance bonuses over the next year, a projected savings of about $1.8 million. The department has also refinanced and restructured debt.