Jim Boeheim, Dino Babers among Syracuse leaders taking voluntary pay cuts during coronavirus pandemic

Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim and football coach Dino Babers are the latest high-profile college coaches to accept pay reductions as universities grapple with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The university announced Monday that the coaches are among several university officials taking a 10 percent pay cut as Syracuse “has experienced more than $35 million in unplanned expenses and unrealized revenue,” according to a letter addressed to the university community signed by three top administrators.

Funds generated from the pay cuts will be allocated to support students, faculty and staff impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, according to the letter.

“This global crisis has put unprecedented financial stress on almost all people and organizations, including here at Syracuse,” the letter read. “In recent years, we have been preparing for the impact of unforeseen events such as this. As a result, we find ourselves in a stronger position than many of our peers. Still, we must take into account the shifting economic realities facing our university.”

Boeheim’s most recent salary was $2.5 million and Babers’ was $2.27 million, according to the USA Today coaches salary database. Last week, coaches at Washington State, Wake Forest and Oregon State took similar pay cuts, following a trend started at the beginning of April by Iowa State and Oregon, among others.

Within the athletic departments at most power conference schools, football serves as the primary revenue generator. These salary reductions come as uncertainty remains prevalent as to whether there will be a college football season in 2020, and if so, what the necessary model may look like to make it a reality. 

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