LSU Athletics laying off employees amid COVID-19 pandemic

LSU Athletics laying off employees amid COVID-19 pandemic
'Eye of the Tiger' in Death Valley (Source: Steve Schneider/WAFB-TV)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Many businesses are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, and LSU is no exception it would seem.

According to the university, some employees were laid off Thursday, Oct. 29. The school is also announcing some high-ranking members of the Athletics department are taking pay cuts. The department anticipates losing about $80 million in revenue due to the pandemic. A department-wide reduction in pay is expected.

The school says staff members making more than $80,000 per year will be subject to a 5% salary reduction in 2021. The department will also not award bonuses for coaches and staff for a year. LSU also says new positions, promotions, and replacements will only be approved in “essential” situations until at least June 30, 2023.

Coaches and employees with contracts have been asked to reduce their annual salary by 5% next year. Well-known names like Athletic Director Scott Woodward and Head Football Coach Ed Orgeron have reportedly agreed to this plan.

Several positions within the Athletics department have been eliminated, LSU reports. It’s not clear at this time exactly how many people were laid off.

It’s reported that Robert Munson, senior associate athletic director of external communications, and Emmett David, senior associate athletic director of facilities and project development, were among those laid off.

LSU released the following statement about the layoffs:

“Today, LSU Athletics announced a compensation reduction plan to help mitigate the impact of an expected $80 million loss in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The department initiated several costs savings measures since March and today announced the additional step of a department-wide reduction in compensation. Staff earning above $80,000 will be subject to a 12-month salary decrease of 5% from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. All bonuses for coaches and staff will not be awarded for one year. The creation of new positions, position replacements, promotions and equity adjustments will only be approved in essential situations through June 30, 2023. As part of this plan, coaches and other employees with contracts will be asked to voluntarily reduce their annual salary by 5% in 2021. Athletics Director, Scott Woodward, Head Football Coach, Ed Orgeron, and others have already agreed to participate. In addition to this compensation reduction plan, the Department made the difficult but necessary decision to restructure certain functions and eliminate several positions. These efforts were made to streamline productivity, eliminate redundancies and create efficiencies throughout the department. LSU Athletics believes that we will successfully weather this current crisis. Moreover, these difficult decisions will lead to a stronger, more stable Department of Athletics in the years ahead that will continue to allow our programs and our student-athletes to flourish.”

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