Mike Holder

Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder.

STILLWATER — Due to pandemic-related losses in revenue, Oklahoma State University's athletic program is making broad cuts in payroll and operations to save $13 million in the budget, according a university press release.

According to the release, every head coach, and Athletics Director Mike Holder, are taking voluntary pay cuts. There will also be salary reductions, layoffs, furloughs and a hiring freeze. 

"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," the release reads. "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."

According to the release, the salary reductions and layoffs will affect "approximately 232 of the department's 241 employees." 

"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."

The department announced 10 layoffs Wednesday and 66 who will enter a furlough program that begins Sept. 16.  

"Another 151 employees will see a reduction in their salaries beginning this month," the release reads. "The salary cuts range from 2.5 percent to 25 percent with the department's highest paid employees taking the biggest cuts in pay."

The release says OSU is committed to protecting student-athlete scholarships and the sports 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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