The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused college athletic departments to take a microscope to their finances, and several high-profile programs have cut salaries, imposed furloughs or both. Michigan is the latest program to make financial adjustments based on a deficit projection.
The Wolverines announced Monday that football coach Jim Harbaugh and basketball coach Juwan Howard — among other head coaches employed by the athletic program — will each take 10% pay cuts from August 1 through the end of the fiscal year. As a result, Harbaugh — currently the third-highest paid coach in the country ($7.5 million) — will make $6.75 million, while Howard’s salary will be reduced from $2 million to $1.8 million.
Michigan anticipates a shortfall of $26.1 million during fiscal year 2021. The coronavirus pandemic is expected to cut revenue from $187.4 million to $135.8 million, which is the genesis for cost-cutting measures that are expected to reduce payroll by $6 million. Team/game expenses are expected to be reduced by $6.5 million.
Athletic director Warde Manuel and other senior-level administrators will also see their salaries cut by 10%. Employees who earn between $50,000-$100,000 will take pay cuts of 5%, and employees earning between $100,001-$150,000 will take 7.5% salary reductions. There was no specific mention of potential salary reductions for highly-paid assistant coaches.
Michigan is the latest school to adjust revenue projections and institute cost-cutting measures based on the COVID-19 pandemic. Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst has taken a 15% pay cut for six months, Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck saw his salary reduced by 10%, and Boise State’s entire staff was furloughed for 7-10 days.