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U. of Texas to Reimburse Coaches' Pandemic Pay Cuts

Paul Steinbach

Documents obtained Monday by USA TODAY Sports show the University of Texas athletics department plans to reimburse head coach Tom Herman and other football coaches who are taking voluntary pay cuts during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Dozens of other public schools have negotiated pay reductions with their coaches as they attempt to work through financial problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most have put those terms in writing. Among the documents reviewed by USA TODAY Sports up to now, Texas’ are the first to provide for the repayment of reductions.

In a lengthy statement posted on Texas’ athletics website Sept. 1, athletics director Chris Del Conte announced that budget pressure caused by the pandemic had prompted the department to take a series of actions “necessary to ensure our financial stability going forward.” The moves included layoffs, furloughs, permanent elimination of vacant positions and pay reductions across the department.

As reported by USA Today Sports, the announcement said that 26 coaches and administrators who are working under contracts “voluntarily agreed to take temporary salary reductions” beginning Sept. 1 and running through Aug. 31, 2021.

The documents obtained Monday through an open-records request are contract amendments that specify each of those coach’s reduction terms. Each amendment includes the amount the coach had been scheduled to receive during the fiscal year, the amount they now will receive and a commitment that the university agrees to pay the difference “prior to the expiration of the Agreement.”

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