Salary cuts have become commonplace across collegiate athletics amid the coronavirus pandemic, led by Iowa State's across-the-board athletic department reduction of 10 percent. Since then, there have been more pronounced percentages, with the University of Arizona announcing this week that its athletic director and top coaches would take a 20 percent hit, and some less pronounced (the University of Michigan AD's 5 percent sacrifice). But no one tops Florida International University athletic director Pete Garcia, who according to an anonymous source will defer an entire year's worth of compensation — listed in public documents as $435,689.
According to the source, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, FIU is also furloughing about 22 athletic department employees into July and dissolving its men’s indoor track and field program. The school has not disclosed any of the moves publicly, as reported by the AP, which added that the school did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and it could not be determined how much money the school was hoping to save with the moves, or how many jobs were spared because of Garcia’s decision to forgo his salary.
Garcia's salary deferment would likely be for two years, or around the time that his current contract is set to expire. He has held the title of FIU’s executive director of sports and entertainment since 2006.
The men’s indoor track and field team competed in five meets this past season, and most members of that team also compete in outdoor track. FIU still plans to offer outdoor track and cross country for men, as well as both of those sports and indoor track for women.
School records show FIU has a budget of about $28 million for athletics, or roughly 2 percent of the university’s overall budget for the current fiscal year.