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WSU athletics announces cost saving measures

Athletic Director Pat Chun also announced the total positive coronavirus cases for WSU student-athletes has increased from seven in August to 60 as of Friday.
(Photo: WSU)

PULLMAN, Wash. — When the Pac-12 announced they would not be participating in athletic competition this fall, it became clear that all of their member schools would take a substantial hit.

For the first time since that announcement, we have an actual dollar figure from WSU in terms of what no fall sports could look like monetarily. Pat Chun announced on Friday that the athletic department is expected to take over a $30 million hit due to the pause in athletic competition. To off set that, the school has taken cost cutting measures that will save the school approximately $6.5 million.

Pat Chun, Nick Rolovich, and Kyle Smith will all take 15% pay cuts through the 2020-2021 school year. Women's basketball coach Kamie Ethridge will also take a 12.5% pay cut. All other contracted employees (i.e. head coaches and assistant coaches) will take 10% pay cuts.

The department will also require all non-contracted employees to take four total furlough weeks. WSU's athletic department staff were all already required to take two furlough weeks by November 20th. They will be required to take those other furlough weeks between February 1st and June 1st of 2021.

WSU has also eliminated 10 full-time positions within athletics.

These measures will save the department $3.4 million. WSU already reduced their spending by $3.1 million by reducing operating expenses.

In a bright spot, the school did announce that 80% of their football season ticket holders either decided to donate their season ticket money to the school or use their payment as a credit for whenever they are allowed to attend football games again.

Chun also announced the total positive coronavirus cases for WSU student-athletes has increased from seven in August to 60 as of Friday.He said this has been because of the recent outbreak on campus.

Last week, the Pac-12 announced a partnership with Quidell, a diagnostic testing company, which will allow the conference to have daily coronavirus testing for its conference  members. Chun was optimistic about this news during the press conference.

He said this is a major piece in scheduling sports moving forward and starting up basketball in November. Chun said it will also help with future budgeting.