LSU athletic department reduces salaries, lays off employees to prepare for $80 million of COVID-19 related losses

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By RADIO.COM

Several head coaches of major college football programs are taking pay cuts in order to help mitigate the losses programs will endure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Clemson's Dabo Swinney is taking the biggest cut, a $1.25 million reduction, while Mike Norvell of Florida State is taking a $968,750 cut — one which comprises around 25 percent of his initial salary. Now, you can add LSU's Ed Orgeron to that list, as the Tigers head coach is taking a five percent reduction — or $300,000 — of his $6 million salary.

This news comes as a result of program-wide pay cuts and layoffs, a decision made due to a projected $80 million decrease in income due to COVID-19 (via ESPN). Orgeron said that he was "very glad" to take the reduction in his salary, considering many other programs are taking away a much larger portion of their coaches' salaries. He called the five percent a "very generous" amount.

Orgeron is not the only coach or staff member taking a five percent hit, as AD Scott Woodward and basketball coach Will Wade have also accepted the same cut. In fact, all athletic staff who make over $80,000 annually will take the same size reduction.

According to a statement from LSU, the cuts and layoffs were made with certain goals in mind, including to "streamline productivity, eliminate redundancies and create efficiencies throughout the department," (via ESPN).

Additionally, Orgeron commended the school for keeping the student-athlete experience as true to its original form as possible.

"The thing I like about (the pay cut) is that they didn’t cut anything from the football," Orgeron said (via Nick Bromberg of Yahoo! Sports). "Not from my athletes. We’re still traveling the same way, we still have the same amount of food.”

LSU's season has not gotten off to the strongest start, and they currently sit at 2-2, tied with Arkansas for fourth place in the SEC West. For the first time since 2017, LSU dropped from the AP rankings following a 45-41 loss against Missouri earlier in October, though they rebounded with a 52-24 victory over South Carolina in the next game.

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