Jim Sterk led the recent "Make it Right" campaign for MU (copy)

MU athletic director Jim Sterk speaks after a press conference in 2019. Sterk sent out an email to his employees Saturday that said the athletic department would save $5 million with layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions.

An email sent to Missouri athletic department employees by athletic director Jim Sterk late last week said the department will save $5 million with layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions, according to a story by Dave Matter in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The athletic department was preparing to take a financial hit in the fiscal year’s budget after receiving sanctions from the NCAA, the Missourian reported previously. After operating in the red for the last three years, the department needed to cut some of its budget for the remaining year.

Sterk said last week that this was likely to happen at some point, but the department intended to eye operations, travel and salaries for its cuts.

“We are working to complete our budgeting process and as Jim indicated earlier, we will likely have layoffs, furloughs and salary reductions as part of balancing our budget for 20-21,” deputy athletic director of communications Nick Joos said in an email to the Missourian on Saturday afternoon.

Joos also said university policy only allows for the department to confirm the total number of layoffs and furloughs, but not specific names.

Matter reported that the email from Sterk said the actions will make up roughly a third of $16.5 million in budget cuts for the department. The Post-Dispatch also reported that Sterk’s email ncluded the information that performance and academic incentive bonuses were on hold until further notice.

According to a website that tracks Missouri budget actions, the school has laid off 83 people and furloughed 1,683 employees in total. There have also been a combined 1,572 mandatory and voluntary salary reductions, according to the website. Those salary reductions save a total of $4.51 million.

Missouri coaches Eliah Drinkwitz (football), Robin Pingeton (women’s basketball), Cuonzo Martin (men’s basketball), Brian Smith (wrestling) and Steve Bieser (baseball) all took voluntary salary reductions after the department asked 20 people to take 10% salary reductions lasting from May 1 to July 31.

  • Sports reporter, spring 2020 studying sports journalism reach me at msb8cz@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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