Iowa State is scrambling from what is already lost and what could be lost. The 15-year Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard plans to cut coaches’ salaries.
To avoid layoffs, budget cuts are being made. Pollard explained his reasoning and the specifics of the cuts in his letter to Iowa State fans. Here are some cuts from the letter:
- A one-year, temporary pay reduction for athletics department coaches and certain staff. This comprehensive plan will reduce total payroll by more than $3 million.
- A one-year, temporary suspension of all bonuses/incentives for all coaches. This decision will save the department $1M.
- Delaying, from January 2021 to January 2022, a previously announced increase in Cyclone Club annual giving levels. The delay will save donors approximately $2.5 million for the required seating donations.
- A freeze on season/individual game-ticket prices for all sports.
- An extension to the deadline for this year’s Cyclone Club donations and football season-ticket renewals to May 29, 2020.
- Providing multiple payment options for season tickets and donations. Those required payments can be made monthly, quarterly or semi-annually.
The Present Revenue Circulation
Iowa State took a hit of five million dollars from the cancellation of the Big 12 Men’s basketball tournament and NCAA tournament. Of course, this was a big loss for all universities, but a little bigger for Iowa State.
In 2001, the department dropped baseball and men’s swimming so the cash is limited. This puts Pollard into a situation where he needs to act quickly before things get out of control.
The Atheltic estimates that 50 Iowa State athletic department employees make up around 75 percent of the $27 million payroll. This gave Pollard the opportunity to reach out to those employees and explain his reasoning for cutting their pay. The Iowa State staff is all in. This decision could benefit their university in the long run.
I could not be prouder of all our coaches and staff for uniting as one on these tough decisions that will save over $4M annually. Letter To Iowa State Fans – Iowa State University Athletics https://t.co/McVZ7J8mEA
— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) April 1, 2020
Set The Precedent
Pollard felt good about the staff working together during these hard times.
“I’m proud to work with people that came together in a short period of time to say, ‘Let’s do this because it’s the right thing to do,’” Pollard said. “This is the kind of unity everybody needs to have. Unprecedented times call for drastic measures. Hopefully, other universities and athletic departments follow suit and start their own fallback plan.”
Pollard is doing his best to save the department money and hold onto his staff. This is scary times because the majority of the athletics department’s revenue comes from college football. No university can afford to have the college football season canceled. Pollard said if the college football season is canceled “it’s Ice Age Time.”
Other people involved are more optimistic than Pollard. Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney is confident there will be a college football season.
Dabo Swinney about preference for 2020 season re abbreviated or being pushed back:
"I have zero doubt we are going to play…. This is America, man. This is the greatest country in the planet. We will rise up and kick this in the teeth. September is a long time away, man."
— Anna Hickey (@AnnaH247) April 3, 2020
I think we are all as hopeful as Dabo. As April begins and the virus seems to be getting worse, there are two sides to take for the future of college football. One is Dabo’s, with blind confidence and optimism that there will absolutely be a season. And there is Pollard’s side, where the want for football is just as big. But there is an understanding of the circumstances and a serious plan for a worst-case scenario.