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Tom Herman, other Texas coaches who took pay cuts to be reimbursed before contracts end

Nick Bromberg
·2-min read

Texas coaches who took pay cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic will eventually get that money back from the school.

Per documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman and USA Today, the school is reimbursing its coaches who saw their pay decrease in 2020 as the athletic department tried to cut costs because of projected revenue shortfalls.

Over 20 coaches will be reimbursed, including football coach Tom Herman. From the report:

The documents obtained Monday through an open-records request, are contract amendments that specify each of those coach’s reduction terms. Each amendment includes the amount the coach had been scheduled to receive during the fiscal year, the amount they now will receive and a commitment that the university agrees to pay the difference “prior to the expiration of the Agreement.”

In the case of football head coach Tom Herman, this means Texas will pay him $516,250 sometime before Dec. 31, 2023. Herman’s reduction is being taken against his base salary of $3.5 million only, the documents confirm. Herman is scheduled to receive another $2.5 million as consideration for making personal appearances and participating in various media activities.

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte — who said he will not be reimbursed for his pay cut — termed the athletic department’s revenue problems a “one-year COVID problem” and said the school was contractually obligated to pay the coaches back.

Coaches across the country have taken pay cuts that have been largely termed “voluntary” because of the impending budget issues at athletic departments. With the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA tournament and adjusted football schedules this fall, schools’ revenue projections have been thrown into tumult.

But the revelation that Texas coaches are getting reimbursed is the first major discovery that a coach pay cut is essentially a deferral. And it’s hard to imagine that Texas is the only athletic department in the country that is simply deferring coach salaries and not actually cutting them.

It also comes on the heels of Del Conte’s September announcement about job cuts in Austin. He said on Sept. 1 that 35 Texas athletic department staffers would be laid off and that 11 would be furloughed in addition to 273 non-coaching staff members who took pay cuts. The announced savings of the salary reductions and layoffs was just over $13 million, though that number will be significantly lower in reality given that over 20 coaches are eventually getting paid back.

According to USA Today’s athletic department database, the Texas athletic department had the most revenue of any in the country in the 2018-19 fiscal year. The school had nearly $224 million in revenue and over $204 million in expenses. The $224 million in revenue was over $11 million more than Texas A&M, the school with the second-most revenue in the country.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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