LSU athletic department lays off several employees, mandates a 5 percent salary cut in 2021

Finally, after about 7½ months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LSU athletic department laid off at least eight employees Thursday and mandated a 5 percent salary decrease in 2021 for staff earning more than $80,000.

Also, the athletic department won’t give bonuses to coaches and staff for one year and the school will only approve new positions, promotions, salary adjustments and position replacements in “essential situations” through June 30, 2023.

The measures came in light since the athletic department will lose $80 million this year, primarily because of COVID-19 has caused the mandate that only 25 percent of Tiger Stadium’s capacity be allowed to attend football games this season. About 75,000 season ticket holders opted out until next year.

An LSU athletics news release said job cuts were made to “streamline productivity, eliminate redundancies and create efficiencies throughout the department.”

Among the known employees whose positions were eliminated are senior associate athletic director of external communications Robert Munson, senior associate athletic director of facilities and project development Emmett David and assistant athletic director of fan engagement Jason Suitt.

“Well, my friends COVID-19 has hit the Suitt household,” Suitt, wrote on Twitter. “As of today, LSU has eliminated my position within athletics. The world will keep moving and the sun will once again come up tomorrow (I hope). I have thoroughly enjoyed working at LSU and will consider myself a Tiger.”

Every head coach of all 21 LSU sports will have their salaries reduced in 2021.

Oregon will lose $300,000 of his 2021 salary. His nine assistants will lose a collective $381,550.

“I think 5% is very generous,” Orgeron said in his Thursday post-practice zoom teleconference.  “Some schools are going 10 percent or higher. I was very glad to do it. The thing I liked about it was they didn’t cut anything from our athletes. We’re traveling the same way, the same amount of food.”

The head coaches and assistants of the other 20 sports will return a combined $448,079 in salary decreases.

Approximately 85 athletic department employees, including coach, earn more than $80,000 annually and fall under the 5 percent salary increase.

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