Athletics department shares budget strategies

The athletics department announced Wednesday several steps it is taking to respond to financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In an open letter to Cyclone fans, director Jamie Pollard outlined six actions, including a one-year, temporary pay reduction for coaches and certain staff as well as a freeze on ticket prices.

"These actions will help us address the $5 million shortfall that we face with the cancellation of the NCAA and Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournaments," Pollard wrote. "It was also important to us to provide our loyal ticket holders and donors some relief in regards to ticket prices and donations."

The athletics department is almost entirely self-sustaining, relying primarily on ticket sales, donations and Big 12 Conference television revenues and sponsorships. It does not receive state appropriation dollars.

"I appreciate Jamie's leadership and the efforts of the athletics department in implementing these actions," said President Wendy Wintersteen. "The COVID-19 crisis is impacting the entire university; however, its effects are being felt more immediately on units and departments that do not receive state funding. It is important that these units have the flexibility to take immediate and necessary steps to reduce their expenses."