Nebraska athletics announces measures to cut 2021 budget by 10 percent

The Nebraska athletic department on Friday announced sweeping measures to reduce its 2021 fiscal year budget by 10%, including a 10% cut in administrative positions across the department.

In NU athletics' last-known budget, for the 2018-2019 season, the Huskers' expenses were just over $81 million. Presuming an increase in expenses since then, the department's cut should be between $8 and $9 million for 2020-2021.

Nebraska took in more than $122 million in revenues in 2018-2019 for a tidy profit. But revenues for the 2019-2020 budget were already impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and revenues for 2020-2021 are likely be to affected in some way, as well, especially if fewer fans are let into Memorial Stadium for football Saturdays or TV contracts are somehow altered by a pandemic-shortened or pandemic-cancelled season. Already, NU had delayed the groundbreaking on its $155 million football facility, set to open in 2022, as the university system faces a $43 million shortfall.

“In our deliberate planning for how to best address a decline in expected revenue, we attempted to institute measures that would minimize the impact on the student-athlete experience,” NU athletic director Bill Moos said in a press release. “While many of these necessary changes are difficult, especially those impacting our employees, we hope that they will be the only ones necessary in the months ahead. I am confident that we will weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.

“I want to acknowledge the work and commitment of those employees who will no longer be with us and thank them for their service to Nebraska. We wish them all of the best in their future endeavors.”

NU outlined several measures for the upcoming season:

>>A reduction in approximately 10% of administrative positions across the department.

>>No merit increases for all department employees.

>>No increases in all sports programs’ budgets for the upcoming year.

>>Programs are encouraged to build a more regional non-conference away schedule, which will limit public exposures and allow for a reduction in travel costs.

>>All administrative units across the Department have been asked to reduce budgets by 10%.

>>All staff travel (excluding recruiting) will be greatly restricted over the coming year.

>>A reduction in recurring capital expenditures

>>Summer programming for student-athletes will be limited in 2021.

Already, football coach Scott Frost and men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg had volunteered to donate back to the athletic department part of their 2020-2021 salaries. Frost makes $5 million; Hoiberg makes $3 million, with an additional $1 million bonus coming on July 1. The amount Frost and Hoiberg will donate back isn't known until the 2020-2021 budget is finalized.

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