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OU athletics cuts budget by nearly $14 million, salaries reduced for highly paid staff members

NORMAN — OU's athletics department announced budget cuts of approximately $13.7 million Wednesday, cost-cutting measures due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total operating expenses for fiscal year 2019 were nearly $158 million, with about $163 million in total operating revenue.

The cuts announced Wednesday include a 10 percent salary reduction for staff making $1 million per year or more. The reduction affects athletic director Joe Castiglione and several coaches, including OU football coach Lincoln Riley, men's basketball coach Lon Kruger and women's basketball coach Sherri Coale.

The budget modifications also account for COVID-19 expenses, including testing and the cost of increased safety measures.

No financial aid or services to student-athletes are being affected by the cuts, including to those athletes whose eligibility was extended due to the March shutdown of spring sports.

Castiglione said in a release that further cuts may be necessary in the future.

"All of us understand that a number of circumstances will unfold in the weeks ahead," Castiglione said. "Our staff continues to monitor our expense and income projections closely and we'll take other actions, as necessary."

Castiglione said the budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year was balanced. OU is regularly one of the few Division I athletic programs to run a budget surplus.

"It's a testament to our staff and our practices that we were able to balance our budget for fiscal year 2020," Castiglione said. "We have always benefited from excellent teamwork in our department, but our staff has come together as never before. I am very proud of our people.

"Our goal is to have all activities operate as safely and efficiently as possible. That said, we are planning on a number of contingencies and protocols that will leave us prepared for any number of scenarios"

Related Photos
University of Oklahoma Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione greets medical staff outside OU Children's Hospital as he and other members of the OU Athletics Department  and family participated in a caravan around the OU Medical Center campus to show their gratitude and appreciation for frontline healthcare workers in their fight against COVID-19 in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

University of Oklahoma Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione greets medical staff outside OU Children's Hospital as he and other members of the OU Athletics Department and family participated in a caravan around the OU Medical Center campus to show their gratitude and appreciation for frontline...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-75e3a84585a830447c7af5001891fef9.jpg" alt="Photo - University of Oklahoma Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione greets medical staff outside OU Children's Hospital as he and other members of the OU Athletics Department and family participated in a caravan around the OU Medical Center campus to show their gratitude and appreciation for frontline healthcare workers in their fight against COVID-19 in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="University of Oklahoma Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione greets medical staff outside OU Children's Hospital as he and other members of the OU Athletics Department and family participated in a caravan around the OU Medical Center campus to show their gratitude and appreciation for frontline healthcare workers in their fight against COVID-19 in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>University of Oklahoma Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione greets medical staff outside OU Children's Hospital as he and other members of the OU Athletics Department and family participated in a caravan around the OU Medical Center campus to show their gratitude and appreciation for frontline healthcare workers in their fight against COVID-19 in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 3, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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