Louisville furloughs 45 athletic department staffers, while others take 4% pay cut amid pandemic

Louisville has furloughed 45 athletic department staffers for at least 60 days and eliminated 40 other support positions in the latest budget moves resulting from shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Athletic director Vince Tyra also announced 4% pay cuts for staffers earning more than $100,000 in the next year, with those earning below that figure taking 2% salary cuts. The newest salary cuts do not include head coaches, senior staff or the AD, whose salaries were reduced 10% earlier this month.

Tyra will also forgo $300,000 in bonuses as the department tries to trim $15 million from next year's budget. Wednesday's moves will save $1.5 million, but the furloughs, reductions and pay cuts do not include coaching staffs.

"We have around 325 employees including all the coaching staff, so this is more impactful to the non-coaching staff," Tyra said in a teleconference. "We had some really long-term employees that were impacted by today's decision, so it's a heartfelt process."

Louisville will honor the contracts of eliminated staffers through June 30, allowing them to file for unemployment. Several vacancies won't be filled because of a hiring freeze while another staffer is retiring. The furloughs take effect in 30 days, and Tyra said the 60-day window allows the option to bring some staffers back early or extend others.

Tyra warned of the staff moves Monday as the department announced 15% cuts in sports budgets.