Boise State coaches, athletics staff to be furloughed

Boise State, which is already facing $10 million in losses because of a partial shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, is furloughing many of its employees, including coaches and athletics staff.

University president Marlene Tromp announced the furloughs in an email to staff Monday night.

"I hope our swift action now can help us avoid what could be more grave action later and provide for the long-term well-being of both our community and the institution," Tromp wrote in the email, which was obtained by the Idaho Statesman.

The university said 12-month employees earning more than $40,000 per year are required to take furloughs between May 3 and July 31. The highest-paid employees making more than $150,000 annually will have to take 10-day furloughs.

Broncos football coach Bryan Harsin, who earns $1.65 million in base salary, will forfeit about $63,000. Most of his assistant coaches are also subject to the 10-day requirement, along with men's basketball coach Leon Rice and women's basketball coach Gordy Presnell.

Rice's base salary for 2019 was $705,292, and Presnell's was $242,128.

"I don't think it's going to be an unusual step as the days pass," Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson told ESPN on Tuesday. "Every day there's a different institution announcing a salary cut and those keep mounting."

The university said on its website that furloughed employees "cannot perform work in any capacity during this time, including answering email, returning calls, or being 'on-call.'"

"As many of you know, like 80 percent of universities across the nation, we made what I firmly believe was the right decision to provide millions of dollars of prorated refunds to our students for dining, housing and parking fees," Tromp wrote in the email. "We have also had to cancel millions of dollars in revenue-generating events through the school year and into the summer. These direct losses alone create a nearly $10 million impact."

The university is also asking employees and faculty to take additional voluntary furloughs and added that additional mandatory furloughs will be considered "if the University does not achieve sufficient savings in the first two phases."

Thompson said the Mountain West will still receive about 97% or 98% of its revenue this year because it played its basketball tournament and fulfilled its TV obligations, but it will lose NCAA revenue.

ESPN's Heather Dinich contributed to this report.