FSU to slash athletics budget by 20%; AD, coaches taking salary cuts

The Florida State athletic department on Friday announced it is reducing its overall operating budget by 20% as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and several of the Seminoles' head coaches and top administrators are taking salary cuts as part of the wide-ranging reductions.

In a letter sent to athletic department staff, athletic director David Coburn said 25 full-time positions would be eliminated and staff salary reductions would be made across the board. Coburn said Florida State football coach Mike Norvell will take a 25% pay cut, and men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton and women's basketball coach Sue Semrau will each take a 10% pay cut. Coburn is taking a pay cut of 20%. Furloughs also remain a strong possibility.

Coburn said the pandemic is primarily responsible for the department's projected financial issues, but he also cited declines in football season ticket sales and annual donations to its booster club, along with expenses related to hiring a new football staff. Florida State reportedly owes former coach Willie Taggart roughly $14 million in buyout money after firing the coach last November less than two years into his contract.

Coburn also noted the steep cuts were made based on projections about the fall, saying, "The probability that the upcoming athletic seasons will be affected in some way by the pandemic exists. While we have been able to withstand most of the economic impact from the lost revenue this spring, the anticipated drop in revenue this fall will be damaging."