Athletic departments around the country are facing unforeseen financial challenges because of the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament. Plus, many face an uncertain future as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress across the country. One Division I department is already preparing for what's next. Iowa State announced on Wednesday new measures aimed at addressing those financial challenges including a reduction in pay and suspension of bonuses for coaches and administrators.
"It is critical that we take action today so we are as prepared as possible for a new normal when our society can re-engage," athletic director Jamie Pollard wrote in a release. "The individuals and organizations who can plan and execute efficiently today are best positioned to be successful tomorrow."
The athletic department is implementing six new initiatives aimed at what the school expects to be a $5 million shortfall. Those measures include a one-year, temporary pay reduction for coaches and certain staff; a one-year, temporary suspension of all bonuses/incentives for all coaches; a one-year in the announced increase in Cyclone Club annual giving levels; a freeze on ticket prices; an extension to the deadline for this year's Cyclone Club donations and football season ticket renewals to May 29 and multiple payment options for season tickets and donations.
"We can now turn our attention to solving many other issues in the coming months," Pollard wrote. "It was also important to us to provide our loyal ticket holders and donors some relief in regards to ticket prices and donations. Although we could have passed on implementing these difficult decisions today and simply hoped for things to improve, we felt it was wise to act now."
The COVID-19 pandemic has infected nearly one million people worldwide. Nearly 50,000 have died from the disease. More than 200,000 of the infected people and more than 5,000 people inside the United States have died as a result of the coronavirus.