Iowa’s Ferentz, McCaffery agree to pay reductions

Football coach Kirk Ferentz and men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery are among the Iowa coaches who agreed to pay reductions, the university announced Tuesday.

Ferentz, McCaffery, women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder and wrestling coach Tom Brands agreed to a one-year, 15 percent base salary reduction or a contribution back to the athletic department.

According to The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ferentz had a total compensation of $5.5 million in the 2019 fiscal year. McCaffery earned $2.18 million, Bluder received $1.1 million, and Brands made $390,000.

Athletic director Gary Barta is reducing his own compensation by more than 30 percent — the Gazette reported that he made $987,000 — and deputy athletic director Barbara Burke agreed to a 25 percent cut in pay. The salary maneuvers are part of $15 million in cuts due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the athletic department budget.

“I care deeply about our staff and recognize a reduction in salary will have a significant impact on many families throughout the department,” Barta said in the news release. “I want to thank our entire staff for their support and understanding as we have worked through this process.

“We are trying to balance making necessary financial cuts with spreading the sacrifice thoughtfully.”

Iowa’s athletic department budget for the upcoming fiscal year was forecasted to be $127.5 million, according to the school. The department’s proposed budget is now $112.5 million.

“None of this is easy for our coaches and staff. I appreciate their continued understanding in these uncertain times,” Barta said. “The pandemic has dealt us a financial situation that requires difficult decisions. It is our responsibility to maintain a fiscally responsible operation while providing the highest level of service to our student-athletes.”

According to Iowa, staff members earning above $200,000 will receive a 10 percent base salary reduction. Staffers making $150,000-$199,999 will face a 7.5 percent cut, those making $100,000-$149,999 will have their salaries trimmed by 5 percent, staffers making $50,143-$99,999 will receive a 3 percent cut and those making below $50,143 will face a 2 percent reduction.