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Michigan State announces salary reduction plan for athletics department

Bill Beekman, Tom Izzo, Mel Tucker, Suzy Merchant and others to take pay cuts amidst COVID-19 complications.

Michigan State vs Seton Hall Photo by Porter BInks/Getty Images

The Michigan State athletics department announced today a temporary salary reduction plan for its contracted employees who make $100,000 or more annually, due to the economic issues and revenue shortages the university expects to take on due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The cuts begin on Sept. 1, 2020 and run for almost exactly one year, ending on Aug. 31. 2021.

Athletic director Bill Beekman will take the biggest cut at 10 percent of his base salary of $750,000, which leaves it at $675,000, if my math is correct. Beekman made $772,500 in total during 2019-2020 academic year, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“Although there is uncertainty about what the future holds, and impactful decisions are yet to be made, it’s safe to say that we will experience a significant reduction in revenue in the year ahead,” Beekman said, via “I know this decision will impact staff members and their families, but the unfortunate reality is that we cannot make the budget reductions we’ll need to make without impacting our team. It’s part of a shared sacrifice that will benefit the entire athletic department, allowing us to remain student-focused and ensuring the health, safety and wellness of all within the department while navigating the challenges ahead.”

MSU head football coach Mel Tucker and head basketball coach Tom Izzo will each take a seven percent decrease in pay. Tucker has an annual base salary of $3.8 million, with a total compensation package of $5.5 million. This would subtract $266,000 from his base pay or $385,000 from his total pay depending upon how exactly these cuts are structured.

Meanwhile, Izzo’s annual base salary is $3.7 million, with a total compensation value of about $4.2 million. That means Izzo loses out on $259,000 in base pay or $294,000 total.

MSU head women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant will also take a seven-percent pay cut, with an annual salary of $527,112. That leaves her base pay around $490,214.

Additionally, several assistant football coaches will have to take the seven percent decrease as well. This includes offensive coordinator Jay Johnson, defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton, offensive line coach/run game coordinator Chris Kapilovic, safeties coach Mike Tressel, defensive line coach Ron Burton and tight ends coach Ted Gilmore.

Of course non-coaches and other athletics departments employees who make annual salaries of $100,000 or greater will also be affected by the reductions. The scale is listed below.

Michigan State Athletics Temporary Salary Reduction Scale

Athletic Director (10 percent)

Salaries $500,000 or more (7 percent)

Salaries $400,000 to $499,999 (6 percent)

Salaries $300,000 to $399,999 (5 percent)

Salaries $200,000 to $299,999 (4 percent)

Salaries $150,000 to $199,999 (2.25 percent)

Salaries $100,000 to $149,999 (2 percent)