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5 highest-paid Gophers coaches take pay cuts to help University of Minnesota balance COVID-19 impacts

Each of the five coaches is taking a 10% pay cut.

The five highest-paid head coaches at the University of Minnesota have agreed to take pay cuts to help the athletics department offset lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic. 

P.J. Fleck (football), Richard Pitino (men's basketball), Lindsay Whalen (women's basketball), Hugh McCutcheon (volleyball) and Bob Motzko (men's hockey) will take a 10 percent pay cut over the first six months of the upcoming fiscal year. 

"I want to thank Lindsay, P.J., Richard, Hugh and Bob for taking a voluntary reduction in pay," said U of M Athletics Director Mark Coyle. "This is the second voluntary reduction for all of us since April, and I appreciate their dedication to Minnesota and willingness to help in a time of financial uncertainty."

Fleck is the highest-paid employee at the University of Minnesota. He earned a salary of $3.6 million in 2019 and is set to earn $4.6 million in 2020. At $3.6 million in 2019, Fleck ranked tied as the 36th-highest paid Division I football coach in America, according to USA Today

The pay cuts come on the heels of Coyle projecting a $10 million athletics revenue loss. Revenue losses could surge to $30 million if the fall and winter sports are played without fans in the stands, and that number could increase to a projected $70 million if the pandemic results in the cancellation of fall semester sports. 

Spring sports were wiped out by the pandemic, resulting in the NCAA granting graduating seniors in some sports an additional year of eligibility. 

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