Dowdy-Ficklen

Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium during a Greenville sunset.

East Carolina University Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert released an update on ECU’s financial forecast on Oct. 19 in a press release from ecupirates.com where he announced that pay cuts and furloughs are likely to occur for employees.

To try and deal with the expected deficit, Gilbert listed in the press release all the moves the administration and directors will make to offset the deficit that was created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These were not easy decisions but necessary ones as we continue to manage our budget for this year and future years. Decisions that impact our staff financially coupled with the pandemic can affect the well-being of each staff member,” Gilbert said in the press release. “I hold our staff in the highest regard and I sympathize for all of them as we work to offset our financial losses and navigate a path to sustainability.”

In the press release, Gilbert said head coaches of the football and men's basketball teams will have their base salaries temporarily reduced by 20%, while the baseball and women's basketball head coaches will have their base salaries reduced by 15%. Coaches and staff members that make greater than or equal to $100,000 will have their salaries reduced by 12%, according to the release.

Coaches and staff members that make $50,000 to $99,999 will have their salaries temporarily reduced by 10%, according to the release. Coaches and staff members who earn below $50,000 will be furloughed for 12 days. The release said a group of employees will be on an extended furlough that could range from six to 35 weeks.

“The entire athletics staff recently completed five furlough days as part of our announced plan in May to reduce our deficit by $4.7 million,” Gilbert said in the announcement. “This plan also included the elimination of several vacant positions, the reduction of sponsored sports and the decrease of operating budgets for our sports programs and administrative areas.”

The release stated volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, track and field and both men's and women's golf will all compete at the same time as some sports have been moved to the spring.

Gilbert concluded the update with words of assurance and said that although the times may be unprecedented, the athletic department will continue to look for better ways to stabilize the budget.

“While we are in unprecedented times, I choose to remain positive and hope Pirate Nation will rally around our student-athletes and coaches. We are committed to moving forward with dedicated staff, a terrific group of student athletes and coaches who believe in our ability to be successful,” Gilbert said in the release.

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