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Texas to reimburse coaches for coronavirus pay cuts

Texas will reimburse football coaches who took voluntary pay cuts, an investigation from USA Today and the Austin American-Statesman found.

Tom Herman and seven of his assistants were among the 273 Longhorn employees to endure temporary pay cuts, which were announced on Sept. 1 and run through Aug. 31, 2021.

However, the investigation found that the agreements the athletics department entered with the football coaches included language showing the coaches will get their money back:

The documents obtained Monday through an open-records request, are contract amendments that specify each of those coach’s reduction terms. Each amendment includes the amount the coach had been scheduled to receive during the fiscal year, the amount they now will receive and a commitment that the university agrees to pay the difference “prior to the expiration of the Agreement.”

Herman set aside $516,250, equal to 15 percent from the school portion of his $3.5 million salary. The remaining $2.5 million of his salary -- related to personal appearances and media obligations -- was untouched.

Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, defensive coordinator Chris Ash, wide receivers coach Andre Coleman, defensive tackles coach Mark Hagen, offensive line coach Herb Hand, linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler, and cornerbacks coach Jay Valai also set aside 15 percent of their pay, as outlined in UT's Sept. 1 announcement.

Special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Jay Boulware, assistant head coach/running backs coach Stan Drayton and defensive ends coach Oscar Giles were not included in the cuts.

It's unknown if UT's rank-and-file employees were offered the same deal. AD Chris Del Conte said he will not reimburse himself for his $300,000-plus pay cut.

On the one hand, it's certainly not the football coaches' fault that the pandemic affected the college sports industry as it did and, as contracted employees, the coaches were not obligated to contribute as the athletics department passed the hat.

On the other, football coaches are already the highest-paid staffers in the athletics department, and the 35 staff members that were laid off in September will not get their jobs back when life returns to normal next year.

"These coaches, we had a contractual obligation, and I asked them if I could reduce their salary for this amount of money," Del Conte told the Statesman. "They said yes, because they knew I had to honor that because we had a contract."

Read the full story here.