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OU Athletics to cut costs amid COVID-19 pandemic

MANDATORY: OU requiring COVID-19 testing for students moving into on-campus housing
Posted at 8:15 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 21:15:49-04

NORMAN, Okla. — The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department is implementing budget cuts for the 2020-2021 fiscal year due the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department announced Wednesday that it's cutting approximately $13.7 million in controllable operating expenses, according to a news release by university officials. This also includes a 10% salary reduction for any employee earning $1,000,000 or more per year.

The the budget modifications also account for COVID-19 expenses, including testing protocols and increased safety measures, the news release said.

READ MORE: OU Football: 14 players, 2 staff members test positive for COVID-19

The department said it's holding intact and safeguarding all financial aid and services provided to student-athletes, including accommodations for extended eligibility.

OU Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione said these reductions represent the department's first steps in responding to the impact of COVID-19, according to the news release. Castiglione also noted that as the pandemic evolves, there may be additional measures.

All of us understand that a number of circumstances will unfold in the weeks ahead. Our staff continues to monitor our expense and income projections closely and we'll take other actions, as necessary.

Castiglione added he was pleased with the department's budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

"It's a testament to our staff and our practices that we were able to balance our budget for fiscal year 2020," Castiglione said. "We have always benefited from excellent teamwork in our department, but our staff has come together as never before. I am very proud of our people."

Castiglione continued, "Our goal is to have all activities operate as safely and efficiently as possible," he commented. "That said, we are planning on a number of contingencies and protocols that will leave us prepared for any number of scenarios."

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