Scott Frost and Fred Hoiberg announced on Thursday that they will be donating a portion of their salaries back to the University of Nebraska’s athletic department. The move came on the heels of news from around the country about other school’s athletic departments needing to cut salaries and put employees on furlough.
Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald reported the amount of money being returned to the athletic department is not yet known. Those amounts should eventually become public when Nebraska finalizes its budget for 2020-2021. The fiscal year resets on July 1.
“These are difficult times across our country and in college athletics, and Nebraska athletics is not immune to the financial crunch,” said Frost, who makes an annual salary of $5 million as the school’s football coach. “This athletic department has been so important to my family for several decades. Before I ever played or coached here, I was a Nebraska Cornhusker fan first. I wanted to do my small part to help ensure our athletic department and all of our teams have the necessary resources to compete for championships moving forward.”
Hoiberg makes an annual salary of $3 million per year and is set to earn a $1 million “stay” bonus next month. That bonus is being paid by Nebraska because the basketball team’s head coach didn’t take a different job in 2020.
Hoiberg issued a statement similar to that of Frost. He talked about how impressed he was about Nebraska’s culture when he took the job. He added he’s been even more impressed in the year he’s worked for the university. Both Frost and Hoiberg are among the highest-paid coaches in their respective sports at the collegiate level.
Nebraska’s athletic director, Bill Moos, told McKewon that giving back a portion of the coaches’ salaries was Frost and Hoiberg’s idea. In a text message to the writer, Moos said they came to him and worked out the plan to help the department.
Universities around the country have talked about the financial hardships their sports programs are facing with the pandemic still going on. While leagues such as the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB are all talking about ways to get back to playing, chief among the plans to restart is playing in empty stadiums. If college football and basketball follow suit and play without fans in attendance, Nebraska and other schools might end up losing even more money.
On that end, there may be a silver lining for the Cornhuskers, as Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts loosened coronavirus restrictions earlier this week. As cited by the Lincoln Journal Star, Ricketts said there was a path for a full stadium in Lincoln on Saturdays but added that the state wasn’t there yet.