IOWA CITY — As part of the University of Iowa Athletics Department plan to mitigate the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Director of Athletics Chair Gary Barta announced department budget reductions of approximately $15 million.
The athletics department budget for 2020 was $124.8 million. The 2020-21 budget was anticipated to be $127.5 million prior to the reductions. With the reductions in compensation and operations, the department’s 2021 budget proposal will be $112.5 million. The $15 million reduction includes nearly $13 million in reduced operating expenses, with the remaining in compensation adjustments.
Reductions in salary and compensation are being spread across the department. Professional and Scientific, non-contracted, staff will see one-year salary reductions based on a graduated salary reduction scale. In general, staff earning above $200,000 will see a 10 percent base salary reduction, staff making $150,000-$199,999 a 7.5 percent reduction, salaries of $100,000-$149,999 a five percent reduction, $50,143-$99,999 a three percent reduction, and staff making below $50,143 a two percent salary reduction.
Specifically, head coaches Lisa Bluder, Tom Brands, Kirk Ferentz and Fran McCaffery, have voluntarily agreed to a one-year, 15 percent base salary reduction or contribution back to the athletics department. Deputy Athletics Director Barbara Burke has agreed to a 25 percent salary reduction, while Barta has reduced his total compensation package by more than 30 percent.
The current reductions assume complete football and basketball seasons with fans in attendance. Any interruptions or reduction in these seasons would lead to more significant cuts.
Iowa college cancels fall sports
GRINNELL, Iowa — Grinnell College says it will cancel football and other fall sports because of concerns about the coronavirus.
The Division III school announced Monday it would cancel sports including football, soccer, golf, cross country and volleyball. The college, located in the small city of Grinnell about 45 miles east of Des Moines, competes in the Midwest Conference.
Grinnell officials said they would wait to decide whether to allow other sports later in the school year.
Tigers give $8.4M deal to Torkelson
DETROIT — No. 1 overall draft pick Spencer Torkelson and the Detroit Tigers agreed to a minor league contract on Tuesday, and the team said the infielder will join its player pool for this abbreviated season.
Torkelson’s deal includes an $8,416,300 is a signing bonus, which is $1,000 above slot value, and a $2,500 contingent bonus. He is to receive $100,000 within 30 days of the deal’s approval by Major League Baseball, and 50% of the rest on each July 1 in 2021 and 2022.
Rockies’ Desmond to sit out season
Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond plans to sit out this season to be with his family and help grow youth baseball in his hometown in Florida.
The 34-year-old Desmond wrote Monday night on Instagram that the “COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking.”
Desmond, who hit .255 with 20 homers in 140 games last season, had been due $5,555,556 for the prorated share of his $15 million salary, part of a $70 million, five-year contract. He is owed $8 million next year, and his deal includes a $15 million team option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout.
Hughes agrees to 1-year deal with Mets
NEW YORK — Sinkerballing reliever Jared Hughes and the New York Mets agreed Tuesday to a $700,000, one-year contract, a deal that amounts to $259,259 in prorated pay over the 60-game season.
Hughes can earn an additional $300,000 for days on the active roster: $50,000 each for 10 and 30, and $100,000 apiece for 45 and 60. The roster bonuses would not be prorated.
He had a 6.35 ERA over five appearances and 5 2/3 innings during spring training with Houston and was released March 19, a week after the exhibition season was stopped by the coronavirus pandemic.
GM says 3 Pelicans test positive
Pelicans general manager David Griffin says three New Orleans players have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be in self-isolation until testing shows they can return to team activities without infecting others.
Griffin declined to identify the players, citing medical privacy laws. The positive tests occurred on June 23, the first day all members of the team were tested as part of the NBA’s plan to restart the season, which was suspended in mid-March because of the pandemic. Griffin says the Pelicans have had no players test positive since.
Judges question warrants in Kraft case
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida appellate judges on Tuesday questioned the legality of search warrants that let police secretly video record New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others paying for massage parlor sex, pressing a prosecutor on his contention that the warrants were legally valid.
Misdemeanor charges against Kraft, 79, and other customers would have to be dropped if those rulings stand, although felony charges against the spa owners might proceed as there is other evidence against them.
Travelers Championship donating money
HARTFORD, Conn. — The Travelers Championship is giving some of the money raised by last week’s golf tournament in Connecticut to help create a program to train police in how to deal with teens and young adults, especially in Black and racially diverse communities.
The tournament and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving announced Tuesday they are teaming to provide $300,000 over two years to the University of New Haven’s Center for Advanced Policing and the Tow Youth Justice Institute.