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UT Athletics Department announces tiered pay cuts affecting around 180 employees

The first $50,000 of employee's pays will not be affected, but higher salaries will face pay cuts.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Officials with the University of Tennessee Athletics Department announced a tiered plan to reduce pay rates on Wednesday, to try to save money due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They said that the plan was tiered based on how much employees were paid. The first $50,000 of employee's compensation would not be impacted. However, employees paid between $50,000 - $150,000 will face pay cuts by 5 percent. Then, compensation exceeding $150,000 will be reduced by 10 percent.

Around 180 employees will be impacted by the plan, according to a release. It was developed to help mitigate the department's drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan will affect people across the department, officials said.

It will reduce the athletics department's payroll costs by up to $1.6 million over eight months, officials said. They also said that it is one of several elements of the department's strategy to save money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also placed a hiring freeze on vacant positions, started emergency-only deferred maintenance on facilities, transitioned to mobile ticketing and focused on regional team travel to save money. Department officials said that they worked with other university leadership to develop the plan.

The tiered pay reduction will go into effect Nov. 1, officials said.