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Wisconsin asks Alvarez, Chryst, Gard to take pay cut

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Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, football coach Paul Chryst and men’s basketball coach Greg Gard are being asked to take a 15% pay cut over the next six months as part of the school’s response to the pandemic.

School officials say Alvarez, Chryst and Gard are among 25 of the athletic department’s highest-earning employees who are being asked to take that voluntary cut. There will be no reduction in that group’s work hours.

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“Reducing compensation and work hours is obviously not something I want to see for any of our Badger Athletics family,” Alvarez said in a statement. “But we are facing the same financial challenges that other organizations across the country are. We are working hard to minimize the impact on our employees while responding to the realities of the situation created by the pandemic.”

The pay cuts were announced as part of what the athletic department described as a “compensation and work reduction plan” that will impact most of its employees as it deals with budget problems resulting from the coronavirus. The plan tentatively takes effect May 18 and runs through July 25.

Officials said most employees will participate in a state work-share program that will have their work hours reduced by either 20% or 50%. School officials said about 350 employees will be able to apply for expanded unemployment benefits that in most cases can offset lost wages through July 25.

Wisconsin officials believe this plan should help save the athletic department about $2.8 million.

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