The Brillion News
MADISON - In an open letter posted on the University of Wisconsin-Madison athletics web site, athletics director Barry Alvarez said the Badgers program is in tough financial straits.
"Regardless of what our fall season looks like, we are facing a great financial challenge," he wrote. "I don't think it's an embellishment to say the experience we love as Badgers and the legacy of our extraordinary athletic department is at risk."
He said the department is facing a potenial $100 shortfall in its $140 million budget, and then launched into a thinly veiled pitch for financial help.
However, the UW Athletic Department is believed to have a reserve fund estimated at just under $200 million.The open letter did not mention that.
"I believe we will reach a monumental crossroads in the coming days," he said. adding that "[E]verything ... relies on our ability to financially support our student athletes."
Alvarez said the athletics department's top 25 employees have taken voluntary pay cuts, other workers have been furloughed to less-than-full-time status, capital projects like the south end zone project at Camp Randall Stadium have been put on hold.
Two years ago, coaches at the UW had the highest seven salaries of all employees in the UW System. Football coach Paul Chryst was paid $3.76 million, men's basketball coach Greg Gard about $2.4 million, and Alvarez nearly $1.16 million.
ESPN said the football program, in a normal year, brings in nearly 60 percent of the UW athletics revenues, estimated at nearly $160 million.
To read the letter by Alvarez, visit https://uwbadgers.com/news/2020/7/23/athletics-general-news-events-update-from-barry-alvarez-financial-challenge.aspx