Recession Furloughs Cost ASU’s Erickson $20,800

Across the country, companies from across all industries are forcing employees to take unpaid furloughs to try and bridge gaps in their fiscal budget. Well, colleges are no exception, and at some pretty big schools like Arizona State, Clemson and Maryland, senior employees like head coaches are being hit in the wallet worse than nearly anyone else. According to this story in USA TODAY, Sun Devils football coach Dennis Erickson will lose at least $20,800 of his $450,000 annual salary for the 10-12 day period he’s going to be forced to take off.

dennis erickson pitchfork

(You wanna know what I think of the furlough program!?!)

In the big scheme of things, $21G is hardly a huge deal for Erickson, who gets additional compensation from performance bonuses and lucrative sponsorship tie-ins. Still, $21G is $21G, and it’s pretty hard to believe that he’s cool with just writing off the cash.

Of course, Erickson and co. don’t have any choice; they’re employed by universities that are crunching to try and save jobs. Arizona State reported budget overruns of $88 million, but was able to save $24 million of that just by sending all non-faculty employees on a furlough. That saved 1,200 jobs.

At the end of the day, that’s the equation that’s most important: Jobs > Erickson’s moolah. Still, Erickson is not the kind of guy who sticks around when he feels he’s being slighted. This is his second rodeo in the Pac-10, and we know he can always bolt back to Idaho if he becomes fed up with the Sun Devils. Something tells us he won’t, but with Erickson you never know.

What about fellow Arizona State coach Herb Sendek? The man whose resusciatated the Sun Devils basketball program and piloted the school’s first sweep of UCLA in more than two decades left North Carolina State for the desert almost purely for financial stability. Now he’s losing $13,600 of his $292,000 salary. That eliminates a whole lot of the bump he got for showing up in Arizona, anyway.

Still, it’s nice to know that coaches have to make the same sacrifices as the rest of us, isn’t it? Why should some guy on an assembly line in Michigan have to forfeit a chunk of his salary — which might actually keep him from getting food, unlike the new car it might cost Erickson or Sendek — while big name coaches get to keep all their cash? This is the way it should be, and perhaps more state schools should take a look at Arizona State (its furlough program is three-times as long as Maryland’s or Clemson’s) when they’re scrounging around and looking for places to cut cost.