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Eli Drinkwitz among Missouri coaches taking voluntary pay cuts

Add the Missouri football head coach to the growing list of individuals in the sports world who are tightening their financial belts amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

On the first day of this month, Iowa State announced a one-year reduction in pay and bonuses for all of its coaches. Louisville soon followed suit. As did Wake Forest and Washington State. Athletic directors at Oregon (HERE) and Wyoming (HERE) are taking cuts in pay. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, who reportedly made north of $5 million a year ago, is taking a 20-percent pay cut. Scott’s Big 12 counterpart, Bob Bowlsby, announced pay cuts for himself and the conference’s staff.

That list has officially grown. And will continue, no doubt.

Thursday night, the university announced that Missouri football head coach Eli Drinkwitz has taken a voluntary cut in pay. The reduction in salary will last at least the next three months.

Joining Drinkwitz in the voluntary reduction are MU coaches Cuonzo Martin (men’s basketball), Robin Pingeton (women’s basketball), Brian Smith (wrestling) and Steve Bieser (baseball). Additionally, athletic director Jim Sterk is foregoing salary over the same timeframe as well.

“In the wake of the unprecedented challenges the University of Missouri, our state and nation are facing, collectively we believed it was important to step forward and support President Choi and other University leaders at this time,” a statement from Sterk read. “As leaders, I believe it is important that we lead by example, especially in times of crisis, and this is one way that we can demonstrate that.

“Part of our Win it Right culture includes togetherness, and I appreciate Eliah, Cuonzo, Robin, Brian and Steve’s unselfishness and willingness to step forward in these difficult times to voluntarily give up a part of their compensation. All five of them have impeccable character and understand the role that they play as leaders on our campus.”

Drnkwitz was hired in December to replace Barry Odom, who was fired in late November.