BATON ROUGE, La. (Daily Advertiser) – The LSU athletic department laid off employees and announced salary and bonus cuts for coaches, including head football coach Ed Orgeron, on Thursday because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Orgeron, who is the second highest paid college coach in the country at $8.9 million a year, has voluntarily agreed to have his salary reduced by five percent in 2021 as has LSU athletic director Scott Woodward.

Orgeron will lose $300,000 in 2021 as the five percent will be taken from his salary from LSU alone, which is $6 million a year, LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette confirmed. He receives the other $2.9 million a year from other entities, particularly the Tiger Athletic Foundation – the fund raising arm of the LSU athletic department.

“I was very willing,” Orgeron said Thursday night during a regularly scheduled teleconference. “With the deficit they have, it’s understandable.”

LSU has projected it will lose $80 million or more because of the COVID-19 pandemic that began ending and postponing sports seasons last March. All athletic department staff earning more than $80,000 a year – excluding coaches under contract – will be subject to a five percent decrease in salary in 2021.

Coaches under contract making more than $80,000 a year do not have to take a five percent decrease in 2021, but they can volunteer to do so.

For more on this story, visit our media partners at The Daily Advertiser.