Syracuse University has been one of many colleges and universities to experience a serious financial hit as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To react to the dire financial situation at the university, head football coach Dino Babers is among the many taking a reduction in pay to help save the Syracuse budget.
Syracuse released a statement on Monday addressing how the university is handling the concerns about finances. Among the actions being taken by the university is a faculty and staff hiring freeze and a cost reduction of 10% for senior staff members around the university. and select coaches within the athletic department. Babers is one of those select coaches taking a decrease in pay. Another Syracuse coach taking a cut in pay is men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim. According to the school’s statement, the money saved from those pay cuts will be used to continue supporting students, faculty, and staff impacted by the current situation.
According to USA Today, Babers was due $2.27 million in 2019.
The need for these changes to the pay structure is in response to Syracuse claiming to have lost out on $35 million in revenue and expenses.
“In the few short months since our response to COVID-19 began, the University has experienced more than $35 million in unplanned expenses and unrealized revenue,” a message from Syracuse University’s leadership of chancellor Kent Syverud, interim vice chancellor and provost John Liu, and senior vice president and chief financial officer Amir Rahnamay-Azar said on Monday. “While there are many unknowns for the coming year, we can realistically expect further and significant financial challenges ahead.”
Syracuse will put a hold on all on-campus construction projects with the notable exception of the ongoing renovation of the Carrier Dome’s roof.
As previously reported, power conference schools could be at risk of losing out on $78 million if the college football season is not played. If that ends up being the case, more people around Syracuse may be asked to take a pay cut, and Babers could be in jeopard on losing out on even more pay as well.
Syracuse’s Carrier Dome is one giant step closer to a much-needed renovation. On Monday morning, Syracuse announced it is investing $118 million to go toward renovation of the multi-purpose athletic facility, including hosting Syracuse football.
Among the renovations to be done on the stadium will be a brand new roof, which an artist’s rendering shows off with a clear top to allow for natural sunlight to shine down on the football field. A brand new video scoreboard would be added as well, looming above the field from the ceiling. Lighting upgrades, improved accessibility, and enhanced Wi-Fi are also part of the plans for the aged venue. Also being added to improve the fan experience? A new air conditioning system, new restrooms, and new concession stands.
“This is a great day for Syracuse University as we take a significant step in advancing the goals contained in our Campus Framework, a 20-year roadmap designed to align our vision and mission with our physical space,” Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a released statement. “Creating a new stadium experience is a key element to supporting a vibrant and diverse campus community. I am excited for our students—undergraduate and graduate—who will receive their degrees in front of their families and friends, for the student-athletes who will compete in this space and for the thousands of individuals who will visit our campus for athletic events, concerts and other activities.”
“Everyone in our program is ecstatic about the University’s commitment to ensuring our student-athletes and fans have the best experience possible while playing and watching sports in one of the most electrifying spaces in college athletics,” Syracuse football coach Dino Babers said.
In addition to football, the Carrier Dome also hosts Syracuse men’s and women’s basketball and lacrosse teams. Because the venue hosts five sports teams playing throughout the academic year, Syracuse is working on a unique schedule to complete renovation work on the stadium. That may be part of the reason why the full project may not be completed until 2022, although some of the main enhancements will be visible for fans beginning in the fall of 2020.
The Syracuse Orange are taking on North Carolina State on Thursday night at home, but it remains unknown if starting quarterback Eric Dungey will be available to play in the game. Dungey is still recovering from a head injury suffered last weekend at Clemson, and the quick turnaround on the schedule leaves his status for Thursday up in the air.
”We’re waiting for the test results to come back,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said on Wednesday when meeting with the media.
Syracuse will prepare Austin Wilson and Zack Mahoney for duty in the event Dungey is not cleared to play in the game, although Babers is not ruling Dungey out just yet. It would appear Syracuse will make a game-time decision on who will play at quarterback for the Orange against the Wolfpack in a game that is a must-win in order to keep bowl hopes within reach for both teams.
This is obviously a concern for Dungey and Syracuse. In addition to the growing awareness the sport of football has place don head trauma, Dungey was forced to miss playing time just last year due to head injuries. There is no need to rush him back for a football game if it means more damage in the long-term, and Syracuse is aware of this.
Syracuse redshirt freshman defensive end Kenny Carter has been dismissed by the program, College Football Talk has confirmed. The news of the dismissal was first reported by CuseNation.com Sunday morning. Carter was dismissed for a violation of team rules and is the fourth Orange player to be removed by the program since the hiring of new head coach Dino Babers.
Earlier this month, Syracuse dismissed defensive ends Qaadir Sheppard and Amir Ealey and offensive lineman Alex Hayes for violations of team rules. The previous dismissals reduced Syracuse’s defensive end scholarship depth to two, so the removal of Carter takes that down to just one. Jake Pickard, a redshirt freshman, is now the only defensive end on scholarship at Syracuse, although reinforcements will be on the way later this year once the Class of 2016 officially joins the program. Syracuse is adding three defensive ends in the latest recruiting class with Joshua Black, Kendall Coleman and Jaquwan Nelson heading to Syracuse.
To help fill the position this spring, Syracuse is moving tight end Trey Dunkelberger and linebacker Kenneth Ruff to defensive end.
Former Baylor wide receiver Robbie Rhodes is moving from one conference champion to another. Rhodes is transferring to Bowling Green, a report by ESPN.com has confirmed. Bowling Green won the MAC championship in 2013 and is the preseason favorite to win the conference again in 2014.
A month ago it was learned Rhodes was no longer with the Baylor Bears, 2013 Big 12 champions. Earlier in the offseason Rhodes was arrested and charged for possession of marijuana and tampering with physical evidence, but the charges were never levied against him.
Rhodes appeared in 11 games last season for Baylor, recording 10 receptions for 157 yards. Where he goes from here is unknown at this time for the true sophomore. He still has three years of eligibility remaining. At Bowling Green, Rhodes will feel comfortable being inserted into the offense once he is eligible, because there will be many similarities between what the Falcons do and what Baylor runs. Bowling green head coach Dino Babers (pictured) is a former receivers coach at Baylor.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Rhodes will have to sit out the 2014 season but will have multiple years of eligibility once he is eligible to resume playing for Bowling Green in 2015.