College sports are often saddled with the reputation of being an ethically dubious business. A report on Monday will only reinforce that narrative.
The Pac-12 distributed performance bonuses totaling several millions of dollars combined to everyone from commissioner Larry Scott to mid-level managers, approximately one month before half the staff was laid off or furloughed, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News.
One source who worked at the San Francisco headquarters said their bonus was in the $10,000 range, and that the bonuses ran the gamut from the four- to lower five-figure range. The Pac-12 Network typically gives out these type of performance bonuses at the conclusion of the fiscal year, in September or October. These particular bonuses were expedited and given during the summer, though the Pac-12 Conference employees typically receive theirs in July.
A month later, the conference laid off of furloughed 47 percent (94 of 196) of its employees.
The conference says that they expedited the bonuses with the knowledge that said employees would be facing salary reductions, and that giving the money early would “support the retention of key employees.”
Though the specific figures for 2020 are not known, Scott earned $2.2 million in bonuses during the 2019 fiscal year, in addition to his $2.5 million base salary. Both his bonuses and salary are approved by the conference’s CEO Group.
Data from previous years would suggest that the total bonuses could approach $4 million, which would equate to approximately 40 full-time non-managerial positions including benefits.