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NIU

Frazier, Hammock to take pay cuts

Sean Frazier, (left) Northern Illinois University athletic director, introduces Thomas Hammock as the new head football coach during a press conference Friday at the school.
Sean Frazier, (left) Northern Illinois University athletic director, introduces Thomas Hammock as the new head football coach during a press conference Friday at the school.

In his regular newsletter, Northern Illinois University athletic director Sean Frazier announced on Thursday that he and three coaches will take pay cuts effective for the 2020-21 school year.

Frazier said both he and football coach Thomas Hammock will take a 10% pay reduction and basketball coaches Lisa Carlsen and Mark Montgomery will take an unspecified pay cut.

According to the NIU website, Frazier's base salary is just under $300,000 and Hammock is earning just over $500,0000. Carlsen's base pay is $180,252 and Montgomery's base salary is $326,000. Montgomery is the only one of the four in the final year of his contract.

"With the university making cuts in several areas across the board, all of our head coaches – as well as many members of our staff – will see salary reductions of one kind or another," Frazier said. "This is just one area where we can realize some financial relief and support NIU."

In the wide-ranging newsletter, Frazier also announced that some summer events will be moving online. The Summer Circuit will be held on June 3 at 6 p.m., with the opportunity for fans to hear from both Frazier and head coaches. It will be a free interactive session with more details to come.

Frazier also said there will be a virtual Victor E. Bash held from June 10 through 19 with multiple online events, including an auction. Again, Frazier said more details were to come.

Frazier also said the schools' award show, The Victors, will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday on the NIU Athletics YouTube channel.

Earlier Thursday, the MAC announced its Media Days would be held online but Frazier made no announcement about the pair of Media Days NIU usually holds, one in Chicago and one in DeKalb, usually in early August.

Frazier also commented on the NCAA's announcement allowing athletes to receive compensation for endorsements. Frazier said he supports it but does have some concerns, including about the widening of the gulf between Power 5 and Group of 5 schools.

He said he also had an internal concern.

"For us, I think the challenge is going to be the ability to monitor this type of activity," Frazier said. "Our Compliance staff is keeping up with developments and will continue to educate both our coaches and our student-athletes as the details take shape."

Frazier said the athletic department is utilizing technology to keep in touch with athletes.

"Football, for example, has position group meetings where they teach plays, and go over video clips from last season," Frazier said. "More importantly, our coaches and support staff are checking in on the mental health of their students, the health of their families and keeping up with the conversations they would normally have in person on a daily basis. Huskie student-athletes are very active, very scheduled and team-oriented individuals so connecting with them on a personal level has been a huge emphasis for our staff."

Frazier also reiterated his belief there will be a fall sports season.

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