Bahamian coach at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Yolett McPhee-McCuin was one of a handful of coaches from that institution who will take a pay cut during the 2020-2021 fiscal period.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, an American daily newspaper out of Jackson, Mississippi, all Ole Miss athletics employees who make in excess of $100,000 annually have agreed to take pay cuts due to setbacks and restrictions suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cuts affect football Head Coach Lane Kiffin and all 10 of his on-field assistants; women’s basketball Head Coach McPhee-McCuin; men’s basketball Head Coach Kermit Davis; baseball Head Coach Mike Bianco; and softball Head Coach Jamie Trachsel, as confirmed by Athletics Director Keith Carter.
According to Carter, some of the pay cuts will last for three months while others could cover as long as a six-month period. McPhee-McCuin was unavailable for comment up to press time, and at the moment, it is uncertain how significant her pay cut will be. The Ole Miss Rebels compete out of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I women’s basketball.
After battling through an injury-plagued season a year ago, in which her squad experienced a number of setbacks, the Bahamian collegiate coach is looking for a resurgent effort in 2021. She returns for her third season at the helm, armed with the SEC’s top-ranked recruiting class and number 13 in the nation. In addition, they welcome back dynamic point guard Valerie Nesbitt, another Bahamian, who was dismissed for disciplinary reasons last year.
McPhee-McCuin and the Rebels have high aspirations for the upcoming season, certainly looking to improve on the 7-23 overall record from a year ago. They finished at the bottom of the SEC with a winless 0-16 conference record.
Highlighting the incoming freshman class are five-star signees Madison Scott (No. 13 overall) and Jacorriah Bracey (No. 48 overall). Scott was named a McDonald’s All-American, the first in program history, while Bracey won Gatorade Player of the Year accolades for the state of Mississippi. Fellow freshmen Silentianna “Snudda” Collins and Caitlin McGee will also suit up for the Rebels after stellar high school careers.
Ole Miss also added two new transfers to the roster this spring, signing ESPN’s No. 1 rated transfer in Maryland addition Shakira Austin, as well as junior college sharpshooter Tiya Douglas of Trinity Valley Community College.
No schedule has been announced as yet, but the Rebels are expected to get their season underway in November, barring any further setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SEC has announced that it will implement a conference-only football schedule, and it is anticipated that women’s basketball could follow the same pattern although McPhee-McCuin earlier said they are preparing for a full schedule.
As for the pay cuts, Ole Miss is just the third SEC school to announce a reduction in pay to the athletics department during the COVID-19 pandemic, joining the University of South Carolina and the University of Missouri. Early on in the pandemic, Ole Miss refunded $900,000 in donations and ticket sales for spring sporting events.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in the United States, creating uncertainty among a number of collegiate and professional sporting events and seasons. The US is the most impacted nation in the world with five million total cases and over 160,000 deaths. There are over 18.6 million cases worldwide with over 700,000 deaths.