Dawson Odums, Southern University
Photo: Raymond Holley

In a move intended to keep in step with the NCAA’s decision to grant blanket waivers to student-athletes, Southern athletic director Roman Banks is requesting one-year extensions to head football coach Dawson Odums, head men’s basketball coach Sean Woods and head women’s basketball coach Carlos Funchess.

The university’s governing board will decide today whether to approve those extensions. If approved, Odums will stay through the 2022 season, Woods will stay through the 2021-2022 season and Funchess will stay through the 2023-24 season.

The extensions do not call for increasing pay for either coach.

In a letter addressed to President/Chancellor Ray Belton, Banks said the NCAA’s decision to grant student-athletes an extra year of eligibility largely because of the uncertainty of the pandemic. Extending the contracts of Odums, Woods and Funchess are a step in the right direction.

“I believe this is fair and meets the unexpected changes they face now, and in the future,” Banks said.

According to university documents, Odums’ base salary will remain at $210,000 for 2022. He was heading into the final year of a two-year extension he signed in 2019.

Woods’ base salary will remain at $125,000, and his contract was set to expire after this season. Funchess, already into a contract extension through the 2022-23 season, will remain at $115,000.

Meanwhile, board members will also decide whether to approve interim baseball coach Christopher Crenshaw’s $65,000 salary. Crenshaw was an assistant to former head coach Kerrick Jackson, who left the program in November to take a position with Major League Baseball. Crenshaw has served as interim coach since Jackson’s departure.

In a separate letter to Belton, Banks said the position is full time with the full-time responsibilities within the baseball program.

“For this position, a focused search was conducted due to recent resignation within the baseball program,” Banks said. “With spring practice approaching, this position should be filled as soon as possible.”

Also read: Southern University releases 2021 spring football schedule


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