SBD/May 30, 2013/Colleges

Colorado Chancellor DiStefano Wants To Run Athletics Department More Like A Business

DiStefano wants to fill the vacant AD position by late summer or early fall
Univ. of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano yesterday said that he "made the decision to part ways" with AD Mike Bohn and "now wants to take the department in a new direction," according to Kyle Ringo of the Boulder DAILY CAMERA. DiStefano said that his "new way forward is one in which the athletic department will be run more like a business and be headed by someone with experience in running a large operation." Bohn will be "paid $918,000 in three payments over the next 18 months under the terms of a separation agreement." Ringo notes DiStefano "refused to delve into the specifics behind his decision to change ADs saying he is prohibited from discussing personnel issues." He hopes to fill the position "by late summer or early in the fall." DiStefano said, "As we approach a budget of $50 to $60 million and see that growing each year, I want to make sure we have an AD who will run the athletic department like a business since we are a big business but also have as a No. 1 priority fundraising not just for the facilities we need for football but fundraising for other issues as well." DiStefano said that he plans to "cast a wide net for Bohn's successor." He added that the next AD "could come from a successful career in the business world and does not necessarily require a background in intercollegiate athletics or higher education" (Boulder DAILY CAMERA, 5/30). The AP's Pat Graham reported CU also will give Bohn "season tickets to various Buffaloes sporting events for life." DiStefano said that the funds for Bohn's payout will "come out of athletic department revenues, not from taxpayer dollars or tuition" (AP, 5/29).

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS? The Boulder DAILY CAMERA's Ringo writes D-I athletic departments are "multi-million dollar businesses and trying to run them with any other mindset is a recipe for failure." It was "odd to hear from DiStefano because the bureaucracy he oversees has been getting in the way of the athletic department for years in tandem with the president's office in Denver." Ringo: "I'm not buying that is suddenly going to change just because the chancellor seems to be open to the idea of hiring a successful businessman or woman to lead the department in the future." It also was "odd Wednesday listening to the chancellor talk about the big business of college athletics when he was part of the CU administration that fought against that exact perception of college athletics during the recruiting scandal surrounding the CU football program back in 2004 and 2005." Ringo: "We'll find out in the very near future how serious DiStefano is about changing the approach to one that is more business-oriented. How do we know that? Because a big business wouldn't dillydally once it started the ball rolling in this direction" (Boulder DAILY CAMERA, 5/30).
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