SBD/June 3, 2013/Colleges

Colorado's DiStefano Reportedly Offered Bohn A Reassignment To Avoid Buyout

Bohn increased athletic fundraising by 26% during his last year as AD
When Univ. of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano met with former AD Mike Bohn to inform him of a change in leadership, he "offered Bohn the opportunity to remain employed with the university in a reassigned position," according to a source cited by Kyle Ringo of the Boulder DAILY CAMERA. It was an "attempt by DiStefano to avoid having to buyout the remaining years on Bohn's contract and it was an offer Bohn quickly declined" (DAILYCAMERA.com, 5/31). In Denver, Woody Paige wrote Bohn was "callously, brusquely dumped by Colorado." Although Bohn increased fundraising 26% the past year while the football team finished with one victory, the "leadership belief is that the department should be raising more than" $25M, not $11M, and the athletic budget "should be closer" to $80M than $60M. The "failures under the past two coaches, and the president's urgency to double the university's overall fundraising from $220 million to more than $400 million, made Bohn a convenient fall guy -- although he had raised the level of both basketball teams and was primarily responsible for transferring Colorado into the Pac-12, putting it on the road to the ultimate financial rewards from the TV packages" (DENVER POST, 6/2).

STAND BY YOUR MAN: In Denver, Cordillera Energy President & CEO George Solich, one of the school's prominant financial boosters, praised Bohn in an open letter to "Buff Nation." He wrote, "I think CU was fortunate to have Mike Bohn's passion, loyalty, integrity, vision and steadfast commitment to the student-athlete these last eight years. And not just to the student-athlete, but also to faculty, fans, the community and the university as a whole." Solich: "If it was my decision, Mike would still be the AD." Solich, who has been speculated as a possible Bohn successor, added, "Although I am flattered that some of you think I would be a good choice for the next AD at the University of Colorado, there are other people that would be far better candidates" (DENVER POST, 6/2).

THE BLAME GAME: In Denver, Curtis Hubbard wrote it is clear the departure of Bohn "had much less to do with athletics than with finances." Bohn had announced plans for $170M "in upgrades to CU's athletic facilities ... that included a plan to raise" $50M in donations. Hubbard: "I don't know why the University of Colorado even uses the title 'athletic director.' The university should simply give the next person who holds the job a cardboard sign and send them out to an exit along U.S. 36, because CU is hurting for money -- despite its lucrative move to the Pac-12." CU has an "overinflated view of its football program -- and it's very likely too late for them to expect to compete in the Pac-12, let alone what is now the big business of college football" (DENVER POST, 6/2). In Colorado Springs, Paul Klee wrote, "Why is it always so dang hard to get everyone in Boulder on the same page?" The issues at CU "are not a Bohn problem; they're a Boulder problem" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 6/2).
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