SBD/February 20, 2014/Colleges

Univ. Of Colorado Athletics Lays Out Strategic Plan For Coming Years

Current projections have CU's athletic department losing $4.5M in '14
The Univ. of Colorado athletic department yesterday at its Board of Regents meeting presented a long-term strategic plan that has "more than 100 target metrics, which includes the football team earning bowl berths in the next two seasons as well as playing in the Pac-12 Conference championship game" no later than the '16 season, according to Anthony Cotton of the DENVER POST. The plan also "calls for at least one Sweet 16 performance by the women's basketball team from 2015-17 and at least one Pac-12 regular-season championship by the men's team." There also are "goals of improving the grade-point average of athletes," as well as "graduating 100 percent of athletes who have exhausted their eligibility" by '17. The plan includes a "significant increase in revenue for the athletic department" -- with a goal of being $4.4M in the black by '16-17. AD Rick George said that at present, projections "call for athletics to lose" about $4.5M this year and about $1.2M in '14-15. CU President Bruce Benson said that the plan, as well as the hiring of officials such as George, is a "sign that the athletic department is trying to move away from some of its recent troubles, on and off the field" (DENVER POST, 2/20). In Boulder, Sarah Kuta notes CU "finished its first football season under coach Mike MacIntyre last year with a 4-8 record, failing to make a bowl game." CU Regent Jim Geddes said that he "feels the goals set for the football team, including playing in a bowl game as early [as] this year, are appropriate and attainable." CU also "set goals for becoming more 'nationally recognized,' such as increasing the total number of visits to athletic department websites" by 15% by '17 (Boulder DAILY CAMERA, 2/20).

CIRCLING THE WAGONS: George said yesterday that he would "like to break ground" on the school's $143M facilities upgrade project "within the next two months," despite the school being about $20M short of its $50M fundraising goal. George: "I would anticipate that it would be some point in April. This is a very aggressive schedule. ... I believe that we need to build things as quickly as we can and we need to do it the right way. It's doable." George "wouldn't give an actual number that CU has raised." In Boulder, Brian Howell notes George has "told donors that CU is targeting a groundbreaking to coincide with the April 12 spring football game." CU has selected Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction and K.C.-based Populous as the "design/build team for the project" (Boulder DAILY CAMERA, 2/20).
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