The Denver Post reported on Sunday that CU president Bruce Benson may be looking to raise taxes on all Coloradans to fund the school. All the while, the school admits that it lags behind its peers in alumni fundraising and has spent millions over the past few years on severance packages for coaches and athletic department staff.
In November 2010, football coach Dan Haskins received a massive $2 million severance package from the school when he was fired. Two years later when the school fired Jon Embree, the school paid him $1.5 million to part ways, as his contract stipulated $500,000 per year payment for the three years of his five year contract that were not fulfilled. As part of the Embree firing, the school also paid assistant coach Eric Bieniemy $750,000.
Now the man who fired these coaches, Athletic Director Mike Bohn, is on the street. Bohn may not be in a rush to find a new gig since the school wrote a check for $918,000 to part ways with him.
Before the University of Colorado system forces that taxpayers’ hand to collect money from all Coloradans to fund their operations, it would be nice if they could at least right-size the donations that they are collecting from alumni, like most universities do. Some stricter financial management is necessary as well. Nearly $4.5 million in athletic department severances have been paid out over the past 2.5 years.
Sadly, the transparency surrounding these payouts is due to the media coverage around the football team. What happens when the ever-popular football doesn’t force sunlight?