The University of Colorado’s elected Board of Regents met today to approve the contract of new Buffs head football coach Mel Tucker. Tucker was most recently the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia, a program that has become a national powerhouse.
Today should have been a formality, as the Board of Regents unanimously approved both of the past two Buffs head football coaches’ contracts. But did the Democrat Regents turn it into a clown show. BuffZone’s Brian Howell has the greatest, erm, hits in his recap of the clusterf$ck of a meeting (emphases ours, but seriously, read the entirety of Howell’s piece; your jaw will hit the floor):
“Griego began discussion by asking athletic director Rick George and chancellor Phil DiStefano to elaborate on a portion of Tucker’s contract that requires “administering the football program in a manner that places an emphasis on player safety and does not expose players to undue or unnecessary risk…”
Nevertheless, Shoemaker voted against the contract because of what she views as a lack of safety in the game.
“This is not a vote against Mel Tucker,” Shoemaker said. “I wish him well. I hope he’ll be spectacularly successful here and I also hope he and his family are genuinely happy living in Colorado. However, I need to vote against the contract because coaching contracts are about the only opportunity the regents have to weigh in on the football program, which is a campus-level responsibility…. All this talk about toughness, physicality and hitting makes me personally nervous. Why? Because I’m a mother and a grandmother, and I’ve studied some of these issues. Hard hits are the things that reliably lead to head trauma…“
It’s football. It’s supposed to be rough. Have they seen football?
Citing the $10 million subsidy, Kroll said:
“What more could the university do with that money? … The answer is that for every dollar we subsidize coaches making six- and seven-figure annual salaries, we burden more students with loan debt or even worse, no education at all. For every dollar we subsidize coaches’ salaries, we push the cure for cancer and other life-threatening illness that much further away…“
Eventually, CU Regent Chair, Republican Sue Sharkey, stepped in, reminding Kroll that he gladly accepts free tickets to the very same CU football games that, admittedly, don’t cure cancer, before closing with the following:
“The purpose for the meeting today was to vote on a contract for the football coach,” Sharkey said. “I don’t agree that we should use that as an opportunity to posture our personal options on athletics or the football program. Our purpose there today was to vote on a contract. I would have preferred that these conversations would have taken place in the appropriate committee. That’s why we have committees, to have opportunities to have presentations and be well-informed on issues.”
Oooh, burn. Sharkey rightfully noted that Kroll was woefully uninformed about this issue. In the end, Tucker’s contract was approved by a 6-2 margin, with Shoemaker and Kroll voting no and Griego abstaining.
1) Griego didn’t want Tucker’s contract approved because football can lead to injuries (ban cooking while you’re at it);
2) Kroll voted no because football doesn’t do anything to cure cancer (though Kroll’s own biography cites attending football games as his favorite thing about CU Boulder); and
3) Shoemaker, with her, uh, unique perspective as a mother and grandmother, is worried about head trauma, taking exception with Tucker’s introductory comments about CU needing to be more physical on the defensive side of the ball.
These are three elected officials whose job it is to help govern and guide the University of Colorado system, and they embarrassed both the university and themselves today. See, the football program is an entirely different pot of money than the cancer research pot of money and, in fact, the football program brings in money for the school. But they should know that. For shame.
Former CU beat writer and current BSN Broncos beat writer Ryan Koenigsberg summed things up quite nicely in a Twitter response to Kroll’s comments, with a nod to Billy Madison:
“What you just said is one of the most idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your incoherent response were you even close to a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”