Wednesday, February 05, 2014


The recent bonus to the CU Athletic Director is just another check mark on the long list of what's wrong with University Division I sports.  As I previously wrote, on a spectacular fall day here in Boulder County, the CU Men's Cross Country Team won their third consecutive PAC-12 Championship.  A few weeks later on a not-so-beautiful day in Indiana, they won the National Cross Country Championship. Rightfully, kudos go to the men who trained for, and peaked at, the right time to win championships.  Kudos also to Coach Wetmore and his assistants for carefully choreographing a TEAM performance.  Anyone who runs know how difficult it is to train hard, avoid injuries, and focus on a specific date with specific goals.

So, who reaps the biggest rewards for such outstanding achievement?  The Athletic Director of course!!  Rick George was paid $40,000 for the team's championships.  Not a bad perq on top of a $700,000 per year base salary.  The Championship Bonus is just one of a total of $8.5 million in possible bonuses - I suppose we can be thankful that the fine print must have prevented the $200,000 bonus for national championships.

I had to think that it only seems reasonable that as the pre-medical and pre-healthcare professional adviser, I should have received a bonus for every student who gained admission to medical, dental or veterinary school or to other PhD or advanced degree programs.  Similar to George, I could have cashed in on my student-scholars performance!!  And like Rick, I too would have been smiling.


The Libertarian Curmudgeon said...

You forgot his "incidentals" which include a free $600/month car! "CU will also pay up to $35,000 in moving expenses and provide a courtesy car or $600 a month for auto expenses, a country club membership, 10 season tickets for football and basketball games, and a cell phone."

How does an elected panel of eight people, fairly diverse along party lines, end up approving
a $700K salary with 8M in possible bonuses EIGHT TO ZERO with one abstention??

Where are the Democrats who believe that the top of an organization should only be paid
10x the lowest paid person? Does that not apply to athletic directors, or just corporate CEOs?

DES said...

I sent this as a Letter to the Editor of the Opinion Page of the Boulder Daily Camera, and they have chosen not to publish it either in print or on line. I guess sports at CU is a sacred cow not to be criticized.

DES said...

Camera posted my letter:

They made their own title :-)

Sick Sigma Sez said...

Many AD's make me want to puke. Not because of personal dislike, but because of stupid decisions. They are drastically overpaid, and given the tons of money available, build their own little empires with assistant this and assistant that everywhere, giving all their old buddies and relatives plumb jobs. They may make a stupid coaching hire, but does the AD pay? No, the coach gets the axe and all is okay. A random AD that comes to mind is at Lamar University in Texas. From the bio: “Jason Henderson has also led coaching search committees that landed Lamar a successful football coach in Ray Woodard and proven basketball coach Pat Knight. In addition, the athletic department has added several staff positions under his watch.”
Let’s see, “added several staff positions” hmmm...must be an awfully busy man. Successful hires? Pat Knight gets paid $204,000 a year. Let’s look at his record for this season: 3-20 overall, 2-9 conference, 1-7 home, 1-12 away. The football coach gets $150,000 base salary, plus incentives. His record is 5-7. The AD gets paid only $117,000, so maybe we could cut him some slack there. The moral of the story is that athletic departments get a tremendous amount of money to play around with and are subject to minimum accountability, and all that money is generated by the slave labor of the student athletes who get no better reward for their contribution to high sports profitability than the cotton pickers did back in the early history of this country.

DES said...

Well - first I have to retract my criticism of the Camera - my letter appeared in today's edition.

Second - Triple S - great comment and analysis. Related to AD's hiring coaches - I think CU's former AD managed to hire 3 football coaches and fire 2 before their contracts expired, thus paying 3 for the same position!!

DES said...

Email from Camera Reader:

"I have been hoping for a number of years that a truth teller would come forth, some one with a lot of integrity and knowledge of CU athletics."