Regents delay decision on creation of athletics committee

Board will discuss in November whether to pursue new oversight vehicle
By Staff

The CU Board of Regents voted 5-4 on Friday, Sept. 17, to table a move to create a committee that would address issues related to intercollegiate athletics – such as budget, student-athlete academic performance, construction, conference affiliation and donor support.

Regents Michael Carrigan, Tillie Bishop, Steve Bosley, Steve Ludwig and Kyle Hybl were in favor of having more discussion and bringing back the issue in November for further consideration.

Buffs' move to Pac-12 cleared for next year

Uncertainty over the timing of CU-Boulder's move into the Pac-10 conference was resolved Tuesday, Sept. 21, when the Board of Regents unanimously voted to withdraw from the Big 12 effective June 30, 2011.

As a penalty for exiting a year earlier than conference rules allow, the Big 12 will withhold from CU $6.86 million in future revenue. The Pac-10 – which next year will be renamed the Pac-12 once CU and the University of Utah join – is expected to generate additional revenue for CU; it will be used to make up for the penalty, which some had feared could have been as high as $20 million.

"The University of Colorado at Boulder was a founding member of the Big 12 and a proud participant in it for 15 years," said Chancellor Phil DiStefano. "Even as we leave for an exciting future in the Pac-10 Conference, we value the great friendships and memorable rivalries we have been a part of, and we appreciate the good faith Commissioner Dan Beebe has shown in working with us on our exit from the conference."

Before 2003, the board had a standing committee on intercollegiate athletics. Standing committees, which did not take votes, were incorporated into study sessions for the board in August 2003. In 2006, the study sessions became part of the board's two remaining committees, Academic Affairs and Budget. The board currently receives an annual report on intercollegiate athletics.

Board members stressed the proposal for a committee was not intended to "micromanage," nor was it in response to complaints about the performance of the football program. The idea was initially discussed at the board's retreat in July. The motion for a committee was brought forward by Regents Jim Geddes, Monisha Merchant and Joe Neguse.

Bishop said he was concerned about the perception that the board was "headhunting" coaches or administrators who were performing poorly, and suggested the board leave administration of specific programs to those charged with that responsibility. He also expressed concern that board members are pressed for time in meeting their current responsibilities, and do not need to add more to their plates.

But Carrigan said while he was initially opposed to the idea, he wanted to hear more discussion before making a decision. He later told The Denver Post that while intercollegiate athletics makes up a small portion of the university budget, it garners substantial public attention.