Dan Hawkins keeps his job -- and CU loses credibility to save money
Pretty much the only folks not dumbfounded by reports that Dan Hawkins will get a fifth year as CU coach are university accountants.
Clearly, this announcement (expected to be made on Thanksgiving, when plenty of people with gorging on their mind are apt to miss it) will have nothing to do with on-the-field performances. If it had, athletic director Mike Bohn would confirm Hawkins' ouster as the Buffs leave the field following tomorrow's likely loss to Nebraska. The key factor, then, is the $3.1 million the university owes Hawkins -- and which it either doesn't want to pay or can't without a big assist from donors, who've presumably decided against cracking their wallets.
Not that any CU big wig will admit it. Instead, we'll be left with laughable comments like these, offered by chancellor Phil DiStefano.
"(The team) has good students. They're staying out of trouble. They're doing well academically. But they're not winning. That's the one issue, and that's what I think is the disappointment. But everything else seems to be falling into place.
"Winning is important. . . . But again, this is a university. And it's my job to make sure all of our students graduate and become good citizens. That includes our student-athletes." (Source: The Denver Post.)
So is this what qualifies as success for the CU football program these days? A lack of scandals and a decent collective grade point average? Well, guess what? Betcha the geography club manages to accomplish both of these goals, too, without spending millions upon millions of dollars every year. Maybe its members should suit up on Friday, since who scores the most points is apparently such a low priority...
Bottom line, CU is engaging in a very short-term strategy. The university will save dough by keeping Hawkins around another season, but it'll lose support with alumni and regular fans. That could set the already shaky program back years and cost a lot more in the long run.
The one way to avoid this fate would be for Hawkins to turn the team into a legitimate power next season. Translation: a minimum of eight wins. And does anyone expect that to happen? Hawkins certainly talks a good game. But there's little evidence he can coach one for the CU Buffs.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.