Friday CU Buff Bites - Van Halen Leads Buffs To Field

Recapping your Colorado Buffaloes' and Pac-12 Athletics and Offseason Football, News, Links, and Stories

Colorado_mediumVan Halen Leads Buffs On First Day At Mt. SAC - CUBuffs.com - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

The University of Colorado track and field team got off to a great start on the first day of competition at the 54th Annual Mt. SAC Relays on Thursday.

Aric Van Halen turned in the best performance of the day when he clocked a lifetime best of 8 minutes, 42.79 seconds in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, making him the sixth fastest performer in CU history. Van Halen finished third in the Olympic development elite section and ran the fastest time by a Buff since Billy Nelson in 2008. (Nelson, an assistant coach for the Buffs, ranks second on the CU performers list.) Van Halen's time was almost 10 seconds faster than his previous PR of 8:52.53 which he ran in 2011.

Colorado_mediumJohnson discusses Colorado, wants to face Shabazz " National Recruiting Spotlight

Why did you commit to Colorado? There are a lot of aspects about Colorado that I love. The thing I like the most is the atmosphere, everyone is very supportive and it’s a great place. They have a great coaching staff and they’re great people to be around. Are you looking forward to playing with anyone in particular? Definitely [sophomore forward] Andre [Roberson] and [freshman guards] Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker.

I told Askia and Spencer already that I’ll be ready for some lobs to get the crowd hyped so I’m really excited. Are there any specific academic programs you’re considering studying at Colorado? No major yet, but I’m definitely interested in science.

I don’t know what kind of science but I definitely want to do something in science. What are you looking to improve on before you get to Colorado? I want to put on some more weight and get a little bulkier so I can play with the big boys. I want to work on my ball-handling and become an even better three-point shooter.

Thanks to Phil Fraser for the interview link.

Colorado_mediumSenate committee says 'yes' to renaming U.S. 36 the Buffalo Highway - Colorado Hometown Weekly

A Senate committee last week gave its unanimous approval to a resolution to rename the Boulder Turnpike the Buffalo Highway. That stretch of road leads from Denver to Boulder, home of the University of Colorado.

"I think it's a nice reminder of the University of Colorado, which has the best mascot in the whole country," said Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder. "Why not take advantage of it?"

This might be the one time that 'Senate Committee' and "CU' in the same sentence is a good thing.

Thanks to Denny Majewski for watching this topic like a hawk.

After the jump. Can you guess how many $1M donations the Colorado Athletic Department has received, ever? No, you're too high...

...Still too high.

New Texas A&M T-Shirt Ideas - Cowboys Ride For Free

In case you missed it, a Texas A&M store printed some sweet t-shirts (as seen above) that fit somewhere between the categories of "Please Accept Us?" and "Graduating High School Is Overrated." Apparently the Aggie business owner (that phrase alone is enough to send the economy back into a downward spiral) who designed the shirt thought that the state of North Carolina was SEC country and deserved a spot on the shirt.

He also happened to leave out the state of Missouri and oh yeah, Texas.

Whoops.

Go for the original shirt that was actually made and sold by real actual Aggies, but stay for all the wonderful parodies on the theme.

Colorado_mediumRINGO: Sack the red tape on upgrades to Folsom - Buffzone

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn finally announced this week the worst-kept secret in the Dal Ward Center -- that CU is planning to invest in major facilities additions and improvements at Folsom Field and that more details will be available in September. Bohn explained the maze of bureaucracy that he must navigate just to get to the point where he can share those details publicly. In short, he has to talk to a lot of people and gain their approval.

Nothing screams bureaucracy more than announcing you're going to make an announcement in a few months. And that got me thinking: Wouldn't it be nice if the big business of CU athletics could actually be run like a big business? Call me crazy, but it seems like an extraordinary waste of time and money that so many individuals and committees and boards have to approve a project that won't receive a single cent in funding from the university or the CU system.

I'm certainly not saying athletics should be able to build whatever it wants to build as long as it has the money, but I'm sure the process could be streamlined and made more efficient. Now, if the university wanted to chip in a few million, then by all means, have all the meetings and discussion it takes. But that won't happen because CU doesn't spend money on athletics facilities. Every athletics facilities project undertaken at CU for nearly 100 years now has been paid for by the athletic department and private donations.

Longtime sports information director Dave Plati said the last project he could think of that was funded by the school was the $75,000 spent to build what is now Folsom Field in 1924. Back then it was called Colorado Stadium. Bohn also seems confident he will be able to raise a record level of private funding dedicated to the project. He's hoping that sum will have eight digits, which would be truly historic for this school considering, in its entire history, the athletic department has received a total of only seven donations worth $1 million or more.

An interesting side not here: Did you know that more than 50 percent of the private donations the athletic department receives come from people who did not attend the school? That's a pretty amazing statistic...

Honestly, I find it amazing that CU Athletics is able to do so much with what little funding they do have.

Colorado_mediumBrooks: Bohn Eyes Late September To Talk Facilities - CUBuffs.com - Official Athletics Web site of the University of Colorado

Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn is targeting late September to formally announce a multi-million dollar facilities upgrade that he views as a long-term solution to many of his department's challenges as well as some of those being confronted elsewhere on the Boulder campus.

At an informal luncheon/media briefing on Tuesday at Denver's Blake Street Tavern, Bohn covered a wide range of athletic-related topics, highlighted by a long-discussed facilities plan that would reconfigure Folsom Field into a bowl and link the existing complex, including the Dal Ward Athletics Center, with a permanent indoor practice facility atop an underground parking structure. Bohn called the project "transformational" and said "campus connectivity" is critical in the plan. CU faces "some significant challenges associated with classroom space, based on the growth of the campus," Bohn said. "We believe the stadium footprint is a potential solution to that, in a big way."

Financing for the project is still being studied, with Bohn citing "the private piece, the department piece" and what is expected to be a healthy television revenue stream from CU's membership in the Pac-12 Conference. In the first year (2013), CU is expected to receive at least $20 million - a figure exclusive of whatever else the school realizes from possibly participating in a BCS bowl, the NCAA Tournament, etc. A feasibility study for the ambitious facilities project, said Bohn, is being done through the CU Foundation, the fund-raising arm he said has grown from five staffers to 14 since he arrived in the spring of 2005. He also said the Foundation has "made major investments in helping us raise money . . . anytime you're working on a project of this scope, private funds are a big part of that."

Bohn called fund-raising for the massive upgrade "extremely complex" and emphasized that his discussing an announcement almost six months out is "not going to be an empty promise and that's one I take pride in . . . It's not a dream, it's not a vision; it's a project that we're working hard on (and) that's our No. 1 priority." CU President Bruce Benson, Chancellor Phil DiStefano and the school's Board of Regents "are right at the table with us, they're in the trenches with us," Bohn said.

"That's inspiring to me and it should be very, very positive to all those who have the ability to engage with our program. That's imperative . . . let there be no mistake about that."

Go Buffs!

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