Colorado Athletic Director Mike Bohn answered questions Tuesday afternoon at the annual Colorado College Football Kickoff Luncheon regarding a wide range of topics including expansion and former basketball head coach Jeff Bzdelik's buyout.
The Associated Press article noted that lawyers from both the Big 12 and the Pac-10 are in discussions regarding the penalty fee that both Nebraska and Colorado may be forced to pay after declaring a move to a different conference. Bohn said there's some gray area in the contract which the lawyers are now working through. He hopes to know the penalty fee within the next month:
"There's some ambiguity in the buyout, so we're trying to figure it out," Bohn said before the annual College Football Kickoff Luncheon. "We really have a desire to come up with answers because we want to continue to fuel that interest" in joining the Pac-10.
"I do know that it is extremely complex and we recognize that the timing of the University of Colorado's departure has implications to 22 institutions," Bohn said.
Bohn sounded a little frustrated by the process mentioning that the only thing decided is the Buffs will be in the Pac-10 in 2012-2013. The University is still hoping for an early departure in 2011 like Nebraska intends to do but those details are still being worked out. Some of the other topics that must be decided other than when Colorado will move conferences or how much the buyout will be is whether the Pac-10 conference will have a championship game, if the Buffs will add sports and how the Pac-10 teams will be divided up.
"I think that's the most frustrating thing is as we're gaining excitement associated with this move, we don't have all the details," Bohn said. "We want to continue to fuel that intensity of interest that our program desperately needs, and you can fuel it by talking about championships and models and schedules and that's the hardest thing is not being able to share that yet."
But Bohn did say regardless of the penalty, the move was a good one and is benefiting the University every day:
"We're benefiting every day with that intensity of interest in the program that helps us with recruiting, it helps us with our donor base, it helps us with the media, it helps us with our faculty," Bohn said.
When asked about Dan Hawkins, he noted that Hawkins has done everything asked of him off the field. In year five, they are hoping success translates to on the field.
"I have a lot of confidence in Dan," Bohn said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do off the field and he recognizes in Year 5, as we all do, that the expectations are high for the scoreboard this fall."
Bohn was also asked whether or not he expected the University to receive Jeff Bzdelik's $500,000 buyout clause after he left the basketball program for Wake Forest. It sounds like he does and that they have been a little busy with the Pac-10 move to fully address the situation. The $500,000 would certainly help the cash strapped athletic department considering a potential $10 million penalty is due to the Big 12 conference. Pac-10 and University officials have stated that any penalty to be paid to the Big 12 may be financed by the Pac-10 conference and repaid by Colorado overtime in the form of future television revenue.
"We're working through that and I don't anticipate any problems (collecting the buyout from Jeff Bzdelik)," Bohn said. "It's just kind of taken a back burner with all these other issues. But we remain very respectful and appreciative of what Jeff did for us."