"It came from me," Barry said. "We operated at a deficit this last fiscal year. If nothing changes, we'll be at July 1, 2014, sitting in the same position. That's why we had to identify patterns on how we spend money."
I equate this to grilling chicken. The best way to grill chicken is to toss some bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs on your grill with minimal seasoning. You pay little to no attention to them, wait until they get to temperature, toss them on the plate, and accept your friends' congratulations for cooking up the best chicken your guests have ever had. More delicate (worse) cooks buy up the boneless skinless chicked breasts, which have to be deeply marinated, carefully tended, and monitored closely lest they turn into inedible lumps of chicken based charcoal. For this analogy to work, we are the boneless, skinless breasts, and USC is the bone in, skin on thighs.
They literally have to do nothing to continue to be delicious, juicy, and desirable; just toss that shit on the grill, leave it alone, and you'll continue to be the most delicious, desirable program on the block. On the other hand, we're boneless skinless chicken breasts. Everything we do has to be managed carefully, spent on excessively, and even then we generally will receive lesser returns.
So here's the overly convoluted point; how do you cut 10% of the fat when there is no conceivable fat of which to discern? The answer is, you can't. You can call these "discretionary" funds all you want, but the bottom line is that we have no discretionary funds of which to speak, and all of these cuts will hurt every single athletic program we have. Every trip we can't afford to take will hurt, because we need those damn trips. When there is no fat to cut, you're cutting the meat, and that's the place at which we are currently operating. There is no fat, only meat.
And, as evidenced above in my analogy- the fat is the good part. It is what turns your gross, dry lump of sad dead flesh into a delicious, juicy masterpiece. It's what buys your football locker room a freaking waterfall or whatever new, shiny bauble Phil Knight is purchasing for Oregon. Probably a roller coaster or lazy river/ moat encircling Autzen. For us, "fat" is an indoor practice facility or a sound system in Folsom that doesn't sound like an old Discman funneled through those crummy Beats By Dre headphones that people inexplicably love. It's improvements to the tennis facility, an actual home for lacrosse, soccer, and track. It's a baseball program (author's note- it will not be a baseball program, so shut up). It's the ability to send our entire football coaching staff to work camps in California and Texas. In short- it is the ability to be creative and innovative in recruiting prospective scholar athletes to the University of Colorado. It is an unfortunate place where we now reside, and I sincerely hope that we have creative enough minds to work around, but if these cuts hold, it will inevitably be a horrible net negative for our already struggling athletic department.
I understand the need to get the budget right, but this seems like a tactic before a plan. If you're car isn't running you don't just take it in to the shop and ask them to change the oil. You ask them to give you a full estimate of what needs to be done and go from there.
My biggest problem with this is the decision to make it so public. Can you really not make some cuts without going to the media with this 10% crap? Perception is EVERYTHING, especially when it comes to recruiting. The only way to get back in the black is to put successful programs on the fields of play. The lifeblood of any strong program is high-character, highly skilled new athletes and this COULD be a big hit in that department. This isn't just something that other football coaches can use to recruit against Colorado, this is something that any staff, of any program, for any sport can use and use well.
Sigh. We have a long way to go. Stay the course, be patient, and make the right decisions.