Corruption in the ranks of CU Boulder

Nov. 15, 2010

Stephen Farrell
sfarrell@uccs.edu

So what do you get when the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents approves a 9 percent increase in your tuition dollars, coupled with the failure of the coach of the CU Buffaloes football team, Dan Hawkins, who led the team through a five-year losing streak?

Your answer: Corruption. Corruption at its finest, folks; and it comes in the form of a $1.8 million payoff (with your tuition dollars) to Hawkins for completely failing at his job.

Now, I’ll just begin by mentioning that the initial reason for state-wide tuition hikes was a result of state lawmakers slashing university funds by over $600 million, according to the Huffington Post.

Obviously the school system requires a certain level of funding to operate its activities through faculty/staff salaries, educational programs, scholarships and management of facilities. And to keep the university operating at a normal pace, a certain amount of extra compensation is necessary in the absence of over $600 million of state funds. Thus, tuition hikes.

I mention this tuition increase for two reasons: First, to establish the understanding of why college is quickly becoming less affordable in Colorado; and second, to amplify the impact of the rhetorical flogging that I’m about to deliver to Hawkins in the following paragraphs. What can I say? Some people just have it coming.

Now let’s get to why it’s OK for almost $2 million of your tuition dollars to pay for Hawkins’ failures. According to the Denver Post, the $1.8 million represents the owed payment to Hawkins through an extension to his contract. That’s right: some genius official somewhere in the CU system actually saw it necessary to extend this guy’s contract to the tune of millions of dollars (originally) for leading a college football team to disaster. But I won’t focus so much on the idiot who placed this hefty price tag on the substandard coach; because after all, Hawkins ultimately chooses whether or not to accept the payment, knowing full well that he should be coaching a pee-wee league instead.

It wasn’t until recently that CU decided to get rid of Hawkins for his horrendous performance after the Buffaloes experienced a 35-point thrashing in the fourth quarter against the Kansas Jayhawks. However, the outrageously high price will be required of CU in order to honor Hawkins’s contract in the wake of his ouster. Then to top it all off, this guy has the gumption to tell you, the hardworking/financially struggling student who just experienced a 9 percent tuition increase this fall, “I failed at my job, now give me $1.8 million,” by agreeing to accept this payment. It’s just offensive. And let me also add that if it seems like I’m making this guy look like a villain… it’s because he is.

There is an overwhelmingly huge problem with corruption in this country, and it stems from the sense of self-entitlement. We see it on Wall Street with CEOs of bankrupted companies accepting millions in bonuses, in Washington with dishonest politicians who have the nerve to run for re-election, and, of course, with one CU football coach. Yes, you, Hawkins. And if you had even a shred of respect for students, or even for the majority of your players as students, you would instantly decline most of the payment on your contract.

But Hawkins likely won’t. Why? Because he harbors that very same sense of self entitlement. And as a result, Hawkins is corrupt.

People like Hawkins are a plague on America. They not only take what they do not deserve from ordinary people like you and me, but in doing so they also deliver a message to younger generations that is it perfectly okay to do so. They encourage corruption, which in turn encourages distrust and dissent amongst many others. With that having been said, shame on you, Hawkins.