Athletics Director Paul Kowalczyk told student leaders Thursday that his department needs $670,000 from student fees this year after completely revamping the structure of the major sports teams, including multiple six-figure buy-outs, said Trevor Trout, the vice president of the Associated Students of CSU and chair of SFRB.
The increase, which is the largest request the Student Fee Review Board received for fiscal year 2009, in the final amount of $15, comes nearly two months after the final deadline for proposals.
Since spring last year, Athletics has fired three head coaches, two of them with two years still left on their contract. The new hires all signed six-figure contracts.
Kowalczyk fired the football team’s head coach Sonny Lubick in November after two years of dismal performance, which followed 12 years of success, leading the Rams to six Mountain West Conference titles.
Steve Fairchild, who replaced Lubick in January as the head coach of football team, signed a contract for $700,000 a year, making him the third-highest paid coach in the Mountain West Conference, while the Athletics Department still owes Lubick over $1 million for the next two years.
Jen Warden, who also still has two years of pay coming, was replaced Wednesday by Kristen Holt as the head coach of the women’s basketball, which adds another $115,000 to the equation.
Until Tuesday, when Trout first learned of the increase, he said was under the impression from Tony Frank, the senior vice provost, that Athletics would be receiving the extra money from CSU’s “central fund.”
He expressed his frustration with the late increase in an e-mail message to President Larry Penley, stating that it undermined procedure and widened the already large gap in communication between student government and the President’s Office, which student leaders have said makes their jobs “very challenging.”
“The lack of an Athletic budget submission in the beginning of the Fall, for the standing fee amount, was inconsiderate of our institutional processes and was not a step towards better collaboration between students and administrators,” Trout wrote.
Kowalczyk will present a breakdown of how the money will be divided up between the athletic programs to the SFRB on April 8.
News Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.