The Colorado Buffaloes announced the hire of a new athletic director in Rick George this week, who now has the unenviable task of rebuilding the Buffs’ football program to its former glory. To do that, he needs to update facilities and make Boulder a destination for the top recruits in the country again. Before he can do that, however, he needs to find the money to get it done.
According to reports, previous AD Mike Bohn was fired because he wasn’t able to raise sufficient funds for Colorado to compete on the same level as elite programs like the Oregon Ducks or Alabama Crimson Tide. The university recognized that to get back on top of the ranks of college football, they would need to spend money to get there and lots of it. Unfortunately for Bohn, he wasn’t the man to bring that money in.
For George, the challenge is to rejuvenate a fan base that hasn’t been all that generous with their donations in recent years. His first task as AD will be to rally support and raise $50 million in private funds as a down payment for $170 million in much-needed facility upgrades. Having another season like they did in 2012, where they won just a single game, isn’t going to get the job done.
Working in George’s favor is his history with the school. He worked at Colorado back in the late 1980s when things were much brighter for the football program. George knows that this isn’t the late 1980s and will have to work diligently to get alumni and fans to reinvest in this program and loosen up their purse strings.
To break into the ranks of the elite, Colorado will have to spend money like an elite program. The problem, however, is that the Buffs aren’t playing like an elite program (or even a pretty good one). Can George count on Mike MacIntyre to turn things around on the field or will he have to pull out his very best sales pitch to get things headed back in the right direction?