- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - University of Wyoming athletics director Tom Burman said Wednesday he’s confident the university can cover the recent contract extension for football coach Craig Bohl without any additional financial aid from the state.

Bohl is getting a pay raise to $1.4 million a year, starting next year. He is currently guaranteed $850,000 a year. The new contract provides for raises that will take his guaranteed salary up to $1.7 million in 2023 and includes additional incentives, such as two $625,000 payments if he remains at Wyoming through the term of the contract.

The coach’s raise comes as the university has eliminated more than 100 staff and faculty jobs because of a drop in state aid caused by the downturn in Wyoming’s energy industry. No university faculty and staff received pay raises this year, although university President Laurie Nichols has said she hopes to offer pay raises next year.

Earlier this year, the 2016 Legislature approved $8 million over two years for recruiting, nutrition and other programs designed to help UW field more competitive sports teams despite cutting spending in other state programs. Most of the money went to football and men’s basketball - sports that generate the most money for the university. Bohl traveled to Cheyenne to testify before lawmakers for the money.

Some legislators and others questioned giving millions of dollars to college athletics when many other government services were being cut back.

But Burman told the UW Board of Trustees on a conference call meeting Wednesday that “we don’t have a plan to ask for more state money” to support the salaries of coaches.

Burman said the university is covering Bohl’s new contract with “self-generated dollars,” which includes anticipated ticket sales, television revenue, concession sales and revenue from future road games against big colleges like Iowa and Clemson.

“I think there’s a whole bunch of ways we can generate additional revenue, and we are confident that we’ll be able to cover the cost of this investment in Wyoming football,” he said.

The university is still negotiating salaries for Bohl’s assistant coaches, Burman said.

Bohl was hired three years ago and led the Wyoming football team this season to its best record since 2011. The team competed in its first Mountain West Conference championship game and earned an invitation to play Dec. 21 in the Poinsettia Bowl against Brigham Young.

Just getting Wyoming football back on a winning track for one season already has proved to be a financial boon to the university, Burman said.

“We made a half a million dollars over our budget this year in just television revenue - not even counting tickets, not counting donations, anything - because we were good and we were relevant,” he said. “And I don’t think that’s going to change dramatically next year as well.”

No trustees voiced any concerns or reservations about Bohl’s pay raise.

Board President John MacPherson said in a telephone interview later Wednesday that no one had voiced concerns to him about Bohl’s contract, although he is sure there are concerns given the financial problems faced by the university and state.

But MacPherson said Bohl’s pay raise was not being paid for with money that would have gone to academics. “We’re not shortchanging the academic side of the university by agreeing to terms of coach Bohl’s contract,” he said.

Trustee Mike Massie said Bohl’s salary reflects the economic forces driving major college sports.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide