Good morning, all. Hope you’re finding the new location okay. Thanks for your patience as we work out some bugs.
You likely know that Tech has a new president, G.P. “Bud” Peterson. You may be interested to know that he walked on to the Kansas State football team and eventually earned a scholarship as a wide receiver. So, I think we can deduce that, while he was a research scientist for NASA at one point, he isn’t a pointy head who’s going to steer clear of Bobby Dodd Stadium.
So, what will his role be with the athletics department?
From his tenure at Colorado, it isn’t easy to deduce how he’ll approach the athletics department at Tech, because the one he inherited at Colorado was nothing like the one run by Dan Radakovich.
When Peterson was hired as chancellor in July 2006, the school was reeling from a sex scandal with the football team. The team was accused of using alcohol and sex to lure recruits. Two women had sued the school, alleging they were raped at a 2001 party by Colorado football players and high school recruits. In 2007, six years after the incident, two women received $2.85 million from the university in a settlement.
As a result of that incident and other problems with the department, Peterson brought the department more into the fold of the rest of the university.
The athletic department “does not exist in and of itself,” Peterson told the Denver Post in 2006. “It has historically functioned somewhat apart.”
In the same story, illustrating the increased control that the university had over the athletics department, it gave the example that athletics director Mike Bohn had to run a budget item — $11,000 computer software for breaking down football game film — past the school’s senior vice chancellor for budget and finance, with whom the AD met monthly.
As I said, Tech’s athletics department is hardly the sort of operation desperate for oversight, as Colorado’s evidently was at the time.
But, this is what caught my attention. Before the 2006-07 basketball season began, then-coach Ricardo Patton announced that that season would be his last. It was the 11th full season for Patton, who had one of the most successful tenures in the school’s rather meager basketball history. It sounds like it was a fairly stable team, and not an area that needed the imprint of, say, the university chancellor.
But Peterson was on the search committee to hire Patton’s replacement, and once then-Air Force Academy coach Jeff Bzdelik was identified, he helped Bohn recruit him to Boulder.
(If you’re wondering, Colorado is 21-38 in two seasons under Bzdelik.)
By comparison, when Radakovich hired Paul Johnson, the search committee was associate AD Wayne Hogan, Dan Parker of the Parker Executive Search Firm and Radakovich. Then-president Wayne Clough was involved – he interviewed Johnson – but Radakovich led the way.
Granted, it’s a snapshot from three years, and this isn’t apples to apples. But, I just wanted to throw this out there and ask what you think.
If Peterson is involved in athletics, what do you think about it, and in what way would you want to see him participate?