Colorado State athletic director Jack Graham: Dreaming is believing
Denver Post, November 24, 2013
Don’t Ram Through an Unethical Stadium
Northern Colorado Business Report, Oct 2013
Colorado State University bets on a stadium to fill its coffers
Faced with declining State funding, school believes football project will score
Wall Street Journal, Sept 28, 2013
Cal State scrambling to cover stadium bill
Tony Frank proposes tuition increase for 2014
Rocky Mountain Collegian, Oct 17, 2013
City seeks role in stadium project
Coloradoan, Oct 19, 2013
Axed CSU stadium bid language raised ‘pay-to-play’ concerns
Amid criticism, university officials pulled their request for donations from contractors who would work on the proposed $226M stadium.
Coloradoan, Oct 14, 2013
Soapbox: CSU’s bid process for stadium project above-board
By Amy Parsons, vice president for University Operations
includes an Editor’s note since its original publication
Coloradoan, Oct 16, 2013
CSU: ‘miscommunication’ led to controversial, withdrawn football stadium contract language
Coloradoan, Oct 16, 2013
Declining student attendance hits Georgia; At Campuses Across the Country, More Reasons Than Ever to Skip the Game
Wall Street Journal, Sept 26, 2013.
University of Massachusetts bets big on football program despite poor attendance
League of Denial: The NFL concussion crisis
Frontline, October 8, 2013
“The Changing Economics of College Athletics
and Football Stadiums”
Presented by Dr. Andrew Zimbalist
To a crowd of over 150 Ft Colllins community members, Dr. Andrew Zimbalist recently spoke regarding the changing economics of college athletics and football stadiums.
His presentation can been seen on the following youtube link:
Please click on this link to read a Wall Street Journal (9/28/2013) about CSU quest for a main campus stadium.
Colorado State University Bets on a Stadium to Fill Its Coffers
You are cordially invited to attend
“The Changing Economics of College Athletics
and Football Stadiums”
Presented by Dr. Andrew Zimbalist
Monday, September 23, 2013
Noon Fort Collins Public Library 201 Peterson
Dr. Andrew Zimbalist is a Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College. He was introduced as “the country’s leading sports economist” on Public Broadcasting’s Wall Street Week with Fortune and is recognized as an expert in comparative economic systems, economic development and sports economics.
Dr. Zimbalist is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Sports Economics. He has authored 21 books and dozens of articles on the economics of sport. His books include The Economics of Sport, I and II and Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism in Big Time College Sports and The Bottom Line: Observations and Arguments in the Sports Business.
He has consulted extensively in the sports industry for players associations, teams, cities and leagues. He has also testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, the New York State Senate, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Knight Commission.
This presentation will help the Fort Collins community understand the broader economic implications of a new stadium in the changing world of intercollegiate athletics.
If you would like one, please contact Chuck at 206-0556
Attend the Colorado State University System Board of Governors (BOG) Meeting
May 3, 2013, 8:00 a.m. at : CSU Lory Center
Be a physical presence at the public comment section of their agenda. If you wish, prepare to speak for 2 minutes to the BOG
At the Oct 4, 2012 Board of Governors’ meeting, Pres. Frank acknowledged many points of oppositions:
- There is no way to quantify the claimed benefits of the stadium.
- The site is not perfect. Neighbors have not been engaged to mitigate impact.
- The stadium plan has not been harmonized with the City.
- Cost estimates of $246 million are almost surely too optimistic.
- The parking question will be accelerated investment in parking structures.
- If one dime of tuition, fees, taxes, or state appropriations is used, “We will have failed.”
But he endorsed the findings of the Stadium Advisory Committee (SAC) that the on-campus stadium is feasible, and recommended to the BOG that CSU continue its attempt to build a main campus stadium, with the AD given 2 years to raise half the cost of the project. (This is a paraphrase.)
With no dissension, the BOG endorsed a resolution supporting Pres. Frank’s recommendation. At no point in the process of justifying this conclusion did the SAC or the BOG reach out to any of its Fort Collins critics for a more complete understanding of their opposition, an opposition which questions the financial feasibility of the on-campus stadium and its claims of benefit.
We are disappointed that a deliberative body like the BOG would ask no hard questions, electing instead to “bet on the jockey,” (a quote from the Oct 4, 2012, BOG meeting) without dissent, when presented with so much evidence for caution, if not outright rejection of the SAC feasibility study and the President’s endorsement of it.
Dear Supporter of Save Our Stadium Hughes (SOSH):
Contrary to popular belief, the new stadium is not a done deal!
SOS Hughes continues to work diligently to defeat the proposed construction of a main campus stadium. We believe that everyone should have a voice in the process of determining the best solution to an issue that would adversely affect the entire Fort Collins community.
Over the past year, we have laid a good foundation for our cause, successfully providing important information to the public through several efforts including:
- Gathering 10,000 signatures opposing the new stadium.
- Hosting successful talks by two nationally-recognized collegiate sports authorities, David Ridpath and Joel Maxcy, who helped to garner media coverage of this issue.
- Writing letters to the editor of the Fort Collins Coloradoan and the Rocky Mountain Collegian.
- Letters and emails to CSU President Tony Frank, laying out our objections to the project.
- Making our objections known at numerous events, including the Colorado State Board of Governors meetings and Stadium Advisory Committee.
- Distributing 1,000 yard signs and newsletters.
To keep the issue in the spotlight and continue to raise public awareness of the economic, social and ecological problems associated with constructing a main campus stadium, SOS Hughes has implemented the following outreach initiatives:
- We have three speakers making presentations to neighborhood, civic and business groups. If you know of a group who would like to hear a presentation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will have an entry in the St. Patrick’s Day parade this Saturday, March 16. Please join us in the parade or show your support as we go by. We will be staging in front of the outdoor brewing tank at Coppersmith’s. Get your green on!
- We hope to overwhelm the Colorado State Board of Governors’ meeting May 3rd at Lory Student Center on the CSU campus with concerned citizens and students. Please mark your calendar if you would like to participate. More details will follow soon.
If you would like to help us defray the costs of printing flyers, sending representatives to out-of-town BOG meetings, and another national speaker, please make a donation to SOS Hughes LLC. Mail in care of 4405 Upham, Ft Collins, CO 80526.
We are also looking for a webmaster who can update our website and facebook page. If interested, please email us at email@example.com.
Attached is a link to the 9 Wants To Know segment regarding Jack Graham’s disregard of CSU’s travel policy.
Clip here to see 9 Wants to Know segment shown Sunday, December 16, 2012.
Athletic Director violates CSU travel policy
Coloradoan article printed Monday, December 17:
Graham spends big on AD trips
While CSU’s athletic director has drawn fire for not documenting travel expenses, records show Graham pays his own way.
By Trevor Hughes
A year after Jack Graham took the reins of the CSU Athletic Department, he’s dramatically changed the way it does business, in part by reaching deeply into his own pockets.
Graham has spent more than $100,000 of his own money jetting around the country on private planes, wooing donors, hiring coaches and attending football games. University policy bars employees from being reimbursed for flying on private planes, so the wealthy former insurance executive has simply footed the bill.
His travel has drawn criticism from some Fort Collins residents who say the profligate spending suggests he’ll be a bad overseer of Colorado State University’s effort to build a $246 million privately funded football campus. Those critics, banded together under the name “Save Our Stadium, Hughes,” point out that Graham repeatedly failed to fill out university-required paperwork before he traveled.
University officials acknowledge Graham violated the rules by skipping the paperwork sometimes but chalked it up largely to the novelty of an AD who pays for his own travel. University officials say that of the $160,105 in travel expenses recorded by Graham since he arrived, less than 1 percent came from university funds. That fraction was properly accounted for, university records show.
The rest came from Graham himself or private donors who gave it specifically for the athletic director’s travel.
“This was new territory to figure out how routine charter travel paid by Graham personally fits into CSU’s rules, and in some cases, the administration of this process fell short,” CSU spokesman Mike Hooker said in a written statement. “It’s really up to Jack to determine what is appropriate to do with his own money in a given situation.”
Hooker said Graham’s travel already is paying dividends. In January, for instance, Graham spent more than $30,000 for a private jet and limo to attend the BCS championship and hobnob with donors.
“As part of that trip, Jack secured several large donations for the stadium feasibility study and transported Jim McElwain back to Fort Collins so that he could get to work immediately at CSU,” Hooker said.
The donations Graham collected on the BCS trip then helped pay for a $37,000 trip for Graham and other CSU employees to visit new stadiums in Minnesota and California.
In a statement, Graham said he’s been using private planes because it’s more efficient. He acknowledged that he hadn’t filled out all the paperwork properly but noted no public money was ever improperly spent.
“During my first year as director of athletics at Colorado State University, I have traveled extensively to conduct the business of our department, supporting our student-athletes in competition, attending meetings and cultivating relationships with potential donors,” Graham said. “Knowing that it would not be appropriate to use state funds to pay for this mode of travel, I fully intended to pay and have paid these transportation costs out of my own personal funds to help advance the cause of Colorado State athletics.”
SOSH members say Graham’s willingness to ignore the rules every other university employee is supposed to follow suggests CSU is quickly adopting a policy where the ends justify the means. Stadium critics warn that CSU’s pursuit of a new facility is the first step down a “win-at-all-costs” road.
“I believe we are seeing the bending of the rules even before a new stadium is started,” said SOSH spokesman Bob Vangermeersch.
Another area of increased spending this year, one Graham said already has been worked into the budget, is midweek travel for coaches and players on private jets instead of commercial flights out of Denver International Airport.
Graham said these travel arrangements mean student- athletes miss less class time, allowing them to take care of academic responsibilities first. When the men’s basketball team traveled to Seattle to play Washington, for example, the players had time to complete all of their Friday classes and have a shortened afternoon practice before making the short drive to the Loveland-Fort Collins Municipal Airport for a night flight.
This type of travel isn’t planned for every away game, Graham said, only the ones in which it’s most beneficial to student-athletes completing their classwork.
Graham’s supporters say he’s brought a much-needed dose of “think big” attitude to a department that for several years had languished as an also-ran. Graham also has hired new coaches and staff, and paid some more than their predecessors.
“I think we are on the brink of truly going places,” said CSU booster Tyler Shannon. “You are only as successful as the people around you, and Jack has done an amazing job of attracting successful front office members from the NFL, PAC12, Big10 to lead a littleknown CSU athletic department to a successful future.”
Coloradoan reporter Matt L. Stephens contributed to this story.
Link to video of Joel Maxcy’s presentation September 24.
Paper by Joel Maxcy, PhD regarding the feasibility study done by CSL.
Stadium finances revised at the Aug 9 meeting of the Stadium Advisory Committee
Recommendations for CSU – Building excellence and recruiting students. Go with your strength. sosh recommendations for CSU