- Ted Miller, ESPN Staff Writer
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Colorado has a troubled athletic department -- at least in the sense that if your football team is losing, you're in trouble.
So while Rick George has been hired to direct Colorado's entire athletic programs, his primary responsibility is righting the football team. An athletic department isn't healthy without a healthy football program. It's the department's ATM machine.
New coach Mike MacIntyre is expected to coach the Buffaloes up on the field, and George is responsible for making everything around the football program sparkle.
It all starts with money. George needs to get some. And that will require him reenergizing a beleaguered fan base.
I was told in no uncertain terms [former AD Mike Bohn] got fired for a simple reason: He couldn't raise sufficient funds for Colorado to compete against Oregon or Alabama. If the Buffs want to get back on top, they have to spend money and lots of it. George's first major task will be to raise $50 million in private funds as a down payment for $170 million in facility upgrades.
Some news and commentary on George's hiring:
He's going to make $700,000 a year in base pay, and with bonuses he could make $1.3 million. The deal is about twice what deposed AD Mike Bohn was making.
George will bring plenty of passion to the job.
George was the top candidate -- practically the only candidate -- all long.
Now the test is how well George can raise money and get facilities upgrades built.
George worked at Colorado in the late 1980s. Today isn't anything like the late 1980s, and George knows that.