Colorado finds itself in one of the bigger financial pickles in major college football, needing to pay: a buyout to the Big 12 after having secured their jump to the Pac-12; any and all buyouts for dismissed head coach Dan Hawkins and his former assistant coaches; the salaries of new coach Jon Embree and his assistants under their new contracts and potential signing bonuses. Not only that, but the Buffs will have to do all of that on a budget that was already described as one of BCS football's most stretched.
But the Buffs got some good news this week, as Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said that though the Buffs would have to wait a year to get a full share of the conference's television payouts, their first season in their new league home will net the program something (emphasis added):
Scott added -- and clearly, the Buffs brass would agree -- that the Buffs will eventually profit by making the move, since the money shelled out by ESPN for the new Texas network suggests that the market will pay handsomely for the new Pac-12 contract (which will go into effect for the 2012-2013 season once signed). And thanks to the initial agreement with Fox, Colorado can even pick up "several million dollars" while they wait.
Scott said the conference and Colorado have reached an agreement under which CU will receive a pro-rated share of any new revenue the league generates outside of its current television agreement, which will expire at the end of the 2011-12 school year.
The conference already has secured new revenue that meets that standard in a $25 million television agreement with Fox for the rights to the first Pac-12 football championship games and other games played throughout the year by Colorado and Utah that don`t fall under the league`s current television deal.
"They will get several million dollars next year from us because we were highly successful in negotiating our championship deal, even though we didn`t guarantee them any money next year," Scott said. "But it won't come anywhere close to what they're forgoing and what the (Big 12) buyout will be."
Until then, the Buffs are still going to be digging out of a financial hole, one that's going to make an already-difficult transition to the Pac-12 under a new coaching staff even more difficult. But they can take heart that even if their new conference brethren "didn't guarantee them" a cent for 2011, they appear nonetheless committed to helping the Buffs out of that hole as best they can.