The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 October 2005

Darling Dave's debt service

Michael Wright, writing from Norman, says that OU President David Boren is handling the Hinrichs case this way for one very obvious reason:

Boren's problem is that he is very worried about the financial condition of the athletic program. History shows that revenues from ticket sales and donations fall after losing football seasons. At the time of this writing, Coach Bob Stoops had lost four of the past seven, including the January '05 Orange Bowl fiasco. Texas Tech and Nebraska will probably be favored to beat OU later in the season. Both teams will have the home field advantage. A terrorism scare would also hurt the money flow.

In recent years Boren has indulged Stoops (with other people's money) in these ways:

  1. Huge stadium expansion driving up the bonded indebtedness of the athletic program to $152.7 million:

  2. $2.4 million annual compensation package;

  3. $3 million bonus (if Stoops stays at OU through 2008).

The stadium expansion encumbered OU with an annual debt service of about $5 million for 30 years. Official records confirm that Boren has already been raiding the OU general fund to help out his pals in the athletic department. Due to his extravagant over-spending, Boren is desperate for cash. That explains the huge tuition hikes he has been inflicting on OU students. To deal with these debts, he needs to maximize revenue flowing into the athletic department through ticket sales also. That's why he doesn't want football fans to think they might be at risk of a terrorist suicide bomb attack by going to the games.

Which at the very least suggests that Joel Hinrichs' choice of self-immolation location was perhaps rather astute.

(Suggested by a comment to this post at Gates of Vienna.)

Posted at 4:22 PM to Soonerland