Senate bill 17-041, which would end restrictions on multi-year contracts, nearing approval

Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Colorado athletic director Rick George has one of six multi-year contracts in the athletic department.

State legislation that limits the amount of multi-year contracts that Colorado and other state schools can offer to coaches is nearing a change.

Senate bill 17-041 has passed through both the House and Senate, clearing six of the seven hurdles needed to become reality. All that’s left is getting a signature from Governor John Hickenlooper.

Currently, CU and other state schools, such as Colorado State and Northern Colorado, are limited to six multi-year contracts per campus, with a cap of five years in length on those deals.

CU uses all six contracts in athletics. Athletic director Rick George, head football coach Mike MacIntyre, football defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot, head men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle, head women’s basketball coach J.R. Payne and head women’s volleyball coach Jesse Mahoney have multi-year contracts.

Senate bill 17-041 would take those multi-year contract restrictions away from self-funded auxiliaries, such as athletics, and allow them to operate on their own. The CU athletic department would then be free to offer multi-year deals to several coaches.

For years, CU has felt that the restrictions put the department at a competitive disadvantage with peers. The ability to offer coaches some security with multi-year contracts would, in theory, allow CU to attract and keep better coaches in all sports.

The Colorado 71st General Assembly is set to adjourn on May 10, so if Senate bill 17-041 passes, it will become effective 90 days later, on Aug. 9.

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