After taking his time to mull it over following the abrupt and unfulfilling end of Colorado’s basketball season, CU athletic director Rick George decided coach Tad Boyle had done his job.
Despite a late slide, the Buffaloes did what they were supposed to in order to earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament. And although that bid never arrived when the tournament was canceled out of fears of the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, George ultimately decided Boyle had earned the bonus written into his contract.
Boyle, though, refused it.
During his latest state-of-the-Buffs conference call with the media on Thursday, George said he offered the NCAA Tournament bonus, worth $105,000, to Boyle, but that CU’s 10-year coach declined it.
“I did offer Tad the bonus based on the principle that we felt like he earned it. But Tad declined it,” George said. “He preferred that we use it in other areas that would help us during this crisis. It speaks to who Tad is. I thought he earned the bonus, and it was offered to him, and he declined it.”
The NCAA bid would have been the fifth for CU in 10 seasons under Boyle, but the first since 2016. Boyle still earned $110,000 in performance bonuses for the Buffs’ win totals, netting $30,000 for win No. 15, $20,000 for win No. 17, and another $30,000 apiece for CU’s 19th and 21st wins of the season. CU finished 21-11 but lost its final five games, culminating with a first-round loss against Washington State in the Pac-12 tournament, which was canceled the next day.
While Boyle declined comment on his contract bonuses, George on Thursday reiterated his faith in a coach who rounded out a solid 2020 recruiting class on Wednesday with spring signees Jeriah Horne, Jabari Walker, and Tristan da Silva.
“The end of the year certainly wasn’t what we would’ve liked, and I would’ve liked to have seen what we could have done in the NCAA Tournament,” George said. “I think the class that he just brought in, in combination with what he brought in in the fall and his current student-athletes, I think the future of our men’s basketball program is going to be outstanding.”