Buffs AD says Barnett contract 'not on front burner'

Updated: May 25, 2005, 3:15 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- With about two years left in his contract, Colorado football coach Gary Barnett said he would like to begin talking to officials about an extension so he can provide some assurance of stability to recruits and staff, but his boss isn't ready yet.

Athletic director Mike Bohn told the Rocky Mountain News on Tuesday that he has no timetable for discussing contractual matters and will continue to support Barnett and his staff as he focuses on other issues.

"I would hate [for anyone] to construe that as we're just blowing it off," Bohn said. "It's just not on the front burner."

Barnett said interim athletic director Jack Lengyel, whom Bohn replaced last month, had said any contract talks would wait until after an audit of Barnett's football-camp finances is complete.

Camp finances have been audited twice already, once on Barnett's direction and the other by CU. The state auditor's office is looking into camp revenue of about $780,000.

"I know there was nothing done illegally or immorally; that I know," Barnett said. "I know there are no [NCAA] rules violations, none of that."

Bohn said high-priority tasks include improving the athletic department's finances through ticket sales and donations. The department has raised $1.1 million so far, and wants to raise $3.7 million by September.

Barnett, CU's coach since 1999, last received a contract extension in 2002. His total compensation is about $1.6 million a year and includes a $2 million payoff -- rather than performance incentives -- if he remains at CU through the contract term.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press