Report: Streeter earned $1 million

Updated: May 17, 2010, 4:56 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- In less than a year, Stephanie Streeter earned about $1 million as acting CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, according to tax reports filed by the federation Monday.

The annual report recorded Streeter's compensation as $1.006 million for 2009, which included $960,000 in salary and bonuses and $46,000 in benefits. The man she replaced, Jim Scherr, received $801,000, though that included a year of severance pay after he resigned in March 2009.

Streeter took Scherr's place, then in October announced she would not seek the job on a permanent basis. She was replaced in January by Scott Blackmun, who agreed to take the job for $450,000 a year.

Streeter's unexpected rise to CEO caused a major rift within Olympic circles, and when news of her salary went public -- $380,000 more than Scherr received in 2008 -- it sparked another round of complaints.

Chairman of the board Larry Probst defended the salary as being in line with what the CEO of a complex, multimillion-dollar company would make. He said Streeter, who had extensive experience in the corporate world, was worth it. By comparison, commissioner Mike Slive of the Southeastern Conference made $1.8 million in 2006-07.

Detractors said it was hard to justify that kind of salary in the USOC's nonprofit world, especially during an economic downturn in which the federation was struggling to hold onto sponsors. They also questioned whether she was worthy of the job, or the lofty salary. Streeter's tenure brought on a period of instability that was widely blamed for Chicago's embarrassing fourth-place finish in the race to host the 2016 Olympics.

"For the size of the organization, a company like the USOC, that's probably a fair compensation for the CEO," said Skip Gilbert, who leads the council of America's national governing bodies. "Unfortunately, they paid it to someone who was clearly a substitute and had no right at all being deemed the starter."

Pressed about her salary during her tumultuous months as CEO, Streeter told reporters to wait for the tax returns to come out in May. She did not immediately respond to interview requests Monday from The Associated Press.

Blackmun's arrival at the USOC has restored a sense of calm at the USOC headquarters in Colorado Springs. Streeter's million-dollar compensation package, widely reported last year, did not come as a surprise when the tax filings were released.

"That is the icing on the cake to that episode," USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said.

According to the report, the USOC brought in more than $123 million in 2009, $35.5 million of which was spent on employee salaries. Early last year, the USOC cut 54 jobs to save $7.1 million from the 2009 budget.

The tax return lists salaries of the federation's officers and "key" employees. After Streeter and Scherr, there were chief operating officer Norm Bellingham ($534,000 in total compensation) and former communications chief Darryl Seibel ($373,000 total compensation). Seibel stepped down in June, but the USOC agreed to pay him for the entire year.

Streeter's salary caused the biggest stir, in part because of a bonus package worth $558,000, more than 3.5 times what Scherr made in bonuses in 2008, his last full year.

Other items from the tax return: The USOC paid $10.7 million into its athlete performance pool to support training, $3.7 million for athlete insurance and $1.5 million into its Operation Gold program that pays athletes for top finishes at key events such as the Olympics.

Preparing for the 2010 Olympics, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association received $4.8 million in cash grants from the USOC, the largest amount of any national governing body. U.S. Speedskating received $3 million, while USA Swimming got $2.3 million and USA Gymnastics received $1.4 million.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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