The 67 members of the Minnesota Senate brought up Tubby Smith as they questioned whether taxpayer dollars would be going to fund Smith’s $2.5 million buyout.
Of course, this would be illegal, as the senate was reminded by the university on Wednesday at the state capitol.
The University of Minnesota has spent more than $4 million since 2006 buying out coaches that include Dan Monson, Tim Brewster and Glen Mason.
It certainly isn’t unexpected that politicians would be upset over such seemingly wasteful spending, but it could hurt the university’s chances of getting support behind new athletic facilities on campus.
“When we have the bonding hearings, if there is anything relating to athletics, this will be a topic of conversation,” said Rep. Gene Pelowski, D-Winona. “Because you’re now talking millions of dollars that are apparently available that could just as well go into buildings as paying someone not to do anything — or paying someone to do an incredibly mediocre job.” — MPR
Considering the Gophers had a chance to cut Smith last season which would have resulted in a smaller buyout, the news of paying someone to not do his job (or pay someone to coach a different team) was right to be asked.
But c’mon Minnesota State Senators, you know the university wouldn’t actually use tax payer dollars to buyout a coach, right?