After announcing the firing of Colorado State athletic director Jack Graham on Friday, Colorado State president Tony Frank told boosters the decision had nothing to do with a proposed on-campus stadium that Graham backed.
Graham disagrees with that assessment, telling the Coloradoan that the decision to remove him as AD is "all about the stadium." In the statement announcing Graham's termination, Frank said "some substantial differences" in views existed between the two.
"I do think this was substantially about the stadium," Graham said. "There's been reference by Tony as well as by Amy Parsons that this is not about the stadium, that it's a personnel matter, and I really wish they'd stop that. It's an insinuation that I think is inappropriate and unfair, and I wish the university would take a high road and discontinue that kind of language.
"They terminated me for convenience, and I think it's time to move on from that conversation."
Graham, who was hired in December 2011, wanted to build a stadium to replace Hughes Stadium, which is two miles from the CSU campus. The cost of the stadium is estimated to be $220 million and a university official said that as of last month, the school had only raised $24.2 million. Graham disputes that figure as well, telling the Coloradoan that '"It was at least twice that much" and that another $15-20 million was "in the funnel, in the pipeline" to be in before October.
The school has a deadline in October to have half of the funs for the stadium in place. However, Graham said Brett Anderson, CSU's vice president for advancement and the official who cited the $24.2 million figure said half was too lofty of a goal and set a private goal of $75 million.
As part of his severance package, Graham is receiving his $260,000 salary through the end of his contract, money which he says he'll continue to donate back to the school. A former QB at CSU, Graham sold ICAT Managers, a catastrophic risk insurance business, in 2010.
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