BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – When administrators at the University of Colorado in Boulder forced Mike Bohn to resign as athletic director, they apparently hoped he would reiterate the “company line” and say departing was a “mutual conclusion” and that “it’s time for me to move on,” according to internal CU emails and documents obtained by CBS4.
Instead, in a news conference on May 30, Bohn professed shock, saying it was “troubling” that he was fired and “I don’t know why” it happened.
“I had no idea this was coming,” said Bohn, steering away from the carefully crafted “talking and response points” CU officials had prepared for Bohn.
Among the 160 pages of emails and internal documents was a one page draft of what were labeled “sample suggested talking and response points for MB.”
They clearly hoped Bohn would toe the company line and portray the firing decision as a “mutual conclusion that it was time to seek new leadership” for CU. The suggested talking points for Bohn had him saying “All the pieces are in place, and now it will be up to new AD to put those pieces together and take CU- Boulder to the next level of success.”
If a reporter asked Bohn Why aren’t you that person? CU officials hoped he would offer the following response:
“Because it’s time for me to move on. I’ve helped to set a course for CU athletics that I think is moving in a good direction.”
But Bohn was far more blunt in his assessment of his ouster saying, “I was never informed that this was an issue.”
At his final news conference, Bohn defended his tenure for 45 minutes and distributed a seven page handout to reporters listing his accomplishments as CU athletic director.
“The insinuation we don’t have a plan is offensive at best,” said Bohn.
The documents obtained by CBS4 also show that while Bohn and CU Regents learned of the dismissal May 23, the news didn’t become public until May 28. In the interim, emails show that CU Regents fretted about the news leaking out and how they would handle it if it did.
On May 23, Regent Steve Bosley emailed fellow Regents suggesting that if they were contacted by the press “Maybe it’s just easier not to respond.”
In another email to his colleagues, Bosley wrote, “for me I will avoid anything by just ignoring the call.”
Contacted by CBS4, Bosley explained those emails by saying he did not think individual regents should respond to press inquiries about the Bohn situation but that the Chair of the Board of Regents should speak for the group.
Bosley also explained his emails saying he believed Bohn being forced out was not really an issue for the Regents to address but was a “campus issue.”
Last month CU announced Bohn’s replacement as athletic director would be Rick George, who most recently ran business operations for the Texas Rangers baseball team.
Click here for the draft “talking points” for Mike Bohn and the CU Foundation, along with the media strategy for making the Bohn announcement.
– Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com