BOULDER, Colo. –

A rule violation by the University of Colorado’s athletic department more than three years ago recently resulted in a $50,000 windfall for Boulder’s Habitat for Humanity office â thanks to a sharp-eyed newspaper reader.

About $5,000 of that money â part of an NCAA fine paid by CU â will go to Habitat for Humanity International, which, in turn, will provide enough funds to build about two homes in Guatemala.

“The rest will be used locally, serving the school district, (and the) city and county of Broomfield to provide affordable homes and cover costs of doing business in the community,” said Jan Hawley, development director for Flatirons Habitat for Humanity.

The story begins in fall 2005, when CU athletics personnel realized they unwittingly had broken NCAA membership bylaws by providing food supplements to student athletes in the Dal Ward Athletic Center who weren’t technically eligible to partake.

“Essentially, we didn’t charge walk-ons enough money to eat at the training table,” said Tom McGrath, senior associate athletic director, who noted the rule since has been removed from NCAA bylaws. “If we were to do the same thing today, we wouldn’t be penalized.”

Nevertheless, after self-reporting the blunder to the NCAA, it was deemed a “major infraction” in 2006 â and subsequent legal proceedings resulted in a $100,000 fine being levied against CU in 2007.

A Daily Camera story in 2007 mentioned that the NCAA was considering doling out the fine in $50,000 increments to eligible nonprofit organizations in the Boulder area.

Jan Hawley, development director for Flatirons Habitat for Humanity, happened to read the Camera that day.

“After reading about the fine in 2007, we wrote a letter to Mike Bohn, CU’s athletic director, asking if we could be considered,” Hawley said.

Officials at the organization heard nothing about the matter until last week, when they received a letter from the NCAA alerting them to the impending payment of $50,000, Hawley said.

“In this economy, it’s very challenging to raise money, so this $50,000 is a wonderful gift to us,” Hawley said.

Archived comments

“About $5,000 of that money â part of an NCAA fine paid by CU â will go to Habitat for Humanity International, which, in turn, will provide enough funds to build about two homes in Guatemala.”

America is at the verge of a DEPRESSION and you idiots want to send money to Guatamala?


3/19/2009 7:05:35 PM

So feeding guys on the cheap who probably mostly will never see the field is as bad as intentionally misleading potential recruits about the coach’s status on the team?Oh, wait, THAT’S perfectly okay…The NCAA should be run by people who can see the light of day.


3/19/2009 7:55:47 PM

As a Colorado taxpayer, I for one am getting pretty sick and tired of paying for CU’s mistakes.


3/19/2009 8:03:16 PM

Great. I’m sure the University of Colorado can afford it through tuition hikes. We don’t need an educated work force. No need to provide these kids with an education so they can make a living and graduate without $100k in student loans and take care of their own families.

This is a great reason to never donate to Habitat for Humanity.


3/20/2009 2:16:15 AM

Ummmm….the fine would have gone to the NCCAA had it not gone to the charity.

Sorry-your argument has no basis whatsoever.None, nada, zilch.


3/20/2009 3:26:45 AM



3/20/2009 3:27:30 AM

Wow– good job, CU!Way to pay attention… I can picture you having recruits pay less $$ for food and thinking you could get away with it. Either that, or maybe someone at CU needs some counting lessons.

This isn’t anyone’s fault except stupid CU.


3/20/2009 8:41:16 AM

I know, zonabuff, I know– following the rules sucks, huh?Well, this is what happens when you don’t do what you’re supposed to.


3/20/2009 8:42:55 AM

fotw, this fine was going to be assessed no matter where the final proceeds went. Not to mention the fact that the NCAA were the ones who decided that the proceeds should go to non-profits, and it appears from the story that HfH was considered because AD Bohn passed on a recommendation on their behalf (otherwise, how would the NCAA have determined to send part of the proceeds there).

What a Scrooge! I’m willing to bet that you’ve never donated to HfH anyway, so I don’t think that they are losing much from you, eh?

If you really want to moan and b*tch, why not take your angst out on the NCAA, which has insisted upon assessing the fine for a violation that a) never would have come to light had CU not self-reported (i.e., done the right thing) and b) is not even an infraction that is still on the books?

Now, that is pretty warped.


3/20/2009 10:48:07 AM