Univ. of Minn. regents want power to approve coach salaries

- College sports are big moneymakers, and with those dollars come hefty contracts for their coaches. Now, the regents at the University of Minnesota are hoping to be part of the process when it comes approving the final figures.

Michael Hsu of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents introduced a resolution at Thursday's meeting where the board will have to approve an employee's salary of $250,000 annually, or a contract where the total cost exceeds $600,000. The board hasn’t had that authority since 1996.

One specific coach's salary is what put Hsu on this road to a resolution – the 2015 contract extension for Gophers basketball head coach Richard Pitino. The deal was finalized shortly after then-athletic director Norwood Teague resigned, and gave Pitino a potential $7.1 million buyout.

The resolution now heads to a governance oversight committee in a few weeks to further discuss a decision, but Hsu says this is a proposal that needs to become policy. University President Eric Kaler told Fox 9 that the board has an obligation to provide oversight on high-dollar contracts, and added "I'm fine with that."

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