Former U athletics vice president to work for youth board

by Patrick Hayes

Former University Vice President for Student Development and Athletics McKinley Boston’s $120,000 annual compensation was approved Wednesday, paving the way for his new position as a consultant for the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board.
Boston left the University in the wake of the men’s basketball academic fraud scandal, after University President Mark Yudof said in November that he would not renew Boston’s or men’s athletics director Mark Dienhart’s contracts.
Yudof’s decision came after University investigators found that more than 400 papers were written for men’s basketball players and professors had altered grades to keep players eligible.
Boston’s contract ended June 30, but he continued to serve under University Executive Vice President and Provost Bob Bruininks, helping interim Vice President for Student Development Robert Jones make his transition.
As a consultant for the Minneapolis Youth Board, an inter-governmental youth development organization, Boston will help develop a city-wide athletic strategic plan, working with the University and the city of Minneapolis.
“His focus will be on how our system can be more efficient and more effective at serving young people,” said Annie Nelson, youth board executive director.
“He understands the system, he understands the resources, and he can bridge the University’s resources with Minneapolis’ young people,” she added.
Despite the board’s overwhelming approval, Boston’s appointment has drawn some criticism.
Minneapolis City Council member Barbara Johnson questioned Boston’s selection as a result of the academic scandal and the similarities between his former University position and the youth board position.
“We haven’t seen the end of the criminal investigation that involves the (athletics) department,” she said.
In addition, Johnson said the position’s salary should be used to enroll talented youth in camps and traveling sport leagues.
“Consultants and facilitators and master planners gobble up a lot of the resources that should be funneled to the kids,” she added.
The salary for Boston’s contract comes from private donations, which University Provost Bob Bruininks helped raise.
Patrick Hayes covers administration and welcomes comments at [email protected]