Men’s athletics: Boston received raise days before

V. Paul

Two days before the controversial resignation of Gophers basketball coach Clem Haskins on June 25, McKinley Boston received a $9,500 increase to his deferred compensation package.
Boston, the vice president for Student Development and Athletics, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Like most corporations, the University uses deferred compensation to encourage its executives to finish out their contracts, said Mark Rotenberg, the University’s general counsel. Employees receive the deferred amounts at the end of their employment.
Boston’s increase in the midst of the men’s basketball scandal was not intended to entice him to finish his contract, however.
“That was completely coincidental timing,” Rotenberg said.
Earlier this year, Boston informed Rotenberg and University President Mark Yudof that the calculated income-tax payments on his compensation package were underestimated. After evaluating Boston’s figures, Yudof gave him the increase to offset tax payments, Rotenberg said.
“This isn’t something (Boston) was fooling us with,” Rotenberg said.
According to documents obtained through a Minnesota Data Practices Act request, the University paid $4,750 into Boston’s deferred compensation account in an amendment to the 1996 contract. The rest is scheduled to be paid on June 30, 2000, when Boston’s contract expires.
Under terms of Boston’s original contract, he would be paid $325,000 over five years; each payment of $65,000 would be deposited into an account for each year Boston was a full-time employee with the University, until June 30, 2000.
In comparison, Haskins’ deferred compensation package — $500,000 over 10 years — was negotiated by Boston and Haskins’ attorney in 1994, according to Haskins’ contract.
Yudof’s deferred compensation package was amended in September when the University Board of Regents unanimously voted to give Yudof a $50,000 pay raise. Yudof will only receive $225,000 over four years until September 2001 as his deferred compensation, according to contract documents.
Yudof approved Boston’s increase on Sept. 23, two days before the University announced Haskins’ resignation following an emergency Board of Regents meeting. The University paid Haskins a settlement of $1.5 million for resigning.
For about three months, Haskins and the men’s basketball team had been rocked by scandal after former University employee Jan Gangelhoff claimed in March to have written more than 400 academic papers for at least 20 players between 1993 and 1998.
University officials immediately launched an internal investigation, calling in outside counsel. The University is expected to release a report on the investigation and make its decisions in November.
Allegations of sexual misconduct by men’s basketball players surfaced in May, prompting Yudof to expand the probe to investigate possible criminal sexual misconduct and improper relationships between the men’s athletics program and the University Police.
One former University student charged that Boston pressured her to change her story after she reported that a football player masturbated in front of her while she was tutoring him.
Investigators reported in July that University officials inappropriately intervened in at least 12 incidents of student-athlete sexual misconduct since 1993. Because the University chose to redact portions of the 233-page report, it was unclear who was involved in the incidents.

V. Paul Virtucio welcomes comments at [email protected]