The buyout of UConn football coach Bob Diaco has taxpayers seeing red. Diaco, who never had a winning season during his three-year tenure at Connecticut, was unceremoniously fired on Monday, the day after Christmas. Rubbing even more salt into the eyes of Connecticut taxpayers, Diaco will get a $3.4 million buyout. It would have been even more if he was fired in 2016, but his dismissal won’t take effect until next week, the start of the New Year. UConn had just given him a contract extension in May.
Diaco’s firing was made possible, after new athletic director David Benedict got the okay from UConn President Susan Herbst. But even that move is coming with some controversy, as Benedict chose to announce the dismissal via a statement and not a news conference.
Comments on the Hartford Courant’s website have many people complaining of Diaco’s buyout.
“Here is how the numbers work out:
3.4 million=tuition for 115 in state students for a year.”
“To continue with this leadership at the university of corrections is just throwing good money after bad. Fire um all!”
“His buyout would have been better spent on improving LGBT Studies, gender studies and a Center for Islamic Social Justice.”
Still another wrote:
“Perhaps concentrating on academics is a better idea.”
UConn will probably go to great lengths to claim its football program is underwritten without “direct” taxpayers’ money, but observers will not read the fine print, instead equating Diaco’s multi-million dollar buyout not to coach with tuition hikes. And Benedict is not around to make the distinction to explain it, choosing to wield his ax the day after Christmas, by way of a printed statement and an interview on the football team’s flagship radio station.