The results of the Utah State Legislature’s audit of the University of Utah Athletics Department, announced in February, came down Tuesday night. A few minor issues were reported, and the auditors praised the U. for their frugality compared to their Pac-12 peers, as well as the department’s academic success with student athletes.
“I think in general we feel good about it,” Utah athletic director Chris Hill said on Wednesday’s Bill Riley Show on ESPN 700. “We feel good that they verified a lot of the good things that we did, and they came up with some tangible suggestions and recommendations where we can get better.”
The nine-month audit required vigorous work from staff throughout the department as the auditors, led by manager Kade Minchey, perused every nook and cranny of the athletic side of campus. A handful of some issues found were a total of 264 facility keys through 18 years, including 15 master keys. The location of one such key is believed to be with the late legendary basketball coach Rick Majerus, as tweeted by Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake Tribune.
A side note: I've been told that one of the missing keys to the Huntsman Center is with Rick Majerus. And yes, I mean with him.
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) November 15, 2016
Even though none of the findings are enough to raise much of an eyebrow of concern, U. president David Pershing and Hill stated the school has already agreed and accepted all suggestions by the state, and is currently implementing many of them. “Little things are big things in our department,” Hill said. “There was no smoking gun, which we felt very confident there wasn’t. But at the same time, we’ll get better, and we’ll just keep moving on.”
One element of concern from the state is the amount of money being spent on coaching salaries, recruiting, travel, and other large expenses. That won’t change much, though, and the state realizes that. Hill said when he meets with school administrators, there is a price that comes with a high expectation of performance on the field of play, and “we better get them the resources.”
“The report is our way of saying, ‘Look, there’s a lot of spending pressure in collegiate sports; let’s make sure we’re buttoned down and do this right,'” Minchey told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Utah is doing well when it comes to their peers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do things better. Let’s do everything we can to work efficiently and effectively.”
Chris Hill on the Bill Riley Show audio:
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