Valley News – Jim Kenyon: Dartmouth gives his football coach a home win

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In January 2005, Josie Harper, then sports director for Dartmouth, announced that Buddy Teevens had agreed to return to his alma mater as a football coach.

When asked, Harper wouldn’t go into details of Teevens’ contract, like its length, annual salary, and other benefits. “We’re not doing anything special,” Harper said in an interview with Valley News sports editor Don Mahler, who retired in 2015. “We’re not going to treat Buddy any differently (than other coaches). ”

Oh really?

Sixteen years into his tenure, Teevens is reaping the rewards of his original deal, which, to find out, was more special than Dartmouth suggested.

In August 2005, the college helped Teevens and his wife, Kirsten, buy a nearly $ 1 million house in downtown Hanover which the couple later moved into.

Dartmouth and the Teevens remained 50-50 partners in the five-bedroom colonial at Currier Place until last December, when the Teevens became the sole owner of the property.

In return for his 50% interest in the house, Dartmouth received a payment of $ 430,000, according to a Grafton County revenue stamp, which is common knowledge. That’s less than half – about $ 65,000 – of the $ 993,530 the house sold for in 2005 when Dartmouth and the Teevens bought it together.

In April, the Teevens put the house on the market for $ 1.4 million, about $ 400,000 more than in 2005. Twelve days later, the house was under contract.

The deal is not yet finalized, so the buyer’s name and purchase price are not being made public. But in today’s real estate market, I think it’s safe to assume the Teevens got the asking price, if not more.

Why is all this of interest?

Last July, Dartmouth announced it was immediately phasing out five varsity track and field programs – men’s light crew, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving – in part to cut athletic department spending.

The programs were reinstated in January after members of the women’s golf and swimming teams threatened legal action. Their lawyer argued that the cuts put Dartmouth out of compliance with Title IX, which prohibits federally-funded schools from discriminating against students and employees on the basis of gender.

Yet if Dartmouth was suffering so financially that he needed to cut five sports, why did he give up his share of a house within walking distance of campus at a bargain price?

Guess that was how Dartmouth handed his successful football coach a big bonus disguised as a real estate deal.

It also makes me wonder if other coaches – the female coaches, in particular – have received any house offers. When I asked what housing assistance, if any, Dartmouth had provided to other coaches, spokesperson Diana Lawrence told me the college would not comment on “employee matters or activities. of individual recruitment and retention ”.

Last week I made a few calls and searched for property tax records online at the Grafton County Deed Registry office. I couldn’t find any current or former Dartmouth coach who had an arrangement like Teevens’.

But I don’t think this story is as much about Teevens as it is about how Dartmouth runs the business of the sport. Like many wealthy private colleges, Dartmouth prefers to keep its relationship with coaches a secret.

And for good reason. It’s easier to get away with paying female coaches less than their male counterparts when contract details remain hidden.

As Frances Mize, a student from Dartmouth, recently reported in the Valley News, head coaches in men’s sports in Dartmouth earned almost $ 40,000 more on average than those in women’s sports last year. The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act of 1994 requires colleges to report average coaching salaries for all men’s and women’s teams combined, but they do not have to break it down by sport.

Keeping a lid on salaries also helps Dartmouth and other Ivy League schools promote the idea that they are keeping varsity athletics in the right perspective. Especially when it comes to football.

But even in the Ivy League, football is king.

In 1965, after an unbeaten season, Dartmouth football coach Bob Blackman was attracting the interest of the top schools. To prevent Blackman from leaving, the story goes, Dartmouth put him and his family in a house on Lyme Road.

After another unbeaten season in 1970, Blackman moved to the University of Illinois. The next two head coaches – Jake Crouthamel and Joe Yukica – also lived on the college-owned property before the arrangement ended in the 1980s. Two professors from Dartmouth bought the college house last year for $ 890,000. $, according to city records.

When I heard that Teevens was selling his house, I wondered if he was planning to retire soon. But when we spoke by phone last week, Teevens, who turns 65 this coming season, told me it wasn’t. The decision to sell was a “downsizing” decision, he said, adding that he and his wife would rent an apartment in the middle of the college. They also own a house in Florida.

Teevens politely declined to talk about the circumstances that led Dartmouth to relinquish his 50% stake in his house. As strange as it sounds, I think Teevens deserves to be rewarded financially, or otherwise, for the work he has done.

In addition to having coached Dartmouth to two Ivy League championships in the past five seasons, he has led efforts to reduce concussions in football, introducing the use of robotic tackle dummies in practice. He proved that winning doesn’t depend on players bumping their heads every day. He also had two coaches on his team, both of whom now work for NFL teams.

But until Dartmouth and other private colleges become more open – as is demanded of public schools – about their business relationships, the pay gap between men and women in the coaching ranks will continue to shrink.

Is it right ?

Jim Kenyon can be contacted at [email protected]

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