Minnesota coach Richard Pitino overspent budget on private jet travel
Minnesota basketball coach Richard Pitino overspent his budget for private jet travel by $175,000 over his first three years of coaching the Gophers, according to an internal university audit obtained by the Minnesota Star Tribune.
Pitino’s contract sets his annual budget for recruiting trips and university business at $50,000, but he spent more than $100,000 in 2014 and $150,000 in 2015. He has spent a total of $325,000 on travel over three years as of February, the audit found.
The university’s Office of Internal Audit is recommending the school seek reimbursement from Pitino and women’s coach Marlene Stollings for the expenses, which also included overspending on hotels, private cars, birthday or holiday parties, meals, valet parking and other “unreasonable spending” by both basketball programs.
The expenditures were made under the watch of athletic director Norwood Teague, who resigned in August amid sexual harassment allegations.
The audit into the athletic department was launched after Teague’s resignation. and it found that during his three years as AD, thousands of university dollars were spent on alcohol, parties and expensive hotels.