Category Archives: Big Ten Football

The Rutgers Way

Meet the Bizarro Butts-Mehre.

All of which brings us to the athletic department’s 2016 financial report to the N.C.A.A. The Star-Ledger obtained this document recently; it showed a blood-red deficit of $28.6 million. The 64-page report had a one-line notation: “Other Operating Revenue: $10,495,912.”

It turned out that the university bank quietly lent $10.5 million to the athletic department to keep it afloat and pay severance costs for expensive and failed coaches. That loan came weighted with an interest rate of 5.75 percent; the cost of repaying it will run north of $18 million, according to university documents.

Rutgers also diverted $11 million in student fees and $17.1 million from its general fund to cover the athletic shortfall. The average undergraduate now pays more than $300 in activities fees exclusively for the university’s N.C.A.A. teams…

Late last month, I requested an interview with the athletic director, Patrick Hobbs. A day later, I also asked to speak with the president, Robert Barchi. These requests were met with silence.

On Thursday, I asked again, and a spokeswoman offered an off-the-record interview with Hobbs. I declined. An email statement soon arrived, saying in part, “Rutgers Athletics will be in a position to generate a positive cash flow for the university after we receive our full share of Big Ten revenues in 2021.”

Let me translate: That the athletic department has been run with no regard for sound financial practice is a trifle. Soon enough, piles of dough from the Big Ten’s billion-dollar-plus television contract will be deposited on the front steps of the athletic department. Its take could amount to $40 million.

This is like handing Jesse James the keys to Fort Knox.

Yeah, Jim Delany sure can pick ’em.

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18 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

Making Friday nights great again

I’m not sure how this proposed law would work, since the schools don’t control conference scheduling…

… but if somehow it leads to Jim Delany’s arrest one day, I’m down with it.

5 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Political Wankery

“I won’t be up here freezing my ass off, so y’all enjoy the winter.”

Tracy Claeys’ parting shot after being fired by Minnesota for doing something really, really stupid.

At least it’s more coherent than what the athletic director had to say.

… When the players launched their boycott two days later, Claeys tweeted: “Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights & support their effort to make a better world!”

Asked what impact that tweet had on his decision, Coyle said, “This isn’t about one specific incident. … I think the events over the past few weeks underscored the concerns and some of the things I’ve been seeing in that program.”

Coyle pledged a better image for Gophers athletics when he took office June 1. For the past year, the department’s troubles have often overshadowed sports success.

The men’s basketball team suspended three players last spring when a sex video was posted to a player’s social media account. Another player was suspended this summer while the university investigated a sexual assault allegation. A drug problem permeated the wrestling program, resulting in the firing of a longtime coach. The year before, Coyle’s predecessor, Norwood Teague, resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

“We have teams winning the Big Ten Conference championships, teams going to the Final Four, and we are not talking about those things,” Coyle said.

“What I am trying to do is to build a culture of excellence. I’m trying to build a department,” he added.

He wants to find a head coach who “embraces what Minnesota is all about”.  Presumably, that involves using Twitter more responsibly.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

Yeah, but have you seen the ratings lately?

Jim Delany’s decision to enlarge the Big Ten Network’s viewership footprint invite Rutgers into the Big Ten looks buttah and buttah with each passing day.

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Filed under Big Ten Football

Why is Ohio State playing its 2017 season opener on a Thursday?

Quite simply, because what’s good for the Big Ten Network is good for the Big Ten.  At least that’s what they’re selling… er, telling themselves.

After all, when you’ve got Rutgers, who needs tradition?

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Filed under Big Ten Football

Offensive futility, in one chart

The next time you think about bashing Jim Chaney as the most inept offensive coordinator in college football, pause to reflect on the game Illinois’ offense had yesterday.

The best part of it all was that Illinois never kicked off in the game.

20 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football

When they assure you it’s all about the student-athlete…

they lyin’.

(h/t)

9 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness