From the Minnesota Star-Tribune:

“It’s a disaster over there,” said Phil Ebner, once a captain of Minnesota’s golf team and a former board member of the “M” Club of former Gophers athletes. “The leadership just isn’t there, and it boggles the mind that they allow this guy to make mistake after mistake. It costs a lot of money.”

Specifically, [University of Minnesota Athletic Director Joel] Maturi’s critics say he has looked the other way while the men’s hockey and women’s basketball programs wither into irrelevance. The Gophers don’t sell out their new football stadium, costing the school critical revenue.

… Minnesota’s Legislature might consider reducing higher-education funding, which would force the 25-sport athletic department to sustain itself without the $2.3 million subsidy the university provides, a 3 percent contribution toward the $78 million athletic budget.

… A lawsuit brought by Jimmy Williams, a basketball assistant whom Smith tried to hire and Maturi rejected, cost the university a $1 million judgment last May. Katie Brenny, an associate golf coach, filed suit last week alleging she was marginalized because she is a lesbian, an allegation that risks another large payout. And speaking of payouts, firing basketball coach Dan Monson and two football coaches, Brewster and Glen Mason, meant paying buyouts totaling roughly $6 million.

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2 Responses to “The life of the mind: Minnesota.”

  1. Stephen Karlson Says:

    Sometimes, sports donors will cover the buyouts. A rainmaker for Wisconsin, back when Donna Shalala decided to emphasize political correctness and football, later told your classmate Rick Telander that the easiest fundraising calls he ever made were to get the cash to buy out the incumbent athletics director and head football coach.

  2. Bill Gleason Says:

    Unfortunately, the U of M athletics department, had to “borrow” the money for the buyouts from central…

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