Welcome to the Wed edition of the Nugz!
We'll open with more Tubby talk, move to football, and below the jump you'll find a collection of (hopefully) interesting links and PSU related stories.
- Not a ton of new information to share right now. At the time I wrote this post (later on Tuesday night) there was still no details about the buyout, which is what everyone really cares the most about (ok, it's what I care the most about).
- While we're waiting on the U to get their act together, we did get more details about what brought the deal together right now. As Fuller notes in the PiPress, Tubby says that it came down to recruiting.
"It was important to get it done now because of recruiting," Smith said. "We're finishing up with the week of evaluation. Now we'll be finalizing getting kids on campus for visits in September and October. We're trying to get commitments before guys sign. So now I can legitimately say, 'Hey, I'm going to be here through your (career).' And that's for the next five years."
Other important details from this article? Tubby agreed to the deal and the announcement before all the final details were worked out. The contract is not signed or 100% official. You have to wonder if the buyout is one of the details that is still being finalized. Also, Tubby did not get a promise about a practice facility but was assured that it is a priority.
- Amelia Rayno has a bundle of good notes, including the fact that Tubby's compensation will remain unchanged:
Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith said Tuesday that his salary ($1.75 million a year in base salary and supplemental compensation) will remain the same through his three-year contract extension. It’s not yet known what his new buyout will be; under the previous deal, Minnesota was required to pay Smith $1.5 million if the school fired him without violation of the contract.
Another interesting nugget? It would seem that the switch from Joel to Norwood may have helped things out:
Smith declined to get into the specifics of what held up the extension – which has been anticipated for more than a year now – but noted that the administration changes have played a role. New athletic director Norwood Teague had been in his role just a month when the extension was announced Monday, showing a clear stamp of commitment, for now, on the part of the new regime."We hoped we would’ve got it done sooner, we hoped it would get it done before now, but it wasn’t," Smith said. "And I think it does help that Norwood’s here and there’s just a rejuvenation of a lot of things … Joel [Maturi] did a very good job but there have been a lot of things that have transpired over the last few years." (emphasis mine)
Does that strike anyone else as a jab at Joel? I'm adding this to the growing list of signs that folks at the U are glad there is a new head man in charge of athletics.
Finally, Amelia has 2 important injury updates. Mo Walker apparently broke a bone in his foot during the last practice of the regular season last year but is fully rehabbed already. His knee is also healed. Tubby includes some praise for him as well. Tubby also said that Trevor is on schedule but is not currently ready to play (though he thinks he'll be ready for the season).
- One of the writers over at Big Ten Powerhouse takes a look at how individual player production has improved under Tubby. It's nice to see an advanced stats take on Tubby's time at the U, but it comes with the caveat that the improvement being shown is in comparison to Monson. I'd be interested in seeing how it stacks up to others in the B1G. Regardless, it's a good reminder that things have improved.
- ESPN's B1G Blog continues it's look at position groups, ranking Minnesota 11th in the B1G for offensive line (warning: Brian Bennett link). The summary on the Gophers is bland and vague. I have a hard time deciding if this ranking is right, mostly because I'm unsure about the quality of line play from many of the other teams. For instance, Illinois looked horrible against the Gophers but I didn't see enough of their games to know if it was an aberration.
- FBT starts their own "15 for 2012" list by looking at walk-on center John Christenson.
- Tracy Claeys tells Sid he thinks the D will be much improved.
- Here's a summary of the current and former Gophers who will be competing in the Olympics.
- The B1G has come up with a new system for conference title game sales. Sadly, not something we can be too concerned with yet. Basically, you pay a $10 reservation fee that guarantees you a face value ticket if your team makes it. If they don't? You're only out the $10.
- The HLog bemoans the lack of competitive balance in the B1G's poorly named and poorly conceived divisions.
- Have horrible memories of the Insight Bowl? Don't worry, it is now the Mass Produced Wings Bowl.
- Here's one for all the gamers like GN. EA Sports will no longer have exclusive rights to NCAA football once their current agreement expires in 2014. They can keep selling their game, but other companies can enter the marketplace. Ideally this would give other companies the chance to build better games but whether that happens remains to be seen. EA made this move as part of a settlement in a class action lawsuit. If you bought a game. Folks who bought recent copies of the game are also entitled to money:
EA Sports will establish the $27 million settlement fund, which entitles the class-action participants — anyone who purchased a Madden, NCAA Football, or Arena Football title for consoles or PCs between January 1st, 2005 and June 21st, 2012 — to a modest sum: up to $6.79 per copy purchased on PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, or PC, and up to $1.95 per copy purchased on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii.
- The NCAA shares more details about how transfers out of PSU will work.
- I wanted to link to this commentary about the penalties because I think it does a nice job of touching on both some of the arguments I've made as well as some of the quality counterarguments I've seen. I've been very opposed to the NCAA getting involved given the lack of traditional NCAA rules violations. I'm also not a fan of the unprecedented new process and what it might represent if implemented unevenly in the future. But many folks have pointed out that my stance is very legalistic and that the NCAA is a voluntary membership group with more latitude to punish it's members. I also don't find myself very bothered by Penn State facing pretty harsh penalties in response to a culture that needs a reality check. In the end, I'm left wondering if the NCAA might have come up with the right penalties (or at least close to them) but did so via a flawed process that makes them a powerful moral arbiter with a sketchy record.
- CBS' Eye On College Football takes a look at why these penalties will be so hard for PSU to recover from:
Today's verdict was specifically intended to ensure a lost decade, defined by a mass exodus of talent, losing records, dwindling attendance and a steady erosion of the assumption that Penn State is a first-rate football power. If Nittany Lion football is going to continue to exist, it's going to be as a demoralized shell of its former, vital self. That's the reality. And now that it's been laid out in front of them like a road map to oblivion, the university's new leaders are left to mull whether a swift death might be preferable to taking their medicine.
Happy Wednesday everybody!