We haven't had a morning Nugz in awhile, but there's also no game this week SO we'll see what we can find for links...
Big news in Gopherland is obviously the naming of Eric Kaler as the U's 16th President. While I appreciate all the work outgoing President Bruiniks did in helping to get us a new football stadium, he never seemed to make putting a quality football team in the new stadium much of a priority. We've said it time and again, but in major college sports football pays the bills, and if your football team sucks, so does your revenue. Certainly the Gophs aren't in dire shape financially in the athletic department, as according to the latest reports they had about $70 million in revenue last season- but they also had about that much in expenses. Just think how much healthier the football program, the athletic department as a whole (as a few people have mentioned already, a winning football program could mean Tubby getting that practice facility he has always wanted), and the school would be if this team could get some wins and get the Twin Cities and the state excited for Gopher football.
Thankfully it seems like the New Guy is way ahead of us. Mr. Kaler answered questions earlier this week about a wide range of topics, the most interesting for Gopher fans was about sports- and especially football- and how he felt they should be supported. His answer:
Athletics is the window through which a lot of people see the university and the door through which a lot of people walk in and experience the university. This is a Big 10 school, it's one that should have a distinguished athletics program that complements the image of the university and enhances our visibility across the country.
It obviously has to be a program of high credibility, high integrity, one that is staffed by first-class people and provides an important educational pathway for our student athletes. That said, part of athletics, and the judgment of what happens in an athletics program, is whether you win or lose, and that influences how people feel about the university.
While I'd love to hear him say something like "we're going to do everything we can to be competitive and win in the sports that actually matter (i.e. the three that actually generate revenue for the school)" this is at least a good starting point. We'll see how he walks the walk when he takes over for Bruiniks in June.
If you think Kaler is a busy man, he has nothing on the Strib's Myron Medcalf right now. Myron had a game recap from the Gophers 95-77 victory over Western Kentucky last night, an article all about new daddy Rodney Williams, held a chat yesterday afternoon before the Puerto Rico tipoff began, and announced his power poll for the season. GN linked to is yesterday, but it certainly warrants mentioning again: GN's been selected for Myron's weekly college hoops Power Poll in the Strib. Pretty cool honor, and nice to see Myron respecting some different perspectives from outside the usual media folks. It'll be fun to see how GN's poll matches up with everyone else's throughout the season.
The Western College Hockey Blog has a list of the Top 10 Minnesota Mr. Hockey Candidates, keeps pace with the "he's going NOPE he's staying" saga of Gopher recruit and Eden Prairie senior Kyle Rau AND has a Minnesota high school hockey preview. All just for you. You're welcome.