SARCASM ALERT (they aren't really going to shut down the program).
Jerry Kill has beaten cancer, is winning the battle against epilepsy, and has turned around morbid football programs at places like Emporia State, Southern Illinois, and Northern Illinois. He and his staff of fine coaches were brought in to do the same at the University of Minnesota, but after losing four of their first five games, the latest a 58-0 embarrassment to Michigan, he will not get the chance to turn around the Gophers. Not because he's been fired already, but because the University has essentially fired the football team, disbanding the program effective immediately.
"I've never quit anything in my life," the demoralized Coach Kill said after the game yesterday, "and I guess technically I'm not quitting this either, but I'm in shock. All of us are. We were told after the loss today that they're shutting down the football program. I can't believe it. I mean, sure, I knew this would be a long rebuild, and let's face it, after what I saw today it probably would have taken us 10 or 15 years to turn this thing around and get us competitive again, but doggone it, we would have done it."
The decision to disband the program came from athletic director Joel Maturi, who said in a brief statement the decision was made after careful consideration of the well-being and feelings of the players, coaches, fans, alumni, and the Director's Cup standings, and that this would be the best thing for everyone involved.
"It's just not fair to our kids and coaches and great fans of Minnesota to have to watch this every week," Maturi said. "Coach Kill is a great coach- he's a Tubby Smith-like hire you know- but it became clear today that even he can't turn this around. And if he can't do it, then nobody can. Plus with this god-awful team gone, it'll really help me win the Director's Cup."
Asked to clarify just what the hell exactly the "Director's Cup" is, Maturi quickly responded with "uh, nevermind."
Maturi spoke to reporters via a telephone conference call, as he was not at "The Big House" in Ann Arbor to see the game in person because he was busy giving equal time to the diving, badminton, and equestrian teams at the U.
He went on to talk about "that snake-oil salesmen who took over this program four years ago" and how that guy, who Maturi would not mention by name, did more damage than he ever thought possible.
"After I fired Glen in 2007- and I mean, I had to fire Glen. You would have fired him, right? Right? Come on, you know you would have...that smarmy bastard. Anyway, in his interview that snake-oil salesman just kept talking about Rose Bowls and Big Ten Titles and something about his dag-gum chili being hot. After awhile I had no idea what he was even talking about. I think he may have been slowly waving something in front of me...you don't think I was hypnotized, do you? He-no, no way. Every time I'd start to think this guy is nuts, he'd say "Rose Bowl" and suddenly I would be so inspired by it all I HAD to hire him. Had to. But after four years I realized that guy had completely ruined this once great program, but I had no idea how bad it had gotten."
Neither had Coach Kill, who said this is the worst and least talented team he's ever coached- including high school.
"We were told we were taking over a 1-A BCS conference football team here in Minnesota, but after what I saw today against Michigan, that's clearly not the case," a despondent Kill said. "I mean we might as well not even have shown up today. Michigan would have had a tougher time practicing against air than against our defense or offense today. Before today Denard Robinson couldn't have hit water if he was standing in Lake Michigan, yet against us he couldn't miss."
The loss was the worst for Gopher football since a 1991 defeat against Colorado, and was yet another new low since the end of the Mason Era. Previous humiliations like losing 55-0 to Iowa at home in 2008, to 1-AA South Dakota in 2010, or losses to New Mexico State or 1-AA North Dakota State earlier this year were all horribly painful for fans in their own right, yet this one has to be the worst yet, as it culminated in the end of the program.
The Big Ten could not be reached for comment on who Minnesota's replacement would be in the conference, but rumors from credible sources believe the 1-AA Dakota schools could be involved in a round-robin style tournament for the right to take the Gopher's place. However, the University of North Dakota would be excluded since the B1G already has one obnoxious and delusional fan base with an unhealthy and unfounded sense of entitlement in Iowa and didn't want another one.
The Big Ten believes North Dakota State University is the most appealing, as every North Dakotan will tell you that "Fargo is the center of the f***ing universe dontcha know". Last we checked, there also haven't been any famous Cohen brothers films about Brookings or Vermillion, South Dakota, so that should help BTN revenue by bringing the Bison aboard.
Asked what would happen to the Gopher players who now have no team to play for, Maturi said they would be free to transfer anywhere they wanted immediately. However, he said the only schools to contact him about his players possibly transferring to play for them were a couple of MIAC schools, and just the really crappy ones like Carleton.
"It's a sad day for Gopher football fans, and our current and former players, but this was the best decision for everyone involved," Maturi concluded. "And I'll be honest- if the men's hockey team doesn't finish top four in the WCHA and make the NCAA's this year, I'm disbanding that team too. Then I'll be guaranteed to win the DIrector's Cup this year!"
Asked again about the Director's Cup (a quick Google search says it's a worthless award that only a handful of D1 athletic directors care about, and it's only because their revenue sports suck), Maturi responded "Sorry, but I have to go. We're starting the very first competitive varsity tiddlywinks team! Very exciting!" and hung up, ending the call- just like he ended the football program.