My goodness your Nugz look good this morning...
Let's start with a Strib interview of new University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler. They discuss a myriad of topics dealing with college athletics, before getting to the stuff Gopher fans really want to know about: the future of AD Joel Maturi:
Q: What is Joel Maturi's status?
Kaler: Joel is in the same situation as all of my senior managers. I'm evaluating their role, their effectiveness. As we move into the fall, I'll be making judgments about all my senior managers, including Joel.
Q: So you're not prepared to say yes, he will serve out the final year?
Kaler: I'm not making a comment about any of my senior managers' situation.
I'm not sure if that counts as negative press or comments- of which Maturi admits he takes very personally and could cause him to walk away from his job- but if that doesn't, the results of this poll should. The results are not favoring a Maturi return for the 2012-13 sports season. And judging by Kaler's comments, he's not ready to jump right in either. Which makes sense. As he said, as the new boss he has to evaluate all his senior management, so obviously unless he saw something right away in Maturi that so turned him off he wanted to can him on the spot, he's going to take his time with this decision. He has until June (when Maturi's contract is up), and I'd imagine Kaler will have a decision made well before that. I also wouldn't be surprised, at least from Maturi's recent comments, if it won't be a mutual parting.
But who knows? Maybe Jerry Kill works miracles and gets the football team to a bowl game, Tubby wins a first round NCAA game, the missing ingredient for Gopher hockey success really was as simple as replacing John Hill with Mike Guentzel, and Pam Borton suddenly remembers how to coach and gets the women's hoops team back on track. Could happen right? But I think it's going to take an awful lot of success this fall from the Big 3 sports team (4 if we want to count women's hoops) for Maturi to keep his job. I'm just guessing, but pretty sure Kaler isn't going to care where the Gophers rank in the Director's Cup standings.
The entire interview is a very good read, and once they start talking to Kaler about Maturi, they hit on a lot of the topics we and so many Gopher fans have been having. I could cut and paste almost the entire thing with relative questions for Kaler and his answers, but seriously, just read it. Bottom line, Kaler believes in his revenue sports being successful- both on the field and in the classroom- and isn't as concerned with a well-rounded athletic department. He wants the athletic department to support as many sports team as it's can, but only if it makes financial sense. It's just common sense that he's going to want an AD who sees things the same way, and that's clearly not Maturi. Just my two cents.
Not one but TWO stories about how good Max Shortell has looked good thus far (right or wrong, there's no way he's redshirting. He'll be the #2 QB for the USC game). The Strib's story also has some injury news about LB Keanon Cooper, who missed practice again and had his arm in a cast and a sling. Supposedly it's a wrist injury and he's suppose to be back to practice sometime this week, and I hope Keanon is a quick healer. I know the team is deep at linebacker, but I think Cooper is a VERY important part of the defense for 2011, and we'll need him to have any hope of upsetting USC.
After his fantastic performance at the World University Games, the expectations are going up for Trevor Mbakwe's senior season at the U.
Gregg Doyell believes Randy Shannon is the perfect coach to clean up the mess at North Carolina. I would agree.