I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
As if this whole mess hasn't been handled poorly enough, now Rutgers' response strategy is to blame the victims. John J. Farmer, the senior vice president and general counsel, claims the letter written by the Tennessee volleyball team "lacks any indicia of reliability" and labels Hermann's actions "neither surprising nor abusive"
Can we get a refund?
According to media reports, e-mail exchanges between AD search committee members and leaders on Tuesday showed very different perspectives on the quality of the search process.
On Tuesday afternoon, as politicians and major Rutgers donors were publicly criticizing the university for hiring Julie Hermann, an athletic director with a checkered history, the leaders of the search committee sent an e-mail to the group’s members assuring them that the process that led to Hermann’s hiring had been fair and transparent. In e-mailed responses, however, at least two committee members claimed that the leaders had whitewashed a process that felt secretive and rushed, leaving them uncomfortable with the university’s selection of Hermann.
I am not suprised at the disagreement between those with the most responsibility and those with less. What drew my attention the most was the attempt by the committee leaders to assure everyone involved that the process had been just, even as criticism poured in.
Rutgers is a mess. The AD they hired to replace the one responsible in the Mike Rice fiasco is now in the midst of her own scandal from skeletons in her closet. Combine this with the embarrassment of news that new head basketball coach Eddie Jordan never really graduated from Rutgers and you have what looks like a completely incompetent athletic dept. Good job Big Ten.
EDIT: Story out now:
New AD was not recommended by the headhunter search firm Rutgers hired but rather was added to the initial list of candidates by the Rutgers search committee chairwoman. May have never been properly vetted:
With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers the conversation has centered around
WHY, WHY, WHY, TV sets and whether or not this was just a cover for Delaney to ditch Leaders and Legends. MGoUser trppwlbrnID asked the question that should always be asked, what about recruiting?
With the addition of the two schools, I dug into their recruiting bases and how much opportunity there might be for Michigan to jump into some new territories.
Home state of Maryland recruits (2009-2013 classes) weighted by consensus rating
Nearly half of Maryland’s last five classes have come from Maryland and Washington, DC. These two regions would have the most likely opportunity for Michigan. Pennsylvania, Georgia and Florida are regions that aren’t going to give any advantage because Maryland has joined the Big Ten.
Home state of Rutgers recruits (2009-2013 classes) weighted by consensus rating
Over half of Rutgers’ recruits came from the home state of New Jersey. Like Maryland, Rutgers has looked to Pennsylvania and Florida as key secondary regions. So that leaves just the home regions of New Jersey, Maryland and DC as areas that Maryland and Rutgers have had success that seem viable for Michigan to make new inroads into.
Over the last five years, there have been 73 players from New Jersey, Maryland and DC that have garnered a consensus 4 star level rating. Five schools have signed at least four of these players. Penn St has signed 9 of these players while the new members of the Big Ten have signed 7 each. Florida and Michigan have each signed four. When you look at the totals by conference (excluding Maryland and Rutgers from any conference) the Big Ten is already the leading team in recruiting these key regions.
The Big Ten is already getting about a third of the players not going to the new members. Adding Maryland and Rutgers into the Big Ten count gives them 45% of the top recruits from the region. In terms of quantity, there doesn’t seem to be much upside for Michigan in the newly acquired regions on a quantity basis. Some of the ACC signees may end up going B1G but even taking a third of these players is still just one extra recruit for the conference per year.
The Elite Opportunity
During the same five year period, the Maryland/Rutgers region has produced 15 players who were consensus Top 100 level players only one signed with a Big Ten team (Eli Apple, OSU) and Maryland (Stefon Diggs) and Rutgers (Darius Hamilton, Savon Huggins) were each only able to sign three of the fifteen. Of the other 11, four went to other ACC schools, 3 to the SEC, 3 to the Pac-12 (one of which was the embattled Yuri Wright) and one to Notre Dame.
Overall, the Big 10 and Michigan already have a solid presence in the local areas where Maryland and Rutgers have the most success. The area that seems the most likely for Michigan to gain a new advantage will be the elite level recruits that have been avoiding the Big Ten presently.
The Michigan Opportunity
As noted above, Michigan is already doing better than most at signing 4 star talent from the region. There is certainly an opportunity to do more, but this shouldn’t be a major change for Michigan. The biggest windows of opportunity are probably in some of the Top 100 type players. Recent names such as Stefon Diggs and Kendall Fuller are players who Michigan might have had a better shot at with the new footprint (although Fuller’s recruiting did overlap with the news). This isn’t a massively talent rich region but it has enough to produce a couple elite prospects annually. Michigan and Ohio should be most poised to step in and take advantage, especially with Penn State buried for the next several recruiting cycles.
The more difficult to quantify opportunity is probably Virginia. Maryland isn’t a major player in the state, but with the Derrick Green commitment and the recruitment of Da’Shawn Hand the opportunity to play two games in neighboring Maryland should definitely help solidify Michigan’s position as a major player in Virginia recruiting.
I started this as a response to the diary by maizeonblueaction, but I figured it would get more play on the main board. I'm interested to find if anyone cares to defend the B1G acquisition of Rutgers and Maryland. I feel like cable contracts with the BTN are not the end all, be all factor as to whether our forray out east will be successful.
I'm not as sold on BTN bound TV sets being the sole reason to branch into populace areas. Sure, that's a huge focal point for now, but it's not the only thing. When speculating on decisions, there is a general trend to underestimate those who come to said decisions. It's easy to poke holes in most arguments, as there are very few 'no-brainers'. Sure, there are stupid people everywhere, but by and large the people who have cash to back up their decisions have proven themselves in some facet. It is presumptuous to assume that a rag tag group of message board patrons have out-thunk a group of people who make insane amounts of money to assure that even more insane amounts of money and power are retained by said group.
I can list a few other items that should not be overlooked in the event that TV channels are no longer bundled. These are listed from the perspective of CFB, but can also apply to other sports in some cases...
1. Recruiting. This is not to be undersold. Higher population equates to more talent that can be swayed into staying home. In this instance, the Nebraska coup was a net drain on the conference. Sure, Nebraska will hold onto some of their recruiting territories in Texas and out west, but most of their kids will need to be cherry picked from the midwest. We have one more heavyweight eating from the same piece of pie. Conversely, New Jersey and Maryland are hot states for football recruiting. Though the schools may be lightweights, they've brought more pie to our party! In a way, bringing them into the fold helps mitigate our fat uncle Nebraska. ( I swear this is the last time I analogize high school recruits to pie. It's creepy.)
2. Word of mouth. Even if we can't edge our way into the TV sets of the entirety of Baltimore, DC, and the greater NYC area, getting our foot in the door creates a starting point. If mouths start talking about the Big 10 in those areas, they have the power to spread our gospel like a targeted plague. You can even speculate that if Rutgers and Maryland benefit from the status of being in the Big 10, they will be able to raise the profile of their teams and compete on a national stage, bringing even more relevancy.
3. Lamestream media coverage. I despise the term. But the mainstream media will parrot what it thinks is best for self preservation. When ESPN sees that the large demographics are now more tuned into B1G interests, it will cater to that demand. More curious eyes means more exposure. More exposure means more curious eyes. I guess this dovetails with number 2 on my list, but it stands as a potential point. The antithesis of this is the NHL. It is, by all means, a great product. But Bettman and lockouts and unwarranted expansion that dilutes the product caused a lot of casual fans to turn away. Now, ESPN couldn't take enough pay to touch the league, which threatens to further nichify the sport.
4. Access to coastline. In the event of Civil War II breaking out between the B1G and the SEC, any military person recognizes the basic need of coastline. Nobody likes to be landlocked. Laugh now, but crazier shit has happened.
Pernetti has been fired or has resigned according to ESPN (watching on TV, no link). It is not yet clear which. [EDIT: Resigns]
According to Brett McMurphy, who is reporting the story, is saying a major factor was the political pressure on to do something.
EDIT: Rutgers press conference live on ESPN at 1pm EST.
EDIT2: Here's a link to the ESPN story.
From the press conference, President Barchi says that "Rice was not fired for cause, I just fired him." He mentioned that the independent investigation concluded that they could not fire Rice with cause, contractually. Barchi says that he did not see the tapes until this week and at that point immediately made the decision the fire Rice, despite not having contractual, legal cause. This means that Rice will be given whatever by-outs that exist in his contract.