$400 mil. to add 4,000 seats and luxury boxes. Now, I know that ND is private, and I'm no engineer, but this renovation cost is nearly double of most renovations, including the recent one at UM.
So, is NASA building this?
There was a lot of reaction here to the news that Northwestern football players are seeking to form a union.
Their charge is that the NCAA, while raking in extraordinary sums of money through the years, has time and again refused to even discuss affording players basic protections for their services, according to CBS analyst Jeremy Fowler.
"This is about basic services for athletes working 40-plus hours a week on football. They want medical care and concussion reform to accommodate a violent sport. If someone two years removed from the college game needs to repair a knee injury sustained while playing. . . CAPA wants that surgery covered," writes Fowler.
Six billion dollars is coming in over the next 12 years for the emerging football playoff, before TV is figured in.
The question is whether the National Labor Relations Board is going to certify that the players have rights as employees. An "overwhelming" portion of the NW football team has signed on. The article also says that Georgia players are considering taking part.
I don't know if a civil discussion can be conducted about this matter. But I do know that it's important to college football and sports in general. I don't see how, if we're going to mirror the landscape at all here, we can avoid giving this attention. Like it or no, this question of whether, why, and how to remunerate college athletes has legs.
A backgrounder: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/24422752/northwestern-players-start-union-movement-in-college-athletics
There's a nice article on former Michigan Football player Will Heininger dealing with and getting beyond mental illness while at UofM.
Michigan is the only school in the state with support for athletes with issues like this.
I talked with 2015 QB Kyle Kearns tonight and he may be on deck for an offer soon.
The rules are weird right now about what coaches can and can't do, but Kearns let me know that Coach Nuss was at his school and watched him throw and recorded the throwing session. Coach Nuss plans to take the film, watch and evaluate Kearns, and assess whether he is worthy of an offer.
The two didn't speak today per NCAA rules but Kyle plans to call Coach Nuss next week to talk in depth about his potential to receive an offer. Kyle told me that he threw the ball very well today and feels confident about what Coach Nuss saw and will see on film.
Kyle was also very informed about the current quarterback offer situation at Michigan. He is well aware that David Sills, Blake Barnett, Jarrett Stidham, and Josh Rosen all hold offers. He said from what he knows, every QB that holds a Michigan offer right now has little to no interest in committing to Michigan, which I agree with. Kearns also thinks that recent Alabama-to-USC-flip Ricky Town may be offered (some think he already holds a Michigan offer) because of his Bama/Nussmeier ties, but doesn't think he is very interested in the Wolverines either, with which I also concur.
All that being said I firmly believe that if Kearns is offered he becomes a Michigan lean. I got the sense that he was very interested in becoming a Wolverine based on how he talked about the other offers and just his overall knowledge of the situation. He seemed overly excited to start communicating regularly with Coach Nuss as well. As soon as we finished speaking I chose Michigan for my Crystal Ball prediction at 247, but it all depends on whether he gets that offer after he's been fully evaluated by the coaching staff.
[Kirthmon Dozier/Detroit Free Press]
This is a couple days old but it's tangentially good news for in-state recruiting and mostly sad news for those who follow high school football in the state. Birmingham Brother Rice has named a successor to legendary head coach Al Fracassa, who'd been Rice's coach since the same year Bo took over at Michigan, and announced his impending retirement before winning the state's D-II championship in 2013. They went with the in-house candidate. Article:
(Old Ann Arbor news readers will recognize the author. I thought he was one of their best).
That successor is his former offensive coordinator, Dave Sofran, who was Brother Rice's QB back when I was in high school. Sofran played for Northeastern University in Boston. He was Fracassa's choice to succeed him and plans to keep most of the staff around. If you've watched Alex Malzone's tape you're familiar with Sofran's offense, which is pro-style.
Fracassa was a Spartan to his bones (guy played for Duffy) and his players tended to go to Michigan State or not-Michigan since the recruiting era began. Fracassa had plenty of players who came to play for Michigan, and in fact one of Bo's last speaking engagements was when they renamed the field at Brother Rice for Fracassa. When various Michigan coaches grumbled about some of the shady Spartans who had head coaching jobs in the state in the mid-aughts, Fracassa wasn't one of them.
Most recent Wolverines who played for Fracassa were walk-on Paul Gyarmati and longsnapper Jareth Glanda. You might also remember Steve Morrison, Paul Manning, Marc Milia, Matt Studenski, Zac Ciullo (whose car is parked in the Brother Rice lot for every home game and impossible to miss), punter [EDIT] Ross Ryan, and giant WR Paul Jokisch (but not his little brother, who went to Clarkston). That's an incomplete list.
Other high-profile guys to play for Rice are former NFLers Mike Lodish and and Brian Brennan, Spartans Jon Reschke, Charlie Gantt, Caulton Ray, and Adam Decker, Penn State's Chris Colasanti, Iowa's Kevonte Martin-Manley, Tennessee's Darris Sawtelle, Illinois's Devin Church, and Kenny Watkins at Minnesota. Fracassa also was the guy behind the annual Michigan quarterbacks camp,
Northwestern players have filed a petition with the NLRB to be recognized as a union. It appears that this was in part led by Kain Colter. Will be interesting to see how this plays out, as this, along witht he O'Bannon case, could have huge ramifications.