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07/07/2016 - 4:16pm Hee. In seriousness, does

Hee. In seriousness, does anyone think this deal happens without Coach Harbaugh’s approval? Of course not.

There’s no way AD Manuel even thinks about trying to foist any kind of football related decision on Coach Harbaugh against Coach Harbaugh’s will. When it comes to football, I don’t think anyone doubts who calls the shots. Resuming this rivalry – or any other football decision – is in large part only going to be as important as Coach Harbaugh thinks it is. If Coach Harbaugh didn’t think the trade was worth it, if Coach Harbaugh wasn’t in a hurry to resume the series, it wouldn’t happen.

So if it looks like Michigan was driven to make whatever deal it took to start this series again in 2018 instead of 2020 or 2022, then it essentially means Coach Harbaugh wants to play Notre Dame again sooner rather than later. It means Coach Harbaugh is okay with what it cost to make it happen sooner rather than later. Why is something we can speculate about, but I think it’s ultimately to Coach Harbaugh and his thinking that we’d have to go, to ask why we were willing to make this deal.

09/09/2013 - 6:07pm Thank you!

Thank you!

09/09/2013 - 6:05pm Only a fraction of the UT System endowment belongs to UT Austin

The combined UT System endowment value combines the total endowments held by the nine separate regular universities of the UT System, four separate medical schools, and MD Anderson Cancer Center.  UT Austin itself only has access to a small fraction of the total - the 1.2 billion dollars held by UT Southwestern Med, or the billion dollars held by MD Anderson, can't be used to pay for the Longhorn's football coach.

Last year, when Yahoo Finance confused the UT System endowment for the UT Austin endowment, the VP of Finance for UT Austin wrote a letter explaining that only $6 billion of the 2012 $17.1 billion system total was available to UT Austin (and where I got the $6 billion number) [1]. That's still a very impressive number, but less than Northwestern's (or Michigan's) total.


09/09/2013 - 1:42pm Imagine a cross between Brady Hoke and Charles Woodson.

Coach Fitzgerald's roots at Northwestern and in Chicago run incredibly - almost ridiculously - deep.

He was born in Orland Park, a near suburb of Chicago. He graduated from high school there. He married his high school, hometown sweetheart. Chicago is where his family still lives, where her family still lives, and Pat and Stacy Fitzgerald's three sons have never known any other home but Chicago, where they were born and are being raised.

Pat Fitzgerald didn't just play for Northwestern - he is the *only* Northwestern player, ever, to be honored with a major national player award (winning the Bednarik Award and the Nagurksi Award back to back in '95 & '96). Fitzgerald later became the first Northwestern player  to win a place in the College Football Hall of Fame since Ron Burton's senior season in 1959. I was an undergrad (HPME) at Northwestern for the epic '95 and '96 seasons before coming home to Michigan for MD/PhD, and I can tell you Pat Fitzgerald was a hero at Northwestern as a player.  Think of how Nebraska fans felt about Ndamukong Suh, and you get how Northwestern students felt about Fitzgerald. Except imagine if Nebraska had gone 47 years without ever making it to any Bowl game whatsoever and then Suh leads them to the Rose and Citrus. *47* years waiting.

Pat Fitzgerald's first two one-year coaching positions were under former NU coaches (then at Maryland and at Colorado) before heading to Idaho for a year - and as soon as Northwestern offered him, he came straight back. Northwestern was the first long-term position (as linebacker coach) that he ever held, before his mentor and friend Randy Walker suddenly died of a heart attack two months before the '06 season began.  That's when Northwestern chose to pass up both the OC and DC to make Fitzgerald, the hero of the epic '95/'96 seasons, the new HC. And then he went on to be the winningest coach and first bowl game winner in Northwestern history.

Northwestern's current administration is smart enough to know what they've got in Fitzgerald and has the will and the money to do something about it.  Everybody talks about $TEXAS money? UT only has a six billion dollar endowment. Northwestern has *seven*. Northwestern may be the smallest school in the B1G but only Michigan has a bigger financial warchest: behind UM and NU; third place U. Minnesota checks in at barely a *third* the size. Northwestern has more in the bank than Iowa, Nebraska, MSU, Indiana and Illinois *combined*. And Northwestern's spending it - $220 million on a new athletics complex that will headquarter the football team on a spectacularly beautiful stretch of beachfront Lake Michigan from which you can watch the Chicago skyline light up at night. 

As we all know, Schembechler turned down the chance to become the richest coach in college football history at Texas A&M, to stay at Michigan. Now imagine if Schembechler had been born and raised and married in Washtenaw County, won the Heisman two years running for U. Michigan as a player, and had been Bernie Oosterbaan's protege instead of Woody Hayes'. *That's* what Fitzgerald means to Northwestern, and what Northwestern means to Fitzgerald.  We're talking about a coach born in Chicago, raised in Chicago, met and married his wife in Chicago, raised all his kids in Chicago, has never had any long-term coaching position anywhere but Northwestern, is the biggest player hero in living Northwestern memory, is the biggest *coach* hero in living Northwestern memory, and has an administration who both has the will and the financial means to keep him happy.

Nothing is impossible; but if you had to create from scratch the biography of a coach that is *least* likely to be poachable, Pat Fitzgerald is it.  I suppose it's possible some school might be able to poach him; but I think it's more likely that thirty years from now, they name the football practice facility Fitzgerald Hall. 

I don't think Pat Fitzgerald wants to be the next Bill Walsh or Jim Harbaugh. I think Pat Fitzgerald wants to be the next Tom Osborne - or Bo Schembechler. And I think the B1G is richer and better for it.

06/03/2013 - 12:10pm I'm not sure the latest NCAA

I'm not sure the latest NCAA rule changes would selectively allow Division III Hopkins to promote other non-revenue sports to Division I [1]. 

(I also am unsure that joining the CIC is in any way part of the expansion discussions.)


06/02/2013 - 8:53pm Johns Hopkins will join the

Johns Hopkins will join the B1G in every Division I sport it plays, just like every other member of the B1G.  It just happens that Johns Hopkins only plays one single sport - lacrosse - at the Division I level.

For the B1G, I think this is a no-brainer decision. In 2015, the B1G will have five lacrosse members (Maryland, Michigan, OSU, Penn State, and Rutgers) - but needs six to get an automatic qualifier berth in the NCAA Tournament. Increasingly, AQ is the primary - and only practical - means of getting into that Tournament. Hopkins itself saw its 41-year consecutive of NCAA tournament apperances snapped when AQ teams with worse records crowded independent Hopkins out.  In order to give B1G lacrosse players ready access to the NCAA lacrosse tournament via the B1G, a sixth team is needed.

Pushing up a sixth B1G team before they were ready isn't a good idea for many reasons. The B1G won't (and shouldn't) add institutions unless that institution is willing to commit all of its Division I teams to the B1G - but again, this is a requirement Hopkins is able to fullfill. And if you're going to add a sixth lacrosse team, you might as well add one of the most storied, most historically successful teams in college lacrosse history.

I would imagine Hopkins' governing and involvement would be completely limited to lacrosse.  As to revenue sharing and other financial impacts - lacrosse isn't even a rounding error, compared to football or basketball.  The numbers and sums are so small, pretty much nobody is going to notice except the lacrosse players themselves, who will benefit tremendously from AQ access and superior competition.

Basically, adding Hopkins is good for Michgan lacrosse players, won't bother anyone else at Michigan, and so overall, it seems to me a win.

11/20/2012 - 3:30pm FY 2013 U. Michigan Revenue / Expense Accounting

Because U. Michigan is a public institution, the athletic department every year is required to release an accounting of it's numbers. FY 2013's numbers are here:

This includes an outright contribution *to* the University's general operating fund, which currently averages about 2 million dollars a year.

As the department already runs a significant surplus, if there were to be net additional income once the dust settles, it would be up to the Regents -- who are elected -- to decide how to direct Brandon to use that money. Every million additional dollars, for example, could pay for ~ 75 full ride scholarships.