In a front page story in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune, the University of Minnesota’s athletic director, Joel Maturi, is looking into the sagging student attendance at the “U”‘s home football games. Let’s face it, students can be quite fickle when it comes to sports. If you have a winning program, they will come out. Otherwise, as a fraternity president pointed out, the team simply isn’t very good. Even the beautiful new stadium can’t get them in. Although the story points to the contrary, I think 11:00am games hurt attendance. I graduated from the University of South Carolina, a rabid college football town. At Carolina, we partied hard on Friday nights, but could recover in time for our Saturday night games. Most of our home games were at night, mostly due to the heat of the day. But, that was also in the days before television made the college football schedules. I believe these early games on campus  do the home team a disservice. Anyway, back to the Gophers. They are a very poorly coached team, especially in game prep and bench coaching the game. Coach Tim Brewster has changed both coordinators three times in his three years at the “U”! He’s supposed to be a great recruiter, after three years where are these top recruits? He took over a program with one of the strongest running games in Division One. He threw that out for the “spread”. That didn’t last as the revolving door of coordinators started spinning. Brewster has shown he can’t coach and his recruits aren’t producing so that adds up to  an early dismissal for Coach Brewster.

Now Tubby Smith’s basketball team is shrinking quickly. Now top recruit, Royce White, may be charged with burglary on campus. This follows his shoplifting and assault charges at Macy’s at the Mall. He’s now on indefinate suspension. I’m really disappointed in White. I followed Hopkins High School last year, went to many of their games and actually spoke with him a couple times. He fooled me! I should have known, however, he is covered in tattoos and was expelled from DeLaSalle High School before enrolling at Hopkins. Another player, Devron Bostick, a senior juco transfer, has been suspended for team rules violations. Of course their top prospect, juco transfer Trevor Mbakwe, is on indefinate suspension awaiting his trial in Miami for felony assault! Where does it end? I know the pressure to win in D-1 hoops is huge, but look what it’s doing to the quality and ethics of the sport. Maybe all D-1 head coaches need to band together and stop recruiting thugs, felons, questionable students, and gang members. How come basketball powerhouse programs like Duke, North Carolina, and Stanford, to name a few, don’t ever seem to have these problems? Because they evaluate a kid’s academics and character before recruiting them! Pretty simple, isn’t it? Clean it up Tubby, you’re better than this!

I see coach Lucia and the Gopher hockey team has suffered another defection. There have been a number of these the past few years. Why? Every year we hear about them having the top recruiting class in the country, and almost every year ends in disappointment.  Now this year, apparently many of his recruits will not join the team next fall. They are going to play a year in juniors first. If your roster is down to only six defensemen, wouldn’t you try to get players that can help you next year? Dumb! I’ve been saying this for over a year now, it’s time to fire Lucia! He came here with idea of running the most prestigious and powerful hockey program in D-1, thinking that the best players migrate to here naturally. Well they don’t anymore, and now MN State Mankato, St. Cloud State, beat the Gophers like a drum. And soon, Bemidji State will be doing the same, especially with the underground railroad to Canada for blue chip players. The Gophers are not even the top program in state anymore!

Two of the coaches at the “U” are successful in spite of the pathetic support the “U” gives their programs. Baseball coach, John Anderson, has run a national baseball D-1 power here for over twenty years. Baseball!? In Minnesota?! Coach J Robinson has lead a nationally ranked power in wrestling here for over ten years. Oh, as a side, both the baseball and wrestling teams annually carry close to the highest, if not the highest, team GPA’s in the Big Ten!  So there you have it, Brewster, Smith, and Lucia. It’s time for you to get with it or get out!

Cam Obertctp gopher actionTubby SmithDon Lucia


2 Responses to “AILING SPORTS AT THE “U” OF MN-WHY?”

  1. Matt Oscarson Says:

    I say become a Badger fan, Bucky Rules!

  2. youandmedoweagree Says:

    As the writer of this post, I admit I failed to address what is probably the biggest problem at the “U”. An administration, faculty, and alumnae that don’t really support the athletic department! Football, basketball, and hockey are the three largest revenue generators at the school. They need to be fixed, soon, or the “U’ will end up losing what it has left!

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