7.2.07

HOW POSITIONAL ARMS RACES WORK. Ohio University has to compete for football recruits against Bowling Green and Northern Illinois. Something has to give.

The University said [the cuts] were being done to comply with Title IX, and because of a $4 million deficit the department has accumulated over the years.

Yes, that's what they said. Now let's look at the facts. Actually, there are two major reasons why this decision fails to stand up to scrutiny. Let's look at each of them.

First, the University is not out of compliance with Title IX according to the Women's Sports Foundation, probably the leading advocate for Title IX adherence. Last year, Ohio University ranked first out of the 119 Division I schools in Title IX compliance. This year, it ranks 21st – still better than more than 80 percent of Division I schools. So why does the athletic director maintain that his department is not in compliance? I believe there are only two possible explanations: Either his analysis was seriously flawed or there was a deliberate attempt to misstate the facts.

As for the issue of the budget deficit, the second rationale: Yes, the Ohio University Athletic Department has built up a $4 million deficit over the years. This is not something that happened overnight. Didn't anyone notice?

Aside from that, you have to ask: what impact would cutting men's swimming have on the deficit? It turns out that the incremental cost of having a men's swim team -- in addition to the women's team -- comes to roughly $35,000 a year. Let's see: at $35,000 a year, it would only take a bit more than 114 years to erase the deficit. And, that's assuming zero inflation and zero interest on the debt.

On top of that, we have learned that even as the A.D. is crying "poverty," he plans to move on with building a $20 million indoor football practice facility. When asked, he says "most" of the $20 million will come from "private donations." But he's unclear about how much "most" is. It could be just pennies more than $10 million. Or it might be 11 to 12 million, or maybe even 15. Whatever it is, it will only add to the deficit, perhaps doubling or even tripling it.

As a former college professor, I would have to give the OU administration an "F" for research and transparency.

(Via University Diaries.)

Here's how the recruiting dynamic looks from DeKalb.

"When it really comes down to it Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, and Ball State are our main competition," [Northern Illinois recruiting coordinator Mike] Sabock said. "We do not expect to lose someone to another MAC school if we want them."

And "if we want them" is the key statement.

Just a few years ago Bowling Green came to the Chicago land area in hopes of sneaking an offensive lineman from underneath the nose of the Huskies.

But instead of trying to protect its home turf, NIU let the Falcons take the recruit. And it proved to be a wise decision.

With the Bowling Green on the schedule, Sabock told his players they could expose this lineman.

"We can beat him," Sabock told his team. "He wasn't good enough to be one of us."

Sure enough, the Huskies ripped through the offensive lineman, sacking the quarterback multiple times.

And Northern Illinois has the Yordon Center. Thus, Ohio has to have one too, in order to tempt recruits capable of beating Northern Illinois and winning a bowl game.

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