Thursday, April 07, 2011

Easy Win

City Hall

The wheels are moving in the right direction for Columbia's expansion/redevelopment plans at the Baker Athletics Complex.

The City Council approved the project in a full vote late today.

The final tally was 46-1. Not bad.

Hit the Lights!

Speaking of redevelopment and political approval, Dartmouth is moving into the 20th century now that the city of Hanover has approved its plan to install lights at its athletic fields including Memorial Field.

Night games could be a reality at Dartmouth as early as this fall. But I doubt Columbia will play the Big Green under the lights anytime soon since we usually play them in late October. That would be beyond my personal cut-off date for a comfortably temperate night game in new Hampshire.

But it could mean that late season start times for games at Memorial Field could now be pushed back beyond even 1 or 2 PM because losing decent sunlight will no longer be an issue.

When the Lions last played in Hanover, a heavy rainstorm made much of the game feel like a night contest because of the heavy cloud cover and no lights. Not that extra light would have made a difference as the Big Green beat a badly injured Columbia squad easily by a 28-6 score.

Can't Hold that Tiger

Well, so much for the fantastic turnaround for Princeton basketball. Brilliant Head Coach Sydney Johnson has bolted Old Nassau for Fairfield College, presumably for bigger money.

I'm going to say this is an embarrassment for Princeton and the Ivy League in general.

It's one thing for someone like Cornell's former coach to bolt for the Big East. In most years, several Big East teams have a shot at making the Final Four.

But to leave Princeton for Fairfield?!? Fairfield probably won't ever be a Final Four team. Not even the Cinderella Butler Bulldogs or VCU Rams have the kind of obstacles a program like Fairfield has to overcome.

Okay, okay... I assume it COULD happen. But who's willing to put real money on a bet that Fairfield will make even the Sweet Sixteen within a decade?

This is about money. And if Princeton, the Ivy school with the best assets-to-liabilities ratio, can be outbid by a tiny place like Fairfield, all of Ivy athletics is threatened.

I suppose there's also the chance Johnson was pushed out for some personal reason by Princeton's long-ruling A.D., Gary Walters.

Either way, the whole thing seems wrong.


At Thu Apr 07, 09:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City Council vote has restored my faith in NYC politics. Incidentally, a 46-1 in the City Council is the equivalent of 100% approval as the lone dissident, Barron, rarely votes with the majority.

At Thu Apr 07, 10:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The information being floated is that Princeton was paying Johnson $275K and that Fairfield more than doubled it by offering him $600K. One of the potential candidates to fill his spot is Kevin McGeehan, longtime assistant at Richmond under head coach (and Princeton grad) Chris Mooney.

At Thu Apr 07, 06:51:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sudden outcry was pure grandstanding by a couple of Council members and when it came down to the vote it would be a non-issue. Imagine that.

At Thu Apr 07, 07:41:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news about the vote. Does anyone know whether the buildings can actually start at this time. Is there enough seed money to start construction soon, or does this project take years to get off the ground because they have to raise the necessary funds?

At Thu Apr 07, 08:09:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reality of it all is simple: an Ivy school will not pay a HC more than it pays a senior faculty member. Fairfield wants to buy prominence; it can't do so academically, but it thinks it may to so athletically. That is why the NCAA is such a joke; the HC at Ohio State makes $5m a year, which is probably more than the entire science faculty makes. Except at the Ivies, sports is big business.

At Thu Apr 07, 10:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news! Finally, the grandstanding nonsense of the "community leaders" has been put to bed. This is a much needed facility that will improve Baker Field tremendously and benefit the community.

At Thu Apr 07, 11:01:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: the Princeton coach leaving, seems like a short-sighted move on his part. His team almost took down Kentucky in the first round, and it's reasonable to assume he could have made it back to the tourney a few more times in the coming years. I would think at that point he would be able to find a lot better place to jump to than Fairfield. He could have waited for a Big East school to come knocking and I guarantee his payday would have been a lot better than 600k. Oh well, good luck to him.

At Fri Apr 08, 01:12:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

Is there a chance that Columbia would play more of its home games "under the lights?" I've always felt a later start time would help attendance, particularly among students, who may not get up before 12 noon on a Saturday morning. Our presence at the last game at Fordham, played at night, was particularly strong. Also, there's not a whole lot of time to tailgate before a 12:30 pm start.

At Fri Apr 08, 02:06:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anybody else struck by the difference between what Harvard did to attract Amaker (presumably pay Fairfield-type money) and what Princeton just did (decline to give a raise to coach making less than half of what Amaker is likely making)?

I don't know where Columbia is on that continuum of philosophy but this is not good for the league.

At Fri Apr 08, 03:54:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be surprised if Amaker is getting big money. I imagine he is getting 300K. Harvard is not going to pay big bucks to a coach. Amaker will be going back to a larger program as soon as he gets an offer for big bucks. If he wins the league next year, he's gone.

At Fri Apr 08, 04:05:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnson was very smart to take the best available offer (Fairfield) as it is extremely unlikely that Princeton, or for that mattter, anyone else, is likely to stop Harvard's juggernaut from winning the Ivy League Basketball Championship the next couple of years. For the unaware, Harvard's incoming class, includes a third team All-America player and a potential superstar center. And the entire starting five returns as well. On paper, Harvard has a top twenty twenty team.

At Fri Apr 08, 06:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Top Twenty? Not too sure about that. I've been hearing about their phenomenal recruiting classes for the past three years. The bottom line is that Princeton beat them fair and square this year, so they are gonna have to prove it on the court before anyone can call them a juggernaut. What happened to the kids they got in trouble for recruiting before? They were supposed to be a "top 25" recruiting class but they have certainly not earned that distinction on the court, yet.

At Sat Apr 09, 03:25:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a buyer all day long of Amaker's salary at $300,000. Sell to you at $750,000. Inside market of $550,000-650,000.

Read this Bloomberg article about how Staples CEO and Microsoft CEO led a fund-raising effort to get Amaker in the door back in 2007. You do not need Steve Ballmer writing personal checks to land a coach if you're paying him only $300,000.

At Sat Apr 09, 10:12:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the BB program-just wondering why can't CU grab coaches like Amaker (I don't wish to disparage Kyle Smith who is just getting started) ? Is there something obvious that I'm missing. Is is simply that Harvard is more aggressive or just more clever. Harvard managed to snag someone who is a forner BIg Ten Coach of Michigan and Seton Hall--major big time programs. One would think that the New York setting would be enough to attract some of these big shots.


Post a Comment

<< Home