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Iowa adds some legal firepower to its athletic department

New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Now that baseball season is over, we officially enter the doldrums of Hawkeye sportdom. The fact that we can even write that sentence is a testament to what Rick Heller has done for the Iowa baseball program. Some of our best-performing posts traffic-wise since we took over the site were baseball-related over the past couple days. That goes to show the appetite for Iowa baseball is there. And Heller is the zookeeper ready to feed the hungry masses of Iowa fans who have never seen such a successful baseball club.

The above testament is said more succinctly from our mutual friend RossWB. And he makes great point re: getting Iowa fans to consume games:

The only shame is that it's not easier to watch them play. Very few of their games were on BTN during the regular season. Worse, they weren't even available on BTN's (free) streaming platform, BTN2Go. Technically you could watch most of their games, but only via BTN Plus ($), the BTN streaming service that you have to pay for. It would certainly be nice if more of their games were more readily available to fans. Again, more BTN games would be ideal, but even just making the games more accessible on BTN2Go would be a nice step. The Big Ten makes money hand over fist with the BTN and their other media deals; it seems overly punitive to charge fans even more to watch their teams via BTN Plus.

Fans have spoken. It’s time for the BTN to listen.

I’m of the belief that Gary Barta’s time at Iowa is very much in flux. He could be a dead man walking, and Iowa could be waiting to see how this Title IX investigation shakes out before it does anything drastic. In the meantime, the athletic department is making sure it has all its bases covered to avoid a re-enactment of what happened with Tracey Griesbaum and Jane Meyer.

On Monday the school announced the hiring of Marcus Wilson as its senior associate director of athletics. Wilson comes from Maryland, where he was the senior associate athletic director and chief administrative officer since 2013. Before that, he was an investigator for the NCAA. And before that he was an assistant district attorney for the state of North Carolina from 2006-08. Insert hand-on-chin emoji here.

So it sounds like Barbara Burke will keep Gene Taylor’s old title, while Wilson is placed in charge of Making Sure No Fuckery Happens In The Athletic Department Again. I don’t think it would be fair to call him babysitter to Gary Barta et al, but maybe that’s giving this department too much credit.

We can poke fun at the mishappenings of the Iowa athletic department all we want, but let’s look to the north, and be truly grateful that we don’t share the same problems as the University of Minnesota.

The ticket office at the U is under FBI investigation for a “sophisticated scheme” that involves ticket fraud. The scheme could date back as far as 2011, and involves tickets for Gopher hockey, football and men’s basketball.

I say it on here a lot, but it bears repeating: save for Baylor, the athletic department at the University of Minnesota is the most inept department in the land. And an actual FBI investigation puts it one step closer to Baylor. Over the last two years, Minnesota has:

  • Fired athletic director Norwood Teague for sexual harassment.
  • Fired three-time NCAA Championship-winning wrestling coach J. Robinson for essentially allowing his wrestlers to sell narcotics at a cartel-level scale on campus.
  • Dealt with the bowl boycott of football players last season over sexual harassment charges of several players, leading to the termination of Tracy Claeys as head coach.
  • Allowed Richard Pitino to walk all over the administration and break terms of his contract multiple times over.
  • Be so inept as to force out Jerry Kill. (One could cite his health, but he’s now the offensive coordinator at Rutgers sooooo.)
  • Demote an employee for sexual harassment.
  • I know there’s more but I simply can’t keep up with everything going on in my hometown.

The moral of the story is: be thankful you are not a Gopher fan.

  • Iowa announced the start time of its season-opener against Wyoming. Raise your hand if you’re surprised it’s at 11am. Here’s Iowa football’s start times as of now:

Not Iowa

And that’s that. Go forth.