Who remembers former Husky basketball player, former FBI agent, and head coach Lynn Nance?
Trent Johnson announced yesterday that he was hiring the 67 year old Nance as an assistant coach at LSU.
Nance was the basketball coach at Washington before Bob Bender. Lynn was an up and coming head coach who had success at St Mary's and Central Missouri before being named head coach at Washington. Most thought his hiring was a good one but cultures clashed when he was at Washington and a good portion of the team mutinied after charges of racism were made against him.
Nance's supporters insisted he was not racist but just a hard nosed basketball coach who had difficulty communicating with a few players on the team. He vehemently denied the claims as did other black players on the team. The racial stigma was a death knell to his career and he has been out of division one basketball since his dismissal from Washington in 1993.
Tip of the hat to the Seattle Times Percy Allen who has done a great job running the UW Basketball blog and covering Husky basketball after taking over from Bob Condotta last season.
Stadium Capacity Issue
Some Husky fans have been critical of a plan that could reduce seating in Husky Stadium from 72,500 to the mid to high 60's. The subject has been the main topic of blogs and message boards this past week. The overhelming majority of Husky fans don't want to see the stadium ever slide under the magical 70,000 seat number. Personally I would like to see it stay over 70,000 just for bragging rights.
One question I throw out there is if have you ever sat in the 72,500th best seat in Husky Stadium in its present configuration? I have, and it isn't a great seat, in fact it is a terrible seat. It is a seat that nobody would buy outside of a season like 1992 in a season ticket package. Certainly nobody will ever pay a premium for it. View obstructed seating has little value. Why put up with a seat like that when every single game is televised?
It is uncertain what the actual capacity of the stadium will be under the new plans they are currrently preparing. Chances are after the outcry this past week they attempt to keep it over 70,000. What is certain is that every single seat in the stadium will be a good one and a safe one.
A key part of the new stadium will be comfort, safety, and access which are a couple of things I really didn't give much thought about back in the 1970's and 1980's when I was in my early 20's. Back then watching football in a mosh pit was actually part of the fun.
Today it simply isn't very comfortable, or safe, and the renovation is going to address those long delayed concerns. In the end we may have to give up to 5,000 view obstructed seats but it will be worth it if safety and comfort inside the stadium is improved for fans attending the game.
New ACC TV Deal
According to the SportsBusiness Journal, the ACC just sealed a 12-year, $1.86 billion deal with ESPN. It includes broadcast rights for football and basketball and averages out to $155 million/season. That breaks down to close to $13 million per school. The ACC's old deal paid approximately $67 million or $5.58 million per school. The new deal more than doubles national TV revenues.
Jon Wilner comments that the deal may convince the Pac 10 not to go the expansion route and keep working jointly with the Big 12 (minus potentially 2) in putting together a new media package in 2011. The better deal the Pac-10 can cut as a 10-team league, the less reason there is to expand.
I still say that most of what will happen in the future will be predicated by what the Big Ten does over the next six weeks. If they siphon off Nebraska and Missouri the landscape is going to continue to change.
Softball Title Defense
Heather Tarr and her team prepare to defend the national championship this week.
The Huskies were 41-10 as they began their championship run last season. They're four games better than that pace this season. They were an incredible 17-4 in the Pac-10, the toughest softball conference in the nation. Lawrie has lost just twice.
Will Notre Dame Stay Independent?
When it comes to expansion in college football only two programs at this point will make an indelible impact if they make a move and those programs are Notre Dame and Texas.
Notre Dame and Texas are in a position to call their own shots and both prefer being exactly where they are but Big Ten expansion could change that quickly.
"I know you hear all these rumors about the Big Ten and all these other things, but let me tell you, the history that we saw today in the video, the tradition of Notre Dame football is steeped in that independence," Brian Kelly said. "As head football coach, I'm getting that it's above my pay grade where those decisions are made. But I can go on the record and tell you we want to be an independent football team. We want to be able to play coast to coast."