Bumped. - BN Eds.
First, the following should not be construed in any way as a slam against our dedicated student-athletes. These individuals sacrifice their time and their effort for the good of their team and their school. Rather, this is an indication of how Morgan Center continues to fall down on the job in terms of providing the best possible environment for collective success.
The Directors' Cup ranks schools across all sports, with the #1 school (always Stanford) being determined by successful standing across a broad range of sports. The scoring system is set up to reward breadth, not depth. First place in a sport is worth 100 points. Second place is worth 90 points. 10th place is worth 67 points. So the premium for UConn in winning both basketball titles over a team which finished 10th in both men's and women's basketball would be 66 points.
Stanford is in first place overall with 998 points, to give some sense of scale. Getting 66 points for winning both basketball titles is not that much of a premium in this context. The Directors' Cup rewards breadth, not depth.
Success in the Directors' Cup flows into Doughnut's pockets. The incentive clauses in Doughnut's contract are mostly subjective, performance of which are determined in the sole discretion of Gene Block (ouch). The only objective clause, and the only measure of athletic success, is determined by results in the Directors' Cup.
As much as we would like to see a January bowl game, this does nothing for Doughnut's incentive payments, other than as indirectly reflected in the Directors' Cup standings. As much as we would like to see a national championship in basketball instead of having the season end in the Sweet Sixteen, this also does nothing for Doughnut's incentive paymetns, other than the 33 point (or so) premium for winning it all.
For Doughnut to receive a full incentive payment, UCLA needs to finish in the top 10 in the final Directors' Cup standings. For Doughnut to receive a partial incentive payment, UCLA needs to finish in the top 10%. If UCLA can finish in the top 10% of a list which, in the most recent standings, include such athletic powerhouses as William & Mary, Yale, Fordham and New Jersey Institute of Technology, then Doughnut gets his cash.
It is no coincidence that Doughnut would have included this clause in his contract, rather than being on the hook for success in revenue sports. When Doughnut took over, he inherited many successful coaches, some of whom have remained as coaches. Doughnut effectively clips coupons, by earning incentive payments from the success of coaches he did not hire. Included in this list are both tennis coaches, our gymnastics coach, and our women's golf coach.
But all is not well in Doughnut's world. In the most recent rankings, UCLA sits at #28. In the prior release, which covered fall sports plus indoor track, UCLA was #25. The most recent rankings cover basketball and swimming, plus the admittedly minor sports of fencing, wrestling, and women's hockey. If there is any sequence where we should be able to move up, it should be one involving basketball. But not in the current Morgan Center world.
It is obviously understandable that we would not pick up any points in the winter sports of fencing, women's hockey, rifle, skiing, wrestling, and men's swimming, since we don't field teams in these sports (whether we should have a men's swimming team is a fair question). But we also received no points for women's basketball, and we do have a team in that sport. UCLA also picked up a 64th (!) place finish in men's indoor track, a 29th place finish in women's indoor track, a 21st place finish in women's swimming, and a tie for 9th (i.e. Sweet 16) in men's basketball.
In terms of our conference brethren, Stanford is #1 (hey Gene- you can mix academics and athletics). Oregon is #16. $C is #18. Arizona is #19. Colorado is #21. Cal is #27. There are 6 Pac-12 teams ahead of us in the current standings. That means that there are 6 other athletic departments which are having better success across the board than we are. If only we gave our Athletic Director the highest compensation in the conference, things would be better. Oh wait. We are paying Doughnut more, and we are getting less.
Doughnut is probably spending time right now putting together his argument as to why he should get a partial payment for finishing in the top 10%, even though 28th place is outside the top 10% of the 259 times currently in the standings. His argument would presumably be that schools with -0- points should be included in the calculation. If only he would spend as much time developing a program to succeed.
There are 2 more winter sport releases, including the final one on April 24, which will include women's gymnastics. Hopefully, we will move up. But in the meantime, we can only feel dismay at the mismanagement within Morgan Center, and feel sympathy for our student-athletes.
Thanks for nothing Doughnut.