Before getting into the real subject matter of this post let me get something out of the way. I think Jim Harbaugh is a solid football coach. I always liked his fire and passion for the game dating back to his days as a Michigan quarterback. There is no doubt that he has been able to breathe signs of life and passion (even though apparently they have been having a hard time getting people to come to their games) into their football program.
The game against his tough, hard nosed Stanford team which seems to play their hearts out (just like our guys do for CRN) is going to be huge in terms of setting the tone for rest of our season. We will have plenty of time to get to the gmae notes. That said, I thought this story from late summer is worth noting now that the Cardinal are our next opponent. Jon Wilner from the San Jose Mercury News reported the following at the end of August:
This summer, Stanford mega-donor John Arrillaga built a private luxury bathroom and shower for Harbaugh that sources said cost between $50,000 and $70,000.
"John A did a nice job," Harbaugh said Monday of the man who built Stanford Stadium.
The bathroom might look good from the inside, but it looks awful from the outside.
The Stanford athletic department is facing a multi-million revenue shortfall. Fundraising has cratered. Team budgets are being sliced. More than 20 jobs have been eliminated through layoffs and buyouts, and at least one sport (fencing) is in danger of being cut.
So by all means, build the football coach a private bathroom.
"It was something I’d asked for,’’ Harbaugh said. "It cuts down on drag.’’
In other words, it saves time.
Until now, the nearest bathroom was about 20 steps down the hall from the football office. The nearest shower was two floors below Harbaugh’s desk
Wilner went on to speculate how the project "would enrage athletic department staffers and members of the Cardinal sports community," in the current economic climate.
I thought the story was kind of interesting given the message Coach Neuheisel and Howland sent to the UCLA community this past summer when both of them volunteered to take as much as 10 percent cuts from their salaries. Note even though the cuts were mandated for other state employees, Neuheisel and Howland were not subject to that reduction because of their multi-year contracts.
Well, I think what folks at Stanford Athletics decide to do is strictly their business. I don't really have an opinion on Harbaugh's (rather expensive) throne. The stark contrast with what CRN (and CBH) did is kind of funny though.
What do you guys think?