I had the privilege of attending the Minnesota Associated Press Sports Editors convention in the Twin Cities earlier this week.
It’s always a good time being able to chat with so many of your peers and share ideas on how to improve both the print and online products. Another added bonus was getting the chance to talk with a pair of speakers: former University of Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi, and Minnesota Vikings vice president for public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley.
We also had the opportunity to ask Maturi and Bagley questions. Soon I will post some of the more interesting Bagley tidbits. Here are a few notes and quotes I wrote down from our visit with Maturi:
- On his tenure with the Gophers: “There was a perception that the revenue-generating sports needed more attention than Joel Maturi was giving them.”
- On the BCS: Maturi explained how commissioners control the Bowl Championship Series and essentially major college football, not the NCAA. “Isn’t that kind of crazy?”, he added.
- On a playoff system: “I think the fans want a playoff of some sort. … I’m hoping we retain our bowl system. We have a bit of a history with the Rose Bowl.”
- On the breakup of the WCHA: “I’m disappointed that it broke up. … It’s because of the Big Ten brand and now there are six teams.”
- On college hockey in general: “I am concerned about the future of the WCHA and college hockey.” He added that he was concerned about lower-revenue programs, saying “My assumption is that their travel budgets will increase. My assumption is that their revenues will decrease.” Maturi also said that a Beanpot-style tournament will be held in the Twin Cities annually going forward, featuring the Gophers and three other Minnesota-based programs.
- On Notre Dame: “Notre Dame had two chances to join the Big Ten, and it came much closer (to happening) than a lot of people realize. … Notre Dame has the attitude that they are different, they are special, they are national.”