Sunday, April 25, 2010

USHR Says Gwozdecky Was OSU Candidate

Hockey to Basketball Time-Lapse from DU Clarion on Vimeo.

(above) DU spends over $500,000 per year to convert Magness from hockey to basketball 120 times each season

The respected subscription hockey website U.S. Hockey Report mentioned in an article yesterday that University of Denver hockey Coach George Gwozdecky was a candidate for the vacant Ohio State head coaching job, but an agreement could not be reached. Ohio State announced the hiring of University of Wisconsin assistant coach Mark Osiecki on Saturday.
"The three finalists were Wisconsin assistamt Mark Osiecki, Boston College associate head coach Mike Cavanaugh, and Denver head coach George Gwozdecky. We're getting two different reports on Gwozdecky's not being hired, one indicating his price tag was too high -- even for OSU -- and the other saying that he slept on it, and decided to stick with Denver. More likely, it was some combination of the two. And, of course, there could well be reasons we may never know of."
- US Hockey Report
Last Monday, Coach Gwozdecky told the Denver Post's Mike Chambers, he was assisting Ohio State in their coaching search. On Wednesday unconfirmed reports cited that Gwozdecky was in Columbus to "interview," not consult for the Ohio State job.
“They have called me to consult, just like other programs in the past, to say ‘Hey, what do you think of this guy, can you recommend anybody?’” Gwozdecky said. “They sat down with me at the Frozen Four to ask me who are the best guys in your league, things like that. So that’s where that’s at.”

Asked if he has any interest in the Buckeyes’ job, Gwozdecky said. “No.”
- Denver Post
These conflicting reports raise troubling red flags for the University of Denver hockey program. Coach Gozdecky has been trying to renegotiate his current contract since at least February. The "contract talks," if there ever where any, appear to have stalled.

Its possible that Chancellor Coombe doesn't want to renegotiate Gwozdecky's contract, while Sodexo employees at DU toil below the poverty line or perhaps DU has used all its Athletic Department funds on the Grand Basketball Experiment that is Joe Scott. Either way, this better be a wake-up call for the University of Denver Athletic Department.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don"t get me wrong....I love Gwoz, but maybe the hockey program needs some new blood?

dggoddard said...

That may or may not be true, but you could kiss the recruiting goodbye in the near term.

All the 2010 players that committed to DU would probably be released from the Letters Of Intent. We'd find out in a hurry if they were coming to DU or coming to be coached by Gwozdecky. The 2011 and 2012 recruits would probably want to go elsewhere, perhaps wherever Gwoz landed.

Its taken Gwoz & staff 16 years at DU to build the recruiting to this level. We're going to risk pissing it all away for an extra $100,000 - $200,000 per season (a buck or two price increase in tickets)?

If you want to see what DU hockey could look like in a couple of seasons, check out Nebraska football after Osborne left.

Anonymous said...

get rid of gwoz, he is a dick head

puck swami said...

Before we go overboard, I would believe Gwozdecky before I'd believe USHR. Gwozdecky has to my knowledge, never lied publically about his coaching status, and given his many years of exemplary behavior, I'd believe him before I'd believe USHR. Gwoz has proven to be a man of honor, and if he says he was not a candidate, I would give him the benefit of the doubt.

In my view, everyone who signs a contract is honor bound to uphold it. I am sure that when the time comes for a new contract, that DU will find the money to pay Gwoz appropriately. Maybe the OSU visit was a reminder to DU that Gwoz is a marketable coach, and that it's time to get the deal done.

As for Joe Scott, he's getting paid on the lower end of the pay scale for D-I hoops coaches. And he's earned every nickel of it with the upward progression of the program. DU wants to get hoops into a higher level in order to move into a better conference and get in on the NCAA gravy train, and they are on their way to getting there with a very solid hoops program that is coming together under Scott.

DU has nothing to do with what Sodexo workers get paid. Sodexho gets paid a flat contract fee from DU, and it's then up to Sodexho to pay their employees whatever they wish within the law.

Anonymous said...

Which program puts the butts in the seats. It sure isnt bball. Gwoz has done a tremendous job. Dont tell me we need to shake up the hockey program.

puck swami said...

Hockey makes a profit, but realistically, DU might make a million or two on hockey each year, but the athletic department costs $25 million to operate, so even if hockey and basketball make sizable profits, athletics will never be self-sustaining at DU and that's fine. Very few schools turn a profit on sports, and of those who do, it's football driven. DU gets great bang for its athletic buck, as most DU sports are quite competitive nationally.

I think DU will do what it takes to retain good coaches.

Anonymous said...

From what I've seen in attendance, both DU basketball coaches should be paying rent to play inside Magness arena. They can't be making ANY money on those games. they probably start losing money as soon as they turn on the lights. Talk about a ghost town

puck swami said...

The purpose of college sports is not just to make money, folks. If it were only about making money, DU would have only one sports team, and the NCAA doesn't allow that.

The purpose of college sports to provide academic and sports opportunities for athletes, raise the university awareness/reputation and and to provide campus entertainment for the students and community.

College basketball in Colorado (at every Colo. school) is not a big drawing attraction because there is little history of sustained success and there is a lot of competition out there for entertainment. DU has gone from the bottom of the heap to the top half of D-I programs in just three seasons, and the crowds have doubled from 1,000 per game to over 2,000 per game. Now, those aren't big numbers yet, but if DU makes the NCAA tourney a couple years in a row, larger crowds will come out.

Anyway, in order to be viable as a D-I member, you need at least 16 sports, and with our location and sports mix, DU needs basketball to be good in order to get out of the Sun Belt and into a new conference. DU has little choice but to invest in basketball, because if they don't, they will get kicked out of the Sun Belt at some point, and trying to survive as an independent is not viable as a recruiting tool. DU cannot go back to D-II either and keep one sport in D-I, as the rules no longer allow it.

In short, DU is doing what it must do to keep moving forward as the top non-football athletic dept in America.

dggoddard said...

Swami, what century are you living in?

"The purpose of college sports to provide academic and sports opportunities for athletes, raise the university awareness/reputation and and to provide campus entertainment for the students and community."

No one give a crap about entertaining the students or the community. Its all about the money.

The purpose of the "revenue sports" at any Division-I school is to feed the machine. More revenue is required to build more facilities, to pay for higher coaches salaries, to attract better recruits, to raise even more revenue, and the cycle continues.

puck swami said...

Feed what machine? That might be true at Texas or Ohio State where real money flows into the departments from TV contracts, licensing and football gate revenue, but with DU, most of the money that goes to athletics is mostly general school internal funds, and not earned revenue from outside the school (tickets, TV, concessions, etc.)

DU has a $25 million athletic budget and most of that "revenue" comes from soft dollar scholarships that the University 'charges' to the athletic departments, and the rest of it is overhead. Earned real revenue from all DU games might be $4 million in total, at most.

Revenue is important, but only a few athletic departments can actually pay for themselves. Most of them run in the red perpetually, and colleges absorb the overages as a cost of providing the experiences.

If DU wants to pay someone what they are worth, they'll reach into the general fund and pay it.

If DU wants a new facility, they float a bond and the donor money and tuition revenue pays it off over time. The arms race is mostly paid for by big donors and students' families, and not any profits DU makes on sports because any profit they 'make' is much smaller than the money they spend....

Anonymous said...

I can see now where the players get their loyalty......way to air out your laundry in public gwoz!