On teague’s plate
Here are several hot topics for AD Norwood Teague as he enters his second year at Minnesota:
• Explore ways to increase football attendance, particularly among students. Average attendance (tickets distributed) was 46,637 in 2012, and the Gophers sold only 3,888 student season tickets. Among new initiatives is a tailgating lot for students. “We’re going to solve that if it’s the last thing we do,” Teague said.
• Attempt to unveil a master facilities plan sometime this summer. The entire project could cost between $80 million and $125 million and include a basketball practice facility and new indoor football facility. “We’ve got to be smart about how we present it and where the dollars will come from. But I will say, we’re behind our peers in that area. While we want to build first-class facilities, we don’t want to be crazy with how we do it.”
• Remain committed to supporting a 25-sport program but acknowledge the financial challenges.
• Continue the transition from Tubby Smith to 30-year-old Richard Pitino as men’s basketball coach. “Hiring Richard has been such a shot in the arm for all of us in so many ways. You have a guy coming in with a new set of eyes on a program that really has potential to get back to where it was. I’m really excited about where we’re going, but we’ve got to give him time. I hope our fans will because he’s going to have to put his fingerprint on the program.”