Since Chip Scoggins broke word earlier this week that the U of M was paying $800,000 to get out of a football contract with North Carolina, opinions about the decision have not been hard to come by. Another thing front-and-center: new Gophers AD Norwood Teague and head coach Jerry Kill trying to explain the decision to irate fans (you might call this damage control). Teague spoke to the media before Kill's regularly scheduled Tuesday press conference. Both men were on KFAN yesterday, again trying to explain the decision.

What you might not have seen yet is an e-mail Teague sent to members of the "Gopher family." We're not sure exactly who all received it, but we'll let you have a look-see:

Gopher Family,


Below you will see some talking points as it relates to our decision to cancel the UNC series. It would be wonderful if you could communicate these points when asked or involved in conversations.


Thanks so much.


Talking Points

*Coach Kill has built championship programs at every stop in his career. He believes this decision is critical to the development of the Gopher football program at this particular point in time.

*To build a winning program, his is convinced that he first must establish a winning mentality and develop confidence in his players during the non-conference season.

*The Gophers’  Big Ten Conference schedule will annually be among the nation’s most demanding, with traditional powers Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin featured every year.

*The cost of this buyout will have no affect on the 24 other Gopher sports programs. There will be no adverse impact on the budgets of any other sports.

*No tax dollars or University funds will be utilized as part of our payments to UNC. Currently, the athletic department receives an allocation of 1.6 million from the University (each year) earmarked for deferred maintenance and other facility operation expenses. After this, athletics is financially self reliant for an $80 million budget. The payment will come from our self-generated funds.


*The $800,000 payment will be made over multiple years to defray the impact on our budget in any one fiscal year.

*We feel we can significantly offset this money in the future via scheduling and ticket sales.

*Over the past 15 years, the following schools have opted out on all or a portion of our football series with them: Iowa State, Baylor, Air Force, Washington State, Texas, and Navy. So this is not an uncommon occurrence.

You might say some of these points make a decent amount of sense and could defuse some of the anger. You might also say that if you need a laundry list of talking points to explain something that looks instinctively wrong -- and you're asking for help from fans to repeat these talking points -- then the decision is still a bad one.

Your thoughts on the whole UNC situation and Teague's talking points in the comments, please.

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