Yes, the University of Minnesota is taking bids for an ambitious project that is expected to include football facilities, new basketball facilities for men and women, and an academic building among other projects, but at this point the school has $65 million to build $150 million worth of buildings.
The Gophers athletic department should have access to other sources of revenue to help build facilities.
First of all, the Legislature, until it contributed $156 million for the building of TCF Bank Stadium, had passed up the main campus for money for sports facilities. But at the same time, legislators approved funding for their favorite projects such as arenas and stadiums all over the state.
Second, none of the parking revenue paid by fans attending Gophers varsity sporting events goes to the athletic department.
And third, every ticket for a Gophers event includes a tax, and that revenue could go to the athletic department but does not. Many years ago, former athletic director McKinley Boston tried unsuccessfully to get those taxes reverted to the athletic department.
These three areas add up to millions of dollars that could be diverted to the athletic department for a short period of time while these facilities need to be built. After that, those revenues could go back to their original targets.
Meanwhile, the Gophers track and field teams are going to be allowed to use the Bierman Field track until June 15, then they most likely will use Hamline University's track while Minnesota's academic building is erected. The hope is to have a new track for the Gophers by June 2017.
Bevell on top of game
When Brad Childress was named Vikings coach in 2006 and he hired Darrell Bevell as his offensive coordinator, there was a lot of second-guessing that Bevell, who previously was Green Bay's quarterbacks coach, would fail because of a lack of experience as a coordinator.
But Bevell helped the Vikings win two NFC North titles, including a 12-4 season in 2009 in which they advanced to the NFC Championship Game before losing to New Orleans. Childress was fired the following season, and new coach Leslie Frazier did not retain Bevell.
Frazier still might have his job with the Vikings if he had kept Bevell as offensive coordinator instead of replacing him with Bill Musgrave, who produced some of the worst offensive results in the Vikings history.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll heard about how good Bevell was from people at Winter Park and hired Bevell as his offensive coordinator. Now, Bevell and the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl for the second consecutive season.
There's no question that Bevell's stock has only risen in his four years with Seattle.
The Vikings ranked fifth in the NFL in total offense in 2009 under Bevell, who helped recruit Brett Favre to take over as quarterback. Only two years later the offense was in disarray; it finished 18th in the NFL with 329.7 yards per game.
The Vikings finished 20th in offensive production in 2012 and 13th in 2013. This past season, the Vikings ranked 24th in total offense, but they started to improve under offensive coordinator Norv Turner, especially in the latter part of the season as rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater gained experience.
Bevell told USA Today that this season was difficult because of the Seahawks' slow start. Seattle began the season 3-3 before rallying to clinch the NFC's No. 1 seed.
"When you're sitting 3-3, nobody's thinking you're going to do that. You've got to believe. You've got to come together as a team," Bevell said. "It's a credit to the players and Coach Carroll for the path that he took us on."
One thing that Bevell has done well is adapt on the fly to the Seahawks' offensive personnel. He had no idea that Russell Wilson would take over the starting QB job when he was drafted in the third round in 2012. In fact, Bevell thought free-agent signee Matt Flynn, the former Packers backup quarterback, would be his starter, but Wilson was too good to leave on the bench.
Bevell also likely thought he would have Percy Harvin as his No. 1 receiver for the entire 2014 season, but Seattle traded the former Viking to the Jets in October.
"I think it's a credit to all our coaches, just trying to find the best things that we can do with the players we have," Bevell said. "We had Percy — [trading him was] what we felt like we needed to do. We have other guys, try to put them in situations and help them be successful."
Bevell has been mentioned as a candidate for a number of head coaching positions. One of those was the University of Wisconsin, and he might have gotten it if he hadn't been busy preparing the Seahawks for the playoffs and unable to seriously pursue the job.
There's no question it's only a matter of time before Bevell finally gets his chance to be a head coach in the NFL. He remains one of the best offensive coordinators the Vikings have ever had.
• The Twins have had good luck avoiding the arbitration process, and they already have re-signed four players and kept them from arbitration. They have two arbitration-eligible players to go. The last Twins player who went to arbitration was pitcher Kyle Lohse in 2006.
• Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl, but he took time out to tell NFL.com that he thinks New England's use of lining up receivers as offensive linemen, as the Patriots did against Baltimore in the AFC divisional round, is something to which the league will give heavy scrutiny in this offseason.
"That'll be the deal this year," he said. "The only thing I didn't like about it was that one time you say the guy is eligible and another time you say he's ineligible, so now I gotta listen for who is eligible."
• Also at the Senior Bowl is Gophers running back David Cobb. The New Orleans Times-Picayune ran a story Wednesday saying that Cobb could be targeted by the Saints in the draft. Cobb told the paper he's excited for the all-star game. "I want to show my skill set, show I'm an all-around back. I'm a three-down back. I can catch the ball, block, run inside and outside the tackles," Cobb said.
• McDonald's released its nominees for their 2015 All-American basketball game, and one Minnesota player made the list: Jarvis Johnson of DeLaSalle, who has committed to the Gophers. Also on the list was Alex Illikainen of Grand Rapids, Minn., who is playing at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire and signed with Wisconsin.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org