Monday, December 15, 2008

The Presidential Response

Surprisingly enough, Dr. Jo Ann Gora took time out of her busy day to respond to the open letter that was sent to her by OverThePylon. Here is her reply, in its entirety.

Mr. Rucker,

We worked very hard in our efforts to retain Coach Hoke. Recognizing his achievements this season, the university offered him a new deal that would have made Brady Ball State’s highest paid employee. We willingly discussed and resolved issues he raised. Upon learning of his decision, I asked Brady directly if there was any more we could have done to keep him, and he said, simply, “no.” When Brady told me that San Diego State had offered him a guaranteed package of $3.5 million over five years, I knew we had done all we could to keep him, especially in these challenging economic times.

We are fortunate to have passionate fans and supporters of our athletic programs. I understand the sadness and even anger many feel about losing a valued member of the Ball State family. I hope you’ll join me as we move forward and support our student athletes, seek a successful successor, and wish Brady the very best as he and his family transition to San Diego.

Jo Ann Gora

Well, color me tickled, Dr. Gora. Forgetting for a moment that she:
a.) Probably had someone else respond to the email in the first place since she's traveling and
b.) Didn't answer one single direct question that was asked

Plain and simple, this is a PR spin job of the highest order. She knows her and AD Tom Collins dropped the ball and now its time to make Brady look like a horse's ass. Gora seems like an academic in the truest sense of the word, who sees no point in silly endeavors like football or athletics. Unless we can use those athletics to right injustices of generations past like gender equity. Otherwise, sports are stupid, athletes are big dumb animals, and the fans who support them could never be as smart as her or her fellow academics, in their tweed-coat-leather-elbow-patch crowd.

It is because of this reason that I am neither optimistic nor even remotely excited about the coming coaching search. This is going to be an episode in futility and a shitshow of the highest order. I had considered for all of about 30 seconds sending another email and plainly asking for answers, but I feel that would be a waste as well. Because, you know, us football fans are too stupid to even understand the ramifications of this. I mean, it's all Brady's fault you silly little nitwits.

I have met President Gora on several occasions and can safely say that I have never met anyone like her (and not in that "this person is really special" sort of vibe). As myself and another alum, whose family is quite influential in donations of goods, services, and money to the CVC and the university, boarded an elevator to the press box in the football stadium (pre-renovation) we were brushed past and asked to wait as she and her cronies boarded on past like we didn't exist. It was only after he introduced himself and his father's business that we were welcomed on. That was my first interaction with her, unfortunately not the last, and I can say that none of them got any better.

Since she's been here I have watched numerous friends, mentors, colleagues, and fellow professionals in higher education be shown the door or downgraded to the point where they just quit. You can add Brady Hoke to that list now. It is a shame. It is a travesty. Ball State is simply a pothole on her road to whatever it is she's looking for and she doesn't care who gets caught in the quick fix namemaking she likes to do for herself.

I am no longer a student at Ball State, so it would be completely baseless for me to comment on the student experience there nowadays. But I can safely say that my alumni dollars will be put on hold, in a nice interest bearing account, ready for day 1 of the next president's administration. It isn't much, and guys like Jason Whitlock and David Letterman may continue to cough over millions while Jo Ann Gora and her goon squad fiddle away while Rome burns down around them, but don't say I didn't contribute in some small way.

But, hey, thanks for the response, Doc.


edge said...

Ok guys. I have the solution. We go to her next press conference... I assume Alan can get us passes? And, just as she's finishing up her opening remarks, we throw our shoes at her.

Anonymous said...

Wow Alan your tune sure has changed. You were openly bahshing me last week over very similar comments. Regardless I am glad you have seen the light and joined the good fight