Second senior staffer to leave in the last week, is this a trend?
Next logical step for a “man/woman on the move”
Phillips had a heck of a team, and we are losing those people.
Could just be a coincidence, but Phillips left a year and a half ago. Gragg has been AD for a little over a year. So whatever fallout was going to happen as a result of those changes has already happened.
Any departures announced now have been in the works for at least a couple of months given the interview cycles and the contract negotiations for positions like Deputy AD.
So my spidey sense suggests that folks, particularly in development department, recognized that the internal investigation that started in January was going to make their lives more difficult (regardless of the outcome) and started looking around. Why else would high profile fund raisers leave during a major high profile campaign to build a new stadium?
Also given the departures, at least some of the headhunters who work the ranks of university development/administration positions may have started smelling blood in the waters and got to work.
Now that it has hit the fan, there will likely be a lot more departures. As folks have already speculated, it’s going to be difficult to get much done during this period of uncertainty. And it is also unclear how long this period of uncertainty will continue.
As a result, I would not be surprised to the see Board of Trustees step in, clean house (including a new prez and a new AD), and appoint some high profile temps to run things while they work on a reorg plan to reassure the public and the STUDFAGs (Students, faculty, alums, and guests) that tough minded responsible adults are back in control of the institution. I would also not be surprised to see the new stadium plans put on hold as a further indication of how serious the Trustees are taking this whole thing.
Also I would not be surprised that, if this does occur, one of the early actions will be to settle up with Fitz. He’s not coming back, but the University does not want to make him the villain either. Much easier to blame Gragg and Schill.
The University doesn’t need to make Fitz out as the villain, the media is already doing that.
If Gragg and Schill are forced out at some point, it’ll be because of how they’ve mishandled the actions taken and aftermath, not for the hazing itself, because most of that happened prior to either of them being on staff.
Who had the bright idea of announcing the suspension while the AD was on vacation in Europe, anyway?
I could see Gragg being quietly encouraged to go back to the NCAA. Schill is 64, under normal circumstances he probably wouldn’t serve more than 5-6 years anyway. That’s about average for a college President these days.
Absolutely agree with the bad timing on the announcement while Gragg was on vacation thousand of miles away. Did NU not know when the report from the law firm was going to be presented? Or at least an approximate date as it came down to a final draft? One would think they would have told Gragg to stay back until it was dealt with just in case! If Schill wasn’t willing to talk to the players until quite awhile after his decision then at least Gragg could have done that easily if he was home
Regarding Schills age I also would pretty much agree. When Becky was named in her mid 60’s I cringed a bit figuring that NU presidents tend to stay at least 10 years and that that would bring her to her mid 70’s , maybe not the easiest age to run around raising money for the school while also running the shop. Maybe they were looking for her yo be more of a caretaker. Stay 5 years until we find a long term candidate. After hearing of her horrible diagnosis ( and very sad passing later )I thought that maybe NU would go a lot younge Obviously they didn’t; Schill is not much younger. Wonder what time line they were thinking for his tenure ? No matter which way you come out on Fitz firing , I think the actions were clearly botched by Schill; to go from 2 weeks to permanent firing in the matter of a few days is just inexcusable, particularly when there has already been a discussion between Schill and Fitz
I’m not calling all out for Schills dismissal just yet, though I am close. If Webb is correct in saying that the verbal “agreement “between Schill and Fitz is a valid contract in Illinois ,then It’s likely that his handling of the case will cost NU a lot of money ( more than had it been handled better) not to mention a much harsher impact on the program , NU’s reputation ,and on Fitz himself. There maybe more info that comes out that could have me change my mind , but unlikely.