Monday, July 23, 2007

Help BigU to Fill Twin City Federal Stadium!
A Modest Proposal
Endowed Schieks Football Scholarships

[Downloadable version (Word) available on Best of Bonzo]
According to the Strib, BigU has been angling for a million dollar donation from the former owner of Schieks – a strip club –in downtown Minneapolis. The sharp-eyed UD once again beats Mr. B. to the punch line on this one: "Surge in School Pride... as the University of Minnesota goes after a whole new class of stadium donors!"

Bless her. Last night Mr. B. was out having dinner with friends after a long hard day learning about protein crystallography with a quick dash at lunch to "The Temple" in Salt Lake City, where it is still hotter than Hades. And to think that she was toiling away on her blog.

Not too long ago a visit to Schieks was considered de riguer for student-athletes being wooed by BigU..

UD has already done the full Monty on these guys but a few items of special interest from the Strib (italics mine) follow:

University officials involved in the drive to raise $86 million in private money for the $288.5 million stadium, including Joel Maturi, the school's athletic director, declined to comment on the potential gift or Sabes' background with Schieks.

"The university has had a number of discussions with the foundation about opportunities to support our mission, whether it is the stadium or in another way," said Dan Wolter, a university spokesman.

But a university adjunct professor, who said he had approached Sabes' foundation on behalf of the stadium fundraising drive, said the contribution had grown more uncertain even as school officials count it toward the $60 million already raised privately for the stadium. Andy Andrews, an adjunct professor with the Carlson School of Management, said that the foundation had in effect withdrawn its commitment, and that university officials are now scrambling to get the family to reconsider.

Andrews said Sabes' business interests were not part of the university's fundraising discussions, and added that "I don't suppose I gave it much thought. I'm just trying to raise money for the stadium."
This situation brought to Mr. B.'s twisted mind an interesting solution to the problem. Because of the long association of Schieks with football players, perhaps it would be appropriate for BigU to name some Schieks scholars to the football team. This endowed scholarship idea comes from the big brain of BigU's AD, Joltin' Joel Maturi. According to him:

"Right now, all the scholarships are paid for [by the university]," Maturi said, "so if a donor comes and says, 'I want to endow a scholarship for $300,000,' the coach is likely to say he or she could use that $300,000 in another way. But that's being shortsighted.

"I tell them that raising more funds isn't going to help Joel Maturi a lot, it's going to help the next athletic director. But that's the right thing to do."

Further, in the interests of maintaining both industry/university cooperation and outreach, Mr. Bonzo proposes that Schieks set aside a section of their establishment for BigU athletes and name it the Gopher Hole. To demonstrate that Schieks has only the best interests of all BigU athletes at heart, the Gopher Hole would be open to non-revenue producing athletes as well as female Gopher athletes. In return for this generosity a private box in Twin City Federal Stadium (TCFS) would be set aside for appropriate Schieks employees at the TCFS. There OurLeader, Joltin' Joel, and other BigU bigwigs could entrap, er… entertain, potential donors to TCFS and the Scheiks scholars program.

This is a win/win situation if ever there was one.

As a grant-writing scientist, Mr. B. always feels obliged to answer the obligatory question: What if your proposed idea doesn't work? Have you got an alternate strategy? Answer: Try Hooters next. I am sure that Hooters would welcome the opportunity to be linked commercially with a world class academic institution such as BigU. The synergy in this combination would be unbeatable. The activities of Joltin' Joel and BigU's athletic fundraisers are totally consistent with Hooter's trademarked self-description: "Delightfully tacky. Yet unrefined."
Ciao, Bonzo from SLC

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