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North Carolina Paid $800K by Minnesota Gophers to Break Game Contract

Bruce Kluckhohn – US PRESSWIRE

Apparently the Minnesota Golden Gophers football program has the North Carolina Tar Heels football team confused for the legendary Baby Blue that hits the hardwood every winter in Chapel Hill.

It’s the only explanation I can manage to muster.

To avoid two future games,  the Minnesota athletic administration has cut an $800,000 buyout check to North Carolina from its budget to open up the schedule–presumably to schedule less frightening teams than the uber-intimidating Tar Heels.

Here’s the explanation from Minnesota athletic director Grover Teague, himself a North Carolina alum [emphasis mine]:

It’s a tough decision. It’s one that we feel like is part of our plan for building a program. It’s one where Coach Kill feels like that playing in the Big Ten is hard enough.

We have a young program, and we want our guys to have games in which they can build confidence and do some things rather than playing a BCS program that’s pretty good right now.

So it’s kind of part of the overall plan.

What?

We want our guys to have some games in which they can build confidence? At the expense of $800,000–an expense which, by the accounts I have read, basically cripples the short-term operating budget of the Minnesota athletic department?

I can’t wrap my head around this one, folks. The message this sends to the players doing their best to play for Minnesota, and the few fans the program has left, is dubious at best.

Beyond the confidence among current players and fans, how does an action like this look to potential recruits?

The message it broadcasts to me is: “We will back down from adversity if we are intimidated.” That’s nt exactly what the recruiting coordinators and assistant coaches want to sell to mom and dad during house calls.

Good on North Carolina for raking in a nice, tidy little $800K payday by no doing of their own  and shame on Minnesota for not having any faith in the quality or future of its program.

This one will have effects they definitely did not intend.

H/T to the Minnesota Star Tribune.

Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.

Kris is also the host of the Rant Sports College Football Houron the TSC Radio Network on Sunday evenings at 8 Central Time and Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.