Indiana (fourth), Wisconsin (sixth), Illinois (seventh) and Minnesota (eighth) were the Big Ten Conference schools among the top 10 revenue producing basketball programs in the country for school year 2004-05, according to an article last week in the Capital Times newspaper of Madison, Wisconsin. The article, using figures from a Wall Street Journal report earlier in the year, said Indiana’s revenues were $12 .5 million and expenses were $4.1 million. Minnesota’s figures: $10.3 million and $2.8 million.
Louisville ($18.5 million and $5.4 million), Arizona ($17 million and $4.5 million) and North Carolina ($15.2 million and $4.8 million) were the top three programs. The Gopher program, long known for its high ticket prices compared to many schools, once ranked even higher in national revenue but losing seasons and empty seats have impacted the Minnesota numbers. For the upcoming season, individual game and season tickets are still available to watch the Gophers, a consensus media pick to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten standings.
The Capital Times article also listed recruiting expenditures for most Big Ten programs. Among schools listed, Illinois had the highest expenditures at $230,000, Minnesota was at $124,374 and Wisconsin expended only $43,309. The Badgers, who focus their recruiting in Wisconsin and Illinois, have won two conference championships in the last five years and are among the favorites to win the title this season. Many schools have a much more national scope to their recruiting than Wisconsin, a program that also has recruits from Minnesota and South Dakota.
Tennis star Whitney Taney decided earlier this week to accept an athletic scholarship offer to attend Michigan. The Edina High School senior has a 159-0 prep record and has won two state singles and doubles championships.
Whitney’s father Ted said the University of Minnesota was among her final choices and he mentioned how much she liked coach Tyler Thomson and his players. “She (Whitney) was fortunate to have many different colleges interested in her and after a lot of thought she decided she wanted to go away to school,” Ted said. “After making an official visit to Michigan last month, she really fell in love with it and decided that’s where she wanted to attend.”
Ted said Michigan is a top 25 program and Whitney is probably the school’s No. 1 freshman recruit for next year. She was No. 16 nationally earlier this year in the USTA’s girls 18’s rankings.
Edina’s girls team has won nine consecutive state championships and hopes to add a 10th next week.
If Brad Johnson can quarterback the Vikings to wins over Seattle Sunday and New England on Monday, October 30, he moves into a tie with Wade Wilson for the fourth most victories as a Viking quarterback. With 25 wins Johnson trails Wilson, 27, Daunte Culpepper, 38, Tommy Kramer, 54 and Fran Tarkenton, 92.
Fox Sports North hockey commentator Kevin Gorg predicts the Wild will be a “factor” in the Stanley Cup playoffs, advancing to the second or third rounds. Wisconsin’s defending national champions will not win the WCHA championship, Gorg said. Instead, a young Gopher team will “surprise” by winning the title.
Former Minnesota North Stars owner Howard Baldwin is planning a movie about Gordy Howe and sons Mark and Marty all playing together in the early 1970s for the Houston Aeros, according to an item in The Fischler Report.
Timberwolves president Chris Wright, who once was general manager for soccer’s Minnesota Strikers, attended the World Cup matches in Germany earlier this year. He has been to every World Cup since 1990.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Vern Mikkelsen was on the Hamline campus earlier this month to sign copies of his autobiography, The Vern Mikkelsen story. Mikkelsen was a great player for the Pipers before becoming a star forward with the Minneapolis Lakers in the NBA.
The St. Paul Saints compiled a 5-0 record on their recent trip to Japan and became the first minor league team from America to tour Japan.