Minnesota AD Mark Dienhart is squirming
left and right to get out from under the problems created under his watch. The
University report on the scandal is imminent, and his neck is on the chopping
block, and maybe it's just us, but his comments come across as weaselish.Â Â
On the one hand, he holds Haskins fully responsible for everything, telling a
faculty committeeÂ that Haskins reported "God and that's about it."Â
Then Haskin's former boss went on to say thatÂ "[b]asketball was insulated by the dynamics of a coach who felt winning and losing was so important that he pushed everything else
away.Â That is typical of power coaches."
Just to reiterate, he is talking about someone who reported directly to
him.Â WhenÂ he was called on this by a faculty member, he said that he
was responsible for 150 people, Dienhart said "I have oversight responsibilities of over 150 people, and what I'm suggesting to you is that one of the difficulties, when I look back upon it,
in men's basketball is that it was in a closed environment."Â Â
Again, he was in charge. If it was going on, if he didn't know, if basketball
was a closed environment, then he wasn't doing his job.
In his most bizarre comments, when asked how to prevent this from happening
again, he said (apparently after someone mentioned the story breaking in the
"[t]he news story isn't what caused all this to tumble out. What caused all this to bubble out is that I disassociated Jan Gangelhoff
from the basketball program when it was determined by our compliance officer that she had typed a paper for a student athlete. That caused Jan Gangelhoff to become angry and caused her to speak to the press about this.Â
"As tragic as all that is, it's tragic that I disassociated her for something that was only the tip of a tremendous iceberg."
On the one hand he didn't know what was going on, but on the other hand his
integrity provoked Gangelhoff to pull the temple down? Dienhart can try to deny
responsibility for this if he wants to, but he was in charge and he allowed
basketball to become a closed environment, to use his term.Â What happened
was what was allowed to happen.Â It's understandable that he doesn't want
to lose his job, but geez, could he be more slippery?