The Kill conundrum

Posted: September 29, 2011 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

You know how many articles offer facts and solid information, while others offer opinions?

Well, this doesn’t do any of that. It’s pretty much just a string of questions pertaining to the curious case of Jerry Kill.

See, the University of Minnesota football coach has been suffering seizures – lot of them – this season. Except it’s not just this season, his first with the Gophers. Reportedly, the issues date back several years following a bout with cancer.

Why is this flaring up more now than when, say, he was at Northern Illinois or Southern Illinois? Who knows? Maybe the pressure of the big stage has something to do with it. Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.

The real question is this: How much did Minnesota know or not know – and there is a difference – about the health issues when it hired Kill? I mean, nobody has ever asked me about my medical history during a job interview. Pretty sure that’s not even allowed. Do the same rules apply – at least in theory – to college football coaches in the Big Ten?

It’s hardly unprecedented to have a high-profile coach in less-than-perfect health. But rarely has this come up so early in a tenure – nobody even has enough information to judge Kill’s performance yet – and due to a preexisting condition.

Should the Gophers have done more digging on the health front? Certainly, they were aware that Kill had cancer. Should Kill have been forthcoming about the ongoing issues? Or was that unnecessary given that the seizures didn’t seem to hamper him at NIU and SIU? Is there a chance he flat-out withheld information or mislead people about the severity of his condition?

Those questions need to be asked at this point if only so that the answers can be filed away for future reference.

The stickier wicket is what to do now. If he’s truly unable to function as a coach, should Kill take it upon himself to resign and maybe as soon as the end of this season? Does Minnesota have the right to let him go without honoring the rest of his contract? (Again, I’m sure there are legal procedures and precedents that need to be followed, but I’m not a lawyer and not going to pretend to be versed in the letters of the law.)

Or are the Gophers willing to stick it out, hoping Kill turns a corner both in terms of health and that Minnesota follows suit?

It’s just a strange situation all the way around, one that may or may not be a reflection of a flailing program.

  1. Mark says:

    Agreed, very strange situation.

    Too bad for Gophers fans too, as Kill seemed like a great hire, someone who could “build a program”.

    It will be interesting to see how it shakes out. I suppose, if he can’t fulfill his duties the honorable thing for Kill to do would be resign.

    Right or wrong, if he remains coach this is going to affect recruiting, at least in the short term.

  2. Rich Jensen says:

    Let me answer your questions with a question:

    Who was Joel Maturi’s last decent hire? Tubby Smith? How low has Minnesota Gopher athletics sunk, if the crowning achievement of Maturi’s tenure is hiring a coach who hasn’t even taken the Gophs to the second round of the NCAAs?

    If it comes to a question of incompetent hiring, let’s just say that Maturi has a track record:

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