I was against it before I was for it
Reports are that UWM is now for a deal that it was against just a few days ago? Or was UWM tired of getting abused in the press and looking the fools that they were last week for turning down a very reasonable offer by MU for five games with the Panthers. In an EMERGENCY PRESS CONFERENCE (strange, take that development for what it is worth), UWM announced it had signed the contract and faxed it back to MU. Bud Haidet, UWM's athletic director explained at the press conference that he agreed to all of the terms now that two donors had come up with some additional money to close the financial gap of the offer terms.
Personally, I call poppycock on that. I'm glad Mr. Haidet was able to wring another $20,000 from a few donors for his program but that is not the reason why he suddenly felt the need to sign this deal. Every poll in the city showed UWM looking foolish on this matter. The radio talk shows, the mainstream press and others have all shown UWM to look foolish. In my opinion Mr. Haidet totally overplayed his hand and got burned by Crean and Marquette. This sudden reversal in decision by Haidet and the Panthers is an attempt to save face. It appears Carlos Santiago, the UWM Chancellor, had a little chat with Mr. Haidet and said to get the deal done.
"I have instructed our athletic director, Bud Haidet, to negotiate the best contract possible for the institution and I'm perfectly satisfied that he did so," UWN chancellor Carlos E. Santiago said. "I know that there is a difference in the financial terms between what we had expected and what Marquette has offered. However I believe that financial difference can be overcome. I've talked to both Rob Jeter and Bud and indicated to them that we have donors that I can't identify that are more than happy to provide the difference."
Their hope now is that it puts the pressure back on Marquette to sign the deal, a not all that surprising move by Haidet. Will Marquette sign? We have no idea. Nothing would surprise us at this point. Crean could tell UWM to go fly a kite. After all they (UWM) had opportunity after opportunity to play a Big East opponent five straight years for some big money and kept thumbing their nose at Marquette's offers only to add another gimmick in this entire process with an acceptance after the fact. MU may have moved on at this point. Or, Crean may just sign the deal and we begin defending the 34-0 record next year.
That will all be determined in the next few days. Nevertheless, Haidet's actions the last two weeks have been quite strange for a program that apparently desires to move to the next level. Maybe Mr. Haidet has been the anchor to that advancement.
My advice to Crean and company, take the offer. Be the heroes to the city and show them how much we bent over backward. Then go out and beat the snot out of them 5 straight times!
Today's complete story here on the Journal Sentinel site.