Contract extension, raise for AD Josh Whitman

#6

Deleted member 19448

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Work is by no means complete, but it does seem that he has laid the groundwork for great things that are beginning to reveal themselves.
 
#7
I can't picture a better AD for Illinois than Josh Whitman, and I'll say that regardless how Lovie and Underwood do over the next few years. He's made good hires, he's improved the image of all our athletic programs, and I believe he'll make the right firing/hiring decisions when the time comes. Plus he's an Illini football player with brains and charisma. I love the guy.
 
#10
Michigan
Anyone care to list his accomplishments? Is the Athletic Dept generating a lot more revenue than it would have without him? I get that he's considered a smart and loyal guy, but I'm curious what the case is for his increase. Are we worried he'll get poached?
 
#11
Cary, IL
Anyone care to list his accomplishments? Is the Athletic Dept generating a lot more revenue than it would have without him? I get that he's considered a smart and loyal guy, but I'm curious what the case is for his increase. Are we worried he'll get poached?
Getting the facilities done and changing the feel of U of I athletics are his two best accomplishments so far, donors are back. I do agree with LFOB, that he is the right man for THIS job. However, I don't think a lot of other universities would come a calling. I don't get the point of the raise either, but am good with the extension. Raising this year from $668k - $750k is not a huge change, for the U of I athletic budget, but I don't know why it was necessary.
 
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#12
Tyngsborough, MA
Do raises need to be necessary? Loyalty is a two way street. Giving a raise for no discernable reason tells an employee they are valued for their contributions.

Having often been given the finger instead of a deserved raise or bonus, I appreciate the gesture and hope Josh does as well.
 
#13
I'm curious about these two passages from the News Gazette:
It would be paid for with a combination of athletic operating and university reserve funds, according to the board item.
I was under the impression that the DIA was supposed to be self financing and that there was no support from the university. Apparently that isn't so.

Whitman has helped “reshape the narrative that I think existed in that program” when he was brought on board, Jones said. He cited a “greater sense of optimism and pride in our athletic program as evidenced by ticket sales,”
Ticket sales for football and basketball are in the crapper. Basketball hasn't average 13k at home during the Whitman regime and you have to go back to '78 to find worse numbers. For football you really need to go back to WWII to find numbers worse than they have been under Smith/Whitman. I think the only other sport that sells tickets is volleyball. I can't find attendance numbers there but I doubt that current attendance is much better than under Hambly or Hebert.
 
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#16

Deleted member 19448

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If we think we are headed in the right direction, the annual increase is a mere drop in the bucket compared to potential revenue increases in the future if both sports get back to relevance. No point in going the cheap route when it doesn't make sense. One good fall Saturday at the ticket window more than makes up for the annual increase in his salary.
 
#17
He deserves it. He I took over an embarrassment of a program and it seems now to have turned the corner back to some level of respectability. Keep him happy. Likely cheap insurance against Lovie winning out this year or getting to a major bowl in the next couple years and Josh becoming a very hot commodity for any high profile $$$ school desperate for a football turnaround.
 
#19
BU:1 Trash cans:0
Chicago
Here's some old data (2017-2018) for reference:
BigTenADSalaries (2017-2018).png

Based upon those numbers, it looks like $750k/yr would put him somewhere near the bottom of the middle-third or top of the bottom-third. $850k/yr would put him somewhere close to the middle of the pack.
 
#20
He deserves it. He I took over an embarrassment of a program and it seems now to have turned the corner back to some level of respectability. Keep him happy. Likely cheap insurance against Lovie winning out this year or getting to a major bowl in the next couple years and Josh becoming a very hot commodity for any high profile $$$ school desperate for a football turnaround.
That's called a preemptive strike. Very smart Administration move.
 
#21
Premature in my opinion. Back to back bowls and back to back tournament appearances and I think we can call him a success.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Josh is directly responsible for coaching the men's basketball and football teams and is on the road recruiting in high school living rooms. Never mind that trivial matter of presiding over the entire athletic empire in C-U. I quote from the UI web presence, "Illinois has 10 men’s NCAA teams and 11 women’s NCAA teams with 15 major facilities." I find it almost outrageous that those here would question the raise and belittle the accomplishments of Mr. Whitman. Did anyone here feel they did not deserve their own raise? Remember the last 3 ADs. You want to go back in time and resurrect those administrations?
 
#23
Yonkers, NY
Oh yeah, I forgot. Josh is directly responsible for coaching the men's basketball and football teams and is on the road recruiting in high school living rooms. Never mind that trivial matter of presiding over the entire athletic empire in C-U. I quote from the UI web presence, "Illinois has 10 men’s NCAA teams and 11 women’s NCAA teams with 15 major facilities." I find it almost outrageous that those here would question the raise and belittle the accomplishments of Mr. Whitman. Did anyone here feel they did not deserve their own raise? Remember the last 3 ADs. You want to go back in time and resurrect those administrations?
What has Whitman accomplished exactly? Even Tim Beckman got us to a bowl game. I think we are going the right direction, but we are nowhere near close to "mission accomplished". This is a results business and Whitman will be judged on the success of men's basketball and football.
 
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#25
Results don't always have to be on the field as an AD. He has been amazing at fundraising and improving facilities across many sports. That shouldn't be overlooked
Preface: I think Whitman is doing a really good job. I'm all in on him, even if both Lovie and Underwood dont pan out. He deserves (as pretty much every AD does) at least two hiring cycles in the revenue sports. His peripherals are about as good as they could be.

For better or worse, there does not exist a P5 school where both basketball and football can be as bad as we've been since Josh got here, and continue down that same path for much longer without donors asking for his head. The football turnaround has probably bought him some much needed relief. But he's still essentially where he started in both sports, wins wise, and being completely honest, both sports have posted worse records in his first 4 years than the previous 4 before he got here--not a good look.

We remain in wait and see mode. But this move shows those behind the scenes are in it for at least the moderate term.