Complete list of athletic director finalists revealed

By Morning Wood Staff

Mike Rice will squeeze the soul out of you. (Chris Szagola/Cal Sport Media via Zuma Press/MCT)
Mike Rice will squeeze the soul out of you. (Chris Szagola/Cal Sport Media via Zuma Press/MCT)

By Milhouse Van Houten

Members of the search committee to name the next athletic director at the University of Massachusetts were completely kept in the dark about the background of all applicants, according to a source on the committee who wished to remain anonymous.

“We did all of the interviews blindfolded,” said the source. “The University was afraid that if we knew too much, we’d accidentally form a logical list of finalists.”

The University hired Ryan Bamford as its next athletic director, but it was who didn’t get the job that generated concern.

Questions initially arose when a report from the Daily Hampshire Gazette indicated that former Stony Brook athletic director Jim Fiore was a finalist for the position.

Fiore was dismissed from his position after claims of sexual harassment and retaliation, misappropriation of university resources and interrogation of employees about their sexual preference were levied against him in November 2013.

After taking several minutes to process this information, the source tried to make sense of Fiore’s addition to the finalist pool.

“To be honest, they told us if we joined the committee we’d get a free lunch,” the source said. “If I knew we’d be making a monumental mistake of that magnitude, I would’ve at least asked for dinner.”

Yet others weren’t happy about the school’s oversight.

“Listen, I don’t want to tell anyone how to do their job,” said one student wearing a Derrick Gordon basketball jersey. “But maybe administration should pop their heads out of Whitmore once in a while, maybe take in the scene.”

One student alleged the Faculty Senate bribed the search committee into seriously considering Fiore, saying it would really benefit the football program.

Yet the Massachusetts Daily Collegian discovered Fiore’s inclusion to the list of finalists wasn’t the only issue.

According to documents obtained by the Morning Wood, the search committee also seriously entertained the idea of several other high-profile applicants.

One candidate the committee seriously entertained was former Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice.

“We’re really impressed with his ability to motivate and his keen knack for connecting with student-athletes,” a memo which was circulated throughout the committee stated.

Rice was fired from Rutgers in 2013 after several hours worth of video surfaced showing him berating, pushing, kicking, cursing, using homophobic slurs and throwing basketballs at players, information which was originally reported by ESPN and is subtly posted on his Wikipedia page.

The memo also stated the University should look to employ some of the same academic tactics used by the University of North Carolina.

UMass also reached out to John McCutcheon, saying “maybe it wasn’t that bad the first time,” and returned a phone call from Charley Molnar, who said he had numerous ideas on how to improve toughness throughout the athletic department.

There is no truth to the rumor that UMass sought outside counsel from Bill Cosby.

Milhouse Van Houten can be seen traveling the world searching for floods, ensuring his pants stay bone dry.