Reports: IU’s Ballou headed to Alabama

Indiana strength coach David Ballou is headed to Alabama, according to multiple reports.

FootballScoop.com was first to report the news. 

In an offseason where IU coach Tom Allen has had to replace multiple assistants, this may be the most difficult blow from a recruiting standpoint. The tandem of Ballou and speed coach Matt Rhea with their data-driven development program have been at the center of IU’s recruiting pitches since they arrived in 2018.

IU fended off NFL suitors to retain them last offseason, giving Ballou and Rhea significant raises as a result. Ballou’s salary jumped from $216,000 to $400,000. Rhea’s went from $150,000 to $375,000. More accommodations were made as part of Allen’s new seven-year deal in December, as one bullet point stipulated IU would provide Ballou and Rhea “assistant coach” term contracts, meaning they would automatically renew from year to year.

But that didn’t stop one of college football’s perennial powers from making a pursuit this offseason. Alabama had an opening when Scott Cochran left to coach special teams at Georgia.

It’s not immediately clear if Rhea will join Ballou at Alabama.

Ballou, an IU fullback in the late 1990s, returned to his alma mater after spending 2017 as the co-director of Notre Dame’s strength program. He also had a stint at IMG Academy (2015-17), as well as 14 years at Avon High School (2002-14).

Rhea and Ballou, who first teamed at IMG, have often been credited for approaching strength and conditioning in fresh ways. They don’t talk about 40-yard dash times as much as “miles per hour” and acceleration to describe a player’s speed. They don’t necessarily focus on weight lifted as much as “peak power” and watts generated.

IU’s athletes often speak glowingly — in somewhat of a masochistic sense — about how hard Ballou pushes them during workouts. When cornerback Tiawan Mullen came away with a strip and a fumble recovery in the Northwestern game, he specifically credited Ballou postgame.

“As soon as he was running towards me, I knew my game plan,” Mullen said. “I was able to make the play and strip it. I had the strength that (strength) Coach (David) Ballou and the staff gave me, so I used it.”

Recruits also talk about Ballou a lot. Elkhart defensive end Rodney McGraw, IU’s first commit for 2021, was partly sold on the Hoosiers by Ballou. Another big part of the equation was defensive line coach Mark Hagen, who is now at Texas.

“That’s a huge draw to Rodney because he wants to develop and be developed by the top strength guys and the top position coaches,” Josh Shattuck, McGraw’s coach, said when he committed in January.

48 comments

    1. AL is the premier college football program in the land! Very hard to say no to them. Nick has an eye for talent. But what is going on with Sampson?

  1. It’s IU football
    LEO explained until something more desirable. IU football It’s pretty much totally up to T.A.
    Any success seems to create a parallel instability as unsucuccess for IU football.

  2. I have to say I am disappointed that an IU guy doesn’t value developing IU into a B1G power but I can’t blame him about moving to a program he sees as giving him a higher profile. It is a shame that IUFB can’t have more coaches loyal to the program instead of seeing it as a stepping stone but even Alabama has been losing coaches left and right so it happens to every team no matter what level they are. I hope the coaches in the S&C program are good enough to move up and take Ballou’s place so they keep the program in place.

    We will have to wait and see how this change and the other changes impact the 2020 team, Spring Practice starts tomorrow. I hope it energizes the players to show they can improve in 2020 and it isn’t just about the coaches. For IU to improve on 2019, all the pieces have to work out with the player defections and coaching changes. In every case there is change things can be better but usually not all of the changes work out that way. Missing the experience that left is tough to replace but it can be done just not easily.

  3. Well about all I can say is, “Remember the naysayers (Low FB IQer’s and I’m if it is starting to carryover into the BB fans) who panned the importance of Ballou and Rhea coming to IUFB.” Looks like the number one (know it has been a couple years on the Championships but they are still the best) program in the country just pulled a very cutting edge S&C staff from IUFB. Yes, V13 assistant coaches come and go at Alabama, but it is because they are moving onto top jobs as fast as Saban can hire and prove and/or rehab them.

    Here is something I heard said which everyone should take note of regarding the IUFB success however small the steps might be at this point. The rest of the college FB world is looking at IU personnel and saying, “If they can be successful at IU, they can be successful anywhere.” That is a major problem for IUFB and retention of personnel going forward if successful. Losing the S&C guys in this manner should also serve as a very HUGE warning regarding TA, if he is able to keep rolling despite the personnel losses.

    If TA continues to be successful Hoosier Nation better figure out quick, whatever he needs to continue and grow the success, get it for him. TA is extremely loyal but if he sees anything reminding him of the Mallory treatment, IUFB will lose him. I don’t believe he will stay in there and take that type treatment. Certain sectors have been trying to gloss it over for 25 years, but some of us have a long memories in this regard and know what happened.

  4. thinkaboutit, yes I think coach Allen is loyal to IU but if they pull the same crap they did with coach Mallory [he did have declining season the last couple of years going 2-9 and 3-8] but right now IU has built up the facilities and pay. I hope the AD hire is a football guy, I really wonder if they will hire one, that understands the needs of a football program and implements ways to improve attendance and make IU’s pay for football coaches comparable to upper B1G schools. Do things that will improve attendance besides just winning as they need to improve the game experience and ways to get to the games along with promoting the games better.

  5. Ouch! This is like a Tyson right to the solar plexes. If it were only money (?) IU needed to match it. Since this pair has become so ‘Bal e lou d’ unless IU finds the nearest thing to clones, this will downgrade the entire athletic program, recruiting, development on and on…
    I started o/u at 5, went to 7, then 6+,….now 6.
    EXTREEEEMELY UNFORTUNATE. This, very possibly was the lynchpin that came undone, affecting everything.

  6. Michael Penix will single-handedly take this program from the eternal ashes of downtrodden despair shackled to hopelessness to a paradise never dreamed or known.

    There is ONE who has arrived to change the course of Hoosier football history. He is healing….and he’ll be ready. Those departing with zero fortitude or loyalty will regret the hour they left Indiana.

    We are on the eve of greatness.

  7. V13: Wouldn’t surprise me at this point that the new AD is a retired 78 year old Scottish priest (McRobbie) that was the second leading scorer on his ’61 seminary soccer team in Sterling. He’ll immediately replace the S & C slots with Boy George’s little brother and a notorious 600 lb former weightlifter from Manitoba, famed for wrestling wild moose to the ground with one hand, but in record time. It is IU football, afterall.

    1. Don’t disagree with a thing you said Brad,

      Which is why the heat needs to be on the Board of Trustees. This is also why the entire blame resides at the feet of Hoosier Nation. They are the only ones who can turn up the heat on the BOT which judging by the IUFB history obviously has very rarely, if at all, been done. 6 Trustees are appointed by the Indiana Governor, and 3 are elected by the alumni. If you are an Indiana voter, the gov needs to be hearing from you. If you are an alumni you need to be asking the candidates what are you going to do about your biggest university money maker, not what new glass building are we going to build!

    1. I dunno t,
      Problem we have right now is IUFB has a lot of unknowns at this point. Won’t really know until they hit the field this fall. On the coaching side, I actually think Jones and Peoples may well be upgrades. Hard to say about the OC and STC changes, could be a pleasant surprise or maybe not. Real concern about the S&C program, but we have to remember TA brought them in, and maybe that wasn’t the only trick in his bag. Am concerned though, since Ballou left ND, it has been downhill.

      Unknowns are just as tough concerning the players. If MP stays healthy and/or JT develops adequately, PR won’t be missed. I actually think the OL will be fine and maybe one of the best IUFB has had in recent years. Again, hard to say. Too many “ifs” at this point on anything.

      Here’s a little tidbit for folks as to how easy it was for Saban to pirate Ballou and Rhea to Tuscaloosa. Not only was the quantum prestige leap involved, but little ole Alabama is in the middle of slight athletic facilities upgrade. 2 years ago they announced a 10 year 600 MILLION dollar investment into their athletic facilities of which FB will receive about half. Included in this upgrade was the construction of a state of the art Sports Science complex. Last time I checked I think they had collected over half the bucks pledged to the overall initiative.

  8. think you beautifully described what answered the question. (Not necessarily about Purdue) but overall in the college football world. Ifs and turnovers all over the place = program instability = lack of committed respect. Sometimes a wise man just knows his limitations and place in life no matter how unsuccessful or successful he is. History is the past that sets up the present that predicts the future. The IU football future is now being predicted. There are variations and examples that include improvement and downfall that happen for periods of time. These can be from very short to lengthy in range. There are examples in many athletic programs including football. However, it is what it is. For consistent sustainability a betting man has to play traditional odds. For IU football the over and under could be set at 500 win loss football. Think about that. A win over 500 is major improvement for IU football and sustained seasons with one win over 500 = a much improved IU football tradition set. The realistic question can IU football get there and sustain one game over 500 football for how long as compared to traditional powers play for national championships?

    1. t,
      You are so right. The thing we all have to remember is turning a program around doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes things are in worse shape than it would appear on the surface. However, when you have a program as historically awful as IUFB, any step forward is a major accomplishment. We need to remember it didn’t happen overnight for Snyder at KSU nor Beamer at Va Tech. Only KSU was anywhere close to IUFB futility and it took Snyder 5 seasons to lay a foundation in a weaker conference.

      If success continues we will find out just exactly how good a HC we have in TA. Continued success despite the pitfalls along the way means you have a chance to turn it around with TA.

      IU92 mentioned Chris Reynolds is in the running for AD. I had heard that as well, but hadn’t looked into it closely. I think he might make a really good one. From what I have seen he has done a good job at Bradley, but a little concerned as they do not have a FB program. Whoever IU selects they need to be effective.

  9. The good news is that a short list for AD does include a few IU guys, Chris Reynolds being one of them. I think they will lean more toward an IU guy.

  10. I don’t consider this a death blow, but it definitely has enough sting to it that it hurts.

    I’ve been reading on the other site that IU should have opened up the check book and paid Ballou and Rhea what they were being offered at Bama. Their defense is that the BTN revenue provides sufficient amounts of cash to increase the pay of the staff. The issue is that money is not just for football. It is spread over the whole IU athletic department. It’s not TA’s money to play with, he has to share, and IU is not in a position to get into an arms (read budget) race with any elite program.

    I was reading about MSU’s new coach and the increased budget for football salaries. A large portion of that increase is being financed by large dollar donations (I’ve heard as much as 2 million). IU football budget appears to be operating primarily on the portion they receive from the BTN contract. Bama has numerous deep pocket donors who will gladly fund coaches salaries, facilities, and the large number of “analysts” employed by the football program. IU doesn’t have that kind of support.

    Ballou and Rhea are going to a program where they will be well funded, and will likely be major influencers in Bama’s new Sports Science Center. This is a separate facility from their weight room. IU has a very impressive weight room, but will have nothing compared to this Sports Science Center, in fact most other elite programs won’t have this either, it is exclusive to Bama. These two men will have the opportunity to implement new weight and conditioning training that could revolutionize strength and conditioning training, and have the ability to scientifically test for performance improvements. They will be on the bleeding edge, something that IU doesn’t have the money or facilities at this time.

    Sorry to see them go, but they have to do what is best for them and their families and not worry about IU fans questioning their loyalty.

    1. SOSD,
      I agree the conference revenue must be shared but you cannot muzzle the program responsible for the lion’s share of that revenue. The portion of B1G’s contracts driven by FB dwarf that of all other sports combined! A great number of IU’s colleague schools in the B1G realize that and feed the real ox pulling the wagon very well. Unfortunately, IU has historically never figured that one out.

      As for Bama’s deep pockets, yes they have them. However, IU is a much larger institution with one of the largest alumni bases in the country. Problem is, IU donors have been notoriously stingy when it comes to athletics. IU also has a fair share of deep pocket donors.

      We can talk about the value of academics all we want, but Northwestern stands head and shoulders above their peers in the B1G academically. However, much to their surprise, it was amazing how much donation revenue came into the school after their Rose Bowl run. It wasn’t all for athletics either, it came in for a lot of areas. Which also why they decided to invest into their athletics a few years ago to the tune of nearly 300 million.

  11. This is a huge loss and coupled with the departure of Deboer and Hagen, is a dagger in the chest, if not the heart, of IU football. As another poster commented, the S & C program has been a huge selling point to recruits, and that is now gone. The fact that both Ballou and Hagen were IU men makes it even worse. Hagen recruited our only 2021 recruit, and his HS coach mentioned how the young man was very impressed with Ballou. I will be extremely surprised if he stays committed to IU.

    Meanwhile, teams that IU would like to emulate such as Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota keep rolling along with stable staffs and are currently ranked 6th, 8th, and 13th in the 247 composite national recruiting rankings. Even Maryland is ranked 9th with 8 recruits. Sure it’s early, but to parlay an 8 win season and a Gator Bowl game (collapse) into one high 3* recruit so far is a dismal failure for TA and his staff, and now with the recent staff departures, that recruit is in jeopardy. BTW, I recall seeing a segment on Wisconsin last year where they have 15+ Wisconsin grads on their staff in various coaching and admin positions. There is loyalty at Wisconsin.

    Did anyone else see where IU just offered a grad transfer OT from Howard who had offers from Charlotte and Georgia State who has one year of eligibility left, but hopes to appeal for a 2nd year. Our OL must be in bad shape to offer that guy. They also offered a grad transfer 3 year starter OT from Akron who has received numerous offers from good programs and is very unlikely to select IU. This makes it sound like the staff is panicking over the status of the OL at this late date. I wonder if they are anticipating additional transfers. I also wonder what some of the current RS freshman and sophomore OL men think about recruiting someone from Howard to come in at this late date and move them down the depth chart?

    Does LEO really mean anything to the coaches and players other than TA, or is it just a catchy gimmicky phrase?

    Ok, I admit my post is basically doom and gloom, but what else can one expect from a 50+ year fan who has pretty much seen it all?

  12. To early to despair yet R67,
    Number 1, I don’t see the departure of Hagen as a loss, but rather, a net gain. I base this on when and where Peoples coached DL in the SEC west. As for losing Ballou and Rhea, it is a tough blow. However, let’s remember something when TA hired them away from ND. Who knew that it was actually Ballou who was the driving force behind the ND S&C resurgence? Look at ND declining fortunes and IU’s improvement since. Kelly’s S&C guru got all the credit, but it was Ballou.

    So how did TA know this and no one else in the country not at the time? The real question we need to know is, “What will TA do for an encore on the S&C side?” We know he has cultivated some pretty good connections during those years of anonymity before coming to IU. I would say TA’s own connections to IMG may well pay some dividends. I neglected to mention the addition of Kevin Wright from IMG is also a major addition.

    At this point I’m waiting to see what TA can come up with. My only concerns are the health of the QB’s and will Sheridan be able to keep the offense going. As for the recruiting, do the guys meet the prototypes TA is looking for, that is the only question. If TA pull another S&C rabbit out of the hat like he did the first time, then nothing changes.

    One last thing which does cause some concern about the LEO mischaracterizations. Is it LEO to prevent a coach or player from being able to further his career? Kind of selfish isn’t it? LEO wishes them well with no hard feelings in their next job or if they transfer to another school. Treat them well while they are at IUFB and try to help them develop to the fullest potential.

  13. Losing Expected Often…is IU football’s LEO.

    But you can love each other while living in the world of LEO.

  14. And now Sampson James has entered the transfer portal.

    This off-season for iufb is the worst I’ve experienced. We barely had a decent season last year, now everyone is jumping ship.

    What is going on?

    1. Goofy sideline antics only work for so long.. There’s an expiration date for coaches who are constantly on a cloud high….Prayer circles, declarations of praying at halftime, loving each other…scripture quoting, etc….can’t replace the “feel good” of winning in games that matter. Just ask our last basketball coach.

      All sell, no action….makes Jack a dull boy.

      Plus a new AD brings instability. The new AD may want to give IU Football and Basketball a big shot in the arm. It may become quickly clear that empty marketing and slogans won’t be the new AD’s world. He (or she) may not accept the status quo of getting to low level bowls…or simply making an NCAA tournament to fizzle out at a Sweet 16. And when head coaching jobs are perceived as unstable, dominoes will fall.

  15. I’m starting to get suspicious…We have this Hoosier football fan on Scoop (parades around at basketball threads to add to his cover) who has this great love for the SEC.
    I’m beginning to wonder if he’s working in job placement services for the SEC…? Sure, we all know IU Football doesn’t stack up to almost all of the SEC, but do our coaches and friends of coaches need it constantly beaten into their skulls….?
    It’s natural for people to want to expand in their careers…but if they constantly hear how much greener the pastures outside IU always in their ears?

    Nobody wants to be regularly reminded they are working for the chopped liver of college football….Something better may always be out there but what is the plus in a coach always reading it from “love each other” IU fans who seem to constantly want them to ‘thinkaboutit?’

  16. If this is true about Sampson I have to wonder if is struggling with academics [I have no idea] otherwise with IU rotating RBs I don’t understand his rationale for the transfer portal; maybe it is just his reaction to Ballou leaving without waiting to see who will get the S&C jobs. Whatever is going on, it is a shame based on the year IUFB had in 2019.

    1. The year IU Football had…was getting to a bowl few care about…while not defeating Michigan, OSU, Penn State …or, even, Michigan State again.
      No signature wins again. Let’s keep the “year IU football had” in perspective.

  17. I came here to post a reply to thinkaboutit, and saw this post about Sampson James.

    The running back room has shrunk significantly. Does coach Hart have any eligibility left because we made need him to suit up. This really caught me off guard. I never expected this. Now Scott is our only proven back. This is truly a setback.

    As for my reply to thinkaboutit, the difference between a deep pocketed Alabama alum and a deep pocketed Indiana alum is the deep pocketed Alabama alum has it written in his will that his entire life savings goes to the Tide football program when they die, the IU alum leaves it to his heirs.

    1. Funny comments SOSD,

      Don’t fool yourself about the Alabama alums. From what I have seen, they leave the little ones quite well taken care of. Need the next generation to keep up the tradition of program support.

  18. The loss of Ballou is easy to understand. It’s about money and dynamics between “the haves and the have-nots,” and of course the opportunity for competitive men who want to compete for championships. In spite of IU giving Ballou a big raise last year, it would never have been enough to ward off the money that programs like Alabama can offer a coach they want to hire. IU can’t compete with that kind of financial horsepower. And IU probably can’t match Alabama’s offer because it would disrupt the FB program’s entire salary scale and break the budget.

    Someone above said that this is the fault of the Hoosier Nation, and I completely agree. These are the consequences of the Hoosier Nation’s collective malaise, passivity and failure to support IU FB. When you can’t put 45,000 fans in the seats for home games, even with the lowest ticket prices in the Big Ten, you don’t deserve to have a good FB program or the best coaching staff. How does IU compete with programs that generate more FB revenue in one home game than IU does in an entire season?

    TA should get credit for identifying and hiring men who become coveted by other, more prominent programs. He’s doing something right in hiring Assistant Coaches, but unfortunately, IU is not able to spend enough money to keep them from being poached when one of the big boys makes an offer.

    Until we start filling Memorial Stadium and finding more donors who will write big checks, this is going to continue to happen to IU’s FB program. And giving him even more credit, like many good executives, I suspect TA anticipated this. But it still has to hurt.

  19. Like I said, the ‘lynchpin’. Now James? Wow. Who or what is next? Ballou/Rhea may have been the ‘most important’ recruiters. A little research shows that ‘bama was paying $195g’s more for the position, #5 in country ($595g’s). IU was 15th and 5th in BIG. Noteworthy, IU’s max bonus 30th.
    Chris Doyle at Iowa is tops in nation at $800,000. I always wondered why their guys looked and played stronger. “There’s more than corn in Iowa”.
    Here’s the real underlying problem, as I see it. IU’s admin committment was willing to get in ‘the show’ but only commit enough to sit in the mezzanine. As much $ that’s thrown around in Bloomington on peripheral items, they, under no circumstance, were in a position to allow these 2 guys leave, especially a heralded IU grad at the top of his profession. Especially with IU’s moniker being medicine. It’s bad imagery, bad in terms in practicality, essentially irreplaceable pieces! Someone will fill the slot, but it will never be the same. In the meantime, with the new transfer portal system in place,…..well, the bleeding has begun with maybe the best running back on the roster.
    The program is too fragile for any major losses like this. The repercussions of Ballou/Rhea leaving are going to be felt everyday until kickoff at Madison, and beyond. It was preventable. The next person they sign + any coaches currently on the roster need to have contractural buyout clauses.

  20. Alabama buying into fools’ gold…We weren’t big enough…strong enough…or mean enough to beat anyone meaningful from our conference. OSU and Michigan manhandled us as they always do. Still lost to PSU in their faded jeans. Lost to MSU. Defeated some patsies and a terrible Nebraska team.

    I don’t really understand all the hullaballou. Bama can have them….Our “successful season” was fake news.

  21. I’ve had time to digest all of this. I struggle with moves like this and then seeing a player leave because of it. I’m hearing more to come, hope not. Ballou played at IU and we had classes together. Seemed like a good guy and sure he is today. My struggle is you are at your alma mater, where you played the sport you work with and make $400,000 a year. Indiana University and Bloomington are his home. I know there is NO loyalty these days, I get that…but, to leave here baffles me. Something is off about it all!

  22. I think it is super weak that people are getting on Ballou’s case. I can understand why one wouldn’t celebrate it. But a Hoosier alum is desired and got a job with a school where he might end up not just winning one, but many, national championships.

    Indiana can’t even fill its own stadium and celebrates eeking out an above .500 record like we won our own Little 500.

    Ballou made the right choice for his career and livelihood. Great work, coach. Sorry to see you go, but you earned it.

  23. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out (by the looks of your top-heavy artificially swollen Popeye Enhanced Deltoids, you’ll likely lose your balance).

    Whether it be basketball …or football, we want people here who have a minimal amount of fortitude to press on. We’ve had a lot of promises over the last 12-15 years.

    Give me some players and staff with enough dedication to the name to give a new coach a chance.

    An IU alum winning championships at Alabama? Hope his IU graduate girlfriend now newly hired as the Alabama Gatorade cup girl gets a ring too…Yippee.
    Let’s also make a Hallmark card for all weak spines who come to IU talking of banners and “breakthroughs” and deep tournament runs…and cheap chatter of this Hoosiers Rising…and that Everything Hinges…and all these Movements…and then quickly bail to line their wallets rather than give half a slice of commitment to line Assembly and Memorial with a trophy that actually remains.

    Raise your glass, everyone,…and toast them all! Let’s give Hans & Franz of the Hoosier S&C program a reunion in 10 years too!…. for barely staying long enough for a fart to linger out their butt cheeks power-clasped together in perpetual flex-stuck mode causing that funny walk …Maybe a Memorial Stadium halftime ceremony in 2030 organized by our new AD, Joey Glass, would be in order where all fans get free protein shakes for every championship ring Hans & Franz “earned” from Alabama.

    My god….The political correctness is nauseating. Stand your ground, JPat. You had it right the first time. Did you learn anything from Tsao? Long live the spirit of TSAO TSU GONZALEZ!

  24. I’ll say one thing…His wallet is now Ballou-ning nearly as fast those fraudulent pork loin roasts he calls biceps.

  25. Great post DD, and I agree.

    Since when do we NOT celebrate IU Alumni being successful? And who, in their right mind would turn down the opportunity to increase their compensation by 50% and move to arguably the best employer in their industry? Ballou would have to be a moron not to accept Alabama’s offer, and I think he’s a moron.

    This is about attendance at home games and the level of financial support the Hoosier Nation provides the IU FB program. We, the members of the Hoosier Nation, along with past and present BOTs and administrators, share the blame for IU’s inability to retain the best FB coaches. It’s simple; IU doesn’t have the money because we don’t fill Memorial Stadium for IU home FB games. And even if we did, even if IU increased FB revenue from increased home-game attendance and higher ticket prices, IU still could not prevent programs like Alabama from poaching our coaches. With $4 to $5 million more revenue generated each year, we’d be able to reduce the risk, but I’m not sure money is the only reason FB coaches leave IU. I think some become disgusted with the Hoosier Nation’s apathy and collective malaise regarding FB. Half the IU fans leaving at half time and not returning! As many, if not more people tail-gating during the game than actually enter Memorial Stadium? If a large portion of the Hoosier Nation does not care about IU Football, why should an assistant coach care more? Professional people want their work to matter and to be appreciated. The vast majority of the Hoosier Nation doesn’t care enough about IU FB to appreciate the contributions of any of the FB coaches. If Ballou is successful in Alabama, he’ll be a celebrity throughout the state and will never have to pay for a beer in a bar again.

    Obviously, Ballou was a very good S&C Coach. But he’s not the only good one out there. This is not the end of the world for IU FB. But it should serve as a cautionary tail for the Hoosier Nation. We’ll get the FB program we deserve.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you any more Po,

      You & DD are absolutely correct. This is about prestige, plain, pure and simple. Why would Ballou turn down the most prestigious S&C gig in the country for IUFB? The extra dollars are just the icing on the cake. If Ballou is able to generate the same boost to performance at Alabama that he did at ND & IU, he will be at the pinnacle of S&C coaches.

      This is not on Ballou for taking a better job. This is on Hoosier Nation for tolerating an inferior product for 130 years. When IUFB finally gets an elite part to the program, the IUFB past history undermines the ability to retain such a wonderful capability as a cutting edge S&C program. Problem is, the failure to have a powerful revenue generating FB program is about to catch up with IU.

      I keep saying the payment of athletes is a paradigm changer. It is coming, and if IU is not sufficiently prepared to handle it . . .

      1. Alabama and Georgia need to examine why they “tolerated” no banners and such ineptitude at basketball…for so, so many years. For every one thing somebody does great, IU does four or five incredibly better (soccer and swimming to name a couple more).

        Love ’em your SEC….Some need to probably examine academic standards as well. Adhering to standards requiring kids having something above a 5th grade reading level could also create difficulties in building huge programs with massive rosters.

        Odd, for all the throwing under the bus of Kelvin Sampson and his recruits being “flunkies” at a school which actually has standards above general bible study (including no “ghost classes”), I find it amazing no one here thinks some SEC programs may be considerably more “relaxed” in caring about such standards (or manipulating the system as UNC to mask serious academic shortcomings).

        Does IU want to be Alabama …or Northwestern….or, something in between.

        Not only do those five banners in Assembly hang supreme (in relation to all other BigTen programs and many from the SEC over a 100 year history), but we can be proud to know they were earned while kids were taking academics and graduating seriously. The cost of winning shouldn’t come at the expense of failing to challenge a mind.

        1. H4H,
          You are usually much more astute, you missed the point entirely. I know it is the basketball colored glasses. As much as we love our basketball, it simply cannot pay the freight for a modern college athletic program. The only program which can is football. This is why Alabama and Georgia could care less about the basketball program. Football is where the big revenue is. Why this is important is the coming demand to pay college athletes. The money has got to come from somewhere and an athletic department without a football program is going to have problems.

          1. Didn’t you wake up on the wrong side of the blog? Must have been the swipe I took at the profound differences in academic ratings between the SEC and BigTen….and that horrific score from Alabama. They don’t pay me here to be astute. Come to think about it…?
            I think collegiate sports are gonna have bigger problems than winning or losing “when” (I assume you prefer “when” to “if”) .
            I’m old, they can lose my interest. But I do honestly believe the butts in seats across the college landscape will grow even more empty than the current trend. Sure, there are some outliers who can always fill a stadium or arena, but (pretty sure stats will back me up on this) overall interest and overall attendance nationwide has been fading.
            I don’t know what a college athlete “deserves”…..but where is the motivation to play any game to its utmost if you have been given an allowance? And then you’ll have the backlash….Millions of families getting crushed by student loans coupled by decades of college debt with interest rates double or triple that of a home mortgage rate will now be watching other “student-athletes” getting free rides and massive profit sharing allowances ?
            Yes, here you come with the TV revenues…..Sure, you’re right. Astute people can have a million insults thrown into their faces and still blindly (or additively) support it. You know when I started not caring about watching basketball games in the Olympics? I stopped caring when they took the “amateur” out of the experience. I didn’t need to thump my chest or chant “USA!” to guys who get paid 10 million/year….as a professional.

            Go ahead…Kill amateur athletics and share the profits while digging the graves of debt upon nearly every student attempting to get through four years of college. Generally, we’re not a very astute society. We throw billions away on gambling in sports (it’s the main “revenue” holding the whole distorted and contorted beast on its feet). Guess you better find a way to profit share those funds as well amongst the teenage baller.

            My levels of apathy have reached an all-time high….If you can still find enjoyment in most of it, that’s fine. Cling to your SEC football …There academics are disgraceful so that may say something about the level of “astuteness” all those filling the stands to watch an unfair fight.
            I’m certainly fine with knowing this is my last chapter when it comes to caring about much of anything regarding most sports. I feel disenfranchised from nearly all of it.
            I’ve written, as usual, too much without saying much. Never was much of a debate specialist. I’ll defer to your expertise in dollar signs and what Indiana University needs to do to have their athletic departments survive. It’s gotta be near death to be able to pay Tom Crean 30 million over nine years for banging on cymbals. Thank god for football….paving the way for the dollars to make such “astute” decisions at Indiana.

          2. Question…..because I’m not very astute. Does Vanderbilt get to share in all those millions upon millions the powerhouse football schools in their conference earn? As part of the SEC, do they share in the television contract dollars and the dollars generated by marketing and selling SEC endorsed products? Does the success and dominance of Alabama football (the lowest score in academic rating amongst the SEC schools) sort of prop-up Vanderbilt (the highest score in academic rating amongst the SEC schools)?

            Follow-up….Does this mean OSU Football (they’ve gotta dust us in television revenues) props up Indiana Football?

            Last questions. Why hasn’t the SEC kicked Vanderbilt out of the conference since they provide miniscule football revenue…or add to massive dollars in following or television revenues? And why hasn’t the BigTen removed such a historically bankrupt football program like Indiana from their conference? If we can’t provide anything to the conference and it’s all about amassing dollars (BigTen network, SEC network, ESPN, etc) then how does it benefit the power conferences to allow such notorious football losers with apathetic fan bases to remain in the shadows of their superiority? Why does the BigTen need Indiana? Why does the SEC need Vanderbilt? Why are we given subsidies for the winning everyone else achieves?

  26. ^^^Can’t agree more. I celebrated when Georgia poached Tom Crean. Or was it “peached?” Nonetheless, celebrations are always in order. Bigger and better things await….Tie some damn strings around those pork loin biceps! They’re getting out of control. Does the NCAA test coaches for PED’s…? Not that I’m accusing anyone…Just curious. Nothing sells S & C to teenagers more than walking around looking like Arnold…Impressionable eyes and such. Just spend ten years in your Austrian basement …and you can look like this (needles not included)!

  27. I don’t have the answers to what will bring fans to the stadium and stay for the game. Obviously winning more games and upsetting some of the “big boys”. It is going to take more than that though and schools across the nation are dealing with losing attendance at games. Schools are going to have to be more fan friendly whatever that is today. Some rule changes in the game are needed IE time rushes and passes the same way as it will shorten games that are now too long. Make efforts to bring in fans from around the state and region IE fan buses even game limos for the more well to do fans. There are some inherit problems at the university IE world class music department that looks down on providing a quality marching band. The number of out of state and foreign students hurt the student section as they aren’t connected to the Hoosier football team and likely won’t ever be.

    The IUFB program isn’t an easy one to develop as a number of coaches have found out over the years. I hope coach Allen can deal with all these changes and keep moving the program forward. We saw this year how close the edge is in programs like NW as they went from West champions to last in the B1G.

    1. Every Big Ten schools has a large portion of their student body from out of state. That’s not now, nor has it ever been, a valid excuse. This about winning, and it always has been. When IU wins consistently and can do so against the BiG’s best, attendance will follow. Until then, none of the gimmicks will matter.

  28. V13, I disagree with only one point you made above. Out-of-state students are absolutely no part of the problem with attendance at IU FB games. In fact, it was my experience back in the late 70’s that the most passionate IU FB fans were my fellow out-of-state students. We never missed a home game in four years and took a few road trips every year to watch IU play at other schools (LSU, Wisconsin, IL, NW, OSU, MSU and Purdue). And my daughter, who graduated from IU ten years ago, was also an out-of-state student. She and most of her fellow out-of-state student friends went to all the IU home FB games. They got hooked their freshman year when Hep’s team beat Purdue and went to the bowl game in Tempe (which she also attended). She never understood why so many students from Indiana, her cousins especially, REFUSED to attend an IU home FB game. To this day she chastises and mocks her cousins for their refusal to attend an IU home FB game.

    Your point about foreign students is valid. When I was a freshman at IU, their were more foreign undergraduate students enrolled at IU-B then their were African American students. I remember feeling embarrassed and ashamed by that statistic.

  29. SEC
    Average Academic Rank: 281

    Vanderbilt often looks out of place in the juggernaut Southeastern Conference, winning just 25.3% of its league games since 2006. But there’s another reason the Commodores don’t quite fit in: In a league with an average college rank of 281—the second worst of the five major conferences—they rank 20th nationally. Alabama, the sport’s supreme superpower, ranks 383rd in the WSJ/THE ranking, right behind Hunter College, Misericordia University and the College of St. Scholastica. Call the paramedics if these schools challenge the Crimson Tide to a game of football.

    Big Ten
    Average Academic Rank: 104

    Ohio State has ruled the Big Ten over the last 10 years, but rival Michigan rates higher academically. (Any Michigan fan will likely remind of you of this within five minutes of starting a conversation.) Northwestern is the cream of the classroom but middling on the field. Then there’s Maryland and Rutgers, the two newest additions to the Big Ten—they didn’t do much to boost the league’s academic or football profiles. In a conference that boasts the best average academic ranking, Nebraska, another relatively new addition, is the biggest outlier: The Cornhuskers rank 456th on the WSJ/THE list, more than 300 spots behind the next closest Big Ten school (courtesy: Wall Street Journal/ “If College Football’s Rankings Were Based on Academics”).

    Roll Tide…must mean ‘roll’ your pencil with a blank stare during SAT’s.

  30. BD, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

    With regard to IU FB, which will come first, wins against “the Big’s best” or the support from the Hoosier Nation?

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