Friday Gillnet

I love it in the football offseason when so much news pops up that I get to put some posts on hold. It enables me to get out in front for the weeks to come. Thanks to Manti Te’o, Chip Kelly and the ‘Cats shocking win in Champaign, this was one of those weeks. So, let’s start winding down the week with a bunch of odds and ends that are worth sharing.

Bears/’Cats Connections Grow

In the “oh by the way” news in Chicago, the Bears have a new head football coach, Marc Trestman. The Manti Te’o story actually stole the thunder from what normally would be akin to a presidential inauguration party, at least from the media perspective, but the Te’o story completely dilluted the Bears big news here in Chicago. One bullet point that may have been overlooked is the fact Trestman hired Aaron Kromer as his offensive coordinator/offensive line coach. Kromer was the OL coach at Northwestern from 1999-2000, before bolting for the NFL where he most recently ascended to interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints for the first six games of the year. Congrats to Kromer, who coincidentally has three Wildcats on the roster, but all of them on the other side of the ball.

Queiro Dos? recently featured Cameron Queiro, younger brother of 2013 Wildcat commit, Kyle Queiro, as he accompanied his big brother on a recent recruiting visit. The junior LB from Bergen Catholic (NJ) admitted to Louie Vaccher that in his mother’s mind he is already committed to Northwestern and he was extremely impressed on his visit to the Evanston campus. Quiero’s father, however, is wisely telling his son to visit some more schools before making his choice. That list includes the like of Vandy, BC, Rutgers, Pitt and NC State among others. However, it is clear that Northwestern is the school to beat in the recruiting race.

Facilities Frustration

You knew this was coming. This news story in The Daily Northwestern outlines the story that has the Evanston Preservation Commission at least temporarily halting a six-story parking garage on north campus that is one of the first dominoes before prepping for what will be the Ryan Fieldhouse complex on the lakefront. The votes came out to a stalemate (three “yes” votes, two “no”s and an abstention) so the gargage building, slated to begin in February is at least temporarily on hold. Separately, three Evanston residents have sued Northwestern in attempt to thwart construction of a seven story parking garage and visitor’s center which is proposed to be built in the southeast corner of campus along the lake and Sheridan Road.

Heisman Watch’s Brian Bennett recently gave a shout out to Venric Mark as a potential 2013 Heisman candidate as part of a B1G look at who may seriously in the running for college football’s biggest individual prize.

Opponent Coaching Changes

A couple of B1G assistant coaching changes that you should be aware of as it impacts our competition. First, Ted Roof, the DC for Penn State has continued his carpetbagging ways and bolted from Happy Valley to become the DC at Georgia Tech. Roof has owned Northwestern, beating us in 2007 as the head coach of Duke and then adding to his mastery of us as the DC of Auburn (Outback Bowl) and again last year as the DC of Penn State. However, with Georgia Tech still in the rumor mill as a B1G add, we may not have seen the last of him.

This one has all kinds of 2013 ties. Illini head coach Tim Beckman fired co-offensive coordinator Chris Beatty and demoted the other, Billy Gonzales (to WR coach) and brought in Billy Cubit as the new OC.  Cubit was recently fired by Western Michigan, a 2013 Wildcat non-conference opponent, and at one time about a decade ago, was the OC at Stanford. Cubit employed a Northwestern-like hurry-up, no-huddle offense at Western Michigan and presumably will bring that style of play to Champaign.

Quentin Williams Nets ESPN All Bowl Award

Let’s face it, ‘Cats DE Quentin Williams and/or Tyler Scott should have won the Gator Bowl MVP honors (instead of Jared Carpenter).  However, it’s great to see the departing senior DE Williams get some love on a national level as he was recently named to the ESPN 2012 All Bowl Team.  Click here to see the company he joins.

Gator Bowl Photo Op

Just one day after NU unveiled a fancy schmanzy upgrade to the food at Norris Center with Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill, the no-matter-how-hard-they-try-we-need-a-new-student-center-to-get-people-to-go-there facility will be buzzing with cameras again. This time, Pat Fitzgerald, VP of A&R Jim Phillips and NU president Morty Schapiro will be on hand with the 2013 Gator Bowl Championship trophy to share with students and fans. The event begins at 4pm and all are invited. Click here for details.



  • NUMBalumDave

    Man, it never ends with Evanston. For one zillionth time, the University was there before the town was. Without NU, Evanston wouldn’t even be Glencoe,

    • Hank

      It’s a frustrating situation and I’ve never been able to wrap my head around why Evanston and NU can work together. It would seem to me the relationship could be completely symbiotic but Evanston continually takes steps to inhibit the universities development. Northwestern is one of the city’s largest employers, it’s part of the reason small businesses thrive in vibrant downtown, and it’s a large reason people visit Evanston or know about it in the first place. You’d think a strong and thriving educational institution would be one of the best ways for Evanston to assure success and growth.

      I think there are two main issues:
      Money: The tax-exempt status of the University removes a lot of land from the town’s property tax payroll and there folks who feel like the university doesn’t pay their fair share or that Evanston isn’t getting the money to which they are entitled.
      Pride: I suspect the city council feels they are continually pushed around by the University in a town that they run. I think those feelings are unfounded, but if that is the sentiment I could understand the ire that comes from the aldermen and the need to act against the university to assert their will.

      Regardless of the reasons, Evanston continually attempts to extort the university as it expands and develops. Each time Northwestern wants or needs something they are held hostage by the city until the school yields money, services or property. It’s a ridiculous and toxic cycle of quid pro quo.

      • NUMBalumDave

        You’re right to bring up the taxation issue. It has been a perennial thorn in Evanston’s side that NU conducts business, uses city services, and pays no property taxes. NU’s argument has always been along the lines that it brings high paying jobs, attracts services and retail, and essentially puts Evanston on the map. Both sides have some valid points. But the relationship has been, and obviously continues to be, toxic and adversarial. IMO, it’s the city that’s been more intractable over time, but that is likely because they negotiate from a weak position. The loss of some world headquarters, which used to be in greater number in the city, can’t help its position. NU is the big dog, and Evanston gets sick of feeling like the tail.

        • skepticat

          The thing that’s especially confounding is that the city and university were founded by the same group of people. You’d think the relationship between the two would have initially been very close and supportive, and that they would at least share the bond of a common history/origin. I wonder what happened over the years to change that.

          • NUMBalumDave

            Well, I’m not big on the historical details, but I know Lincoln asked John Evans to go to Denver and do there what he did in Evanston, and the result is the University of Denver, aka DU. Perhaps the original group did not stick together very long. I’m sure the realities of modern life compared to how things were back in the 19th century put the whole relationship on a different footing.

            And, let’s not forget the WCTU. I’ve always suspected them of some underhanded dealings. ;)

          • cece

            see that you have a wink, but don’t get the WCTU joke. what do you mean?

          • NUMBalumDave

            I don’t really think the WCTU has had any power in Evanston for close on a century, let alone done anything underhanded.

            Story: I lived in the NU Apartments and our dorm t-shirt said “We’re behind the WCTU” on the back, as in literally just across the alley. I was in the Evanston post office, and a little old ‘blue hair’ touched my arm as I was queued up and said, “I’m so glad you’re behind the WCTU. They need all the support they can get.”

          • skepticat

            Yeah, their PR took a bit of a knock after that little misstep some might know as Prohibition. I think you can rent out their old HQ, which I think is a historic landmark, for weddings receptions and the like now. Sweet irony….

          • skepticat

            I envisioned them having drunken and debaucherous parties through the night, and then stumbling into the harsh morning sunlight to stomp for agendas like the “harem law”. That’s usually how these things pan out…. :-)

        • DR

          I believe NU pays for services it may require from Evanston directly. For example, water and sewer, the school, like any user, pays. For Fire protection NU pays some kind of fee to the Fire Department. For police protection, of course, the school has a pretty omnipresent public safety staff of its own. So while NU pays no real estate tax they do pay usage fees, taxes in kind and other fees for services the univesity contracts for with Evanston.

          • Hank

            You’re right. It’s my understanding that NU pays Evanston directly for those services or hires private firms.

  • skepticat

    I almost wonder if the city has declared the entire campus a historical landmark solely for the purpose of trying to squelch any kind of renovation or construction project the university wants to do on their privately-owned land.

  • CatFanSeattle

    I finally got around to watching the Gator Bowl replay. The telecast said that they picked the “NU Defense” as the MVP. Was Carpenter one of the captains? I guess he got the “trophy” as a representative of the defense.

    • zeek

      Two separate choices I think. I wouldn’t equate the selection processes; the telecast one is probably different from the trophy MVP selection.

  • SB

    Small note: it’s Queiro, not Quiero like Taco Bell!

    • Yikes What a terrible error on my part. Thanks for the correction.

  • As far as Evanston goes – and I lived there for 13 years – it’s Evanston, that’s all. The Preservation Committee seems to have voted to preserve the Historic Parking lot, which, as the guy said in Animal House, has a long tradition of existence, to itself and to others. *shakes head* As far as the three who sued to stop the new visitor center, they messed up by suing Evanston but forgot to include Northwestern, so Northwestern, in possession of a valid permit, tore out the trees that the Evanstoonians were trying to protect. They were mostly scrub trees. Most of these people seem to have trouble with simple math – 20K students and staff spending money in Evanston = lots of revenue.


    Northwestern has a history of very poor planning when it comes to campus construction. Allowing the North Quad row of temporary housing along Lincoln to stay standing and infilling the dramatic original middle space of the quads with housing was a major error and changed the dynamics of the North Quad forever. Without seeing the elevation of a 6 story parking garage to the west of SPAC…my first reaction is that it is too tall. If there is a way to go DOWN and submerge 3-4 stories of that garage or spread out the parking underground throughout the entire rectangular parking plot goint north and south just east of the North Quad…they should do so…and put GREEN space on top of the parking to restore what was lost in the quad already. After what is going on with Old Prentice downtown…it is clear to me the school should seriously consider a historic preservation graduate degree in addition to a real architecture program. Our campus is too much of a hodge podge (though some great architecture is there (Deering, UHall , Burnham soriority quads, and so on) of buildings without a plan. PLEASE STOP blighting the campus with structures without a thought to the future. That side, I think the Lakefront Practice facility itself is bold and forward thinking architecture.

  • Bjm989

    Is the Gillnet still around?