Friday, March 30, 2007

The Simmons Plan

Now that Bill Simmons has published his 8-step plan on how to "fix" Holy Cross men's basketball, it's worth noting that the item most likely to have an impact on the program is one I overlooked in my Daulerioesque handicapping of The Simmons Plan: Money.

Simmons wrote, "Make me an official 'friend of the program' ... I want to be a booster. I want to break rules. I want to make a difference."

Perhaps the Sports Guy fancies himself the next Phil Knight, who has donated over $100 million to his alma mater Oregon, $40 million of which went toward renovating the team's football stadium. It's worth noting that Knight recently gave another $105 million to Stanford Business School, where he got his MBA, for entirely academic purposes.

A commenter to the original post acknowledged the Sports Guy's hubris (Knight is worth $7.9 billion and Simmons is not) but also wrote that TSG has a legitimate beef because Holy Cross basketball should aim higher than winning its league each year. Fair enough. We know Simmons doesn't have Knight's wallet - Forbes Magazine says only 69 people in the world do - but as long as Simmons is The Sports Guy, he has his Page 2 bully pulpit.

Simmons wants to make a difference? He should link to the Holy Cross Athletic Fund at the bottom of his next column, asking his readers to donate specifically to the men's basketball program. We've seen Simmons publicly trash Time Warner Cable for screwing up his HDTV for a weekend; let's see whether he'll now put his influence to more philanthropic (if still self-centered) use.

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