Ekeler leaves Indiana for Southern California

51 comments by   |   Friday, February 22, 2013 - 10:29 pm EDT

Indiana coach Kevin Wilson confirmed on his Twitter account Friday night that linebackers coach/co-defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler has left Indiana to be the linebackers coach at Southern California.

“Mike Ekeler has accepted a job at Southern Cal,” Wilson said on his Twitter account. “He is an excellent coach and we appreciate the contributions he made to our program. We wish Mike, Barbie and their family continued success at USC. We will take our time to find the best fit for #iufb and Indiana University from what we know will be a strong pool of candidates.”

Ekeler spent two years with the Indiana staff after three years as the linebackers coach at Nebraska. Though the IU defense struggled in his tenure the former Kansas State linebacker developed a reputation for his energy and his recruiting ability, especially on the JUCO circuit.

He is the second member of the defensive staff to leave this offseason for a more traditionally successful program. Defensive tackles coach Mark Hagen left for Texas A&M last month and was recently replaced by former Oklahoma offensive line coach James Patton.

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51 comments:
#1
Higgi
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 1:44 AM EDT

Lane Kiffen is a total tool and likely to be fired after the upcoming season…perhaps Coach Ekeler is gambling that he will be elevated to Defensive Coordinator when Kiffen is ousted. Seems like Coach Ek would have had more credibility in helping turning around IU’s Defense before moving on to another program, but the lure of LA is often had to resist – it’s where many dreams are realized…and even more dreams are obliterated. Good luck Coach Ek!

 
#2
Hoosier Clarion
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 2:13 PM EDT

This hurts and makes losing Hagen hurt even more. He has experience playing/coaching LB’s and could easily have moved to that position. Maybe even as the co-DC. This makes it easy to see Coach Wilson knows quality personnel for IU’s staff. We can expect more of the same for a couple of years. If Ekeler can put up with Kiffin’s BS he is even tougher than I thought.

 
#3
WaltD
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 10:43 PM EDT

This will be Kiffin’s last year at USC. Maybe Ekeler thinks he has a shot at replacing him. However, when Kiffin goes, the AD will ensure everyone goes.

 
#4
Chet
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 11:37 PM EDT

Kiffen must be one of the greatest interviewees of my lifetime. He consistently gets jobs he’s unqualified for, does a terrible job, and then gets hired for a better position.

He was spectacularly bad this year. Maybe someone paid attention.

 
#5
AustinL
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 11:45 AM EDT

Chet, I was thinking the same thing. It’s a shame to lose Coach Ek. The players seemed to really like him. I hope CKW can find someone that can match Ek’s recruiting skills and enthusiasm. I’m genuinely excited to see our guys play this year for the first time in a long time.

 
#6
Podunker
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 5:01 PM EDT

To me, the issue is not coach Ekeler, or before him, coach Hagen, it’s that IU seems unable to prevent its assistant coaches from being hired away by programs with greater wealth, even after they offer to match the other school’s offer.

Ekeler’s move is stupid. I’m sure he got a bigger salary to move to LA, but most of the difference will be gobbled up in the excessive CA state taxes, real estate prices, and much higher cost of living. LA is in major decline, as is most of California. And the USC football program is as weak as its been in years. As previously stated above, Ekeler’s likely to be fired after the 2013 season along with the head coach and top assistants. He’s rolling the dice big time, and I assume he’s doing that because he feels he needs the greater exposure that comes with a traditionally strong program located in a major sports market. But his quality of life will suffer living in LA and he may be relocating his family again a year from now.

But the main issue is why can’t IU keep it’s top assistant coaches? Is it just money, or is something else causing these guys to justify their departure before their mission has been completed. I think everyone knows that their is very weak fan support for IU football. Memorial Stadium is hardly ever sold out unless OSU fans buy up all the spare tickets, and after decades of disappointments and terrible management on the part of university administrators, IU fans have been conditioned to have extremely low expectations regarding IU football. Too few IU fans buy the tickets, or they don’t attend the games, so the revenue required to hire and retain the type of coaches necessary to turn a perennial loser into a competitive program is simply not there.

Ekeler was not around long enough for anyone to determine he was a good coach or not. His linebackers did not seem to be very effective in the two years he coached IU, but look what he inherited! He seemed to be able to recruit, but that’s relative. But really, whether one liked him or not is irrelevant. If Wilson wanted to keep him, but could not, that’s a big red flag. I suggest Mr. Glass examine the issue carefully and make some changes, quickly. Or the momentum we appear to have created last year, and especially with this recruiting class, will be forfeit, and the negative cycle could start all over again.

Buy tickets, go to the games, go into the stadium, stay past half time, and make some noise. Write a check from time to time. The power to transform IU football lies within The Hoosier Nation, and we will get the football program we deserve.

 
#7
Hoosier Clarion
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 6:41 PM EDT

Plenty of IU $ are available for a quality staff, there is no red flag. Take a look around the country and see other programs with more notoriety have lost coaches this year also. Meatchicken just lost their DL coach to Oklahoma. The Sooners also stole 1 from WVU. Just look around it is everywhere. Even a team who would produce a 12-0 season could be fertile soil for the pros coaching needs.

 
#8
Big Hoosier/Ben
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 8:18 PM EDT

I was sad to learn this, but it dont surprise me at all. My feelings on this is as follows: IU has plenty of cash, but until we can constantly win, maybe a bowl every other year, and get out of the celler, we will continue to lose coaches.

Though I agree, money is the biggest factor.

We will never know if Eckler improved the defense. It may have been marginally inproved. Had he had better players to work with, it might have been a different story. We will never know. He came in, when IU football was at a extremly low point.

Wilson has proven he can lure known coaches. I expect a solid replacement. The culture is changing, and I can see IU Football slowly inproving, may it be recruits, and a coach who isnt afriad to be an ass when needed, unlike Lynch.

Though remember this. When IU starts winning on a constant basis again, we will lose oaches. Winning=better opprutunities. Coaches neer left Lynch, because, well….. We were no good. I would love feedback.

 
#9
Chet
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 8:57 PM EDT

I doubt it was just a bigger check. I’m thinking he sees a higher profile program as the next step to a HC position. I concur with several previous posters that his timing sucks. It’s hard to imagine that anything short of a title run will save Kiffen. Remember, this train wreck he coached this year was the preseason #1 in some polls.

I gotta admit that, while I generally like the guy, it’s been amusing listening to Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio make excuses for the guy. He has become friends with Kiffen and he’s gotten too close (and, IMHO, to smitten) to admit what a spectacular failure he’s been…well… everywhere. At this point he’s got to turn on a friend to admit the truth.

Kiffen is one of those “Being There” people. The stars aligned and all he had to do was show up and look pretty (see Sarah Palin). We should all wish for such a fate…or not.

 
#10
Big Hoosier/Ben
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 9:29 PM EDT

Your probably right Chet. I just wish he had better talent to work with when he was at Indiana. My question is this Chet. If his goal is to become a HC, why did he even bother to come to Indiana? Did he expect a miracle with our defense? Seems logical he would have stayed at Nebraska, and built his résumé from there.

 
#11
TsaoTsuG
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 10:04 PM EDT

Big Hoosier/Ben- I am not sure what I am looking at, but I do have ideas.

I remember three (four-the time just prior to Lynch’s last season) years ago when we all thought the defense had to be addressed and it became clear the survival of the Lynch staff depended on doing what had to be done, period. We were then the laughing stock of the Big Ten for our defensive play.

It was even pointed out to him that if it was not addressed the likely consequences was the probability that the entire staff would be dismissed; so even out of loyalty to his assistants(those who would have survived changes) he had to take action.

He didn’t. He and his entire staff were fired (and no one really blamed the offense).

This year I thought something similar; CKW would have to address the defense, it would be completely self-defeating to not do so. And, given its performances, it had to be fairly radical changes. I tried not to fool myself. It seemed to me it was not only a matter of personnel. Now, however it was done, the circumstances forced significant personnel changes and restructuring. And, to our benefit, they come in a relatively quiet, low key way.

I have a lot of confidence that CKW knows what he is doing. He does not appear to be the type to be shy or postpone hard decisions, a mark of good leadership. I believe he has taken charge and is doing what, in his best judgment, he needs to do to improve the program. He should continue on course to give us the best staff and team possible.

 
#12
iulongago
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 10:17 PM EDT

Maybe it’s as simple as this…If you are a football coach and can choose between IU and USC, which one do you pick? Though this can be ‘parsed’ many different ways, it just may be that simple.

 
#13
TsaoTsuG
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 10:23 PM EDT

Re JP’s comment, I think it’s a style issue. But either way, I appreciate the fact that we don’t have to wade our way through 10-15 unbearably gross and insulting comments to exchange diverse thoughts on our Hoosier way of life and love.

On another, much more pleasant front:

How about that. You’d think that someone would have noticed that for all practical purposes, we took a ‘virtual’ three game lead over the second place team in the B1G. (Two wins and a ‘tie-breaker’ over MSU. Which means if we win at Minny (or any one more game) we are ‘virtual ‘champs. Since OSU beat Michigan, only Wisconsin (and that’s dangerous enough) is in a better position than MSU.

How ’bout ‘dem ‘dar Hoosiers!

 
#14
TsaoTsuG
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 10:34 PM EDT

IULongAgo…(and I always think your posts are amongst the best). It doesn’t make sense and nurturing a high level coaching career has to make sense.

 
#15
Big Hoosier/Ben
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 10:56 PM EDT

Thanks Tsao. Good feedback. I was under the impression IU had to win 3 of the next 4 games to be assured Big 10 champions?

 
#16
Hoosier Clarion
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 11:00 PM EDT

This all makes sense. Word has it USC made an offer to Ekeler last year with a muti-year contract and he turned them down. No doubt they made a better offer this year. He loses the “co” title but gets a large increase in salary and maybe a multiple year contract. The “co” is still on his resume and it is pretty easy explaining why you leave IU for USC to the next future employer. USC is still huge in CFB even with Kiffin as HC.

 
#17
TsaoTsuG
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 12:14 AM EDT

Possibly; however, I thought someone (HT?)had published Ekeler had denied an offer last year. No matter. If after 1990 years the Vatican can survive the resignation by Pope Benedict XVI, IU can survive the resignation- for whatever the reason- of Coach Ekeler.

 
#18
Hoosier Clarion
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 12:50 AM EDT

Correct, losing the continuity of the staff is a stutter step but there are many good LB coaches who are at a program not at IU level who can excel in Bloomington.

 
#19
iulongago
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 1:09 AM EDT

Thanks Tsao but I just think that if your football coaching resume says USC it means significantly more than if it lists IU in the same time frame.

 
#20
You.Me.We
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 10:23 AM EDT

So we lose two defensive coaches for the worst defense in the league(by far) and we act like the world is coming to an end?

 
#21
Chet
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 11:39 AM EDT

Where did you read that? The posts I’m reading say just the opposite, basically, ‘Don’t let that door hit you in the butt on the way out…’

It’s been more of an exercise in the question, ‘why leave for USC when their head coach is hanging by a thread?’

I don’t think many are out on a ledge. I could be wrong.

 
#22
You.Me.We
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 12:16 PM EDT

Chet,

My comment was based on what I’ve been seeing around the web at all the IU news sources. There are a lot of people saying these departures are “crippling” or “sting” or “this really slows our momentum”. If you haven’t seen any of these sentiments out there then you haven’t been looking very deep. Personally, I am in the “don’t let the door…” camp.

 
#23
Jim
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 1:16 PM EDT

When Indiana goes 9-3 next season, Coach Wilson himself will be the next to leave for higher salary/better opportunity.

 
#24
TsaoTsuG
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:02 PM EDT

You, me, we…I think in general people accept that assistant coaches on the rise look for opportunities to push their careers forward. Some think they do so through short stays at any one place but I doubt their ‘gypsy’ life style results in serious, professional consideration.

On the other hand, you have the example in Coach Wilson himself who served extended stays in jobs that spell out a professional resume of seriousness, innovation, loyalty and accomplishment; how else do you explain Miami(O), Northwestern, Oklahoma over a career spanning 20-some years. It was this history that got him noticed and recommended by a top industry-respected, athletic consultant. It was this serious approach that made him an immediate and outstanding candidate that easily stood out to A.D. Glass.

I generally believe that a staff, like a building, needs to ‘settle’. That is exactly the expected process and the adjustments that I perceive is going on. We, as fans, need to let it happen while we remain confident Coach Wilson is in control.

Much of the problem at Indiana is and has been that- when it comes to football- we don’t have a history that allows for confidence. Generally, any event we don’t fully understand raises a waterfall of angst over options and a tsunami of second-guessers. Many who raise it see themselves as alternative athletic administrators qualified to do coaching searches and define program strategies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Notice the numbers of suggestions sending in specific names for the vacancies left by Hagen and Ekelar through all sorts of open forums.

Let’s be honest and let’s be loyal to the Hoosiers; the opposite is true and it is the basic reason why we are not very good at making athletic policy or doing a job search, especially in football.

Glass, Wilson and Indiana are well served if our recommendations are ignored. In exchange, we’ll get well selected, well schooled, well structured, well coached athletic teams that we can then brag ‘depended on our collective coaching ability’ to achieve success.

At some point we need to be honest with ourselves and leave the program’s leadership for those who know more than we do, beginning with Coach Kevin Wilson in this case.

 
#25
Double Down
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 2:52 PM EDT

Some of these comments are truly odd. I can’t believe that I am reading that IU football fans are “concerned” that we lost an assistant coach to one of the top 5 programs in the nation? This sucks for us, but how is this a surprise.

I like Coach Ek and wish him the best. But at least now we’ll have a single DC, instead of sharing the duties with Doug Mallory. Mallory can be held accountable and run his D.

On the flip side, while our defense was really bad last year, at least we saw them hitting hard and playing with intensity. Wonder how much Coach Ek played in that and if we can keep it going?

 
#26
Podunker
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 4:06 PM EDT

Double Down & others; Ekeler’s departure does not make sense on a number of key points. From my vantage point, here they are:

1. He took a demotion in title, from co-defensive coordinator to linebackers coach. He was the linebackers coach at NE before coming to IU. Why go backward?
2. He jumped from one of the most reasonable cost of living communities in America to one of the highest cost-of-living communities in America. State taxes, gasoline, and housing costs will eat up most of any salary increase he receives. So financially, it’ll be a neutral financial move at best.
3. He’s joining a coaching staff that has a very high probability of getting fired in about 10 months. Would you move your family 2,000 miles and take a job where you have a high probability of getting fired in less than a year? That makes no sense.
4. If Ekeler was successful helping IU become a winner, you’d think he’d be in a better position to ascend to a HC job. Now, at USC, he’s another rung down on the ladder. Do you think Ekeler will get the credit if USC has a major turn-around in 2013? Most likely, it’ll be his boss, the defensive coordinator that gets all the credit. And if they have another 7 or 8-win season, he’ll be out of a job. The downside seems to outweigh the upside.
5. Lastly, he has to drive through some pretty nasty neighborhoods to get to work every day. While USC is a reasonably safe campus, the neighborhoods that surround it are some of the worst neighborhoods in America. If he has a flat tire two blocks from the campus gates, he should be advised to drive the car on the rims until he gets to the security gates.

Maybe Ekeler is not as bright as I thought he was.

 
#27 Monday, February 25, 2013 - 4:21 PM EDT

The rest of your arguments make sense, Podunker, but on the list of people I think would be afraid of being stuck in rough parts of town, Mike Ekeler is pretty low on the list.

 
#28
You.Me.We
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 6:24 PM EDT

TsauTsuG,

I agree with you.

I have a lot of faith in Wilson. More faith than I’ve had in any coach at IU in 20 years (hoeppner aside). He will find an excellent replacement for Ekeler. Dare I say an upgrade?

 
#29
Podunker
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 8:24 PM EDT

Dustin, unless Ekeler has become bullet proof, he should be worried about car trouble on his way too and from the USC campus. In fact, he’d be wise to buy an old clunker and invest in a new engine and good tires so as to avoid being car-jacked. Have you spent much time in the South Central LA? If you do, you will know of what I speak. Visualize south side of Chicago with better weather.

The USC campus is like a beautiful tropical island located in shark infested waters. In fact, I think it was about 25 years ago, while in the midst of a spring practice, a USC football player was struck by a stray bullet fired from an AK47 about a block away from the practice field. The shooter was not trying to hit anyone on the football field, but he was involved in a little gang war and a few of his bullets went astray. I think the football player recovered and then immediately transferred.

 
#30
calcoug
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 8:28 PM EDT

When Crean transfers I hope he goes to Seattle instead.

 
#31
Podunker
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 8:33 PM EDT

Just so folks don’t think I was making it up. From the LA Times, September 29, 1992.

“USC Player Shot on Practice Field : Football: Police say stray bullet from gang-related incident a quarter-mile away wounds freshman linebacker.”

September 29, 1992|JERRY CROWE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

 
#32
Podunker
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 8:41 PM EDT

And then there is this headline from the LA Times from just a few months ago.

“USC football: Trojans continue preparations after campus shooting”
November 01, 2012|By Gary Klein

In this incident, the person who got shot was a football player. “But coach, we gave up all those rushing yards because our best linebacker was shot at an on-campus party earlier this week.”

Yep, great move Ekeler. I hear the teams in Beirut and Damascus are also looking for a new linebackers coach, too.

 
#33
calcoug
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 8:44 PM EDT

Podunkey knows nothing (the guy is crazy). Things are much better now.

 
#34 Monday, February 25, 2013 - 9:08 PM EDT

Podunker,
I’m not suggesting that South Central is the Hamptons, obviously it’s got gang violence issues going back a long ways. But obviously, lots of coaches have gone there and survived. Last time I checked, Pete Carroll is still around. Lane Kiffin’s made it this far, and I wasn’t under the impression he drives a tank to work or coaches in kevlar.

 
#35 Monday, February 25, 2013 - 9:15 PM EDT

Also this.
Before you read this story, I’d be willing to place heavy odds against you being a Pete Carroll fan, as I’m certain you think he’s a cheater and therefore scum. The story I’m about to post isn’t here to try to assuage those thoughts. Dislike him as much as you want. But for perspective as to the difference between gang and drug riddled neighborhoods and actual war zones, and proof that USC coaches can drive into bad neighborhoods and live to tell about it.

http://www.lamag.com/features/2007/12/01/23-reasons-why-a-profile-of-pete-carroll-does

 
#36
Podunker
Monday, February 25, 2013 - 11:52 PM EDT

Dustin, you’d have lost the bet. I would not say that I’m a fan of Carroll, but I don’t think he’s a scumbag. Having met the man once, I appreciate his energy and charisma. He is most impressive in person.

Coaches like Carroll go to schools like USC knowing that it is a corrupt program. Carroll knew that the school, the fans, the alumni would do whatever it took to get and keep the players necessary to compete for a national championship. And he knew that his boss, the AD, was the primary bag man.

Carroll probably never got directly involved in the cheating. He never had to. It was just understood that key players would be taken care of. That’s the way it had always worked and that’s the way it always would work, unless of course, they got caught. No, Carroll could justify it by telling himself that he had never paid a player, he had never cheated, and he was not certain that anyone associated with USC had done so. Ignorance is bliss! The corruption existed before he arrived at USC and it would continue long after he left USC.

But come on. When his star running back drives to practice one day in a brand new car with $2,000 rims, a customer stereo and a custom paint job, Carroll never asked questions, never investigated where the car came from, never mentioned it to the compliance officer working in the AD’s office. Why, because Carroll needed that star running back. Carroll had a lot to gain, and I mean millions and millions of dollars to gain, if he coached the team to the national championship. And he needed that kid to win that championship.

No, Ekeler should not be going to USC because USC should have gotten the death penalty three years ago and should not be playing football.

 
#37
TsaoTsuG
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 2:31 AM EDT

Podunker what does that have to do with South Central? Your very racist rant directed at the residents and gangs of South Central; while you advocated that ‘decent’ folks like those who work the USC football program take protection measures from the hordes of invading savages that attack these wholesome ‘angels’ at practice.

I’ll also tell you, because I doubt that you know, that through the 1990′s the majority population of South Central (now known as southern Los Angeles to distinguish from their ‘riot’ days was African American. Conditions and unemployment drove many away and they were replaced by Hispanics, who today make up about 2/3 of the population. It would be enlightening if you clarified who these people who form the ‘groups’ are that rain such misery, violence and terror on the ‘good kids’ of USC. But, I’m confused; your own descriptions suggests the decadence is pretty blatant, filthy and overpowering within that cute middle class private university outpost.

I’ll find out. I have a friend, a member of one of those groups, Dr. Ricardo Gomez, a Ph.D. in Philosophy (Kant, Philosophy of the Mind, and Philosophy of Mathematics) from Indiana University who lives and teaches at California State University- Los Angeles. I’ll ask him not to tear your car apart just to get to your stereo.

Hard to say this next part, since I’ve considered you a friend to this point. But yours is a pretty insulting rant to an American Hispanic like me who also happens to live (and loves) Chicago. Very disappointed in your racist rant.

 
#38
Chet
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 11:37 AM EDT

Come on, Tsao. We both know that the fine denizens of USC look down upon Cal State as a slum they’d never be caught dead in.

USC has always bugged me. More than any other school (IMHO) they push the envelope to see just how much their money can buy. When they get caught they shrug their shoulders and start over, much like our friends in Lexington but with nicer clothes.

 
#39
Hoosier Clarion
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 11:48 AM EDT

Chet…and more teeth…

 
#40
Podunker
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 1:44 PM EDT

Tsao, did you really just accuse me of racism? That’s the most ignorant thing you have written on this blog in a long, long time. If it was not so pathetic, it would be laughable. And like most of the “racist” accusations that are thrown around these days, it’s intellectually lazy. How disappointing that such thoughtless drivel came from you. For the record, I had no idea, nor did I or do I care, what your heritage is. It is irrelevant, but very revealing that you felt the need to include that information in your comments. I have never considered it, and unlike you, I have never filtered any of your posts through the prism of politically acceptable speech. In fact, and it has become oh so typical these days, your accusation implies the inherent racism, or as some would call it, the “reverse racism.” Ironically, since I have never revealed my race or my heritage, you jumped to conclusions, which is also most revealing (can a black or hispanic person be a racist in America?) But since you felt the need to reveal your race, as if that somehow lends credibility to your comments, it explains how quickly your knee jerked. When is comes to the topic of racism, while your mind may have grown a bit lazy, those PC reflexes appear to be in good shape. But unlike a real racist, I will not use your race to justify excusing your bad behavior, thoughtless comments and baseless accusations. Bad behavior is bad behavior, regardless of your heritage. Unfortunately, too many people in this country, many of whom are truly racists, no longer think that way.

In this ridiculous PC world we live in, racism is in the eye of the beholder. How unfortunate that since so many people have thoughtlessly and carelessly thrown that accusation around, like in this example, it is losing its impact and threatens to camouflage real racism, which remains a problem in our society. Facts no longer matter, backing up one’s comments with facts no longer matter. If one’s comments touch a nerve in a hysterical or hypersensitive person, the accusation is fired reflexively. So Tsao, while I don’t expect to be able to convince you otherwise, I will point out that my previous comments were based on the fact that USC is surrounded by some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. It does not matter if the people living in the vicinity are black, hispanic, asian, or white, (and in fact, all those races are represented in that area) the fact is that innocent people, often children and college students, are being assaulted, car jacked and killed, on a regular basis, within a stone’s throw of the USC campus. I do not know, nor does it matter to me, if the people committing those violent crimes are black, white, hispanic or asian. The fact is, and my original point was, that USC is located in an area that is far more dangerous than Bloomington, IN. And therefore, based on those facts, it might be a factor in choosing whether to accept a job that is located there.

 
#41
Podunker
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 1:54 PM EDT

To the other readers of this string, I apologize for entering into political discussion. But I could not ignore or excuse such an absurd comment directed at me.

 
#42 Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 2:41 PM EDT

^ Apology not accepted.

 
#43 Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 3:15 PM EDT

Podunker,
I’ll also apologize for sort of dragging you deeper into it. I don’t think you were being racist at all, just thought you were looking at Ekeler’s departure as an affront to Indiana, taking it a little too personal, and trying to come up with as many arguments against it as possible. There are a lot of reasons why it’s not the smartest decision, chief among them being Lane Kiffin’s tenuous hold on the head job. But if you talk to Ekeler for five minutes, the idea that he’d turn down a job because it’s in a bad part of town is pretty laughable. Part of the reason I posted the Carroll story is that I could see Ekeler doing the exact same thing. I don’t think he spends as much time reading Indian philosophy as Carroll, but the energy and fearlessness is the same. I think he’d look at the situation more as a challenge and a problem he could work to solve as opposed to a dealbreaker, and I don’t think it would be crazy at all for him to view it that way.

 
#44
TsaoTsuG
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 4:36 PM EDT

Podunker, it took me about 2-3 hours to decide whether to push ‘enter’ or not in reply to your rant. I made a point of labeling the rant as ‘racist’, it did not necessarily follow that it was identifying you a racist, but that is a distinction that may be harder to see. I know, you will think ‘no difference’. There is for me, I still consider you a friend, we just have some different experiences and therefore react differently on some issues.

First, an I think most would agree, the last thing most (I think even you would agree) would label me is PC. I actually agree with you on a lot of issues. Yes, Hispanics can be racist and very often are;..against Whites (oh yeah…it happens often against each other), against Blacks and in some cases against other Hispanics of other mixes (Asian-Hispanics, Jewish-Hispanics). Yes, Blacks can be racists for the same reasons as Whites and Hispanics even towards each others based on the hue of their skin. Asians can be racists, as Arabs can. Holding racial attitudes is not an unusual phenomena and I don’t believe it is confined to a defining characteristic of Caucasian-Americans.

But the rant about the area around USC was directed and linked the violence and criminality in the South Central to the populations that live there; as if their ethnic/racial profile was their defining and causal element.

First, the population has changed radically since the days of the LA and the Rodney King ‘Riots’ from a majority Black population (greater than 85%) to a majority Hispanic (Mexican and Central-Americans)(now greater than 66%). And your commentary addressed the ‘good’ kids at USC-a private, high income, generally white enclave- as the victims and the ‘population’ of South Central as the predators.

I challenge that underlying assumption. (One question I have is in regards to the race of the 2-3 USC football players wounded in the incidents you related).The great majority of the people of South Central are not aggressor/predators waiting at the corner for Ekeler’s car (or trailer), they are simply people of low incomes who are also victims of the same gangs or attackers and wished the authorities would do more to get rid of the vermin, whatever color or race they are. They simply live there.

Likewise, though I am well aware of the monster gang problem Chicago has in the South Side especially. But, like LA, the South Side also includes wealthier, more diverse enclaves like Hyde Park,(Fifth Ward) where the elite University of Chicago has its campus, where the Museum of Science and Industry has its home; the southwest side Pilsen (25nd. Ward), Back of the Yards (13th Ward) and Little Village (22th Ward) neighborhoods which have a clear majority Mexican/Latino population and Chinatown (also 25th Ward)…as well as the now upscale South Loop where United Arena and Mc Cormick (Soldier Field) are.

I never made any other assumptions about you. Actually that’s wrong, I did. I make the assumption that you are older (I suspect your mid 60′s), of more traditional values, a rabid IU fan who is sometimes as unreasonable about the Hoosier’s merits as I am. And, I know that some on this blog do profile and attack you sometimes for those characteristics and, truthfully, the attacks offend me as well. And, sometimes, since I’ve shared them, agree with much of your traditional value system and your willingness to go eyeball to eyeball, supported some statements others you’ve made. I don’t say ‘defended’ you because I also believe you do not need to be defended.

I now (after reading your response)assume you did not mean to write a racist statement. I do think the rant had elements that clearly allowed that interpretation and, in good conscience, do not feel different about those elements today. Sometimes (it happens to me as well), sometimes we write things we intend one way and they come out another. I’ve seen those, as I said, in my statements, in yours, certainly in some of Harvard’s epics, in Chet’s, in Geoff’s, in Dustin’s, in Jeremy’s etc. SO…we assume them, take note so as to not repeat, hope people understand and move on.

To sum it up; understand what offended me so that I felt moved to voice it (after much thought), allow for my indignation, for my (eventual) understanding that it did not represent a fundamental facet of your character and that, like me, you abhor the criminality and absurd self-destroying violence that is making the lives of many communities throughout the country- not only in south central LA and south Chicago, a depressing experience.

Go Hoosiers!

 
#45
TsaoTsuG
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 5:23 PM EDT

Chet…trying to figure out your point. I agree that the fine denizens at USC see the citizens of south central as either their car parkers or their car breakers or car jackers. There is also the fact that USC is not known for its academic merits. Rather for the relationship to income, except for the football team it hires to entertain their alumni and tuition paying students.

My point about California State-LA was not whether it was one of America’s top institutions, rather that some of the institutions at south central merited respect (just like the one time Indianapolis Extension Campus once in one of the worse neighborhoods of Indianapolis became IUPUI-Indianqapolis, the lead project in upgrading the area just west of the Circle (remember Indiana Ave?) or how the old Univ. of Illinois-Navy Pier became UIC and changed the slums (formerly built on a swamp) just south of the Loop and created one of Chicago’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

It’s also important to note that when a community like south central LA is kept in its dire circumstances, as Chicago’s near-southside was kept until 15 years ago, it is by design and as a part of an economic/political project to provide some form of housing (as marginal and dangerous as they may be) for low (change that to cheap) wage workers- a rather evil politically/economic motivated reason.

Finally, my mention of Dr. Gomez was to document that not everyone in south central is a gang banging member of the Mara 13, Crips, Bloods or Mexican Mafia gangs. Dr. Gomez, by the way chose Cal State-LA (over Yale, Cornell) exactly for the impact it may have on the community. His was one of the outstanding thesis (on Kant and mathematics)in the department of Philosophy at IU. His faculty adviser at IU was another individual who would feel comfortable in South Central, the Mellon-Powell Chair professor of Philosophy and (if I recall correctly) former President of the American Academy of Philosophy, Hector Neri-Castaneda, Ph.D. (sadly now deceased).

USC does bug me as well because it is literally an island of privilege protected like an army post by an ‘ask-no-questions’ armed force and a 24-hour helicopter overhead. And, as Podunker does make clear, and we saw with Pete ‘Ghandi’ Carroll they simply buy their football reputations and careers.

Truthfully, (privately) I think more was involved in Ekelar’s leaving and, perhaps, not all from Ekelar’s side. Until the announcement I was somewhat perplexed not seeing the kind of restructuring that I thought we might see on the defensive side. Now I see some good chess moves (Rook to Queen), adding a Knight..or two. Makes sense, CKW knows the board and the pieces he needs and how to move them around. He’s definitely not a fool.

This is actually turning out to be one hell of a lot more fun than I ever thought it would be.

 
#46
Podunker
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 6:39 PM EDT

#1. “But the rant about the area around USC was directed and linked the violence and criminality in the South Central to the populations that live there; as if their ethnic/racial profile was their defining and causal element.” Tsao, this comment suggests that you are in deed hyper-sensitive about this issue. Obviously, you read a lot into my previous comments and appear to be trying to put words in my mouth. And it was not a rant. My original comment was one of five comments, and it simply stated a fact. Ekeler has accepted a job that will require him to drive through one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America. THAT IS A FACT. The race of the people doing the assaults, the car-jackings and the murders does not matter. Neither does the race of their victims. The fact is, those violent crimes occur in the neighborhoods surrounding USC far more frequently than they do in places like Bloomington, IN or near the campus of the University of Nebraska. It has been, for many decades, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America.

#2. I know those neighborhoods around USC, probably as well as any person that contributes to The Hoosier Scoop. I have been in those neighborhoods over 100 times and spent many, many days there. I used to call on USC University Medical Center, and later managed people that called on the hospitals in that immediate vicinity, located within three miles from the USC campus. I have relationships with people working in those hospitals, many of whom live in those neighborhoods. Those people, my former clients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers, represent every possible race you can find in America. So I don’t need you or anyone else to lecture me on the character of the people living and working in the neighborhoods surrounding USC.

#3 “And your commentary addressed the ‘good’ kids at USC-a private, high income, generally white enclave- as the victims and the ‘population’ of South Central as the predators.” That’s a lie, Tsao. You just made that up, out of whole cloth. You’re seeing ghosts and imagining things that are not there. I did not write or reference ‘good kids’ in any of my previous posts in this string. And I did not refer to white kids. For your information, the football player that was recently shot was black. The two students most recently murdered, while sitting in their car that was parked less than a block from campus, were Chinese exchange students. The football player that was wounded by a stray bullet back in 1992 was black. You need to do some soul-searching Tsao, because you’re either fabricating things to support your narrative (an increasingly frequent occurrence with journalists these days) or you’re so hysterical that you’re imagining things that are not real. I’m not sure which is more disturbing, but you better read people’s comments more carefully before you start slinging accusations of racism around.

#4 “I now (after reading your response) assume you did not mean to write a racist statement. I do think the rant had elements that clearly allowed that interpretation and, in good conscience, do not feel different about those elements today. Sometimes (it happens to me as well), sometimes we write things we intend one way and they come out another.” Speak for yourself, Tsao. I wrote what I meant to write, and there was absolutely nothing racially insensitive involved. If you found any part of what I wrote racially insensitive, that’s your problem, not mine. But as I said above, I think you’re seeing things that are simply not there. As far as you being PC, there is plenty of evidence that you have long since been infected with that virus.

#5. The only assumption about me that you got right is that I am a rabid IU fan. I’m not anywhere near my mid 60′s. But to provide some insight, I will tell you this brief story. My mother and father were married in 1948, in Ohio. When the minister of my mother’s church expressed reluctance about my Dad’s best man being black, my mother and my father said they would get married in another church. My mother’s father and mother (my grandparents), having been members of that church for decades, threatened to leave the church unless the minister performed the ceremony. Ultimately the minister married my parents in my Mom’s church, and I was raised in a home that included a large photograph of my parents’ wedding party, from 1948, with my “uncle” Jimmy standing right there next to my father. The only person that was not smiling in that photo was the minister. 1948! You think about that for a while.

 
#47
TsaoTsuG
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 7:43 PM EDT

Not much to add to what I have said. Appreciate your answer; we do continue to have a very basic disagreement. While I can accept is that you didn’t intend a racially/ethnically directed statement. The fact that it generalized and demeaned the two groups who live in south central LA (and south Chicago)as the engine driving the dangers faced by victims, largely of Caucasian origin does, from my perspective confirm there is core message in your statement that you yourself do not see. I’ll let it go at that.

Admire your parents and their fortitude.

Hope you stay well.

 
#48
Podunker
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 8:47 PM EDT

My comments generalized and demeaned no one. On the other hand, I just caught you lying about what I wrote. You attributed statements to me that were never written. You’re either desperate to defend your knee jerk conclusion or you’re irrational about this matter. You’re reading things that weren’t written, attributing statements that were not made, and drawing completely erroneous conclusions without anything more than than your prejudice.

Tsao, I know and have worked with dozens, maybe hundreds, of people that work and live in that area of LA. I’ve spent hundreds of hours working in the hospitals located in that immediate vicinity. Have you even been there? Based on what you’ve written above, I doubt it. Because the population of those neighborhoods is far more diverse than you suggest. Blacks, hispanics, whites and asians live and work in that area. So when I show up to do a night shift inservice for the Emergency Room nursing staff at USC University Medical Center, and the charge nurse for the night shift, who just happens to be black, greets me by saying, “welcome to the combat zone,” is she being a racist? Is she demeaning the people living in south central LA? Is she making generalizations? Or is she acknowledging the obvious fact that the hospital she works for is located in one of the most violent areas of the state, if not the country?

If I ask 100 people, picked at random, “Is it safer living in Bloomington, IN or in south central LA,” and all of them answer, ‘Bloomington, IN,” are all 100 of those people making generalizations that demean the people living in south central?

 
#49
davis
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 9:26 PM EDT

Po- quality of life is different to different people; some people love living in LA. Never mind the violence, people live in Phoenix (so I’ve heard) and smile while broiling their brains out. You are right about the main issue, but it’s not hard to figure out that “Assistant at the Metropolitan Opera of New York” reads better on the resume than “Assistant at “The Summer Stock Opera House of the Catskills,” even if only for a one year stint. Ekeler is indeed rolling the dice in relation to Kiffen being on the hot seat, but what’s the risk/reward ratio? An LB coach at USC earns a couple hundred grand a year, which is probably more than most of us posting here earn. If it all washes out in ten months from now, he can almost certainly move again and make the same dough. If he can parlay his USC resume line into a better gig, the upside is in the millions.

Hoosier Clarion- who is “Meatchicken?” Trying to imagine whom, but dying to know as soon as I finish laughing.

 
#50
Hoosier Clarion
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 9:49 PM EDT

Davis, Meatchicken is a demeaning name for Michigan which I think I 1st observed someone using in a post on here. I dislike intensely PUke, pUKe and Michigan so I was pleased to have an appropriate label for the Blue.

In your comment about what a LB coach probably makes at USC I will add that last year when Ekeler turned down the 1st USC offer it was for a reported $500k a year w/ a multiple year contract. Believe me Wilson’s staff individually are being eyed by CFB HC’s. I suspect the next 1 to leave will be Frey, I just do not know when.

 
#51
davis
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 8:43 PM EDT

HC- demaining UM I can dig. And you confirm my argument that the downside risk for people who earn $500k/annum for teaching “hit and wrap when you’re tackling” is a lot different than it is for most of us working slobs. Thus I scoff (respectfully) at Podunkder’s comments about quality of life in LA v. Bloomington, Madison, or even God-forsaken West Lafayette. For that kind of $$$ one can hire a carload of goons to protect you and your family wherever you live and work.

 


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