Schedule Day

Call Tuesday a day of scheduling smiles and frowns, as the men's basketball team found out its Big Ten schedule and the football team was wrapped up in a contentious debate over a scheduling conflict with the Twins.

Things were looking up for the Gophers men's basketball team Tuesday, as they found out they wouldn't have to play three consecutive Big Ten games on the road. They might also have a better chance for the NCAA tournament if momentum at the end of the season means something to the selection committee. The Gophers end their season with three of last four games at Williams arena.

Minnesota's Big Ten schedule starts at Penn State on Jan. 7, and the Gophers have three sets of two consecutive games on the road -- at Ohio State and Purdue on Jan. 17 and 21 respectively, at Northwestern and Wisconsin on Jan. 31 and Feb. 4 respectively, and at Michigan State and Indiana on Feb. 14 and 18 respectively. As for back-to-back home games, they host Indiana and Michigan State on Jan. 24 and 28 respectively, Illinois and Michigan on Feb. 8 and 11 respectively, and Purdue and Ohio State on Feb. 21 and 25 respectively.

A day after Major League baseball denied the Gophers' request to play games on the same day as potential playoff games if the Twins make it deep into the postseason, one of the Gophers' opponents bit back.

MLB's decision prompted Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi to lean toward Friday night games instead of the originally scheduled Oct. 11 and Oct. 18 Saturday games at the Metrodome. Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr didn't mince his words, telling reporters "We're not going to play a Friday night."

However, Carr won't actually have the last word on that with his Oct. 11 meeting with the Gophers. There are very few other alternatives other than moving the game to Michigan, which may be precisely why Carr is posturing so strongly against a Friday night game.

Carr's reasoning is that Friday night games would cause missed academic time and that it would interfere with high school football on Friday nights. Maturi and Gophers football coach Glen Mason acknowledge as much, but an effort to move the game to a Thursday night was already shot down.

The whole situation underscores the Gophers' desire for a football-only stadium so they can avoid conflicts like this and also have an on-campus atmosphere.

Maturi would like to wait until the end of the Twins' regular season, Sept. 28, to see if they even make the playoffs, but a ruling from Big Ten officials may be needed before then.

Scott Bennett was named to the coaching staff of the Minnesota men's track & field team Tuesday. He will coach the throwers, pole vaulters, hurdlers and mutli-event athletes. He has 24 years of coaching experience, including last year as an assistant coach for the men's and women's track programs at Georgia Tech.

From 1998-2002, Bennett served as the women's field events coach at Tennessee. Prior to his work in Knoxville, Bennett worked as the men's and women's field event coach at Wake Forest from 1993-96 and mentored 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers in the men's discus, men's shot put and women's heptathlon, as well as six All-Americans and 10 ACC champions. Bennett has also made coaching stops at Wisconsin (1981-83, 1989-93), Kansas State (1985-89) and Wisconsin-LaCrosse (1983-84).

The Minnesota women's golf program will host a golf outing fundraiser on Monday, Sept. 15 at Brackett's Crossing Country Club in Lakeville, Minn. The shotgun scramble will start at 1 p.m., followed by a social hour and silent auction at the club. The cost is $100.00 per person and $400.00 for a foursome. It includes green fees, box lunch, golf cart and social hour. For reservations or questions please call, Ginny Paulson at (612) 926-3850.

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