If ESPN columnist Rick Reilly thinks Notre Dame should give back the estimated $15 million it pockets from NBC every year for its TV rights, maybe Reilly should give back some of his own multi-million contract to the Worldwide Leader.
Among other proposals in his latest column, Reilly advocates the Fighting Irish willingly drop their lucrative TV deal with NBC until the program returns to its winning ways in college football:
When your NBC contract expires in 2015, do the right thing and don’t renew. Lower some expectations until you can turn this thing around. And you’re a Mars Rover trip from turning it around.
Please Rick. What school, what athletic department, what board of trustees would willingly give up that kind of revenue? Particuarly when it funds other campus sports and activities that don’t turn a profit?
Reilly’s one of the highest-paid, if not the highest-paid, sportswriter in the USA. I was on the conference calls when ESPN announced it was hiring him away from Sports Illustrated in 2007. Reilly was funny and good-natured. But he also boasted about the “ridonkulous” amount of money ESPN was paying to lure him from SI’s back page. That went over like a lead balloon.
The most vociferous critic of Reilly’s column ironically was ESPN colleague and Notre Dame alum Mike Golic who dismissed his arguments as a “bunch of crap” on his Mike and Mike in the Morning TV/radio show with co-host Mike Greenberg Thursday:
Here Rick is the dumbest, most asinine thing you have said. ‘When the NBC contract expires in 2015, do the right thing and don’t renew.’ Oh yeah, you’re right. That’s a great business decision Rick. I’m sure a lot of teams would do it…Rick, that’s stupid. That’s a stupid comment out of you.
If NBC, the BCS and NCAA offered any school the kind of perks and advantages they offer Notre Dame, they’d take it too, said Golic:
Tell me you wouldn’t take them and I will flat-out call you a liar
Reilly stood by his column on other ESPN shows. Here’s video of Golic’s full rant. Definitely worth a listen. What do you think? Weigh in below: