Northwestern AD Jim Phillips has been on a "fundraising and construction roll that rivals the booming Old West," according to Rick Telander of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Phillips noted that NU has raised more than $440M over the last four years and mentioned the new $270M "lakefront sports facility," $120M refurbishing of Welsh-Ryan Arena, and new venues for soccer, lacrosse, tennis and more as examples of successful fundraising. Phillips, SBJ's '18 AD of the Year, said, "This is a moment in time that Northwestern can be proud of." Telander notes Phillips "invited NU's entire undergraduate student body, roughly 8,000 students, to come" to NU's Big Ten championship game Dec. 1 in Indianapolis against either Michigan or Ohio State "for free." Nobody has "ever done something like that at a major college." An anonymous donor has already offered to "buy all the needed tickets," while the school has "kicked in the transportation and food costs." Phillips said, "I thought maybe we'd get a thousand students. But over 3,500 are going. We have 58 buses from a dozen companies. I don't think there's a bus left in Chicago." Telander notes Phillips had to "cut off the requests last week because there were literally no more buses to be had." Phillips said that is still 45% of the student body going (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/21).
A Washington city had to rename a planned festivity around Washington State QB Gardner Minshew due to the "controversial system of 'amateurism' in college sports," according to Brent Schrotenboer of USA TODAY. The Colfax Chamber of Commerce had begun to promote "Gardner Minshew Days" in which local businesses would "give away fake mustaches" in honor of the Heisman Trophy candidate before Friday's game against the Univ. of Washington. However, the chamber recently "received a cease-and-desist notice from the NCAA rules compliance staff at WSU," as it was using Minshew's name and likeness in marketing material. The event, which "changed its name to 'Mustache Madness' and removed his photo," is still taking place this week and "still references Minshew on its website, just not by name." The website states, "We are honoring our favorite WSU quarterback by giving out FREE mustaches." The Colfax Chamber is not the only entity to walk the line, as a Pullman-based sporting goods store this season has "sold fake mustaches for $2 each but has no photo or mention of Minshew, thereby complying with NCAA rules." Meanwhile, WSU is capitalizing on Minshew's mustache by "mailing media members fake mustaches with instructions to 'vote for Minshew'" for postseason awards (USA TODAY, 11/21).