ODell part of the problem

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Maybe NIU Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell should follow the advice of those wise words.

A false controversy arose over Christmas break regarding O’Dell’s consulting work in Florida. Apparently, a Tribune reporter misquoted some state legislators, saying they called for a conflict-of-interest investigation. As it turns out, O’Dell was in the clear.

However, taking a look at the shambles that NIU’s athletic department has become, one wonders whether O’Dell should have been doing any counseling at all.

After losing successful football and basketball coaches over money and personality conflicts, O’Dell hired two inexperienced replacements. The replacements were left with paltry recruiting classes and a major rebuilding task.

A major portion of the basketball team has been decimated and they’re using walk-ons and borrowing a wide receiver from the football team.

So, even if the work was done on his own time, one would think that O’Dell would want to contemplate NIU’s own difficulties instead of trying to solve other schools’ problems. At the very least, O’Dell could have been resting up in anticipation of the problems waiting his return.

Given the athletic department’s already bloated share of NIU money, and O’Dell’s president-like $80,000-plus salary, one would expect a greater level of dedication.

Be part of the solution, Gerald.