Oliver Purnell

DePaul’s new arena makes even less sense than we originally thought

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When plans to build a new arena for DePaul using $100 million of taxpayer money were first announced a couple of weeks ago, the universal reaction was, more or less, “WTF”?

Thanks to some digging done by Danny Ecker of ChicagoBusiness.com, that plan makes even less sense.

To make a long story short, DePaul is using a trick that most sports teams have mastered: they don’t count attendance as the number of people that walk in the door. Their attendance figures are the number of tickets sold. So while an average of about 2,600 fans actually made it into DePaul’s home games last season, the program bases their attendance numbers on the fact that nearly 8,000 tickets were paid for per home game last season.

Here’s the catch: a number of those purchased tickets that remained empty were paid for by the school. They buy seats for students that want to pay for a ticket for the season, and since those tickets are “purchased”, it doesn’t matter whether students actually buy them off of the school.

The reason that the city is funding DePaul’s new arena is that they are trying to drive some money into the economy of the near South Side, the neighborhood where the arena will be built. But the figures are based 8,000 people descending upon the area around 20 times a year to watch DePaul play, when, in fact, it will be a third of that so long as DePaul basketball remains atrocious — they’ve gone 7-83 in the Big East the last five years, an accomplishment that is probably more difficult than going 83-7 in that span.

And there’s no indication of DePaul’s basketball program being on the uptick.

It’s not like anyone in the city of Chicago, a pro sports town through and through, cares about the Blue Demons.

The biggest issue, as Andy Glockner so tactfully points out, is that $100 million of taxpayer money in a city that’s broke is being spent on this arena:

The much more curious part of this, though, is Chicago is under massive budget pressure. The city recently decided to close 50 public schools in an effort to battle dwindling enrollment. That decision is leaving many buildings at far lower than capacity and is designed to cut costs, as Chicago Public Schools are currently facing a $1 billion (yes, that’s with a B) operating deficit for this fiscal year. And that’s without considering a teachers’ union claim that refurbishing the existing schools will cost almost the same as what the city claims it will save through the closings.

Someone smarter than me might be able to tell you why this arena makes sense.

The way I see it, the investigative reporters for the newspapers in Chicago just found themselves a new target.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

VIDEO: John Calipari ejected 2:26 into game, held back by players

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It only took 2:26 for John Calipari to get tossed for the second straight game at South Carolina.

But why he get ejected, I have no idea.

A foul was called on South Carolina. Then Coach Cal was given a technical foul for … something. That’s when this first video picks up, when Cal goes at the referee that gave him the first T, says a few magic words and gets rung up a second time.

That’s when he really loses it, having to get held back by his own players to keep him from going after the officials.

If anyone has any insight into why Cal lost his mind, please let us know. Because we’re lost.

Georgetown center Bradley Hayes out indefinitely with broken hand

Georgetown center Bradley Hayes (42) is greeted by John Thompson Jr., right, father of Georgetown head coach John Thompson III, after an NCAA college basketball game against Syracuse, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in Washington. Georgetown won 79-72. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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Georgetown announced on Saturday that senior center Bradley Hayes will be out indefinitely after breaking his left hand in practice on Thursday.

“It is a blow to our team, but I’m very disappointed for Bradley because of the heard work he has put in over the last four years to put himself in a position to have a good senior year,” Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said in a release. “He had successful surgery today and we expect him to fully recover but we’re not sure when he’ll return.”

The 7-foot-0 native of Jacksonville was putting together a very solid senior season before the injury. Hayes averaged 21.4 minutes per contest in which he put up 8.5 points and grabbed 6.6 rebounds per game. After playing sparringly during his first three seasons at Georgetown, Hayes has become a key interior piece for the Hoyas this season.

Without Hayes in the lineup, freshman Jessie Govan will get more minutes and have a chance to be the go-to post player in the Georgetown rotation.