Hiring Goetz would be a Gophers victory

In its search for a new athletics director, the University shouldn’t look any further than Beth Goetz.

by Martha Pietruszewski

When I was in high school, I suffered through hours and hours of swim practice … and that’s the closest I’ve been to sports since then.
However, for many people, athletics don’t end with high school. College athletes continue on a grueling path, balancing sports and academics. They need the support of a good athletics director in order to do so, and Interim Athletics Director Beth Goetz is the woman for the job.
Earlier this year, the University of Minnesota’s previous athletics director, Norwood Teague, resigned after his involvement in a sexual harassment scandal. Goetz, the University’s former deputy athletics director, has temporarily assumed Teague’s job while the school searches for a long-term replacement. 
As I’m not a college athlete, I can’t speak to Goetz’s skills as well as others can. However, I think she’s done a great job stepping into a position that was under a lot of scrutiny before she filled it. Unfortunately, a search committee might replace her. 
There would be several benefits to keeping Goetz as athletics director. She has been with the Gophers since 2013, and we needed her leadership expertise during a time when the men’s basketball team has come under fire for the role some of its members played in an illicit video.  
Unless Goetz has some skeletons hidden deep in her closet, I don’t see why the University should waste money and time to lead a national search for a new athletics director. A fine candidate is already sitting in the position. 
Another reason why Goetz makes the most sense for the job is because she’s a woman. It’s always a good thing to have more women in executive leadership. Women are capable, thoughtful leaders, and female athletes could use a strong role model.
When I was in  high school, I didn’t get along well with some of my coaches. It would have been rewarding to have had a female coach to whom I could have looked up and reached out with any issues. 
Title IX makes it a smart move for the University to hire Goetz full time. The law means nobody in the United States should suffer discrimination or be unable to participate in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding. This includes athletics programs.
Title IX means women and men in athletics need equal treatment and the chance to receive the same opportunities as one another. In a time when our society perceives men as the superstars of college athletics (I mean, come on, there isn’t exactly women’s basketball March Madness), it would be great to have a women standing up for the rights of female athletes.
There are few downsides to hiring Goetz full time. Choosing her would bring a fresh start to the University’s athletics department. If the school wants to recruit top talent, there’s no reason not to believe Goetz is up to the task.
Whatever President Eric Kaler decides to do, he should do it soon — we don’t need another “administrative spending scandal” to arise.  
Martha Pietruszewski welcomes comments at [email protected]