Northwestern University is one of the most academically prestigious colleges in the country. As a result, recruiting high school athletes to attend there over other schools can be difficult.
Wildcats’ head football coach Pat Fitzgerald has been able to build up a solid program that can compete year in and year out in the Big Ten. However, basketball coach Bill Carmody has been struggling to do the same thing.
“It’s history,” former Northwestern basketball player and current Big Ten Network analyst, Tim Doyle said on the Danny Mac Show. “Fitz can sell ‘hey, look what we’ve done. We’ve gone to bowl games. We’ve played the Rose Bowl. Do you want to be a part of that?’ What can Bill Carmody sell? It’s like, ‘you want to come to Evanston? There’s beautiful houses?'”
LISTEN: Tim Doyle On The Danny Mac Show
While the Wildcats’ football team isn’t necessarily on the same level of an Ohio State, they’ve slowly turned into a consistent seven or eight win team.
“They peaked,” Doyle said of the football program’s 1995 season that resulted in a Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl. “They were picked ninth [in the Big Ten] that year they won it. So they just had an amazing year, they caught that lighting in a bottle and they’ve won every year since…They’ve been around competitive, 8-4, but they had that year. What can Bill Carmody go to? Why is every player they get a steal?… It’s really tough to recruit against Georgetown, Stanford, Duke, Notre Dame. Those are the top academic schools and then you have Northwestern in there. But those schools have some great basketball history. Northwestern has zero.”