“Faith Family & Basketball” The Cinderella-Strategy”How Butler Created $1.9billion-in-Advertising Rights Value

Josh Abner  filled in the gaps with content in italics

Josh Abner :  All right. So it’s better to be lucky than. Good. Thank you for joining the ESBC podcast network. And man, do we have a special,: phenomenal guest Uh, we’re both basketball junkies. It’s like Christmas day for us here. And we’re talking with Graham. And how do you pronounce your last name? Honaker ?. And he’s going to be at the historic Hinkle field house for the sweet 16. We are going to have several hall of fame coaches programs there, but we’re going to get into it.

Like we always do. I have an MBA. I have a financial services  licenses clients, 50 million plus 20 million plus liquid currency and assets.

 So we have the same kind of customer base. And for the last 25 years doing business consulting, every single client I’ve talked to, I say charge triple what you are currently charging because the American economy is $26 trillion. Right now 2020 and 2021 we’ve had $7 trillion in stimulus and it goes back to that Good old, Ms. Terry complaining about Nick Saban salary at Michigan State and that  he was getting robbed.  Now fast forward 25 years, Ms. Terry is still complaining how much she is getting

Mr. Honaker is on the Gifts department at Butler University. And he can provide insight in to the true valuation of College Sports; specifically making a run in the NCAA Tournament.

Graham Honaker: Yeah.
Josh Abner  . I  attended the sweet 16 here in Anaheim 2019 and this old man, I don’t know how people pick me up like. He picks me out of the crowd to sit next Jim Harbaugh’s agent. Harbaugh makes 10 million dollars a year using a unique tax mitigation strategy with a whole insurance contract.

And he tells me how the salary is built into the life insurance policy and how he makes $10 million a year. And it’s still cheap for Harbor. So that’s really how I view Graham’s book, but there’s so many layers involved and we go macro to micro. But what are your thoughts on the intro Graham? And thank you so much for joining us.


Graham Honaker Yeah. Thank you, Josh, for having me there, diverging opinions on, on this and how much coaches should get paid. And, but if you look at, let’s take a look at the tournament right now, Josh, I read just two days ago we saw the Abilene Christian upset, Texas last weekend. Right? And I don’t know how they came up with this number so quickly, but they estimated that to be worth $120 million for Abilene Christian and in earned media attention.  So you say, you know, what is their coach make? I don’t know, offhand, but it’s, it’s a fraction of 120 million, right? He brought them out of nowhere. You know, this tournament is the epitome of what a sport or a coach can bring in terms of notoriety, uh, for an entire institution. And that’s a big part of my book here.


Josh Abner No. Awesome. And you give a lot of insights because people are like, wow, a $3 trillion stimulus. How does that happen? I remember, uh, independently wealthy car dealer in the Northeast by the name of Jim Harrington. He told me” Josh in business know the numbers and you will know everything”

And before we backtrack into your background and I love the Butler University history really, and I’ve been studying it the whole time because I am a basketball junkie like yourself. And we always talk about in sports, corporate governance, the difference it makes in the long term outcomes of organization and the value they provide, band the money they make.

But it started with Brad Stevens, currently the head coach with the Boston Celtics. But it goes back to your boss, Mr. Barry Collier, right?


Graham Honaker Yes very much so Collier has done a phenomenal job as one time Coach Josh in the late eighties. And it is been our athletic here for the last 15 years who hired a young 30-year-old that nobody knew named Brad Stevens is our head coach.


Josh Abner Right. And then we’ll go deeper into that because your brother lives in San Diego and especially with the internet, with society, the way it’s evolving, we live in a tiny planet. So how much money has the, let’s say from the time Mr. Collier was the head coach at Butler to now, how much has the endowment at Butler increased?

Butler has an endowment of $180 million by comparison Harvard University has 36 Billion as a result revenue generated by Athletic Director Collier is heroic
Graham Honaker What give you a better timetable is that it’s almost doubled —

— led in the last 10 years. Wow. So, there was a slow trajectory from his onset as coach in 1989. It took us eight years from that standpoint to get into the tournament. Hadn’t been there since 1962. Then flash forward to 2010, 2011. You know, I compare it Josh to winning the Powerball You’ve hit lightning in a bottle and your life changes overnight. So our endowment has grown significantly a hundred million dollars in the last 10 years, but you want to take a really powerful number is we, we had a company estimate the earned media attention of those two final fours and they came up with the figure 1.2 billion with a B with a B with a B earn media attention. So in other words, you’d have to pay a marketing firm 1.2 billion to get that kind of attention over a two year period.

Josh Abner  Nice. That’s amazing. And congratulations. I was reading you’re in the gifts department and you guys just got an infusion of a hundred million dollars, right?


Graham Honaker We, we, um, yeah, we had a big gift a couple of days ago. We had a $10 million gift, but I joked that I should send Brad Stevens and the players on those teams. A thank you note every week because they really have made my job a lot easier over the last decade.

Here are links to recent gifts

https://stories.butler.edu/content/butler-receives-25-million-grant-lilly-endowment-inc-fund-new-butler-beyond-transformation

https://stories.butler.edu/content/major-gift-college-pharmacy-and-health-sciences-provides-updated-teaching-labs

https://stories.butler.edu/content/butler-ranked-no1-midwest-third-straight-year-us-news-world-report

Josh Abner Yeah. And this is a great podcast. The insight in answering that question, how much a players should be paid. And, uh, but, uh, have you ever watched breaking bad or a bit of cost? So we’re going to use that technique and take a step back. Cause you’re a basketball junkie and you’ve been there and I’m extremely jealous. Tell us about the games you’ve seen in the tournament and Hinkle. And what are your thoughts on what’s going on now with the NCA tournament? Cause I know you got, uh, my guy, you’re going to see him, right? You gotta, you gotta give a report to me on the $2,000 Taylor suit, Jay Wright, the steak I make, when you greet them, don’t touch the stuff.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cinderella-strategy-graham-honaker/1138055362


Graham Honaker There’s a story on he’s actually wearing sweats. He’s not wearing the Armani suit. I think it’s been awesome. And I’m biased because I live here in Indianapolis, but I think Indianapolis has done a great job. They had to pull this off in a relatively short amount of time. Uh, fortunately we have so many arenas, you know, in a, in a small vicinity where we could pull it out.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-cinderella-strategy-graham-honaker/1138055362

 I say, even if the tournament was bigger, we have high school gyms within an hour of me that whole 10,000, which is how it is in Indiana. I think Andy’s done a really good job with the tournament. I’ve been fortunate to see some really good games, saw the Loyola, Georgia Tech game. I saw the Syracuse, and the Virginia tech, Florida game. I saw Gonzaga a couple of days ago, play Oklahoma.


Graham Honaker And I I’d say the, you know, the one difference is that the crowd capacity is different, but the, the excitement is still there. You know, the win and you advance lose and you go home. And me, uh, again, being a, a fan of the Cinderella is it’s been great seeing the Abilene Christian university and the Oral Roberts. I don’t know if I call them a Cinderella anymore, Josh, but to see what Loyola, Illinois was not just the win, but really just that. Yeah, it was, it was a clinic on how to play basketball, you know, really well. So I think it’s been great. I’m actually, I live a half mile from Hinkle here and can’t wait to go be gone to the both games tonight and Hinkle.
      Josh Abner Nice, nice. Uh, I talk about myself. I’m five, six, and average athlete, but, uh, I was on the court with Pat Lawrence, Anthony Lawrence and Barry Brown. And if you might recall 2016 tournament Barry Brown Jr.

That’s how old I am anyway. So very Brown junior tore up the tournament and it’s like, how did I even get on the court? And I remember summer year high school, you know, he ends up winning, the state basketball title. After I left years after Dan Wright Lakewood High Saint Petersburg  would send me to a park. He said, “I don’t want you to play. I want you to scout Bill Teal (Who ended up playing at University Of Arkansas that won a national title playing the “40 minutes of hell” and then in the NBA. Because even though there was a huge talent mismatch by scouting and playing fundamental sound basketball you could beat him and his team.

Loyola planes fundamentally sound basketball. Like you’re saying they kind of mitigated the talent gap. Right. Which makes this so exciting.
Graham Honaker I mean, if you, if you watch it, they’ve got really good shooters, which the game has become a shooters game, but they almost look like a team at, at the 1950s with their backdoor cuts, they play really hard and they’ve got a really unique center. You talk about old, he’s a great player. He looks like maybe he’s 45. I already said, you know, he’s going to be the guy that dominates the YMCA games. You know,

Josh Abner They’re coming rec ball, (the stereotype – Urban vernacular of rec ball is 5 white guys who are patient passing around waiting for a good shot verses a physically talented team of black guys who are all trying to go “one on one” and dunk the basketball. “Rec Ball” is what Loyola, Chicago plays and  that is  always the dynamic that you see in the NCAA tournament. That’s fun to watch.

Graham Honaker Yeah. But I really think, and this is something we’ve mentioned at the end of our book and you see it in this tournament, there’s going to continue to be more and more Cinderella’s\\\\\\\\\\=e these, these schools that have four year players get to be really cohesive teams that they’re tough. They, you know, they’ve been in the big moments, you know, again, this was the challenging year, but Duck and Kentucky not to be there. I think you saw that the mature teams handled COVID because of their experience. They could get through more adversity than say a team of freshmen. But that also with Loyola and Oral Roberts and you know, some of these teams, they, they, they play a lot together. They played 4 years. And I think you’re going to continue to see that.


Josh Abner Let’s say William Floyd, the color commentator for Florida state destroyed him on the basketball court. Tom Carter, he’s the second to DeMaurice Smith in the NFL PA. And I would destroy him on the basketball court. I always thought, how the heck does that happen? Cause I got zero scholarship offers.

Studying for a securities test, I made the analogy between a marginal utility in conjunction with athletic ability. A specific example is in the famous story of Novak Djokovic; where is improved his stroke percentage .o5 percentage and went from top 200 in the world to multiple Grand Slam winner different of 100 million dollars
And I’d like your opinion on it. The scheme that Mike Krzyzewski is cooking up with Adam silver about the G league competing with March madness. I’m thinking it never happens because of the donors. Right. And because you can have your one and done players, but your top 20 basketball players.

 Yes they are good, But you go 21 to a thousand, Mr. A thousand. It’s because the marginal utility, there isn’t that much difference really at the end of the day with your thousands ranked high school basketball player coming out of high school and your 25th guy.

Below is a link to an explanation of marginal utility in Sports. The scientific point being that there is marginal difference between “One and Done” NBA commissioner Adam Silver D-League and 2021 Tournament teams like Loyola Chicago and Gonzaga; especially when you factor in entertainment value

https://youtu.be/TQMbvJNRpLE
Graham Honaker Yeah. You know, I’m still a big believer in the fundamentals. And again, you take a team like Loyola, not nearly the most athletic team in this tournament, but the ability knocked out free throws, which I continue to Marvel at how poor free third shooting is with some of the bigger programs. But again, if, if you’ve got players, who’ve been there three and four years to continue working on their craft and getting better at it versus no matter how talented they are a group of first year, guys who haven’t had that experienced the work on the little things. You go back to the Loyola game, the little things, the box outs, right. And in

Josh Abner

In my Business Consulting practice I tell my clients, there’s no such thing as a little thing.

 So backtracking a little bit. This shows you my age. I remember Stockton at Gonzaga battling Steve Nash types in the WCC.

Don Munson, the son who I see every year at the Big West tournament coaching Long Beach State. And he has a unique strategy that he does to justify his $900,000 a year salary there currently. He was the first coach that broke through at Gonzaga.  And if you can speak to that, how from those days, and that, that would be the time where Mr. Collier was the head coach at Butler.

Dan Munson was an assistant coach at Gonzaga 1988-89 his had connections & coached for Judd Heathcote who coached Magic Johnson to the 1979 National title & mentored legendary coach Mike Izzo net worth 13 million

https://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/athletes/coach/tom-izzo-net-worth/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Monson

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Monson

Graham Honaker Yeah. So we really draw a close parallel between the Butler and Gonzaga stories. So like 1985, Josh, you were barely born. I’m sure I was a freshman in high school

Graham Honaker It was just a year or two ago in 1985. If you had gone around the country and polled, even knowledgeable basket fans hate, Hey, where’s Gonzaga located. Where’s Butler located. You’d be very hard pressed to maybe get more than 15% who would have the, have the correct answer. Now, you know, that’s probably 75 plus, right? That have a general idea where they are

Josh Abner A sports fan because people get into Gonzaga to fill out their, brackets every year. So every sports fan, even if it’s a football guy, who’s was like, “The Butler did it right. When the big upset with Butler were upset. Some like Butler did it, right? You screamed that at the sports book or whoever you’re betting. No Butler’s gonna win. You’re like, yeah, the Butler did it, man.

Graham Honaker That’s a great phrase. We love hearing that one, but you know, both of them it’s phenomenal what college basketball has meant for those schools. Right? In terms of the metrics that we articulate in our book of applications of philanthropy, endowment growth facility, growth notoriety, you know, six weeks ago, Gonzaga was on the cover of sports illustrated, right? And the one difference is the paths they’ve taken.

     Gonzaga’s have one coach now for 22 years Butler, I joke that our problem is our coaches are too successful and then other schools come get them. So they’ve, they’ve gone about it. Different ways. I love getting to see Gonzaga.

 I love Mark few he’s who knows how many opportunities he’s had to leave. I know UCLA has made a number of passes at Few and other schools, but he stuck with it for us, a little different path, but we’ve been able to hire the right people who understood the culture here to keep, keep the train moving.

 You know, we had an off year this year, a lot of injuries effected by COVID, but we still can have continually made the NCAA tournament. But again, I just don’t think there are two schools in the country. Not that they’re the only two Cinderellas, but that for over three decades now have used college basketball to make their universities better.

Josh Abner Right. And I’ll give you some homework because one thing I like about being at the tournament and all these styles work, because we look at what you’re talking about, which is corporate governance. And you have, uh, Mr. Collier, right? Who’s a great judge of talent to be able to, he develops talent. So you have two types of coaches. And I want to do a compare now between, let’s say the Butler, coaching, staff, and Gonzaga. So you have coaches who are great judges of talent, right? And you have coaches who are great at developing talent.

Here is the link to the bio of the Gonzaga Assistant who was hired at the new coach of the “Blue Blood Arizona University Wildcats”

 There are coaches  who are very extroverts, right. And they’re great recruiters, right?  They are from  California but  they could recruit to Alaska and can life a five star t. Right. They go into the house and it’s lights out. He’s, you know, eating at the kitchen table telling  little stories ,having food and eating and drinking, and not even doing the pitch until the end.

Josh Abner  And you have guys who are very introverted, is brilliant at X’ and O’s.

 You have coaches with two different philosophies. Now, Mark Few’s philosophy is that you not only should be good at recruiting, but you should also good at the X’s and O’s . That’s why he fired the African-American gentleman is now at Utah Danny Daniels, great recruiter, who recruited the core of UCLA’s final four teams with Howland. And I think he’s good at X’s and O’s, but he didn’t meet Mark Few’s expectations

Josh Abner Yes, exactly great defensive coordinator. Right. But not the greatest at recruiting. I know that, uh, your current coach LaVar, he played for Collier and you know, he’s from Miami, you played for, uh, Collier and you go, Dan Munson, boom. Gonzaga comes out of nowhere. He goes to, uh, Minnesota, and then, uh, Brett’s seasons Minx an out of the box career, move that, uh, if I did, my wife would punch me in the face.
Speaker 2 00:22:03 I think I might’ve taken a swing at him.
Josh Abner He said he liked Lily. Was he like general counselor or something like that? He had a really good job at Eli Lilly, which their stock price has gone up a thousand percent. So anything, any way he wanted, he would have been fine.


Graham Honaker Well, let me touch upon that, that story? Yeah.  Brad Stevens graduated from a small school in Indiana called DePaul Delta and took a job at Eli Lilly, which is a corporate, giant pharmaceutical giant, right. And a year in, he realized, this is not my purpose. This is not my passion. We have about 14 principles in the book, and this is one of them where you have to find your purpose. Right.

And so he quits his job at Eli Lilly. His parents aren’t real thrilled by that. Like your, like your wife might be Josh, if you, if you dropped out of that. He calls Thad Matta that who was the coach at Butler and says, can I, can I come over and be a volunteer coach? Which at the time, no pay. Right? There’s no pay. So he signs up to wait tables at Applebee’s to make some breaks. So he goes from Eli Lilly to waiting tables at Applebee’s shortly thereafter, he did get a paid position, but you know, you talk about taking a gamble, right. And then 13 years later, he’s gone to two final fours and gets the gig with the Celtic. So not every gamble career-wise ends up like that, but he did know what his purpose and his passion work.

Thad Matta is a great judge of coaching talent. Part of his tree are Archie -Sean Miller, Chris Holtmann and is now mentoring former Bobby Knight player  Mike Woodson at Indiana. He has success as head coach at Xavier and The Ohio State University


Josh Abner You’re right. No, absolutely. So what is the, the Butler coaching philosophy? Do all the assistant coaches recruit and do X’s and O’s or do they have a dedicated X’s and those guys, they have dedicated recruiters. So maybe one guy who does was good book and I’m sure LaVar is a generalist.
Graham Honaker Yeah. I’d say the first thing would be more of a general philosophy on hiring the coaches here. Uh, they generally have a tie to Butler. If you look at the last six —

— hires, they’ve either played or been an assistant coach here. So that, that culture, I think, has been a huge foundation for continuing our success. When it would have been easy to fall off with coaches, departing, you know, there are a lot of people that were predicting Butler’s demise after Stevens left.

       So that’s kind of one foundation. I think, you know, good head coaches liked to give their assistance experience in all facets of the game, right. To prepare them to be a head coach. So at some point LaVall Jordan, our head coach, I think really does that. I mean, we have, we have, you know, a coach who specializes on the defensive side and the offensive side and one who’s, you know, known to be our kind of our ACE recruiter, but they’re all, I think he does a great job in trying to develop all of their, their skills. So that one day when the door comes calling and it’s the right offer, they’re ready to make that move.

 Josh Abner  All right. So you have time timeline as a coach and Todd mana begat the Miller family, right? The Miller family coach just got fired in Indiana, but they’re entrenched his, dad’s a coach, Sean Miller. Uh, he didn’t have to do what he did. Right. But he did it, you know, the a hundred grand that they got right as we’re detailing now, they probably should’ve charged more. Right. I would have charged triple or if I, if I’m their business coach or business consultant. Oh, well you’re getting a hundred thousand from Nike.

 No, you have to., and that’s very interesting. It’s something you can talk to real quick before we get to Thad Matta. And then the 10 years you’ve been there, but you’re in the guest department. And let me ask you, because we’ll talk about the FBI scandal, the way I understood it, right.

Josh Abner From reading it and is that if you get dollars, there’s a cap on gifts you can take, right? Like, uh, here the city council, you can gift up to $4,900. If you go above that, then that’s illegal. And so the FBI gets these, uh, and you see them all the time. There’s agents that know what they’re doing, right? And then you have people who are trying to get into that world. They really don’t. So a guy who was in my position working at, uh, Penn state, right?

He’s a Penn state guy gets Penn state guys money. He goes a $50 million clients calling him like I’m doing a podcast. So, he gets Penn state guys money. He wants to get into the movie business. Right. And in other want to be, he takes their money to try to fund a movie. He gets busted and he’s like, Oh, I know this guy named Christian Dawkins is an AAU guy.

Josh Abner And we can get assistant coaches since the FBI looks at it and says, wait a second, this might be moral. This might be unethical, but it’s not illegal to do this. Right. It might break NCAA violations, but breaking NCA violations is not illegal, immoral on integrally. We gotta maybe find a crime here. And the only crime they come up with was guests to federal employees where people would get federal money more than $10,000. So then you have, you got Andy Enfield and I don’t know if you’re going to see them get in the Enfield. You got Sean Miller, right? Who coach with Todd Mada in this world and truck person in Auburn. Right?

It was funny because the FBI teams never get calls from the rest, but I’m not going to get you in trouble. A shuck person is texting saying, Oh, you’re only giving me $9,000 because he wasn’t educated that if you get more than that, it’s against the law. So the FBI wouldn’t to have that, that clear there, it might cause you’re a professional they’re right in the gift department and right. Looking at that correctly. Or am I wrong in my little flawed in what I’m processing? That


Graham Honaker I’ll be honest. That’s out of my wheelhouse in terms of the, the direct recruiting, what I will say, let me tie what I do with what’s gone on with the NCAA, which, which by the way, one of the motivations for this book was trying to tell the story of a program and we’re not perfect, Josh, but we’ve, we’ve not been under this cloud of NCAA investigation. We’re were never mentioned in those things
Speaker 1 00:29:37 Program Butler.
Graham Honaker Right. And in a program like Gonzaga. So one of the showcase that programs like this could still win, but that they don’t have to get into this game of the Christian Dawkins is in —

— that, that world. Uh, but let me tell it,
Josh Abner  Develop players, right? Because I talk about blue blood programs, right. In North Carolina one and done Kentucky, they get the, but you guys develop players. So you have great coaches, right? Great training staff. You come up with great plans and you want to see them at the gym with a book. Right. And they come get you, Hey man, can you help me? The book I got from Butler for my training guides to work out a yeah, no, man, I’ll spot you. Right. You guys do a great job of doing that. Right.
Speaker 2 00:30:22 Here’s what I would say is I not only worked for Butler, but I’m a fan. And I see that it looks like you’ve got a couple of books on John Calipari in the background. And I don’t, I,


Josh Abner : I’m not, I’m just as much of a basketball junkie as you are. Yeah. You’re next man. Once I get it, it’ll be right next to,
Speaker 2 00:30:41 And I want my book more prominent. I don’t critique the one that done, but I would say as a fan, one thing I really enjoy at Butler is seen a freshmen come in and watch him grow over four years. We got a kid, a great, great kid, uh, Kamar Baldwin, uh, who stayed four years here. And I’m lucky because not only do I get to see their growth on the court, I get to see it off. Right. I don’t know what it’s like being a fan of, you know, a school where you get a small glimpse at this student athlete and then they’re gone.

 So we, we definitely try to develop our players. We want them to graduate. You know, frankly, a lot of our guys so far, haven’t gone onto the NBA. Uh, and that’s true at a lot of schools, but what are you doing to prepare them? Post-college, you know, life and that’s, um, that may sound corny, but that’s still a really big premise, uh, here at Butler.


Josh Abner No, absolutely. And what’s the graduation rate because on the podcast and that’s something we work on is the horrible rate that 80% of professional athletes end up broke, ended up homeless at Corey Jackson and the NFL that works. What’s the graduation rate at Butler. I mean, we’ll finish the story. And then at the end, we’ll get your picks. And what, what you think was going on with teams, you’re seeing graduation rates for the basketball program, for the basketball program.

Graham Honaker It’s high. I don’t have the number in front of me. I do know the graduation rate for our student athletes is actually higher than the general population. I can count on my hands since I’ve been here half a hand, maybe less of a player who hasn’t graduated. And in fact, I know of one who stayed four years and has not graduated from Butler. Um, it’s, you know, the, the, and I can say this because I work here.

If you don’t go to a class, you’re not going to, you’re not going to play here. That’s just part of the that’s part of the culture. And one of the reasons I like working here is there is a balance of the academic athletic side. Doesn’t mean we don’t want to win. Trust me, we’re very competitive. We want to win, but we don’t want to do it. You know, we don’t want to do it by not emphasizing academics and the importance of graduating from here.


Josh Abner Great. And I’ll get to the questions we have on Periscope as well. Uh, Todd Mada, Sean Miller, great coaching tree begets Stephens, and they make that great run. Gordon Haywood, great game ball goes in and out should have gone in. I know you watched that. Oh, Uh, I grew up in LA says chick Hearn. And that was the ultimate in and out heartbreak.

Graham Honaker Yeah.


Josh Abner Great. Bart’s in and out heartbreak to what happens after, uh, Brad Stevens. You come in you’re in the last year, Bret Stephens, you come in and you’ve had some great coaches and maybe we’ll talk off air. What happened to the one guy who just disappears? Uh, Todd Matta guy, Ohio state guy. Um, you have the current head coach at Ohio state, right? How was his tenure and what was his coaching philosophy?


Graham Honaker :He did a phenomenal job. So Brandon Miller left, um, he had health issues. Um, we had come off a four and 14 season in the big East. You know, Brad had left the year before. And again, going back to that prediction of, you know, Butler’s Dawn they’re there, it’s over that run. The clock has struck midnight on Cinderella, right. Chris Holtmann

is on the staff is named interim coach and did, —

— uh, one of the more phenomenal jobs I’ve seen in the last decade. He took us the three straight NCAA tournaments to just a sweet 16 and 2017. We barely missed it in 2015. He really resurrects is a strong word, but we were in, we were in trouble at that juncture. We just entered the big East. We were again, struggling on the court. We had Holtmann was the third coach in three years. Right. Right. So you had to really keep things together and Josh, you did it way too well because then Ohio state comes in and, and takes them away from us.


Josh Abner I’m in the same boat with the university of South Florida, that, which I’m an alumni fan in, uh, uh, where, you know, the coaches get a poach. We had Willie Taggart went to Oregon, even though I did not think he was a great coach. He was a great recruiter. And we brought in, uh, Dick Tomey from Arizona, right. Kinds of scenes.

He was the old guy behind the scenes with the Xs. And now kind of like Martelli is for, uh, not the stereotype. Right. But I’m just observing, but you get the old white guy, senior guy from the backend Martelli at, they told me in the background, the scenes and maybe a Collier does that for Butler who kind of, because we always talk about on the podcast, salesmen, think short-term businessmen and women think long-term and higher level thinking is long-term thinking so that a guy graduates, he gets a degree.

He gets great networking opportunities as a graduate basketball player at Butler. And from a money standpoint, how did moving from the horizon to the big East? Because for me as a basketball junkie, what it means to me is that I can watch a Butler game at seven 38 at night. I can DVR it versus, uh, laying in bed with the wife, with the iPad, watching the horizon game at 1:00 PM, right. When it comes on.


Graham Honaker So this is my favorite chapter in the book. It is how the, the move to the big East really poured fuel onto the fire of momentum. We had none. And if you think about it, the move to the big East, it was predicated by the final four runs, but is actually more sustainable, right? I mean, we’re hopefully going to be in the biggies for decades where those two final fours may fade over time, but just a few examples of how that move catapulted us forward. First of all, you hit it on the head.

 Now are our alumni in Phoenix. Arizona are getting every game on Fox sports one right now non-fans of Butler are turning on the TV. And again, seen Butler play Georgetown. That move was really huge for us because not only are we moved, did we move into a great basketball conference?


Graham Honaker We moved into conference with some great academic institutions. So now our competition on and off the court is Villanova and Georgetown. And so by association, you’re now in this sort of elite academic conference. The other thing though, is that exposes us to big time markets, right? Right. DC, Philadelphia, Boston, New York. So now we have a lot more students applying to Butler from those areas because they know about it. We start attracting more donors from those areas. We had a gentleman, great guy he’s actually flying in from New York to the games tonight. And it tells you the passion there, but he had two sons. He had two sons graduate from Butler. He worked on wall street and two years ago, he decided to make a $1 million donation to Butler. So, you know, those, those markets are, are huge for us. We’ve developed corporate partnerships in those areas with companies like JP Morgan and Johnson and Johnson. So that, that moved to the big East has really been transformational in the, in the final thing. And I think you would agree with me here when the big East, when the old big East sort of disintegrated and the new one evolved, there’s a lot of skepticism because you had lost Syracuse



Graham Honaker Is, is the big East. Is this new, big East going to be that good? It’s been darn good. I mean, Villanova certainly led the way with two national titles, but you know, last year had it not been for the pandemic, we would have had seven schools, uh, in the tournament. So it’s just been a really good league for us. It’s been a huge, I don’t describe it well enough on this call. It’s been a huge move for Butler,


Josh Abner Right? And with there being 26 trillion with a T discretionary income, when you look at the Northeast and I lived in Northeast Boston, New York, uh, —

— the kid gets turned down by Harvard. I got turned down where I’m going to Butler. The guy knows Butler. Now he’s not arguing with his daughter, the kid at all, what Butler, I never heard of that. Uh, they’re going to Butler and I’ll give you one of your sales pitches. And let me know if
you said this before, you did not have to go to, and we have the same client really in a way, and getting a poor middle-class guy, get into the securities industry. I’m all about law. Let’s make money, let’s make money. But when you get the higher end clients, they’re like, no, no, no. I want to keep what I have. And I want to choose where my money goes to.


Josh Abner So donating to Butler is a great tax mitigation strategy. And you have not to have graduated from Butler to give a big donation to Butler and your kids are great. He’s going to get the same education, right? You don’t have to overpay like the soap opera stars, right. To get their kids into certain schools, you’re going to get the same education. You get a Butler, especially if you do independent studies that we were talking about, then you’ll get at Harvard or anywhere else. But Villanova, that’s a great school.

 Georgetown law is an elite Ivy league, uh, ranking school, uh, you know, and St. John’s a great Catholic school. And you have that great Catholic connection. You guys being a Roman Catholic church with your Villanova and your Georgetown and your St John’s and the Catholic churches right behind the Mormon church, as far as wealth, right? Ethnic groups, number one, the Cubans that’s me, religion, as far as money is concerned is the Mormon church. And right behind it is the Roman Catholic church. So there’s a lot of money, right? That’s a huge field for you to continue to, uh, kill it as you’re doing it at the gift department over there at Butler.


Graham Honaker Let me make one more, um, observation going back to the NCAA scan, no goals, donors like,
Graham Honaker And they we’ve got donors that didn’t go to Butler, but invest and give to Butler because not only we’ve been successful on the Corp, but we’ve been a program that has avoided NCAA investigations and, and done things the right way. A donor wants to affiliate with a winner. But generally they want to affiliate with winners who are doing things the right way.

Josh Abner Exactly. Long-term thinking that you can trust the institution and that they’re bringing in high quality people to their corporations to add diversity, right? Because people get the recipe wrong. Uh, they think it’s race and gender and disability, but sometimes it’s region, right? Hey, I want to get a Midwestern guy from Butler. I know it’s a legit institution, and
at least this guy has been trained in the right way to do things, man, this has been,
Graham Honaker I can, I can say examples where we’ve had New York companies, you know, who love recruiting the Northeast, but say, you know, we want some Midwestern personalities as well. We can cite specific examples.


Josh Abner  Yeah. And it used to be diversity. People get it wrong. Uh, it used to be a soft skill, but now truly diverse and inclusive companies make 35% more free cashflow. And it makes a direct impact on the bottom line. If you have a West coast guy bringing in a guy from Butler from the West, that company is going to make more money, proven Wharton, uh, Harvard business schools have done studies. And really at the end of the day is common sense. Really a diversity of thought, right. Has always from the Rene Descartes life left, unexamined is not worth living. It’s always been the case.


Graham Honaker That’s a really, really good point.
Josh Abner So let’s, let’s get down to the fun we’re going to have today. Cause I know you’re going to talk to donors and I know you’re going to kill it. Like you keep doing them in a hundred million dollars. Congratulations on your book. Congratulations man or how you’re killing it in the gifts department, uh, Villanova our guy, right. He’s in the book to Jay, right. $2,000 money suit against Baylor, my point. And I can say this, I have liberty to say certain things. Right. Cause I own my own company, but I believe I love Baylor great developmental program. The drew family from the Midwest that, uh, were, uh, the brother. Right. Got your what’s a

Graham Honaker Yeah. So Baylor’s coach Scott Drew.

Mr. Drew comes from a basketball family : and his brother Bryce Drew is the original “One Shining moment” ; hitting that last second shot for his “mid-major” “Cinderella” Valparaiso and his father Homer Drew last second shot.

Here is the link to that last second shot  


Josh Abner Oh, okay. All right. We love him. He’s a great coach. But today I feel that in the underdog status, uh, Jay Wright with a week to prepare Mr. Detail oriented, I think they
are going to get the best of the garden monster. That is Baylor university. What are your thoughts of the game? You don’t have to predict it, but what you’ve seen them up close and personal. What are your thoughts on that game?


Graham Honaker Boy, I’m really excited to be heading to that one in a couple hours. Really good coaches. Uh, Baylor’s exceptional. You know, their talent Villanova has had some injuries, unfortunately Gillespie’s out for the year, but I agree with you. I think Villanova is going to give them a heck of a game. Josh. It may be my bias to see them a lot, but I I’m wondering if there’s a little bit of an advantage that Villanova plays here every year.

Josh Abner  Tell me about that. How, how is the shooting? What are the intricacies of Henkel?


Graham Honaker You know, what’s really interesting is we have these great windows on both sides of Hinkel. And so you actually have, it probably won’t affect it because that game starts at five 15, although it might cause it’s saying light out in the sun’s actually out here in Indiana, not like it’s every day for you in California, but you’ve got sunlight. You’ve got sunlight coming in. It’s a shooter’s gym. You know, the arena was built in 1928. Right. But there’s something to be said. I think of, you know, these filming ova guys who’ve been in here and played a lot of games and Hinkle over the years. I think it’s going to be a lot closer game that people think, um, I won’t predict, but um, but I’m, I’m leaning toward my big East brother in here. Right. So yeah, no, uh, tie to what we were saying earlier about it. NCAA investigations and programs. We’ve got donors that didn’t go to Butler, but invest and give to Butler because not only we’ve been successful on the court, but we’ve been a program that has avoided NCAA investigations and, and done things the right way. A donor wants to affiliate with a winner. But generally they want to affiliate with winners who are doing things the right way.


Josh Abner Exactly. Long-term thinking that you can trust the institution and that they’re bringing in high quality people to their corporations to add diversity, right? Because people get the recipe wrong. They think it’s race and gender and disability, but sometimes it’s region, right? I want to get a Midwestern guy from Butler to add regional diversity to our corporation-community-culture. I noticed that legit institution,  the student  has been trained in the right way to do things, man, this has been,
 I can find, I can cite examples where we’ve had New York companies, you know, who love recruiting the Northeast, but say, you know, we want some Midwestern personalities as well. I can cite specific examples of that.


Josh Abner Yeah. And it used to be diversity. People get it wrong. Uh, it used to be a soft skill, but now truly and inclusive companies make 35% more free cash flow. And it makes a direct impact on the bottom line. If you have a West coast guy, bring in a guy from Butler from the West, that company is going to make more money. Proven Wharton, uh, Harvard business schools have done studies and really at the end of the day is common sense. Really a diversity of thought, right. Has always from the Rene Descartes life left, un-examined is not worth living. It’s always been the case.


     Graham Honaker That’s a really, really good point.


Josh Abner Yeah. So let’s, let’s get down to the fun we’re going to have today. Cause I know you’re going to talk to donors and I know you’re going to kill it. Like you keep doing them in a a hundred million dollars. Congratulations on your book. Congratulations man. Or how you’re killing it in the gifts department.

Villanova our guy, right? He’s in the book to Jay, right. $2,000 morning suit against Baylor, my point. And I can say this, I have Liberty to say certain things. Right. Cause I own my own company, but I, I believe I love Baylor great developmental program. The drew family from the Midwest that uh, were, uh, the brother, right?
Yeah. So Baylor’s coach went to Butler.

Josh Abner Oh, okay. All right. We love him. He’s a great coach. But today I feel that in the under-rated

Jay Wright with a week to prepare Mr. Detail-oriented, I think they are going to get the best of the three guard monster that is Baylor university. What are your thoughts of the game? You don’t have to predict it, but what you seen them up close and personal. What are your thoughts in that game?

       Boy, I’m really excited to be heading to that one in a couple hours. Really good coaches. Uh, Baylor’s exceptional. You know, their talent Villanova has had some injuries, unfortunately Gillespie’s out for the year, but I agree with you. I think Villanova is going to give them a heck of a game. Josh. It may be my bias to see them a lot, but I I’m wondering if there’s a little bit of an advantage that Villanova plays an equal every year. You know, they know the dead spots.


Josh Abner I’m going to ask you about that. How, how is the shooting? What are the intricacies of Henkel?


Graham Honaker You know, what’s really interesting is we have these great windows on both sides of Hinkle. And so you actually have, it probably won’t affect it because that game starts at five 15, although it might cause it’s saying light out in the sun’s actually out here in Indiana, not like it’s every day for you in California, but you’ve got sunlight. You’ve got sunlight coming in. It’s a shooter’s gym. You know, the arena was built in 1928. Right. But there’s something to be said. I think of, you know, these filming over guys have been in here and played a lot of games and

college basketball betting lines espn

over the years. I think it’s going to be a lot closer game. People think, um, I won’t predict, but um, but I’m, I’m leaning toward my Big East brother in here.


Josh Abner Right? For us “The Top 10 rules of predicting games” and the number one rule is never bet your own team and never bet your own biases. So I never bet or do it yourself. How about Syracuse, Houston? This is my, my thing. Right? Uh, corporate governance, Samson. I think he has to find him 14. The last time he played Syracuse. I mean, it was a guy who takes notes. Uh, Hey, if you get to a final four, once a championship, Samson and son, Ryan, and go in there and be a hall of fame coach again, developmental coach, he did a great job of Washington state.

He goes to the NBA, he breaks a lot of NCA violations, but last time he played, uh, the zone. He destroyed the zone with a much better Syracuse team. I think they get the best buddy. Uh, well buddy Boeheim in it. How about, uh, how about this? We haven’t seen it in a while and I know, you know what I’m talking about, Indiana loves to do this. Bobby Knight used to do this, a triangle and one, the whole playmat zone else. And just beat up skinny buddy Boeheim. Knepper sets of matters. Worst.


Josh Abner You, for your time, man, we, we indulged in a third for being selfish with your time. But man, you’ve had a lot of great information.


Graham Honaker I like, uh, I like Syracuse actually, you know, it’s a cliche, but that zone is so hard to prepare for. Right? You don’t see that throughout the year. And so I think, I think Houston’s going to have their hands full and I don’t know what it is about Syracuse. You know, every year people say they shouldn’t get in, they make this run. I think it’s kinda neat with Jim Bay high man, his son, you know, doing this and he’s a hot shooter, you know, it’s those guys with the hot hands that tend to help their teams to make runs. So I don’t know if I make a prediction, but I like Syracuse how hard it is. Like it’s that zone. And then what are the other games that Hinkel UCLA, Alabama? Yeah. That’s tomorrow night. I, uh, you know, I’ve loved the Braun. UCLA is making, I watched him last week. And is it Johnny juicing? I’m not sure I’m pronouncing

This is how Ben Bolch LA Times described Hinkle “That brings us to Hinkle Fieldhouse. The old basketball barn is so breathtaking you can get goosebumps gazing at its brick and stone exterior. It’s historic without feeling decrepit, oozing charm and vibrancy even when partially filled as it was for UCLA’s first-round game against Brigham Young.


Josh Abner Compton, magic, AAU coach Cronin, Midwestern coaches. I always say the best coaches from the Midwest are the best, right? John Wooden, long legacy of, you know, strong-willed , Midwestern coaches coming to the soft West coast guys and teaching them some Tufts and some Midwest toughens toughen them up.


Graham Honaker So a Hinkle tie, John wooden played in the high school state championship game in Hinkle the year it opened in 1928. Wow. I like UCLA, but Alabama was —

— really good. It’s hard for me to go again. Really good team.
them, even though now again, Ziga has gotten to the point where they are getting one and downs, where they are getting guys with the skill set to go into, uh, the MBA right away, really, uh, Collins kid. I thought he was phenomenal last few years and I got to see them up close and personal when they were here in Anaheim.

 And what happened is, and I’ll give you homework for this. When we talk again, when we you’re editing the transcript, uh, I’ve had a high percentage predicting teams, a better depth in teams that their coaches don’t kill them in practice. I felt that when I was in Anaheim and I watched a Gonzaga, the only reason they lost the Texas tech was because one of my favorite coaches crispy heard at Texas tech. He really managed the time of his players in his roster, better than few did.

Graham Honaker Creighton is one of those teams where it all depends on how they’re shooting the three ball. You know, they rely heavily on the three ball. They have  some really good shooters with Balak and ziggurat Husky. So, you know, they’ve, they’ve been pretty hot in the tournament so far, but then you look at the big East championship game against Georgetown, and then they couldn’t throw it in the ocean.


Josh Abner Listeners and twitter followers  want to know if there was an edge at Hinkel. Now you can confirm that there is ?

Graham Honaker I played a little bit of basketball while I was small but slow. Um, but, uh, yeah, I think there’s something to be familiar with the gym. I think maybe an edge and the fans that will be there because Gonzaga is such a haul from the Midwest  and  Creighton’s in Omaha


Graham Honaker Not  only is Gonzaga going for the title, but they’re going for the first undefeated season in 45 years. And I think, I think when you get in a tight game subconsciously or not, there has to be some pressue there. So it’s the old adage. If you can keep the game close, remember the Duke UNLV game in 91 in Indianapolis, you know, they were  undefeated, and Duke just kept hanging around, hanging around and then made the move in the last, you know, two minutes.

Baylor University ended up winning the national championship

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