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Kill rests at home Sunday; is job in jeopardy?


Jerry Kill missed Minnesota's 42-13 loss to Michigan at The Big House yesterday following the fifth game-day seizure of his career.

Kill, who has epilepsy, has had two of those seizures in the past three weeks, the most recent of which came Saturday morning, causing him not to travel with his team to Ann Arbor.

Rather than go to the office and appear on his weekly radio show with Sid Hartman on WCCO, Kill stayed home to rest Sunday.

With each epileptic episode, more and more questions emerge regarding Kill's ability to perform his duties as head coach of a Division I football program.

Following this most recent incident, nearly everyone around the program has been asked one thing or another regarding Kill's health and its effect on the program. Here's what they're saying.

Gopher Defensive Coordinator Tracy Claeys, who said on his appearance on WCCO filling in for Kill, that despite persisting questions about Kill's condition effecting recruiting, it is doing no such thing.

Players came to Kill's defense after the loss Saturday, with safety Brock Vereen calling Kill an "inspiration", while tight end Maxx Williams added "it won't affect any of the team."

Kill's boss, Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague, said he discussed Kill's health with U of M President Eric Kaler, but would not go in to detail, simply saying "it (the seizures) concerns me for him."

As for Michigan and Minnesota fans, it seemed that both sides were in agreement, you never want to see something like this happen. One added "if he's winning the games, that speaks for itself."

There is the underlying point in the Jerry Kill discussion. The head coach has always said he will step down if he is unable to do the job.

The job of a head football is to win, and in Kill's 18 Big Ten games, he has won just four.

Non-conference losses to New Mexico State and FCS NDSU as well as struggling mightily against UNLV and FCS Western Michigan are not encouraging either, and the Gophers haven't beaten a ranked team under Kill's guidance.

On the other hand, Kill took over a team that won just three games in 2010 and got it to a bowl in just two seasons, while going undefeated in the non-conference portion of the schedule two years in a row.

Kill has shown a pattern of turning poor programs into winners in his coaching career, and doubling the Gophers' win total in 2012 shows movement in that direction.

There's the bare bones, no nonsense, straight ahead argument for and against Kill on both sides.

Seizures or not, Kill has said it best, if he's unable to do the job, he shouldn't be doing it.

That goes not only for his health, but for his ability to win football games.

Should the Big Ten season continue like this, Kill may have to worry about his job, and it will have nothing to do with epilepsy.

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