On April 29, Owens said this: "I want to focus more on my personal life, and what those things are, I feel like they’re private," Owens said. "They’re things that I hold dear to my heart."
"I am very happy to be back at Notre Dame," Owens said in a news release. "It's a place that is so dear to my heart and the people there have been wonderful to me.
Here's the Notre Dame press release if you're interested. What I'm interested more is in the money situation. John Sahly points out in many different ways that if Owens left NIU to take the Notre Dame job, she would have owed NIU $75,000. However, since she did this indirectly she owes nothing and NIU will choose not to pursue the money in any way. Let's look at the theoretical numbers:
(IF) Buyout: $300,000 for Owens
(IF) Direct to Notre Dame: $75,000 from Owens to NIU
Summary: Owens leaving the way she did saved NIU a lot of money. In return, NIU is cutting her a break not going after that 75K. A win-win for both sides.
It's extremely strange how the whole situation worked out. From an outsider point of view, there had to be a lot more behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing in this situation. My best guess was that there was a mutual agreement between both Owens and the AD Jeff Compher, meeting in the middle of the road in terms of her leaving the program. Because she is so connected to Northern Illinois in every which way, the whole situation turned out to be a bit awkward and fumbling.
Being a head coach is a tough gig and maybe this ND job is what's best for Owens in the long run. Huskie fans may be a bit peeved at Owens and this whole situation, but somebody is always going to end up in the negative light whenever it comes to coaching changes of this magnitude.
So good luck to Carol Owens and her life pursuit. She will always be a Huskie at heart and she was loved by her players. I'll never forget the one time she asked me on twitter where she could find beer nuggets outside of Dekalb. The answer: virtually nowhere.