The “3 for 3” blog — Thursday edition. If you’ve got ideas or thoughts, send those my way: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1: TODD TAB TOPPLED … The state’s newest salary report — for the most recent fiscal year — shows that the sixth highest paid employee was …
… ex-University of Iowa basketball coach Todd Lickliter, at $858,334.
Lickliter was fired after the 2009-10 season, a three-year run where the team failed to finish higher than eighth in the Big Ten. The big check was the third and final post-dismissal payout for Lickliter — the coach at NAIA program Marian (Ind.) University who was owed about $2.4 million when the change was made.
The highest paid employee, for the seventh time covering the last seven years of data: Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz, whose $3.725 million was more than 2.5 times above No. 2 state employee Paul Rhoads (ISU football, $1.425 million).
2: KNOTT SPEAKS … When injured Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott spoke Wednesday, his first comments since season-ending shoulder surgery, it was clear he’s been able to block the physical pain, but fell victim to pains of the heart.
Knott, the Cyclones’ sixth all-time leading tackler, fell silent for 15 seconds during a press conference when asked about the realization that he had worn his uniform for the last time at Jack Trice Stadium.
“I’m very, very lucky,” said Knott, a multi-sport athlete in high school at Waukee.
Knott passed on a chance to play baseball at Iowa when Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads offered him a chance to try football instead.
“It’s a dream come true for me to be here,” he said.
Check out a photo gallery — 99 shots in all — that includes images from Knott’s football, baseball and track career at Waukee.
3: VANDENBERG: YOUR THOUGHTS … I asked readers for their thoughts on why Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg has fallen off statistically after a solid junior season.
Your thoughts, as the results approached 400 votes …
— Confidence dip: 26.7 percent
— New offensive coordinator, system: 26.3 percent
— Loss of receiver Marvin McNutt and running back Marcus Coker: 20.2 percent
— Other: 20.9 percent
— Loss of offensive linemen Riley Reiff, Adam Gettis to the NFL: 5.9 percent
Follow on Twitter: @Bryce_A_Miller