I did a little research based on the state of UA right now.
· We have just lost our coveted BBall coach (who I don’t think any of us thought would leave)
· We are losing BBall players left and right – headed from the penthouse to the outhouse
· We can’t recruit because we don’t have a BBall coach
· What will LBJ support be? (he is key for us)
· We have the lowest football attendance in FBS
· The school is in financial distress
I played football at UA, I love the school and the football program. I don’t want it to go away but when I add up all the issues facing the school, I have to question the decision making that has gone on. I do agree, ICoach was a disaster….certainly when opening a brand new stadium. There is a side of me the believes we would be in a much better place had JD Brookhart remained coach or we had announced Terry Bowden as coach for the opening season of Infocision. None of that matters now.
I have been asking questions for some time; Why are we in the MAC – the MAC is rudderless? What is/was the direction of UA athletics? Who do we aspire to be? Was anybody looking at the landscape of college sports? Conferences that were relevant in the past have been gutted by their flagship programs leaving for super-conferences. If we thought we were a flagship program and that was our goal, somebody needs to have their heads checked. What were the decision making criteria for where tens of millions of dollars were invested in UA athletic programs. Did someone believe heavy investment UA athletics was going to help us academically?
Men’s basketball is the second most important sport at any school. We lost our coach because he went to a league that got multiple NCAA bids. It is hard to blame him for that, he isn’t getting any younger. There has been a lot of hoping and discussion around UA becoming the “Gonzaga of the Midwest”.
When you look at the top Mid-Major basketball programs, they are all in leagues that have multiple NCAA bids, only 4 of the 20 play FBS. There are NO MAC teams on the list.
That begs the question around decision making at UA. I pulled some stats of UA football from 2002-present (that is as far back as Wiki would go). When I strictly look at data, I don’t get it.
UA Average football attendance (no money games) 14,509
MAC ONLY GAMES (home & away) 13,938
ALL UA Home Games 13,723
UA Home games vs MAC 13,143
Home games over 25K 3
Home games over 20K 8
Home games under 10K 23
Average attendance before INFO 14,024
Average attendance after INFO 13,504
Here are some facts from the conferences we should have gone after. If we had, I think we would still have KD, likely have much more success in football (possibly a FCS Championship), and better attendance all around.
Atlantic 10 Conference – 14 Full-time members
Playing FBS – 1 (UMASS)
Playing FCS - 6
West Coast Conference – 10 Full-time members
Playing FBS – 1 (BYU)
Playing FCS - 1
Missouri Valley Conference – 10 Full-time members
Playing FBS – 0
Playing FCS - 6
We can't do anything about the past and where we are now but the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Is it too late? Shouldn't KD leaving be ANOTHER wake up call? The MAC is a sinking ship, we need to get off!!!
Attached is UA's football attendance since 2002.