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a-zip

UA's Direction

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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.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2639716-ranking-the-best-mid-major-programs-in-college-basketball  

 

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                                                                       

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_10_Conference#Full_members  

 

West Coast Conference – 10 Full-time members

Playing FBS – 1 (BYU)

Playing FCS - 1

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

 

Missouri Valley Conference – 10 Full-time members

Playing FBS – 0

Playing FCS - 6

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_Valley_Conference#Current_members  

 

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.

 

 

Year.pdf

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I'm not sure if you remember the backlash that cutting the baseball program caused, but dropping the football team to FCS would be that x1000. One could argue whether it is the right thing to do financially or not, but at the end of the day the administration that tries to do it can kiss their jobs goodbye.

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JD Brookheart was still the head coach when Infocision Stadium opened.  The stadium opened 2009, his he was fired at the conclusion of the season.  

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Backlash?  Really?  Like the 1000 season ticket holders (for either sport) will walk away and that will really cause a big issue?  

I think the baseball backlash was more because of how it was handled rather than a huge constituent group supporting UA baseball (remember Scarphoon days... it was announced suddenly with no plan for the athletes and then it came out he wanted to build a walkway through the baseball field...after that it's just a hazy morass of olive jars, tweeting angry children, polytechnic and name changes, and offending peer universities and the community as a whole.   Amazing what can be accomplished in just 24 months...).

a-zip, your post is spot on in terms of raising this question, which is the same one I have harped on for several years-- does it really make sense for UA to spent $38 million on sports?  Does it really make sense for the other 3 state universities to spend another $60 million every year?   Is there ANY return on that collective investment for Akron or NEO or Ohio?  Do we actually face that question, take it head on, or just keep doing the same thing every year?  As I said in a post the other day, these 4 state universities will blow almost $1 billion in this decade on sports.   That's real money.   To what end and for what purpose?  I think it has to be asked.

Dropping down a division in football saves some money, but not all that much (I seem to remember someone offering up an annual savings of $2 million).  So we go from $38 million to $36 million in annual spend.

The only thing that changes this equation is increasing revenue-- that means either ticket sales or fundraising (and really both)--while holding costs relatively level.   What would make that possible?  Well, winning certainly helps, but BB shows clearly we can have the winningest team in the MAC over the last 8 (or whatever) years, and not have a big (meaning gamechanging) increase in either tickets sales or donor dollars.   

 

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11 hours ago, LosAngelesZipFan said:

That's real money.   To what end and for what purpose?  I think it has to be asked.

Dropping down a division in football saves some money, but not all that much (I seem to remember someone offering up an annual savings of $2 million).  So we go from $38 million to $36 million in annual spend.

The only thing that changes this equation is increasing revenue-- that means either ticket sales or fundraising (and really both)--while holding costs relatively level.   What would make that possible?  Well, winning certainly helps, but BB shows clearly we can have the winningest team in the MAC over the last 8 (or whatever) years, and not have a big (meaning gamechanging) increase in either tickets sales or donor dollars.   

 

 

Bingo.  Especially when that $1 Billion is strapping students with roughly $3600 of unnecessary student Debt, resorts to the cutting of basic educational programs/resources in order to maintain etc.  The only problem is that some of these schools have already made the hefty investment (us new football stadium, BG new basketball Arena, Kent new training facilitiy...etc).  Each of those investments, and the debt they carry, would be pissed down the toilet.

 

Any action is almost going to have to be legislative in order to enact change.  The chance of that happening is about 0%.  (1) Ohio doesn't have the political moxie to legislate that kind of change.  (2) Money. College athletics makes a lot of money for a lot of people.  There is more political initiative to maintain the status quo then there is to change it.  Each athletic director makes a healthy 6-figure salary, as does the top brass of the MAC conference (of which a legislative action in the state would all but destroy the MAC).  

 

I'm kinda pessimistic about it honestly, because I don't see it changing.  Ever.   

 

 

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56 minutes ago, Balsy said:

 

Bingo.  Especially when that $1 Billion is strapping students with roughly $3600 of unnecessary student Debt, resorts to the cutting of basic educational programs/resources in order to maintain etc.  The only problem is that some of these schools have already made the hefty investment (us new football stadium, BG new basketball Arena, Kent new training facilitiy...etc).  Each of those investments, and the debt they carry, would be pissed down the toilet.

 

Any action is almost going to have to be legislative in order to enact change.  The chance of that happening is about 0%.  (1) Ohio doesn't have the political moxie to legislate that kind of change.  (2) Money. College athletics makes a lot of money for a lot of people.  There is more political initiative to maintain the status quo then there is to change it.  Each athletic director makes a healthy 6-figure salary, as does the top brass of the MAC conference (of which a legislative action in the state would all but destroy the MAC).  

 

I'm kinda pessimistic about it honestly, because I don't see it changing.  Ever.   

 

 

Virginia passed legislation that limited how much schools are allowed to subsidize their athletic programs. Some other states have already passed similar type of legislation or are in discussion about passing similar type of legislation. With how big of a political issue the rapid raising costs of college has caused, I feel it's only a matter of time before we see something similar in Ohio.

 

http://pilotonline.com/sports/mcauliffe-signs-bill-that-limits-athletic-student-fees/article_337e7bec-d46e-5e15-bba6-6fc8de3a5f01.html

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http://www.ubbullrun.com/2017/4/3/15159704/buffalo-bulls-to-drop-four-sports

 

The University at Buffalo just announced that they are dropping 4 sports. They are describing it as the only way to stay competitive in everything else. It will be interesting to see how the fans react. This is a much bigger cut than the UA baseball fiasco from a few years ago.

 

Arguing for less spending in Football/Basketball is just yelling at air. The negative perception that would be caused by the move makes it almost impossible for me to see any school willingly subject themselves to it. Look at UAB. When they dropped football, it was in national headlines for weeks. It is the cuts to the smaller programs that teams are somewhat able to get away with.

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38 minutes ago, UAZippers said:

http://www.ubbullrun.com/2017/4/3/15159704/buffalo-bulls-to-drop-four-sports

 

The University at Buffalo just announced that they are dropping 4 sports. They are describing it as the only way to stay competitive in everything else. It will be interesting to see how the fans react. This is a much bigger cut than the UA baseball fiasco from a few years ago.

 

Arguing for less spending in Football/Basketball is just yelling at air. The negative perception that would be caused by the move makes it almost impossible for me to see any school willingly subject themselves to it. Look at UAB. When they dropped football, it was in national headlines for weeks. It is the cuts to the smaller programs that teams are somewhat able to get away with.

Interesting reply:

 

Please....time to downsize!

You guys all think UB should brand itself, try to become the flagship university of New York, ala Ohio State or Penn State. But this just shows what UB really is—-small potatoes that nobody in WNY really cares about. You can’t bring a knife to a gunfight.

It’s simple. Drop to FCS for football—-or maybe even drop football, join the Horizon League and take it from there.

Not every school can be a North Carolina, a Michigan or a Notre Dame. Even Syracuse struggles to be viable. Buffalo is proving that they can’t cut the mustard.

What is Buffalo’s plan now? Take the money from the cut sports and dump into a semi-morbid football program?

Please, University at Buffalo. Please move to FCS for football!

Posted by John Furgele on Apr 3, 2017 | 9:56 AM

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So I guess the question becomes what sports could Akron get rid of?  (we have to keep in mind title IX)

 

Men's Sports:

 

M. Soccer

Football

M. Basketball

Golf

Rifle

Track and Field

Crosscountry

 

Women's Sports:

 

W. Soccer

W. Basketball

Softball

Tennis

Rifle

Golf

Track and Field

Crosscountry

 

Realistically Akron could probably only single out M and W Golf and M and W Rifle...

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Balsy said:

So I guess the question becomes what sports could Akron get rid of?  (we have to keep in mind title IX)

 

Men's Sports:

 

M. Soccer

Football

M. Basketball

Golf

Rifle

Track and Field

Crosscountry

 

Women's Sports:

 

W. Soccer

W. Basketball

Softball

Tennis

Rifle

Golf

Track and Field

Crosscountry

 

Realistically Akron could probably only single out M and W Golf and M and W Rifle...

 

 

I think that would put us below the 16 required sports

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We are at 18 sports currently. If we were to cut sports to get down to 16, it would most likely be men and women's golf or men's golf and co-ed rifle.

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On ‎4‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 12:39 PM, kreed5120 said:

We are at 18 sports currently. 

 

Knight Commission breakdown on "Where the Money Goes" and "Where the Money Comes From" in Akron sports. This database also includes information on academic spending from 2005 to 2017.  Akron spent $3.9 M on football in 2005 and $12.2 M in 2016. FBS median was $7 M to $16 M in that same timeframe. 

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On 4/3/2017 at 12:09 PM, Balsy said:

So I guess the question becomes what sports could Akron get rid of?  (we have to keep in mind title IX)

 

Men's Sports:

 

M. Soccer

Football

M. Basketball

Golf

Rifle

Track and Field

Crosscountry

 

Women's Sports:

 

W. Soccer

W. Basketball

Softball

Tennis

Rifle

Golf

Track and Field

Crosscountry

 

Realistically Akron could probably only single out M and W Golf and M and W Rifle...

 

 

 

On 4/3/2017 at 12:39 PM, kreed5120 said:

We are at 18 sports currently. If we were to cut sports to get down to 16, it would most likely be men and women's golf or men's golf and co-ed rifle.

 

Either of these options would save the university hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

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I look for the administration to drop track and field at the end of 2019 school year.  Both men and women and cross country.  No title Ix fears in this,  no million plus to repair track, convert Stile to just soccer, lacrosse and football practice.  Saves on travel budgets for trips west and south for top-tier meets.  I don’t think anyone in the current admin gives a hoot they’re nationally ranked and constant MAC contenders/champs.  Plus, you could probably eliminate a marketing position and possibly an SID position, more savings.  Hope I’m wrong, but have a strange feeling about this one.

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On 3/25/2019 at 4:41 PM, morris buttermaker said:

If they want to start fixing things, a drop to FCS should be next -- with most of the MAC

IF most of the MAC goes along, especially the Ohio-based programs.

 

There are only 2 in-state FCS programs at the moment, Daytona and YSU. And they're in different conferences. Dayton's conference (Pioneer) travels to Florida and California. Youngstown States (MIssouri Valley) travels to three schools in the Dakotas. The closest teams in the OVC are in Kentucky. 

 

IF Akron awards the allowed 85 full scholarships for football, they could drop 20 schollys. But wind up with more overnight long distance travel, and the loss of potential bowl revenue. And with the opponents being further away, we would see a drop in visiting team ticket sales. 

 

It's a tough call.

 

 

Edited by Spin

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