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DannyHoke

Where in the World is Larry Williams? What does he do?

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No one here can make an impact with what is going on between the lines, that's purely up to the coaches and players. While that is obviously a work in progress I am truly concerned about the off the field presence of the program.

 

You'd think with the AD being a "football guy" that he would have some sort of presence, yet you would be hard pressed to find him engaging fans or anywhere out and about on game days.  

 

Larry Williams is not on social media at all.  He's invisible.  https://gozips.com/sports/2017/6/28/social-media.aspx

 

In 4 years on the job, what has Larry Williams done to make Akron Athletics better?

 

Check out this Plain Dealer article where Williams says football attendance is the #1 issue facing the department https://www.cleveland.com/sports/college/2015/08/akron_ad_larry_williams_says_g.html

 

2013: 17,850 http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/Attendance/2013Release.pdf

 

2014: 9,170 http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/Attendance/2014.pdf

 

2015: 18,098 http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/Attendance/2015.pdf

 

LW Year #1 > 2016: 10,337 http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/Attendance/2016.pdf

 

LW Year #2 > 2017: 19,569 http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/Attendance/2017.pdf 

Kent State game highlights - look at this empty stadium

 

 

LW Year #3 > 2018: 18,515 http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/football_records/Attendance/2018.pdf

 

2018 AKRON FOOTBALL ATTENDANCE BREAKOUT 

Sat., Sept. 8 MORGAN STATE - 18,413

Sat., Oct. 6 *MIAMI (Ohio) - 22,437

Sat., Oct. 27 *CENTRAL MICHIGAN - 17,582

Thurs., Nov. 1 *NORTHERN ILLINOIS - 16,401

Sat., Nov. 17 *BOWLING GREEN - 17,742

 

I would love to see the real numbers of tickets sold, and a real count of actual people in the stadium as none of these crowds are reality. The University of Akron is a public institution yet no where can you find an Annual Report from the Athletics Director for the last two years (2017-18 or 2018-19) that outlines performance. Actual ticket sales numbers, audited, and corresponding dollars per sport. Lots of schools do it, such as Kent State https://kentstatesports.com/documents/2018/10/31/Annual_Report_Final_w__Sig_2017_18.pdf

 

The last Zips Annual Report came out August 21, 2017... https://www.google.com/search?q=akron+athletics+annual+report&oq=akron+athletics+annual+report&aqs=chrome..69i57.5013j1j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 

 

Since this came out Larry Williams has not been sharing much about how he has been operating, including the real numbers behind that big football attendance jump from 2017 to 2018.  What is Larry Williams' hiding by not putting out the information.

 

What does it say about an Athletics Department that cannot even produce an annual report card on how they spend their money that donors are giving them?

 

LW Year #4 > 2019: 18,972 vs UAB

 

With all due respect, there were not 16,954 people in Infocision Stadium on Saturday. What a total lie. Look at the numbers above and tell me that there 

 

Check out this ABJ article from 2015 where Williams lays out his priorities for Akron Athletics: https://www.ohio.com/article/20150825/NEWS/308258977

 

“My No. 1 challenge will be to find means by which we can connect with people who are waiting for something special to happen,” he said.

• How has Akron Athletics connected more with the Fans in Williams' 4 years on the job?
 

“We’re going to speak to them in their language with their tools. I don’t think there’s an apathy. I think everyone wants to be proud of where they are and where they’re going to school and where they’re spending their money and their time.”

• How has Akron Athletics spoken to the fans in "their language"?

 

Football takes precedence in that regard as debt payments on InfoCision Stadium represent a significant portion of UA’s financial woes.

“I think it’s the first and absolute key,” Williams said of improving the team’s attendance. “It would go a long way and I want to make sure however we do it, we make it affordable and accessible for anyone who comes here.”

• How has Akron Athletics made going to football games more attractive to students? alumni? fans?

 

Williams, who comes to UA from Equity Management, where he led the country’s largest corporate licensing program, said something Zips athletics supporters shouldn’t count on is the baseball team’s return. He supports the elimination given the financial considerations.

“That is the toughest thing to do, to tell a young man or young woman that you can’t support that program anymore,” he said. “Those are hard decisions.”

• Yet while the University of Akron is bleeding financially, Larry Williams adds two sports: Baseball and Women's Lacrosse, which are non-scholarship yet competing against scholarship teams. This makes sense how?

 

4 years, and Williams has run off the basketball coach who was an Alum and had us winning conference championships and he ran off Bowden who took us to bowl games in 2 of the last 4 years.

 

Again, it's a simple question... What has Larry Williams done to make Akron Athletics better?

 

Edited by DannyHoke
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This came out in June... Where has Larry Williams been in communicating a "Vision" to Zips Fans about Zips Athletics?

https://www.ohio.com/news/20190607/ua-sports-teams-could-face-cuts-over-next-3-years

 

Athletic Director Larry Williams, reached by phone after the meeting, called the tightening of his department’s budget a “daunting objective,” but a process that improves greatly if revenues from ticket sales increase.

 

“If we reach the targets, great, our future is easier,” Williams said. “If we have a shortfall, our future is going to be even more daunting, so that’s the way we’re approaching it.”

 

University of Akron Athletic Director Larry Williams received a five-year contract when he was hired in August of 2015 worth $285,000 annually.

 

Edited by DannyHoke

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"Dr. Green said that Arth was worth jumping through these financial hoops to make it work because they think the St. Ignatius-John Carroll-Cleveland royal family football coach is worth it. We'll see. But at least as opposed to running up more deficits, it does sound like they figured their way out of this mess."

 

https://radio.wosu.org/post/view-pluto-how-akron-plans-pay-1m-cost-changing-football-coaches#stream/0

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https://www.crainscleveland.com/kevin-kleps-blog/hiring-new-football-coach-tom-arth-costly-short-term-akron-banking-future-gains

UA Interim president Dr. John Green has outlined a three-year action plan for the university that has been endorsed by Akron's board of trustees.

 

The plan calls for the Zips' athletics department to reduce costs by $3 million over the next three years and generate an additional $5 million in revenues.

 

As you might expect, a significant part of that responsibility will fall on football, which is easily the Zips' most expensive sport — and the one that brings in the most revenue.

Priority No. 2 for the athletic department, after maximizing its philanthropic impact, is to "profoundly increase" ticket sales.

 

The plan calls for the football program to produce a net gain of almost $2 million in fiscal years 2020, '21 and '22.

The plan says football-related advertising will increase by a respective $200,000, $225,000 and $250,000 in those three years. >>> MONEY GOING OUT

The goal is for ticket sales to go up $500,000, $750,000 and $1 million, respectively. <<< IS MONEY COMING IN?

The university is also hoping that football-related sponsorships will increase by a combined $150,000 in the three years

... and revenue from concessions will go up $210,000 in 2020, '21 and '22.

 

No Annual Report outlining Larry Williams vision for accomplishing these tasks

No Communications from Larry Williams, the $285,000 a year leader of Zips Athletics

 

 

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Akron Athletics is facing major budget cuts but Larry Williams keeps spending $$$

 

Another $80,000 for Jared Embrick of Zips men's soccer.  Total Salary of $300,000 a year for the men's soccer coach?   https://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/louisville/2019/02/06/akron-soccer-coach-got-big-raise-off-louisville-interest/2790313002/

 

We would all agree that Men's Soccer is Akron's Premier Sport, but at what point, given the fiscal issues facing Zips Athletics, do you simply not pay more to a coach to keep them from leaving?  Akron is a MID MAJOR, not a POWER 5 school.  Akron is a POOR Mid Major that gets $24,289,339, or 70.2% of it's $34,873,226 annual budget from STUDENT FEES. https://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/

 

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11 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

You'd think with the AD being a "football guy" that he would have some sort of presence, yet you would be hard pressed to find him engaging fans or anywhere out and about on game days.  

Are you at the games? The first time out is always Larry and the Varsity A group awarding a game ball, and if you were in the stands or in the boxes, you would see him, George Van Horne, and many more of the staff, engaging fans....  Larry can be found at BB games, both men and women, at Swimming and Diving meets and Track and Field meets, at soccer matches....oh, do you go to any of those?

 

11 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

Larry Williams is not on social media at all.

Oh the HORRORS!  Why would anyone not want to be tweeted at constantly by,, well anyone? 

11 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

In 4 years on the job, what has Larry Williams done to make Akron Athletics better?

As opposed to, say, his predecessor Tom Wistricil?  Swim and Dive continue to wreak havoc n the MAC and beyond, Track and Field Indoor and Out continue to thrive and put out MAC Championships and national caliber athletes, Men's soccer, hmmmm...what have they done?

 

12 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

4 years, and Williams has run off the basketball coach

Oh...he "ran off" Dambrot....maybe back that up with some facts please.....

12 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

With all due respect, there were not 16,954 people in Infocision Stadium on Saturday

Nobody said it was actual, it's always been stated, over and over that iit is "total paid attendance".

10 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

We would all agree that Men's Soccer is Akron's Premier Sport, but at what point, given the fiscal issues facing Zips Athletics, do you simply not pay more to a coach to keep them from leaving?

 Why wouldn't you pay $80k to keep him?  Jared took over seamlessly from Caleb, and the one signature program, that continues to attract the best players and national press coverage, even international perss coverage is MSOC.  

 

And why do you always lead with "We all can agree?"

 

Obviously we can't, and I think you need to stop drinking so much coffee.....

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I'm not on the fire Larry Williams bandwagon right now, but I do believe his contract is up at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. If we don't see some serious improvement in mens basketball and football between now and then I don't see how we extend him considering he hired both Arth and Groce. We've had some success in certain olympic sports (T&F, swimming & diving), however, those aren't what excite students, alumni, nor joe akron. If it did I don't think the University would have much issue crowdfunding $1.4 million for a new track.

Edited by kreed5120
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Henceforth, Williams shall be responsible for leading the Zips out of the tunnel with the huge A flag and shall be the top person in the cheerleader pyramid.

 

As an aside, I see him plenty.  ADs should be like referees.  If they're doing their jobs well, you don't much notice them.  Only the big losers and the bigmouths garner attention.

 

If basketball and football don't improve by the end of his contract, I'll be more than happy to see them not renew him. 

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WTF?  First time I've ever been flagged for "too many reactions".  clark - you get a "like" from me on this....... 

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UA Mens Fall Sports

                                  Us       Them

Combined record    0      -  10

Combined Scores   57     - 163

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8 hours ago, ZipsVoice said:

Are you at the games? The first time out is always Larry and the Varsity A group awarding a game ball, and if you were in the stands or in the boxes, you would see him, George Van Horne, and many more of the staff, engaging fans....  Larry can be found at BB games, both men and women, at Swimming and Diving meets and Track and Field meets, at soccer matches....oh, do you go to any of those?

I do go to these games and I have yet to see Larry Williams engaging regular fans.  Maybe he is hanging with the big donors.  There are not many of us regular fans at the games so it's not too tough.  As for Van Horne he is not interested in regular fans.  I tried to chat him up at the MAC Tournament a few year ago and he could not make eye contact and was constantly looking around for other people.  Do not trust him.

 

 

8 hours ago, ZipsVoice said:

 

Oh the HORRORS!  Why would anyone not want to be tweeted at constantly by,, well anyone? 

As opposed to, say, his predecessor Tom Wistricil?  Swim and Dive continue to wreak havoc n the MAC and beyond, Track and Field Indoor and Out continue to thrive and put out MAC Championships and national caliber athletes, Men's soccer, hmmmm...what have they done?

Track and Field and Swimming.  Big revenue drivers are they?  Yeah, thanks for that.

 

8 hours ago, ZipsVoice said:

 

Oh...he "ran off" Dambrot....maybe back that up with some facts please.....

Yeah, I talked to Keith. 

 

8 hours ago, ZipsVoice said:

Nobody said it was actual, it's always been stated, over and over that iit is "total paid attendance".

 

In other words, it's BS numbers.  Thanks.  

 

8 hours ago, ZipsVoice said:

 Why wouldn't you pay $80k to keep him?  Jared took over seamlessly from Caleb, and the one signature program, that continues to attract the best players and national press coverage, even international perss coverage is MSOC.  

 

No, I probably would not have paid another $80K to a soccer coach that was not going to get the job at Louisville in as much as Ken Lolla endorsed John Michael Hayden, a Louisville native who was Lolla's top assistant coach with the Cardinals for four seasons before getting the job last year.  Just because Jared interviewed at Louisville did not mean he was going to get an offer, which he was not. Williams got played for an $80K raise.  And, more importantly, the Athletics Department is drowning in red ink, and now not only are we paying off a former football staff, paying the new one more to be o-fer the season, and now the soccer coach is making $300K a year with a needless raise.  Again, thanks for playing.  International Media Coverage?  Please.  Akron Track and Field gets more international media coverage for the pole vaulters. Fact.

 

8 hours ago, ZipsVoice said:

And why do you always lead with "We all can agree?"

 

Obviously we can't, and I think you need to stop drinking so much coffee.....

 

I'll cut back on the coffee when you cutback on the Kool Aid.  

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Wow Danny, you sure have started out with a bang.  A new thread, 5 post, 1220+ word treatise on why Larry Williams sucks.  Unfortunately, you lost 90% of the readers about a hundred words in.  You should put it all in letter format and send it on the school president and/or board of trustees.

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19 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

I do go to these games and I have yet to see Larry Williams engaging regular fans.  Maybe he is hanging with the big donors.  There are not many of us regular fans at the games so it's not too tough.  As for Van Horne he is not interested in regular fans.  I tried to chat him up at the MAC Tournament a few year ago and he could not make eye contact and was constantly looking around for other people.  Do not trust him.

 

 

Track and Field and Swimming.  Big revenue drivers are they?  Yeah, thanks for that.

 

Yeah, I talked to Keith. 

 

 

In other words, it's BS numbers.  Thanks.  

 

 

No, I probably would not have paid another $80K to a soccer coach that was not going to get the job at Louisville in as much as Ken Lolla endorsed John Michael Hayden, a Louisville native who was Lolla's top assistant coach with the Cardinals for four seasons before getting the job last year.  Just because Jared interviewed at Louisville did not mean he was going to get an offer, which he was not. Williams got played for an $80K raise.  And, more importantly, the Athletics Department is drowning in red ink, and now not only are we paying off a former football staff, paying the new one more to be o-fer the season, and now the soccer coach is making $300K a year with a needless raise.  Again, thanks for playing.  International Media Coverage?  Please.  Akron Track and Field gets more international media coverage for the pole vaulters. Fact.

 

 

I'll cut back on the coffee when you cutback on the Kool Aid.  

Danny, is it possible that Van Horne didn’t have time to be ‘chatted up’ at the Mac tournament because he was working?  And yes, I would wager one of those tasty stadium hot dogs that engaging donors is explicitly written in both Williams and Van Horne’s contracts. It’s a cruel cruel world for the average man Danny.

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Engaging Donors must not be going well if the Athletics Department cannot (a) raise big bucks or (b) sell season tickets  The only significant fundraising over the past year is to reinstate a baseball program that has no scholarships and will be a BIG LOSER. Gee, great idea. One month the Interim President is saying we may need to cu the budget by millions of dollars and then in the next breath we are adding two sports that are not offering scholarships, but will play against scholarship teams? This is DUMB.

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Can't we get this thread moved off of the football thread, since it's obviously not about football?

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It's about all sports, but Williams is supposedly a "Football" guy and he is destroying the football program.

 

0-12, also known as breaking new ground in underachievement, which is tough to do as a Zip post Ianello.

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On 9/25/2019 at 9:47 AM, ZipsVoice said:

Can't we get this thread moved off of the football thread, since it's obviously not about football?

 

Seems the right place for this discussion to me: non-football thread for a team that doesn't play football (well).

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Here is Northern Illinois' Athletics 2018-19 Annual Report, still waiting to see if Larry Williams will put one out for 2018-19 after not doing one in 2017-18

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sidearm.sites/niuhuskies.com/documents/2019/10/1/2018_2019_Annual_Report_Final.pdf

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16 minutes ago, DannyHoke said:

Here is Northern Illinois' Athletics 2018-19 Annual Report, still waiting to see if Larry Williams will put one out for 2018-19 after not doing one in 2017-18

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sidearm.sites/niuhuskies.com/documents/2019/10/1/2018_2019_Annual_Report_Final.pdf

 

A report is prepared every year including last year.

Whether or not the report is made available to the general public is the schools prerogative.

You could force them to sell you a copy through the states open records law.

 

 

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So they produced a report in his first two years and made it public, but you are saying they produced an annual report for the last two years and did not make it public?

 

Wonder what Larry is trying to hide?

 

Not exactly good donor relations if you take people's money and do not show how dollars are being spent. 

Edited by DannyHoke

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21 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

So they produced a report in his first two years and made it public, but you are saying they produced an annual report for the last two years and did not make it public?

 

Wonder what Larry is trying to hide?

 

Not exactly good donor relations if you take people's money and do not show how dollars are being spent. 

 

Were you or your relative/friend recently terminated from the athletic department?

image.pngimage.pngimage.png

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4 hours ago, Zipmeister said:

 

Were you or your relative/friend recently terminated from the athletic department?

image.pngimage.pngimage.png

C'mon Danny, we're ALL thinking it??!!

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No, I am not someone who was fired or related to anyone who has ever worked at U of A. I'm a Class of '89  alum and a parent of two Zip alums. 

 

I am a fan, and perhaps, if you actually were "thinking" about the facts I have presented, you would reach the same conclusions.  

 

Maybe some of you are fine with Zips Athletics mediocrity in Football and Men's Basketball...  Is the current track of non-achievement mediocre? True/False.

 

On Williams' watch two new sports have been added that will not be funded by the U of A at competitive levels against MAC opponents, in fact, they are presented as non-scholarship sports.  This has been pushed forward despite the U of A suffering decreased enrollment and amidst claims by the U of A Upper Administration that future cuts to athletics are likely in the near future. What part of this is not factual?  https://www.athleticbusiness.com/college/akron-likely-to-see-sports-cuts-with-new-budget-plan.html

 

Men's Soccer is a non-revenue sport, despite making the College Cup, as there are no revenue shares from the NCAA or ticket sales that total even the benefits costs of Jared Embick's salary. At the end of the day, men's soccer brings in no more NET revenue than women's swimming and actually costs the U of A budget more. Williams gave a huge raise to the men's soccer coach despite Embrick having no other offers of employment, and now Embrick makes $300,000 per year, which is almost 3 times the average salary of a U of A Full Professor.  https://www.insidehighered.com/aaup-compensation-survey/school-detail/university-akron-main-campus

 

Is the men's soccer success pushing additional revenues to cover this salary bump?  We would know if the Athletic Department published an annual report,  but that has not happened the last two years.

 

UA offered a buyout to 47 percent of its faculty in March, though some departments, including Athletics, were not eligible for the package. The university is also trying to address its dropping enrollment, now at a 10-year low, and has a history of financial problems as we all know.

 

Officials originally predicted a deficit of $16 million for next year, though that was updated to $3.6 million earlier this Spring. Officials cited selectively filling vacancies and being “cost-conscious” with non-personnel costs as the reasons for the drop.

 

The University of Akron spent $923,517 during the 2018-19 school year to pay three former presidents: Matthew Wilson, Scott Scarborough, and Luis Proenza, so the money that is being donated to U of A is truly going right out the door for no good of the students, academics, or athletics.  Add in paying off Bowden and Arth's UTC exit fee... stop the insanity for a football program that sells less than 3,000 season tickets a year.  That's right - the season ticket gross revenue for 2019 would not even cover the Bowden Buy-Out.  The school owes Bowden, who was fired with two years left on his contract, $630,000. And it's giving Arth, a five-year deal that the Beacon Journal said is worth about $500,000 per year. Thus, in the next two years, Arth will be paid at least $1 million, Bowden will make $630,000 and Akron will be paying Arth's former school about $370,000. That's $2 million for a university that in August said it was projecting a $3.6 million budget deficit for this fiscal year, 2019-2020.

 

Criticize me all you like, but if William's said football was his #1 priority when he was named AD then why are ticket sales, attendance and wins all going backwards in year 4 of his tenure.

 

This is not sour grapes, is someone standing up for Zip fans and saying we deserve better.

 

 

Edited by DannyHoke
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3 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

This is not sour grapes, is someone standing up for Zip fans and saying we deserve better.

 

I am personally glad that you are here.  It's good to know there are those out there who give-a-damn and don't buy the bullshit.  I love those on this forum and their passion even though a number of them don't care for me much; but it's because we refuse to sugarcoat the turd.  We as an alumni base fought so hard over two-decades to shake the "Hill-top High" persona that UA had for decades.  It feels like we're going backwards.  When you have all the things you mentioned above going on, it's very difficult to find something to be happy about, and in my opinion leaves two options:  Apathy, or a will to fight back.  Apathy is what Akron Alumni have had for far too long.

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