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72 Roo

State of UA Sports

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I can't recall a lower time for any Zip sports enthusiast. This is not a rant or a fire any coach, AD or BOT member call to action. It is merely a statement that our athletics culture is depressed. Football is now the worst of the bottom 10. Arth may raise us to the top of the MAC. I hope he does, but we have a lot more pain ahead before that happens. I'll give him a chance. Soccer is experiencing an unprecedented winless streak. Jared will fix it, he's too good a coach and we are lucky to have him. Tennis loses a coach who raised the program to the top of the MAC and then resigns days before the first fall season match for personal reasons. What gives? I don't believe why he left. There's more than that at play here. Track and Field can't have a spring home meet because the track is unsafe. Is this any way to treat a program that has made it to a top 25 national ranking? 

 

I don't believe this dysfunction is the result of one man's leadership, but rather a deteriorating culture that tolerates excuses and does not think of the university as able to achieve a high level of MAC competition. It's not always about money and funding. For us it's about expecting to lose eventually. There is little evidence of commitment to excellence. I've seen more passion on ZNO than I have ever seen from athletic dept staff. 

Their response always seems to be "This is Akron, what do you expect?" Well screw that. I expect to win and you coach, athletic staff member or administrator are supposed to find a way to make that happen. Not an excuse as to why it can't. 

 

Please men's and women's BBall gives us something to be proud of. 

 

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Well thought out post 72.  Can't argue a lot on these points.  But want to add, bringing back baseball should have been a positive, but per your thoughts on mindset, we're already being told to ratchet back our expectations due to the funding for scholarships, make up of the team etc.  And stretching an already tight budget by adding WLAX and playing in a league mostly from the Southeast U.S. doesn't make for a winning feeling on campus or in the halls of Stile and the JAR.

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Bringing in two new sports with no scholarships and no revenue generation potential, only expenses, and failing to provide an outdoor track for the program that truly gives you International Exposure?  Where is the logic in these decisions?  We are adding sports when the ones that we do have are not achieving at a high level and when donor money is not positively comparable to the other MAC schools. But hey, we have women's hoops and swimming so things are all rosy.

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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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On 9/30/2019 at 2:52 PM, DannyHoke said:

Bringing in two new sports with no scholarships and no revenue generation potential, only expenses, and failing to provide an outdoor track for the program that truly gives you International Exposure?  Where is the logic in these decisions?  

 

The squeaky wheel gets the oil.  There is no doubt in my mind some very vocal, angry Alumni made Baseball come back.  And that's why it was an illogical decision that they went with anyways.  Appeasement instead of leadership.

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Van Horne is a baseball alum and focused his efforts on bringing back his sport, which he did not have the stones to save 4 years ago.  A donor gave some of the money to help refurbish the old field but the baseball revitalization is already draining resources from the already strapped Zip athletics budget. It's not only Larry Williams that needs to be replaced.  The AD suite has been the same tired bunch of people for the last 30 years.  ADs come and go but the same BS group is hanging around as they can't get jobs anywhere else and never move up, constantly getting passed over.  The culture behind the teams is bad, so the lack of performance is not surprising.

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51 minutes ago, DannyHoke said:

Van Horne is a baseball alum and focused his efforts on bringing back his sport, which he did not have the stones to save 4 years ago.  A donor gave some of the money to help refurbish the old field but the baseball revitalization is already draining resources from the already strapped Zip athletics budget. It's not only Larry Williams that needs to be replaced.  The AD suite has been the same tired bunch of people for the last 30 years.  ADs come and go but the same BS group is hanging around as they can't get jobs anywhere else and never move up, constantly getting passed over.  The culture behind the teams is bad, so the lack of performance is not surprising.

You really have no clue. 

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32 minutes ago, Hilltopper said:

You really have no clue. 

 

If the culture is a winning one, why are the teams not winning?

Are the same core people not still running things behind the scenes who have been there for 25+ years?

Is Van Horne not a baseball alum?

Did Van Horne influence the program from being eliminated in 2015?

Did Van Horne not lead the charge to bring back baseball in 2018 > 2019 while in the midst of a massive budget crunch?

Did one single donation solicited by Van Horne not start the process of bringing back baseball against all logic, despite not covering all expenses?

Is Zips Athletics not in the midst of a major funding crisis, along with the rest of U of A?

 

What above is not a confirmed fact? It's you that has not clue one.

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Met the new University President tonight. First impression was a big Zero. I felt like I met Rob Ianello for the first time, again, except this guy is in charge of the whole university, not just Football. Ugh! I fear for the Roo, I mean U. I hope I am wrong.

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With all of this talk about college athletes getting paid, the new California law, the teetering edge the current NCAA structure seems to be on, the financial crisis (not only in Akron, but throughout the rust belt), I really think it's time to rethink the athletic department.

 

It appears pro-bound players are going to be paid in some form, with major colleges becoming minor leagues to the NFL and NBA. College basketball already has a one-and-done rule. College football is eyeing it. Where does that leave the mid-majors? Where's the hope of a major signing? Going rounds in the NCAA tournament? 

 

IMO the whole MAC should drop down a division. It would make more sense for Akron to drop down if the rest of MAC does, because of the travel expenses. There are only two in-state opponents and they're n different conferences. One (YSU) plays conference away games in North Dakota, the other (Dayton) plays conference away games in Iowa and California. Would we save any money if we're jetting 100+ people to North Dakota or California every couple years? 

 

Soccer is a great boost for the university, but how much? A couple mentions during tournament time on the local news, 1000-4000 tickets sold? We can petition to stay in Division 1, if the univ. benefits from the exposure.

 

Baseball in D1. Does anyone know for certain the program is self-sustaining (or will be in 5 years), or if it's another financial drain? Everything we've heard is it is self-sustaining with contributions coming in.  My source does not know. I know we have full scholarships, which everybody whined about only having one. But nobody has any idea where the funding is coming from. Without that information, we can't speculate the costs, vs playing in a lower division.

 

Anyway the college sports landscape is changing before our eyes, not in a good way, and the university (and the conference) has some hard decisions to make going forward.

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26 minutes ago, Spin said:

 

Soccer is a great boost for the university, but how much? A couple mentions during tournament time on the local news, 1000-4000 tickets sold? We can petition to stay in Division 1, if the univ. benefits from the exposure.

 

 

I believe that the university doesn't benefit from the exposure as much as it could because no one who is in a position to take advantage of it does. Regardless of what non-soccer folks think, the sport is growing. Ohio has a new, outstanding MLS team in Cincinnati. Hopefully, when the new stadium opens in Columbus, we will see fans who rival those of LAFC, DC United, the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, and FC Cincy (all places I've personally attended matches.) When I wear Akron gear to these games, someone always recognizes our program. 

 

As your signature says "think small be small". The UA Board of Trustees keeps hiring unenergetic, uncharasmatic small thinkers. I only use the lack of marketing around our soccer program as an example. I think I can say the same of the UA Engineering College. UA design teams, such as the racing teams or the Akronauts compete well, but I don't see that much exposure.

 

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The California law just allows athletes to make money on the side for their likeness. I don't see that in itself forcing the MAC or other non-major schools to drop down as none of that money is coming out of the schools budget. I thought I saw a bill being discussed in NY that would require schools to pay athletes 15% of ticket revenue. If we get to the point of states forcing universities that are already bleeding money to pay student athletes a salary, I can definitely see schools cutting down on the number of sports they offer, dropping down to lower division, or just eliminate athletics all together. I feel it's too soon to see how this all plays out. 

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1 hour ago, Zip_ME87 said:

 

I believe that the university doesn't benefit from the exposure as much as it could because no one who is in a position to take advantage of it does. Regardless of what non-soccer folks think, the sport is growing. Ohio has a new, outstanding MLS team in Cincinnati. Hopefully, when the new stadium opens in Columbus, we will see fans who rival those of LAFC, DC United, the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, and FC Cincy (all places I've personally attended matches.) When I wear Akron gear to these games, someone always recognizes our program. 

 

As your signature says "think small be small". The UA Board of Trustees keeps hiring unenergetic, uncharasmatic small thinkers. I only use the lack of marketing around our soccer program as an example. I think I can say the same of the UA Engineering College. UA design teams, such as the racing teams or the Akronauts compete well, but I don't see that much exposure.

 

 

No matter what the exposure is from recognizing your jersey name when you go to an MLS match, what is that really translate to for U of A?  No one is coming to the school because they see your shirt and fewer people are giving money, probably due to your last point, which is GOLD, "The UA Board of Trustees keeps hiring unenergetic, uncharasmatic small thinkers." You could also toss in there that Zip Athletics is where unaccomplished people come and stay forever.  Some may take this as a personal swipe, but it's not.  I like the folks I have met, but liking people and them producing results is different.  All I hear from Zip Athletics is excuses upon excuses.  Same for the last 30 years.  Now the chatter will be that the new President is a Wet Fish and "if we only had a good President we could do something".  Give me something that Zip Athletics has done in the last 20 years that was innovative and has stood the test of time... one thing.  It's pretty hard.  The best thing this President could do for Athletics is to extend the bonused retirement offers to the 20+ year athletics employees and toss Williams at the end of his contract.  Build a fresh new staff and move this thing forward.

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1 hour ago, DannyHoke said:

 

No matter what the exposure is from recognizing your jersey name when you go to an MLS match, what is that really translate to for U of A?  No one is coming to the school because they see your shirt and fewer people are giving money, probably due to your last point, which is GOLD, "The UA Board of Trustees keeps hiring unenergetic, uncharasmatic small thinkers." You could also toss in there that Zip Athletics is where unaccomplished people come and stay forever.  Some may take this as a personal swipe, but it's not.  I like the folks I have met, but liking people and them producing results is different.  All I hear from Zip Athletics is excuses upon excuses.  Same for the last 30 years.  Now the chatter will be that the new President is a Wet Fish and "if we only had a good President we could do something".  Give me something that Zip Athletics has done in the last 20 years that was innovative and has stood the test of time... one thing.  It's pretty hard.  The best thing this President could do for Athletics is to extend the bonused retirement offers to the 20+ year athletics employees and toss Williams at the end of his contract.  Build a fresh new staff and move this thing forward.

 

The point I was trying to make is that I see no thinking in UA marketing as to how to use that name recognition from our Soccer Program. Don't tell me that some don't go to blOSU because of Buckeyes football.

 

As far as my point about the new UA President, the Board of Trustees hires the UA President. The UA President then makes recommendations as to other personnel. If UA had an energetic, charismatic, big thinker in that position, he might make the changes in the Athletics Department of which you speak. I'm in agreement with you...nice people, but little/no results...same old story year after year.

 

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16 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

 

If the culture is a winning one, why are the teams not winning?

Are the same core people not still running things behind the scenes who have been there for 25+ years?

Is Van Horne not a baseball alum?

Did Van Horne influence the program from being eliminated in 2015?

Did Van Horne not lead the charge to bring back baseball in 2018 > 2019 while in the midst of a massive budget crunch?

Did one single donation solicited by Van Horne not start the process of bringing back baseball against all logic, despite not covering all expenses?

Is Zips Athletics not in the midst of a major funding crisis, along with the rest of U of A?

 

What above is not a confirmed fact? It's you that has not clue one.

Yes Van Horne is a baseball alum. Of course he wasn't thrilled about the dropping of baseball. That had more to do with a pissing match between head coach at the time and the university president at the time than anything else. Matt Wilson and several of the trustees were the driving force behind the return of baseball not Van Horne. The large donation was solicited by another member of the athletics development department, not Van Horne. That employee is a former KSU baseball player to boot! That donation came in well after the restart of baseball. No argument that the university is in the midst of a budget crunch. You are way overestimating Van Hornes power. All the actions above where at the behest of other powers at UA.

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8 hours ago, Zip_ME87 said:

 

The point I was trying to make is that I see no thinking in UA marketing as to how to use that name recognition from our Soccer Program. Don't tell me that some don't go to blOSU because of Buckeyes football.

 

As far as my point about the new UA President, the Board of Trustees hires the UA President. The UA President then makes recommendations as to other personnel. If UA had an energetic, charismatic, big thinker in that position, he might make the changes in the Athletics Department of which you speak. I'm in agreement with you...nice people, but little/no results...same old story year after year.

 

 

Ohio State Football makes more money in one quarter of one home game that Akron soccer will generate in the next 10 years. That's a math fact. There is no synergy of impact between the two examples other than they are male sports teams in Ohio.

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5 hours ago, Hilltopper said:

That employee is a former KSU baseball player to boot! 

 

The best person with whom I've ever worked in UA Development. The one who actually listens to me rather than give me some b*llsh|t story about how Rob Ianello...yada yada yada... was building a foundation...yada yada yada.

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1 hour ago, Zip_ME87 said:

 

The best person with whom I've ever worked in UA Development. The one who actually listens to me rather than give me some b*llsh|t story about how Rob Ianello...yada yada yada... was building a foundation...yada yada yada.

Timmy is a class act, for sure....

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On 10/3/2019 at 9:02 AM, DannyHoke said:

Give me something that Zip Athletics has done in the last 20 years that was innovative and has stood the test of time... one thing.  It's pretty hard.

 

RooWards was pretty cutting-edge with all social media being attached to scoring points/competing back when it first came out.  Stood the test of time though?  No.  That's because, if I'm not mistaken, the guy who came up with it was a graduate assistant and then entry-level who found employment at another University.  Because you know...their good enough to go elsewhere but not good enough to hire and attempt to keep at Akron.  

Akron's motto should be: "Think Small" -HillTop High.

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