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zip81

Smaller, Leaner athletic program...

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Just listened to the message.  Pay close attention to the 8:00 and 11:30 minute mark of the video.  Hope we still have a football team when we emerge from this mess....

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I've been arguing for a leaner, more focused university for years. Akron and Kent are 10 miles apart. They both should be focusing on what they're best at and eliminate programs the other school is far superior at. Kent should be focusing on becoming an elite liberal arts school for the NEO region and Akron should be looking to do the same in STEM. 

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God help us.  We should know in the next few weeks.  I saw rip off the band aid and move forward.

47 minutes ago, Zippyroo said:

Just listened to the message.  Pay close attention to the 8:00 and 11:30 minute mark of the video.  Hope we still have a football team when we emerge from this mess....

 

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"We will have a much leaner and smaller athletic program."

 

"I have directed the athletic director to provide a plan for a 20% reduction in athletic expenditures for FY 21.  There is considerable uncertainty about the future of mid-major division 1 athletics.  Additional reorganization and reduction may be necessary in the future as we learn more about the future of athletics."

 

Translation-  Ouch, this is going to hurt.  Much pain ahead.

 

In today's climate, the athletic department needs to become much more focused.   Focus on proven success and substantially cut or eliminate programs whose costs outweigh their benefit to the University.   This focus is something that should have been pursued years ago rather than a scattershot approach to being all things to all people.  Unfortunately, a crisis had to bring us here.  Some difficult value judgments are in the very near future.

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I'd still be shocked if it happens, but the U can consider myself done with them if football goes away. I'd be embarrassed to be affiliated with a school who couldn't manage to field America's sport when so many other across the nation can. Some may have to (and probably should considering our financial situation) unfortunately go, but football, men's soccer, and men's basketball should be the last.

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Perhaps join a conference where we can have a FCS football team and D-1 in all other sports (e.g. Atlantic 10).  But would just dropping the football program be enough to achieve the 20 percent reduction?

Edited by zip81

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1 hour ago, zip81 said:

Perhaps join a conference where we can have a FCS football team and D-1 in all other sports (e.g. Atlantic 10).  But would just dropping the football program be enough to achieve the 20 percent reduction?

There are probably talks for the MAC and the NCAA to loosen many of their rules such as minimum attendance.  Also, Akron won't want to leave the MAC because the push is to promote regionalism.  Flying a basketball team all over is crazy when there are bus rides to all the MAC schools.  I think this Title 9 and the equal sports for men and women is unworkable.

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President Miller's message is scary and necessary. Akron can't survive doing things in athletics like we have. Change is coming and it will hurt. It is clear that we cannot compete with P5 conferences and all their money. They can continue to have games w/o fans because they do not need ticket revenue to survive. Case in point, the Big Ten last year sent each member $45.7 million from the Big Ten TV channel alone. If a UA sport cannot be self sustaining I see it as being in jeopardy. Football is at the top of the list. It is desperate for ticket revenue to increase but has yet to show signs of life.  

 

I can see Akron joining many other G5 schools in forming a division below D1 that is less expensive to operate. This division would be above the D1A that YSU and the rest compete in to try to save face and earn some semblance of a TV contract. I can see sports being cut. If football doesn't go I can see men's golf, cross country and track being eliminated. On the women's side I can see tennis, lacrosse and volleyball being cut. No new sports would start. Facilities will be modest and emphasized. 

 

As Miller said things will never be the same. Our better coaches will be poached and we will not have any hope of competing nationally in most sports. We were running financial deficits before COVID-19 hit. Now enrollment, and consequently deficits, will be worse than planned and we will have to pay a dear price to emerge as a survivor. We can do it, but it will hurt in many areas. For us on this board athletics may hurt the worse.  

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10 minutes ago, 72 Roo said:

President Miller's message is scary and necessary. Akron can't survive doing things in athletics like we have. Change is coming and it will hurt. It is clear that we cannot compete with P5 conferences and all their money. They can continue to have games w/o fans because they do not need ticket revenue to survive. Case in point, the Big Ten last year sent each member $45.7 million from the Big Ten TV channel alone. If a UA sport cannot be self sustaining I see it as being in jeopardy. Football is at the top of the list. It is desperate for ticket revenue to increase but has yet to show signs of life.  

 

I can see Akron joining many other G5 schools in forming a division below D1 that is less expensive to operate. This division would be above the D1A that YSU and the rest compete in to try to save face and earn some semblance of a TV contract. I can see sports being cut. If football doesn't go I can see men's golf, cross country and track being eliminated. On the women's side I can see tennis, lacrosse and volleyball being cut. No new sports would start. Facilities will be modest and emphasized. 

 

As Miller said things will never be the same. Our better coaches will be poached and we will not have any hope of competing nationally in most sports. We were running financial deficits before COVID-19 hit. Now enrollment, and consequently deficits, will be worse than planned and we will have to pay a dear price to emerge as a survivor. We can do it, but it will hurt in many areas. For us on this board athletics may hurt the worse.  

 

You nailed it right on the head.  UA (and other G5 schools) are playing a losing hand.  This university cannot continue to flush money into the toilet "competing" in D1.  Football is probably not going anywhere, but it could and SHOULD look different.  Form a new division and embrace regional rivalries.

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If they drop from D1 in football I promise you I will cancel my season tickets and Z Fund donation. 

Edited by gozips19

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FCS is already D1A. D2 is what Ashland and Walsh compete at.

 

I don't think Akron will drop to FCS, but I do see them drastically reducing funding for the program. If all the other MAC schools are doing the same, the status quo will remain the same. Athletics at the G5 level has only been able to spend at the levels they have been because of the universities willingness to subsidize them. Take away or greatly reduce those subsidies and all coaches would be making significantly less. Also, schools will spend quite less on facility upgrades. 

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The athletic program can't be all things to all people.  My son attended a snooty east coast school that played top notch D1 men's and women's basketball and participated in lower level leagues in every other sport.  Schools need to pick their poison.  Do you think anyone really cares about the football teams of Gonzaga, Butler or Georgetown?

 

I get that this is a football area, but if UA bases its decisions on historic success, football is in trouble while soccer and basketball should be less impacted.

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How does the campus footprint get smaller? What can they sell off? Maybe Gojo with their increased product demand will get bigger and buy the polsky building(??)

 

I'm also not sure what college they could cut and how that saves money since you would further decrease enrollment.

Edited by ZippyRulz

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I think dropping to FCS (D1A) is the right move for the entire MAC.  Never gonna happen, too many schools (and fans) have delusions of grandeur of winning the "Joe's Towing Bowl" against Tulsa or Rice.

 

Dropping to FCS without other regional teams dropping down would multiply the travel budget. There are two FCS schools in Ohio, Dayton in the Pioneer League (teams in Florida and California), and Youngstown State in the Pioneer League (with two schools in North Dakota and two in South Dakota). That's a 15 hour drive or a 4 1/2 hour flight. 

 

In Division 2 you're allowed 36 full scholarships. I don't know how many we have, or how many drop off after this season. There are 9 D2 football programs in Ohio. The question is, if it came to that, would you choose Division 2 football? Or no football at all?

 

President Gary Miller blames the COVID virus for this, but I think we all saw it coming years ago. 

 

Some links.

Affirming Our Promises in the Post-COVID World

The Beacon Urinal's front page article

Edited by Spin

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9 minutes ago, Spin said:

The question is, if it came to that, would you choose Division 2 football? Or no football at all?

None! I'd rather the money go to basketball than football nobody cares about. If I wanted to be associated with somewhere like Ashland, thats where I would've went. 

 

However, once again, I find it hard to believe football is in real danger. We've already invested the facilities and we can't make those costs go away and we get the most exposure from football and men's basketball. I really do believe those two, along with men's soccer due to the success of the program, would be the last to go (obviously without considering all the TItle IX hoops). I'm also not in favor of FCS..though all G5 creating their own thing in shall I say, spring, would be intriguing, and a way to gobble up more money than before. There is no competition with the XFL gone.

Edited by LZIp
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3 minutes ago, LZIp said:

(obviously without considering all the TItle IX hoops).

 

TItle IX is going to derail a LOT of programs. 

 

Now does that go by the number of scholarships (85 just for football) or the number of sports? Does the Univ have to supply 85 women's scholarships because of the football team?

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I know it is a sore spot with many, but the last guy that proposed budget cuts was Scarborough and he was run out of town on a rail.  He was brought in to be the bad guy and make cuts then was run in part for being the bad guy and making cuts.  He didn't have the COVID-19 crisis for cover.   Don't get me wrong, he messed up plenty, but he was the budget cuts guy.

Edited by clarkwgriswold
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I think you're just going to see the MAC/C-USA/Sunbelt programs run an FCS budget program at the FBS level. This allows them to save face by not having to move down, but also allows them to greatly reduce costs. Akron's program has been running at an FCS level on the field for 3 decades now. All this does is lets us save some money in the process.

Edited by kreed5120
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The "Face" of UA seems to be ex Zip QB Matt Kaulig. Wonder how he'd feel about dropping a division or two in football, or eliminating it? I'm guessing he wouldn't like it.

 

UA has too much already invested in The Stile Center and InfoCision to just walk away from football. Infocision has to be over 50% paid off by now anyhow?

 

I wish the President wouldn't have left everyone hanging. That's all Arth needs is some open-ended comment from the guy regarding de-emphasizing athletics...as if recruiting for the Zips isn't tough enough right now.

 

And a final note -- I get that football is an easy target given our lack of any sustained success for 35 years. But why has no one ever been held accountable for it? There's no reason, in NE Ohio, with a beautiful new football stadium, and top notch training facilities, that we should be racking up 1-11 and 0-12 seasons. We should be The Toledo of the East of Ohio. I wish we had any semblance of leadership that knew how to run a D1 football program. We just lather, rinse and repeat the same malaise with every administration.

 

 

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Infocision was financed with I believe a 30 year bond issuance. We're paying about $5 million per year, but the early years you're paying mostly interest. We maybe have the principle 1/3 of the way paid off. I've posted in great detail previously that football (excluding Infocision which is a sunk cost) is pretty much a break even sport given all the revenue streams it produces. If we actually scaled back spending on coaches and supporting staff, it could actually turn an operating profit. 

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Since 1987 the Zips and  in 33 years have only had 8 winning seasons.  Based upon a winning percentage of .242 at the D1 level... should it not be time to rethink what division the Zips play in

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43 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

Infocision was financed with I believe a 30 year bond issuance. We're paying about $5 million per year, but the early years you're paying mostly interest. We maybe have the principle 1/3 of the way paid off. I've posted in great detail previously that football (excluding Infocision which is a sunk cost) is pretty much a break even sport given all the revenue streams it produces. If we actually scaled back spending on coaches and supporting staff, it could actually turn an operating profit. 

Good point. The stadium is used by at least: Lacrosse, intramural sports, one off events (high school playoff games, band competitions, etc), and everyone who uses the tower on a daily basis. I don't know if it is or not, but the cost should not be entirely allocated to the football program. Same goes for the field house as well.

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10 minutes ago, zips1989 said:

Since 1987 the Zips and  in 33 years have only had 8 winning seasons.  Based upon a winning percentage of .242 at the D1 level... should it not be time to rethink what division the Zips play in

We'd have a better win percentage because we'd stop playing the Ohio State's and Auburn's of the world. But do you think we'd be competing with North Dakota State, Georgia Southern, etc if we dropped a division? At best, with identical vision and leadership, we'd hover around .500.

 

To me, "football" is the easy scapegoat, but it isn't why we haven't been a successful football program.

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49 minutes ago, kreed5120 said:

Infocision was financed with I believe a 30 year bond issuance. We're paying about $5 million per year, but the early years you're paying mostly interest. We maybe have the principle 1/3 of the way paid off. 

We had it 1/3rd the way paid off with the Summa and Infocision donations alone, correct?

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