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DannyHoke

Back when cutting sports seemed like the abyss...

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2 hours ago, morris buttermaker said:

The non revenue sports are a drain because of football.. if you cut football or scale back considerably, it allows you some wiggle room on Title IX .. I allows you to defund  most non revenue sports.. if you cut 20 scholarships from football, it allows you to defund the some women's sports that are funded. The back asswords thinking on baseball was that it would be privately funded -- great, except that privately funded athletic scholarships need to be matched on the women's side... so unless the baseball scholarship funding ALSO included women's scholarships -- it is smoke an mirrors-- it's costing you $ on the women's side. You can't afford to leave the MAC?... you will go broke trying to stay in it.The UA makes bad decisions on bad decisions.. they should have cut their losses. They pay coaches based on what others pay - not what they can afford. If any of you  ran your house or business that way, your wife would divorce you and your company would be out of business. 

 

Are these both supposed to be bad things or does one offset the other?

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Appears Miller is at least hinting at another 'shoe is going to drop'. I would suggest going back and looking at some of his previous statements. He is telling the department heads on the academic and athletic side to come up with additional cost saving measures. If those are adequate in his mind OK. If not there will be further austerity measures. They 'reorganized' the academic side. Then Miller made the statement that the heads of the 'new' colleges would be responsible for coming up with more cost cutting suggestions. This isn't over on either side yet.

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15 hours ago, morris buttermaker said:

The backasswards thinking on baseball was that it would be privately funded -- great, except that privately funded athletic scholarships need to be matched on the women's side... so unless the baseball scholarship funding ALSO included women's scholarships -- it is smoke an mirrors-- it's costing you $ on the women's side. 

 

100%.

 

Adding back BASEBALL was a totally irresponsible decision on the part of the University of Akron Department of Athletics. For Gender Equity reasons outlined above it makes no sense.   It's never been a revenue sport, ever, and never will be, but what it is doing is costing the Department money. Staff Salaries for coaches, added workload for sports medicine, facilities staff, academic personnel, etc... Facility cost to renovate a field for a sport that will never, ever bring in a single dollar of fan revenue.  Even look at all of the new gear that this team was boasting about on social media... 5 different uniforms, custom gloves, bats, 5 different hats.  That "million dollar donation" to restart baseball has been spent multiple times over on just the new field alone, which cost a minimum of $2,000,000.  Everything else - salaries, travel, operational costs for a 30+ member team add up.  In accounting terms, that's (-$1,000,000) from day one, season one.   GP1 movin' on up resume builder material here.

 

An outdoor sport that starts in February, played in Northeast Ohio, that this past year featured Cross country trips to California and Texas were not free and are necessary to play games in the first 6 weeks of the season.  This was a 100% vanity project for the head of athletics fundraising as he was a former baseball player. A personal agenda making long term moves that are irresponsible. But he got to book a $1 million donation that looked good on his GP1 movin' on up resume. Scholarships are funded privately at Akron, which is another drag on the fundraising priorities for a program that is already not pulling it's weight in this area.

 

Hard to fathom that the men's cross country team (which is 100% part of the men's track and field team) and the women's tennis team (10 girls) and the men's golf team (10 guys) are costing anywhere near what was billed as millions of dollars.  That was total bullshit.

 

Baseball is such a growth sport that Bowling Green just cut it and the MAC did as well. The cost-cutting measure is part of Bowling Green’s plan to shave an estimated $2 million off the annual athletic budget. Baseball accounts for approximately $500K of those costs. (-$1,500,000 on the tote board) Maybe we should have a telethon.

 

Someone earlier talked about how well the team was doing before the virus hit.  Laughable. They did win 100% more games than football did, and almost had a Zips Football record at 1-12.  That's a .077 winning percentage with the 1 win coming against a 5-10-1 team from Marshall.  Mediocrity. Don't give me the "it was their first year BS either" as Akron Baseball has never been good, even when it was "funded".

 

First Year of Baseball:............................................. 1873

Seasons: .......................entering 117th season in 2020

All-Time Record: ............. 1411-1496-19 (.485) (116 yrs.)

All-Time MAC Record: ................241-377 (.390) (22 yrs.)

MAC Tournament Titles:.....................................1 (1996)

 

Over 117 Seasons of Sustained Mediocrity 

 

Schools that have cut baseball... and kept it cut - BOLD = cold weather schools

 

American University (discontinued 1986)

Boston University (discontinued 1995)

Bowling Green State University (discontinued 2020)

University at Buffalo (discontinued 2017)

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (aka "Chattanooga") (discontinued 1982)

Cleveland State University (sponsored 1932–2011)

Colgate University (discontinued 1996)

University of Colorado (discontinued 1980)

Colorado State University (discontinued 1992)

DePaul University

University of Denver (discontinued 1999)

University of Detroit Mercy (sponsored 1941–2004)

Drake University (discontinued 1970)

Drexel University (sponsored 1929–2003)

Duquesne University (discontinued 2010)

Eastern Washington University (discontinued 1990)

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Hampton University (discontinued 1972)

Howard University (discontinued 1999)

University of Idaho (discontinued 1980)

Idaho State University (discontinued 1974)

Iowa State University (sponsored 1892–2001)

IUPUI (discontinued 2001)

Loyola University Maryland (discontinued 1979)

Loyola University Chicago

Marquette University

University of Missouri-Kansas City (aka "Kansas City")

University of Montana (discontinued 1972)

Montana State University (discontinued 1971)

Morgan State University (discontinued 2001)

University of New Hampshire (sponsored 1911–1997)

University of North Dakota (discontinued 2016)

University of North Texas (sponsored 1920–1925; 1984–1988)

University of Northern Iowa (discontinued 2009)

Northern Arizona University (discontinued 1981)

Portland State University (discontinued 1998)

Providence College (discontinued 1999)

Robert Morris University

Saint Francis College (NY) (discontinued 2006)

Saint Francis University (PA)

South Carolina State University (discontinued 1974)

Southern Methodist University (sponsored 1919–1980)

Southern Utah University (discontinued 2012)

University of South Dakota (discontinued 2004)

Syracuse University (discontinued 1972)

Temple University (discontinued 2014)

Tennessee State University (discontinued 1993)

University of Tulsa (sponsored 1965–1979)

Utah State University (discontinued 1968)

University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP; discontinued 1985)

University of Vermont (discontinued 2009)

Weber State University (sponsored 1962–1974)

University of Wisconsin–Madison (sponsored 1918–1991)

University of Wyoming (discontinued 1996)

 

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Screen Shot 2020-05-17 at 6.58.06 AM.png

Edited by DannyHoke
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The rebirth of baseball at Akron was always a bit of a head scratcher to me and it has nothing to do with money. I think it's awesome that someone was willing to donate a large sum of money to rework the field and bring back a team. This level of dedication needs to be harnessed and exploited in the right direction.

 

It was a failure of leadership at Akron to allow for baseball to happen. Sometimes leaders have to say "no" and this was one of those times. You have to say no in a manner that the donor is more than willing to donate to something that fits better in the changing landscape of college athletics.

 

Leadership was not paying attention to the big picture and that's their job. Baseball is not in a growth mode in the USA. Universities were already cutting baseball. Cold weather state schools don't have very good programs generally speaking. MLB has gone from the national pastime to a regional sport. Minor league attendance is a disaster.  The attendance and support for baseball on the professional level is so bad MLB made a proposal to reduce minor league affiliates from 160 to 120.  I wonder how many of those small cities poured out millions in the last ten years to help build stadiums. God does the "building process" look even more idiotic now.

Edited by GP1
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"The University of Akron will make its DRAMATIC return..."

 

 I don't want to see any more complaining about a lack of athletic marketing 😂

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32 minutes ago, clarkwgriswold said:

 

There are thousands of sad stories during all of this.  I remember the photo of LCJ's father embracing him after they cancelled the MAC tournament.  He's, bright, young and has division 1 athletic caliber.  I'm not going to debate the baseball issue, but I think there should have been a plan beginning 5 or 6 years ago to begin phasing out some of these programs.

Edited by NWAkron

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6 minutes ago, NWAkron said:

There are thousands of sad stories during all of this.  I remember the photo of LCJ's father embracing him after they cancelled the MAC tournament.  He's, bright, young and has division 1 athletic caliber.  I'm not going to debate the baseball issue, but I think there should have been a plan beginning 5 or 6 years ago to begin phasing out some of these programs.

 

That's something we all need to consider when we propose cutting a program, the human element.

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Sorry for his disappointment. Can we assume he was not on scholarship since he's running a YouTube channel? Could he not stay and run distance events on the track team? I've been told xc runners do both.

 

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3 hours ago, GP1 said:

 The attendance and support for baseball on the professional level is so bad MLB made a proposal to reduce minor league affiliates from 160 to 120.  I wonder how many of those small cities poured out millions in the last ten years to help build stadiums. 


Ask Niles, Ohio

 

 

 

 

Edited by Spin

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53 minutes ago, Spin said:


Ask Niles, Ohio

Dear Niles, Ohio,

 

How is your minor league franchise doing?

 

Respectfully,

 

The Great GP1

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7 hours ago, NWAkron said:

I'm not going to debate the baseball issue, but I think there should have been a plan beginning 5 or 6 years ago to begin phasing out some of these programs.

 

No doubt you shouldn't debate it as your continued stance that bringing back a dead sport was a good move. The fact that you think 1-12 was showing promise is even more sad. 

 

But hey, thanks for dropping by with your thoughts on coulda, shoulda, woulda from 5-6 years ago. Since you think everyone should have been thinking out this stuff then, what would you have done?  Hey McFly, the first step in this direction of cutting costs and being smart with a lineup of sports was CUTTING BASEBALL as it will never add a single positive revenue dollar to the department.  Instead, Akron's doofus leadership brings back a sport that is DYING on the college level and has never won squat and cuts three others.  $1,000,000 donation in and spends over $2,000,000 to bring back a dead sport.  Another million in the hole, what the hell?

 

Akron Athletics = Clown Circus

Edited by DannyHoke

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...and yet Scarborough who was the impetus of the cuts that led to the elimination of baseball was the villain who was chased out of town in short order.  Don't get me wrong, he did some questionable things (e.g. Ohio's Polytechinic University?), but the major difference in him and what we've seen with Miller is that Miller had an outside crisis to use and is better in the PR aspect of delivering bad news.

 

Make a cut and you're the enemy to many.  Undo the cut and you're the enemy to many.  At UA, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Edited by clarkwgriswold

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22 minutes ago, clarkwgriswold said:

Make a cut and you're the enemy to many.  Undo the cut and you're the enemy to many.  At UA, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

 

Here's the unique difference.  AKRON is the only school in America to cut a sport, and then bring it back within 4 years. We lead the nation in STUPID.

 

And to use the justification of adding the sport back, that you got a $1,000,000 donation, when the field that the team plays on cost $1,500,000 to build makes it ever more ridiculous.

 

Then to top that off, our boy NWA comes on here and lauds the team for going 1-12, stating that it showed promise.

 

Akron = Mediocrity 

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9 minutes ago, DannyHoke said:

 

Here's the unique difference.  AKRON is the only school in America to cut a sport, and then bring it back within 4 years. We lead the nation in STUPID.

 

And to use the justification of adding the sport back, that you got a $1,000,000 donation, when the field that the team plays on cost $1,500,000 to build makes it ever more ridiculous.

 

Then to top that off, our boy NWA comes on here and lauds the team for going 1-12, stating that it showed promise.

 

Akron = Mediocrity 

 

I'm curious as to why you would make such an effort for something that obviously brings you so much misery.  I also note that you use the pronoun "we" in referring to the University of Akron.   That's telling.

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3 hours ago, DannyHoke said:

 

Here's the unique difference.  AKRON is the only school in America to cut a sport, and then bring it back within 4 years. We lead the nation in STUPID.

 

And to use the justification of adding the sport back, that you got a $1,000,000 donation, when the field that the team plays on cost $1,500,000 to build makes it ever more ridiculous.

 

Then to top that off, our boy NWA comes on here and lauds the team for going 1-12, stating that it showed promise.

 

Akron = Mediocrity 

Didn't UAB cut football for a year and then bring it back? 

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3 hours ago, clarkwgriswold said:

 

I'm curious as to why you would make such an effort for something that obviously brings you so much misery.  I also note that you use the pronoun "we" in referring to the University of Akron.   That's telling.

 

Are you Joe, or Frank Hardy?  #Sleuthriffic

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23 minutes ago, 72 Roo said:

Didn't UAB cut football for a year and then bring it back? 

 

Indeed.  That's an interesting story... read here https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2015/6/2/8702385/uab-football-return

 

UAB Football, is of course Football in Alabama.  Not exactly an apples to apples comp to Baseball in Akron.  They are both sports, in college, at least sort of.

 

As many have stated on this forum, even extremely bad football, is football, even when you win 1 game in 2 years and average less than 2,400 real fans per game, paid, and have to resort to have student fees pay for 70% of your athletics budget.

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14 hours ago, GP1 said:

The rebirth of baseball at Akron was always a bit of a head scratcher to me and it has nothing to do with money. I think it's awesome that someone was willing to donate a large sum of money to rework the field and bring back a team. This level of dedication needs to be harnessed and exploited in the right direction.

 

It was a failure of leadership at Akron to allow for baseball to happen. Sometimes leaders have to say "no" and this was one of those times. You have to say no in a manner that the donor is more than willing to donate to something that fits better in the changing landscape of college athletics.

 

Leadership was not paying attention to the big picture and that's their job. Baseball is not in a growth mode in the USA. Universities were already cutting baseball. Cold weather state schools don't have very good programs generally speaking. MLB has gone from the national pastime to a regional sport. Minor league attendance is a disaster.  The attendance and support for baseball on the professional level is so bad MLB made a proposal to reduce minor league affiliates from 160 to 120.  I wonder how many of those small cities poured out millions in the last ten years to help build stadiums. God does the "building process" look even more idiotic now.

 

Takes a pandemic to bring me back for a bit I guess .. or the Great GP1.  I do think that saying "no" is a largely undervalued skill these days.

 

What is the big picture?

 

GP1 makes some interesting observations.  What's the actual objective of adding a non revenue sport to the athletic department of an (awesome) midwestern university?  What's the objective of adding a sport which is at a distinctive disadvantage to southern schools in a sport where the weather is a problem in the north, and leveling the playing field requires substantial travel budget or indoor facilities?  I'm not sure .. other than perhaps pacifiying some medium (deep) pocket vendors who played UA baseball or have an affinity for it.

 

This is interesting to me as I'm in a funny spot with baseball.  Years ago, I really had a disdain for MLB after the strike shortened MLB year, and the fake manufactured season of Sosa / McGuire.  Now that my kids are playing lots of baseball and softball, I really enjoy the summer evenings at the ball field. But it's the ball field with my kids playing on it .. there's no real or imagined sense that anyone out there will ever make any money playing the sport .. they're with their friends and having a good time, and hoping they can get the win before Bossie's ice cream truck shuts down at around 9PM.  We like an MLB or MiLB game here and there, but it's based on the fact the kids are playing the game.

 

Opportunity exists in chaos.  And opportunity to reshape the athletic department exists in the current situation.  The current climate calls for real and substantial efforts in belt tightening by the current UA Administration .. the same type of belt tightening that was called for by Scarborough (and hampered by clumsy PR) and attempted by Wilson through better administrative approaches.  

 

Understand that the lens through which I currently view sports is one defined by what my kids are currently interested in.  Winter church league basketball is one of the main reasons I'm not at the JAR as much as I'd like. The simple fact for me is that a 5th grade girls CYO game on a slippery lineoleum floor in Parma at noon on a Saturday is the best use of my time and energy.  As much as I love the Zips .. I love CYO hoops more.  It's not close.

 

A recent thing I've gotten exposed to due to our boys' interest is rugby.  Our youngest picked it up last year as a 6 year old .. and it led our oldest picking it up as a freshman in HS.  It's a fascinating sport, with its own unique culture and history.  I'm certain that the biggest thing I'll remember out of this pandemic shutdown is the lost season from our oldest as he was carving out a spot contributing on his HS team.  Not much exceeds the joy in seeing your kid find a sport he / she likes and gets after while also finding supportive and demanding coaches to push them.

 

Why do I mention this?  It occurs to me that if you want to add sports to an Athletic Department, you'd pick one which is a growth opportunity.  What sports are growing in the US on a participation basis?  Baseball sure isn't one of them.  What sports are there that are currently niche sports which not every university has but are among the fastest growing in the US (look it up)?  And what sports are growing in the region of the University which might be quickly adopted by the region if a University nearby fielded a team?  Finally, what sports could be added which require minimal capital investment for facilities or training ground?  If you ask these questions .. there are only a couple of sports that fit the bill.  Sad to say, I don't think baseball is one of them.

 

Lacrosse does seem like it's a growth opportunity.  Tons of kids (boys and girls) are chewing up their parent's hard earned quid to play this now.  I think they got it right in adding Women's Lacrosse.  I'd also submt that rugby would be another to be considered.  It's a winter / early spring sport and could leverage First Energy Field at a time that doesn't conflict with Soccer.  Northeast Ohio is one of the bigger youth and HS Rugby areas in the US .. and a couple of teams in the area are among the best in the nation annually.  And not a lot of Universities have it, especially locally.  UA could be the regional leader in multiple GLOBAL sports .. not just an also-ran in the usual menu.

 

While now isn't going to be a time to add sports .. cuttiing and sensible budgeting are the order of the times, I wonder if the Athletic Department has a broader view of the horizon which includes more than "what we've always done at Akron", or "what the rest of the MAC does" .. or "what we need to have to be attractive for some mythical future realignment frenzy?"

 

Shouldn't UA be asking more fundamental and existential questions of it's Athletic Department now?  What is the real objective of the department?  What are the real goals? And what sports should be sponsored to help reach those objectives?  A pissing match between fans who see UA as a football school vs. hoops school or vise versa isn't productive.  

 

I guess I went ful DiG here .. thanks for sticking with me.  Hope all of ZN.O is safe and healthy.

 

Go Zips!

 

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9 hours ago, Zip Watcher said:

Shouldn't UA be asking more fundamental and existential questions of it's Athletic Department now?  What is the real objective of the department?  What are the real goals? And what sports should be sponsored to help reach those objectives?  A pissing match between fans who see UA as a football school vs. hoops school or vise versa isn't productive.  

 

Good questions. I would change them to not just UofA asking these questions, but G5 schools getting together and deciding exactly what in the heck they are doing with their athletic departments.

 

I'm interested you use the word "sponsored" in your post above. In my opinion, this word is not used enough in discussing college athletics. In reality, schools are not sponsoring college athletics, the taxpayers are. Most schools do not make a dime with college athletics so the taxpayers are sponsoring the sports. G5 schools need to get together and decide how much of a burden they are willing to put on the taxpayers of their states and what those taxpayers get in return for their sponsorship. The people who sit around on this board arguing about the price of tickets are nuts. It will NEVER be enough to cover the costs. This is an intellectual hurdle G5 fans need to get over.

 

G5 schools are part of larger communities. Hopefully, those schools are taking the opportunity to expose what their students do in the form of arts, engineering competitions, community service and yes sports among other things. Is the engineering team making money for these universities?  If you read much of this board, if the engineering team isn't making money, it shouldn't exist.  That line of thinking is complete bull crap and contrary to what the purpose of the university is, which is to develop the human mind and spirit.  How many university mottos are, "Pecuniam Facere Moriatur" (Latin for Make Money or Die)? I don't know, but probably not many. With the right focus, the G5 schools can provide a lot to their communities and make the taxpayers more tolerant of and maybe feel good about where their money is going.

 

What if all the taxpayers want is a nice day at a sporting event and this experience made it OK for them to rationalize some of their money going in to college athletics? From personal experience over the past 13 years, I have learned I will pay roughly $1,000 per year to watch football at a mid to low level ACC school with a 27,000 seat stadium that in every measurable way is not as nice as The Bid Dialer. My games involve the following:

  • Two tickets sitting on the 48 yard line in a nice chair back seat that is in the shade because the sun falls behind the giant pressbox behind me by 12:30 on a fall afternoon. 
  • Parking less than 200 yards from the stadium in a clean lot with porta johns that are perfectly serviced for each game.
  • 3-4 food trucks in the stadium in addition to the normal concession stands.
  • Beer sales.
  • Clean and ample bathrooms.
  • Short lines to get in the stadium.
  • And oh by the way, competitive games.
  • After the game we go uptown in a city roughly the same sized as Akron, have some more fun and spend the night (tying the university to the greater area).

Am I asking a lot?... Of course not. It's actually very simple. There is nothing going on at this place that could not be done at Akron or any number of G5 schools. They don't have bouncy houses for kids, fireworks or any of the other happy horse crap minor league baseball teams pee away money on in an effort to draw fans. The have a grass hillside people with small kids can buy tickets to and let them explore around if they want. How dare they offer simple, good clean fun as a solution! A friend of mine transitioned his career from working for a manufacturer to a distributor. A well respected roofer in the Carolinas told him, "David, All you have to do is not suck and you will be better than most". There are too many G5 schools that suck at what they do. It shouldn't be this hard.

 

G5 schools have been going down the wrong road for years and this insanity has to stop.

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If I read correctly the statement was made by either Miller or Williams was that scholarship amounts going to student athletes in football would have to be reduced. Not sure if he/they were including all other remaining sports or not. I read that to mean that the amount going to individual participants would be reduced. Anybody have any further info.?

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56 minutes ago, Lee Adams said:

If I read correctly the statement was made by either Miller or Williams was that scholarship amounts going to student athletes in football would have to be reduced. Not sure if he/they were including all other remaining sports or not. I read that to mean that the amount going to individual participants would be reduced. Anybody have any further info.?

I took it that Arth is currently fielding a team with under 85 scholarships. I would expect the football team will be able to fill the 85 scholarship limit in the future.     

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The moment we voluntarily put ourselves at even more of a disadvantage by cutting scholarships is the moment we should just drop football. If we're gonna do it, do it as well and as competitive as we can.

 

The debate over why we should have a sport is interesting. Is the reason to have a sport so we can make a profit? I don't think. But we should also be responsible. Baseball may not be growing but it's a popular sport in our area and before we cut it we proved that we could be competitive within our conference.

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36 minutes ago, zippy5 said:

Baseball may not be growing but it's a popular sport in our area and before we cut it we proved that we could be competitive within our conference.

 

I guess it is all in how you define competitive.  From 2007 through 2015, they had one season over .500 for the full schedule (and it was only 1 game over .500) and the best they ever did in conference was 2015 when they went 13-15.  

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