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Messages - jknezek

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North Region football / Re: FB: Ohio Athletic Conference
« on: April 29, 2016, 01:01:24 pm »
If you look in the "General Football" section you will see a thread about this. There really isn't a single DIII player likely to be drafted this year in any round. As with other years, more than a handful will get invited to various free agent camps and I expect to see a few get to pre-season camp.

North Region football / Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 29, 2016, 08:48:40 am »
I probably won't care to think about EMU ever again (do you ever think about Long Beach State, Pacific, Wichita State? etc., etc.?)   I doubt it.  ::) :P :))   

When you think of EMU now, do you think positive thoughts? Are they lovable losers or do you just think about what a mess the program is? It's kind of important because not thinking about them at all might be an improvement over negative thoughts, which most of us have if we bother to think at all about EMU. As for Wichita State, pretty sure most of the college sports watching country thinks about them at times from November through March for the last half decade or more. Long Beach State for the last 20 years or so is in the mix for the NCAA College World Series. Pacific has long been a power in volleyball and water polo, although even I can't claim to care much about that outside of knowing it for some odd reason. But the point remains that while your sports watching and thinking might be limited to college football, the allocation of resources for these schools goes other directions and certainly pays off at times in other sports for people with broader, or simply other, college sports interests.

I guess I fall in the camp that not all publicity is good publicity, but good publicity is always good, even if it reaches fewer people. So I'll take Wichita State's reduced sports publicity, with it being pretty much positive, over EMU's broader exposure from football that is pretty much always bad.

And yes, we've probably beat this one to death.  ;D

East Region football / Re: FB: New Jersey Athletic Conference
« on: April 28, 2016, 11:35:40 am »

Milw Journal Sentinel - Packers have interest in Joe Callahan

Best of luck to Callahan! Would just be my luck that he becomes a Packer. I'm a huge Vikings fan!!! He would continue to torment me!
Viking fans don't need any more help being tortured. Being part of the fan base is less masochistic than being a Cleveland fan, but...

North Region football / Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 28, 2016, 08:55:37 am »
  In considering some arguments for EMU to not retain football, one might as well then just simply apply to to all the sports.  You might as well then simply not sponsor any sports at all (which IMO biased opinion, is ludicrous). Why retain them any of them-what value do any of these really provide to the university? And this would apply to many other schools on the collegiate scene as well at any of the levels.  IMO, (and what I was trying to relate, which I did in perhaps in a poor fashion) is that there is some inherent good and value in sponsoring collegiate athletics if you apply that in the sense of the overall educational experience and mission of a school-that applies perhaps only to those who are participating in those sports but to some alumni and the general community as well.  But I guess not for a school like EMU.  No program, whether sport, music or theater or whatever has value to everyone (putting the $ aside).

The big flaw in a lot of this thinking is the outsized costs of football. That is usually more than balanced by outsized revenues,at the D1 level through TV, tickets, product sales, alumni donations, sponsorships and at other levels by tuition paying students, but when it isn't you have a problem. Just one example, Coach C is over 20% of the salary budget for all 16 head coaches at EMU. Football is around 65% of all men's scholarships. The facilities are the most expensive to build and maintain. The staff is the largest. The recruiting expenses are the highest of all sports. The insurance is the most expensive as are the medical expenses, part of that is the violence of the sport, part of that is the shear number of participants.

You can't ignore the elephant in the room. Football is seriously expensive in a way most sports aren't on the expense side. Now imagine the Title IX implications of removing football. It is much different than the Title IX implications of removing, say, every other men's sport. Especially since Title IX exists only on the expense side, not on the revenue side.

Look, I love football. I love college football. But that doesn't exempt the sport from scrutiny. There are going to be places where it simply doesn't make sense to have a team. EMU might be one of those places. That doesn't condemn the sport or the university. There are places where other sports aren't the right fit, for example the SEC doesn't sponsor men's soccer. But it's fair to question these decisions, especially when universities come under serious budget pressure.

North Region football / Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 27, 2016, 02:23:57 pm »
I fully expect another schism in DI football in the next decade after the Power 5 autonomy proposals. The non-power 5 leagues, with a few exceptions, just won't be able to afford it. I think enough TV money will filter down to FCS if the non-power 5 drop down. Not like it will with the Power 5, obviously, but the content will still be needed so some money will be there.

This is the ultimate TCU won, Boise State lost situation.

North Region football / Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 27, 2016, 08:37:27 am »
As far as the athletics "tax" goes- we don't think that money is going to get refunded or removed from the student's cost do we?  Instead of $1000, $500 of which pays for football (we'll take that figure at face value although there are probably alternate interpretations of the data to be made), you're going to wind up with the same $1000 "tax", but now the full $1000 pays for 20 other sports teams that the students also don't care about.  So nothing's really changed, except that there won't be any press around to write about recommendations to wipe EMU's women's golf team out- no clicks to be had there.

Actually in the current environment of EMU I think this is wrong. Budget cuts are on the board. So while I don't think $500 is going to drop off a student's bills, I do think there will be $500 less of a hole in the budget.  I don't think that $500 will be reallocated to a different team, the budget will just shrink to try and fit the incoming revenue of the university. At least that's what should happen.

As for the rest, there is no mysticism about being in FBS for football. It costs a fortune and it can generate a fortune. When it does both, or even generates a greater fortune than it costs, that's fabulous. When it costs a fortune and generates less than it costs, not for one season but over a long period of time, it is worth re-evaluating. Can you lose less somewhere else (FCS say) and still get the benefits of having a football team? Are there actually any benefits to having a football team for EMU as a university?

These are fair questions, and if you blindly defend the sport as everyone should have a team or FBS is good simply because you are in FBS, you are missing the fundamental point that the school doesn't exist for the football team. The football team exists to bring some kind of benefit to the school. Money, community, applications, excitement, positive exposure... something. Does EMU's program do any of these things? And what is that actually worth in dollars paid by everyone else.

North Region football / Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 26, 2016, 08:56:18 pm »
Historical footnote:

From 1962-1967 EMU was a member of the PAC.

I believe they were also MIAA members at some point before that.

North Region football / Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 26, 2016, 04:52:52 pm »
Would anybody at EMU care if the team DID win more than they do?
What we're really trying to answer when we ask "would people care if the team did X" is: Would people be willing to accept the inherent costs associated with turning a team that has won 2 or fewer games in 17 of its 41 seasons into one that could win 4-5 games most of the time, given what it would mean for other parts of the college?  I suspect that the answer there is no

But they're good with spending money on all of the other sports that require full university subsidy?  It's just the football that has to go?  That's the part that I'm having trouble with.  It feels like they're picking on football here.

When cutting costs don't you cut the biggest loser first? Football is expensive. 85 scholarships is expensive. Guess how many non football men's athletic scholarships EMU gives? 57.1 is their MAX based on the sports they offer. So football is more than  half of all men's athletic scholarship expenses. The 16 varsity head coaches at EMU were paid $1.88MM in 2015 in base pay. Coach C made over 21% of that total. 21% to 6% of the total head coaches. Anyone want to guess which staff cost the most?

Picking on football? Maybe. But football gets all the glory when it is making money. How often have you heard that the largess of football pays for everyone else? Well shouldn't football take the brunt when it is the biggest sucking hole in the budget? Football at the FBS level has massive expenses. Generally those are offset by massive revenue, but if it isn't, then it is the appropriate target for remediation for a whole host of very obvious reasons.

And no, I wouldn't think it mattered as much if it was just about the money. For example Rutgers, which is bleeding athletic dollars mainly due to huge football expenses. But people show for the games, and there is community involvement and campus involvement. So at least you can point to the ancillaries at Rutgers. You can't do that at EMU because there are none and haven't been for a really long time. No support, plus massive losses, plus big budget cuts across the university, provides an easy, and logical, target.

Modified to include the following links where I got my data:

the link with the salary numbers

The sports offered came from EMU athletic website and the scholarships allowed came from here:

North Region football / Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 26, 2016, 03:23:32 pm »
Do you guys think it's about the money or about the wins?  Is this story happening if EMU won 4-5 games most of the time?  To whit- would anybody at EMU care if the team DID win more than they do?

I think it's about the fan support, which is about generating money, but is also about all those ancillaries that make spending money on football worthwhile, creating a community and school pride and generating deeper alumni connections and so on. In EMU's case, there isn't any fan support. None. Hasn't been for years. Granted they've sucked for years, but now you are chicken or egg. Can you recruit better playing in an empty stadium and getting beat constantly, and if you could, would it work out? Or can you get fans into seats and generate all those ancillary joys football brings to a campus if you consistently suck.

Considering they are most likely going to be in violation of this NCAA bylaw for FBS after next season (again, after being in violation for years prior to 2014's magically almost mediocre numbers):

Average at least 15,000 in actual or paid attendance for all home football contests over a
rolling two-year period. [Bylaw]

It's only the NCAA's arbitrary application of their own rules, or a massive distribution of wealth from the University to pay for seats that no one is sitting in, that allows them to stay in FBS anyway. Attendance numbers are in the low to mid thousands for home games last year and all years but 2014, which is a very clear outlier.

Attendance numbers found here:

Is there anything about this program to you, other than Coach Creighton being there, that suggests FBS is the right spot for them? No fan support, a stadium ringed by a track, no recent winning history, and massive expenditures to keep the privilege of being in FBS intact. Other than vanity, and holding onto the MAC, what is the purpose of paying a lot of money to play bad football in front of no fans that largely prefer watching other FBS football teams?

Do I suggest DII? No I don't. Either drop football and change conferences, or go FCS and change conferences. In both cases the rest of your sports, which are varying degrees of competitive in DI, can stay there. You don't have to have FBS football to be a directional state university (Central Arkansas, Central CT, East TN, Eastern Ill, Eastern KY, etc..), or even a flagship state university (North Dakota, U of Delaware, U of NH, etc...). There is no shame in finding the right spot for your program, especially a spot that doesn't cause you to bleed ridiculous amounts of money that could be used to do something like educate your student body.

North Region football / Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 26, 2016, 11:26:14 am »
Another report on the EMU saga:

Sad.  It's really too bad that EMU is the flashpoint for this kind of nonsense.  I'm sure you can go to just about any school in any division and find some population of faculty and students that think sports, especially football, are a waste of resources. 

Would love to see some counterreporting on this and hear from students/faculty that don't agree with this position.

The problem you have is judging by their attendance at games, there aren't very many to find. At least in relation to football...

Another thought on the scheduling problems of successful teams.  Maybe the NCAA can make a rule on how many times a team can reject another teams offer.  I suggest once or twice given the offer once a year.  Then the team must schedule them for a game in the upcoming season or future seasons as soon as they have an open slot.

This has 0 chance of going anywhere. Teams have a right to schedule like for like, not just whoever comes stalking your door repeatedly.  To be honest, 10 team conferences are the answer to scheduling in a  10 game regular season. That hurts tradition as conferences would have to split and reform, and no one is joining the WIAC without being a WI state school, but if you are dreaming up pie in the sky scenarios that work that is the answer.

Whether it's standard or not it's a good sign for Lance.  The athletic director that hired him and had the original vision of a D3 coach being successful at the D1 level left not that long after he was hired.  Whether his replacement shared the same vision was a viable question and this would suggest that at some level they are willing to give it a shot.

I think it is pretty much standard procedure for a coach you are still willing to work with and that the above point badgerwarhawk made is an excellent one. Making a splash with a new fb coach isn't an unheard of move for a new AD. Extending LL another year indicates that they aren't looking to make that splash right now. However, I do think LL needs to move the team a bit forward this year. Last year, despite the best efforts of that press release, was not significantly different from the year that got the previous coach fired.

But, LL deserves the time he is seemingly being given to bring in his own players and make his system work. One season is not something that is remotely fair to judge him on and I'm not. A game or two of progress in the win column, however, will help him make his case next year for another extension.

Lacrosse, track, cross country, softball / Re: Lacrosse
« on: April 21, 2016, 09:08:10 am »
I follow the ODAC fairly closely as a W&L grad, but there is way more talk about DIII lax in another spot. It happens, even as good as these boards are in other sports.

North Region football / Re: FB: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 20, 2016, 02:55:08 pm »
We've talked about the woes at EMU before many times. I'm sure CC would be able to find another job but this isn't a good sign for the future of FBS football there.

Eastern Michigan Analyzing Football Program After Athletic Department Lost $52 Million Over The Last Two Years

What CC is up against is really stiff to turn around...

Raeburn seems to be up to something very similar...

It can happen...North Park

Different animal. North Park benefited from football just by having kids pay the tuition. EMU is bleeding apparently. I will say killing a football program, even one as forlorn as EMU, is very hard to do. See UAB. The decision to kill UAB was probably right, the timing was wrong, and the blame was not necessarily the current decision makers but those who had blocked UAB from investing in the program over the last 20 years. But even still, the community rallied to bring back a program it essentially ignored for decades. Not sure why, but it does demonstrate that killing a big time football program, even one with a history of futility on and off the field, isn't easy.

I see this both ways. Speaking from experience, I abhorred W&L's OOC last season. Averett, Sewanee and Newport News Apprentice is an awful slate. All at home. Now Sewanee is traditional, nothing to do about that, Averett was a back half home and home, and NNA was a one off apparently, but it still was terrible competition.

However, W&L was coming off two fall off seasons, including a 2014 where they went 2-8. Not much was expected of the Generals and starting off with 3 winnable games completely reset the team from a dismal 2014 to an undefeated regular season in 2015. The first W&L perfect regular season in well more than my lifetime. So while those games were truly poor, they set up the team to be a success going forward.

This year W&L opens on the road at Johns Hopkins, at Sewanee, and home for a rising Claremont Mudd Scripps team. While W&L brings back a lot, the difference in OOC competition could easily send what I think will be an even better W&L team to a much more difficult season. I'm looking forward to these games, which I can honestly say I wasn't last year, but I am concerned at the toll playing JHU and CMS could take on a relatively small but experienced squad.

Obviously W&L is not in the same position as the DIII heavy weights above, but as I think about these two OOC slates, I wonder which tactic sets a team up for success better. Perhaps it is situational? W&L needed to get momentum last year after a pair of tough seasons, and this year maybe the experience of playing better teams will help them continue to step up their game?

If you take that tactic, teams like UWW and NCC rarely need the momentum boost W&L benefited from, so perhaps weighting the experience earned by playing challenging games is more important.

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