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Messages - jknezek

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1
North Region football / Re: University Athletic Association
« on: April 21, 2014, 01:10:14 pm »
The only mention I could find of where they play is Esmark Field. I looked that up and it appears to be almost 20 miles off campus. I could easily have pulled the wrong field, or that isn't where they play most home games, but it was all I could find. I played club rugby in college and remember finding ways to drive the players to games a couple hours away every other week. It was a royal pain and expensive in gas at the time. Luckily we played on campus for home games. I can't imagine how hard it must be to organize this team if they have to play 20 miles off campus. Kudos to them for doing a good job.

2
North Region football / Re: University Athletic Association
« on: April 21, 2014, 09:50:29 am »
Yeah, I don't think it's really practical for CMU to add baseball because of the field/facilities reason.  There's no realistic place on or near campus for a baseball field; they just turfed the practice field next to Gesling Stadium for use as a soccer field and intramurals, but you can't really turn that into a baseball field (no mound, no infield), which kind of makes jknezek's point; CMU already has 2 turf fields that are viable for use by lacrosse teams, versus zero usable facilities for a baseball team.  No place on campus to build any sort of indoor practice facility either.

I remember well from visiting when my sister went to CMU. Long time ago now, but her first couple years the center of campus where the football stadium is was just a working crater. Her last two years it was a great place to see a game, with an awesome new student center, but it was a very cramped urban campus. I don't think baseball is really a possibility. Baseball and softball fields are so limited in their purpose they are just a huge financial liability. One of the big reasons the Olympics dropped those sports.

3
Men's soccer / Re: Messiah -- D1?
« on: April 20, 2014, 08:51:04 pm »
I guess you win, especially since somehow you have intuited I have no knowledge of what I'm talking about.  The above is the first time in the interchange that you questioned whether they in fact have a roster primarily of D1 level players, and I do, in fact, have knowledge of the Kenyon swimming program.  At any rate, the topic arose for because obviously I believe Messiah has a great program and it's mostly a compliment to say Messiah could compete at the D1 level.  Until next time.

I'm questioning anyone being able to tell, from an incoming freshman class, how good those players really are. Considering how many can't misses miss and how many kids slip through the cracks that could play at higher schools, it is extremely unlikely to believe that Messiah's whole incoming class is D1 level.

I also think you overestimate your knowledge of Kenyon's swim team. I just pulled times from the championship meets in D1 and D3. In a small sample of events Kenyon's top swimmer would have finished inside the top 50 at the D1 championship in the following events:

500 freestyle
50 yard freestyle
200 yard medley
200 yard freestyle
100 yard breast.

That was 5 of the first 13 men's events where the Kenyon swimmer's time would have had them invited to the D1 championship and perform admirably. Kenyon didn't win all those events, in fact they only won the 200 yard free of the times listed, but all of those kids could have performed at the D1 level. They wouldn't have been champions, but they would have easily been mid-major for swimming. I stopped at that point believing that the data proves my point. I will say the relay teams were well of the pace of the D1 schools, but that is understandable. Hard to get a full relay team of D1 championship meet quality in D3, but I don't think Messiah would be in the final four of the D1 College Cup either.

D1 level talent is scattered throughout D3. Messiah just seems to get the most out of these kids in soccer on a regular basis.

4
North Region football / Re: University Athletic Association
« on: April 20, 2014, 07:16:39 pm »
Baseball requires an expensive new facility. Lacrosse is already built. Makes lax very attractive

5
Men's soccer / Re: Messiah -- D1?
« on: April 20, 2014, 06:38:43 pm »
I know that would be absurd.  I was responding to your trophy comment which had no place in the discussion to begin with.

You did this clarify quite well why Messiah wouldn't want to change.  It's working great for them, and it's working great for them in part because of the unique way they are situated in the collegiate athletic landscape.

The Kenyon argument doesn't work.  Few if any of their swimmers would be seriously competitive at the D1 level.

You were pretty reductive in your closing.  It's not just that they are "too good" and have a D1-style press release.  This isn't a case of a team having 2-4 kids who could have played D1 or having a couple of D1 transfers.  They have a full roster of D1 level players.  They are a D1 team playing D3 soccer.  Again, very different than Kenyon swimming and I'm guessing your other examples in other sports as well.

You have no idea if they have D1 kids or if Kenyon's swim team has D1 kids. You just "know" soccer and believe the kids Messiah has are D1 soccer players. Lots of "can't miss" prospects miss every year. That's the way the game goes. As for your statement above about a whole team being D1 that just is another way of saying what I typed. You think they are too good for D3 and so they should think about not being D3. That's weak tea. If they got the D1 level kids by playing by D3 rules, then they are D3 and they aren't too good or a whole team at the wrong level. They are simply the best in D3. It's just a bad argument any way you try and phrase it. They have better kids so they shouldn't be here. That's not how D3 has ever worked and it is just spilled milk to keep going at it with different words.

6
Men's soccer / Re: Messiah -- D1?
« on: April 20, 2014, 05:59:29 pm »
Fair enough I suppose, although I don't buy the financial argument at least as far as you went (and you said the endowment really isn't that relevant), and I also wonder if the schools that have dynasty-type programs in other sports are filled with athletes who truly would be competitive at the D1 level in the way Messiah would be in soccer.  I doubt the latter.

Your last sentence is something that gets bandied about a lot, and I'm not sure why.  Athletics and academics (as in admissions) have never been more competitive so I don't know if the trophies for all bit is some kind of political slip.  Taking you literally, why not open up the national championships to all divisions and run them like Indiana and Kentucky high school basketball used to do with one tournament for all schools regardless of size or division?

At any rate, we can quibble back and forth about what exact word to use.  The situation with soccer at Messiah certainly is unique (and I understand the mission is unique along with the other Christian-centered D3s), but I thought to comment on it right after I saw the atypical (for D3) D1-style press release on the incoming recruiting class.

I happen to be online when you responded so I'll simply say that big-time press release attempts aren't all that unique to Messiah, though they seem to be less common in soccer than in football or basketball. On the football boards here you'll see people bandying about h.s. player credentials and what they mean for incoming freshman in a way that used to only be done in D1.

As for financials, you just can't ignore the costs of running a D1 program. Most schools have extra coaches, larger recruiting budgets, they are required to have more compliance staff, tutors, bigger travel budgets and facilities. All of these are ancillary to scholarships. You need the money to come from somewhere and, as I pointed out, Messiah's endowment isn't more than mediocre for a D3 school.

Finally moving up means Messiah loses a huge recruiting tool. In D3 they are a big fish in a small pond and can talk about competing for national championships every year. In D1 they won't make that pitch as it stands now. They MIGHT get the same athletes, or those athletes might like the idea of being big fish in small ponds rather than a small or medium fish in big ponds. Once you start losing, you lose that recruiting tool and that mystique. What they have now works on so many levels, earning the school recognition a lot of faceless D1 schools never get. How familiar are you with Monmouth University in Long Branch NJ? For a few years they were ranked in men's soccer, one of the greatest U.S. women's players of all time, Christie Rampone, is a soccer alumni, and yet the school is middling in D1 most of the time. Mid-major is a kind description for most sports, and it doesn't have a lot to set it apart other than the original Annie movie was filmed on campus a few decades ago. Why would Messiah give up its recognition and recruiting edges in D3 to become more like the hundreds of Monmouth Universities scattered across the D1 landscape?

Messiah isn't all that unique among D3 dynasties. Mount Union, Kenyon, Wartburg, UWW and others all dominate a sport. Kenyon in swimming is stupidly ahead of Messiah in the dominance game, so far they make Messiah look like a flash in the pan. There are others as well but that doesn't mean they should move up.

As for your reductio ad absurdum for combining all divisions it's as ludicrous as the latin implies. The divisions play by different rules. Only MLB attempts to have a championship among teams playing with different rules (designated hitter). Setting aside MLB's stupidity, D1 and D3 are different, so they have different championships. That has nothing to do with everyone getting a trophy and everything to do with playing the same game under the same rules. And Indiana no longer has an all size tournament. Even they put that idea to bed over 15 years ago.

To sum everything up, there isn't a single good argument for Messiah to change divisions other than your comment that they are too good and put out a D1 press release. Pretty weak in the face of the actual facts of collegiate sports.

7
Men's soccer / Re: Messiah -- D1?
« on: April 20, 2014, 02:51:14 pm »
The Ivies don't have athletic scholarships, and there are plenty of other D1s that don't have a lot of scholarship money to offer.  Are you suggesting that Messiah doesn't have the resources to support D1 programming?  Obviously Messiah  in D3 competition has a huge advantage (dare I say unfair?) with a full roster of D1-level recruits.

Messiah ain't no Ivy. It's not really a Patriot League school either. Messiah is a D3 type university that happens to be unbelievably good at soccer. This isn't European football leagues with promotion and demotion, this is pick a league and win it. D3 has tons of dynasty programs throughout the sports. Check out wrestling, swimming, football... they all have long-time dominant programs. These schools choose through their mission and values to be part of D3. Going to D1 is not just about finding better competition, it's a complete philosophy change. See McMurry's failed attempt to go D2 which lasted less than 18 months.

Messiah has a moderate endowment of 120 million or so. It's a lot of money, but it's not a very big endowment even for D3. Certainly it's respectable, but Washington and Lee is over 1.2 billion, Amherst, Emory, Grinnell, Swarthmore, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Washington University, Case Western, and Johns Hopkins are all over a billion and some much larger. That doesn't really have much to do with it either, as huge amounts of those funds are earmarked for academic scholarships, professor endowments, and building maintenance and the capital funds and the interest those funds generate are not available for something as plebeian as athletics.

Just because Messiah has the kids to play at a D1 level in one sport, which is likely, doesn't have anything to do with whether it makes sense to move up as a whole. The ramifications and expenses across the entire college of such a move are massive.

As for it being unfair, that's just... well any word I pick is likely to be offensive. History, coaching, recruiting and facilities are what breeds champions. Messiah has them because they have devoted the time, resources, and have had a little luck that some choices worked our extremely well. None of that is unfair. They are just better at soccer, and have the history to make the school attractive. It is up to the other D3 schools to make the same investments, have a little luck, and drag Messiah back to the pack. It's not up to Messiah to either leave because they are too good or to limit themselves to give others a chance. Not everyone deserves a trophy, contrary to how youth sports seems to be run these days.

8
Men's soccer / Re: Messiah -- D1?
« on: April 19, 2014, 03:58:12 pm »
Not allowed to split divisions anymore. Teams in lax and hockey that are doing it were grandfathered in. Messiah would have to move all sports and that doesn't even touch on the complete paradigm shift necessary in the athletic department. Scholarships and compliance are very expensive.

9
South Region football / Re: USA South Athletic Conference
« on: April 16, 2014, 12:31:30 pm »
Happy to see Huntingdon and B-SC are facing off against each other again. That seemed like a logical rivalry and it was odd to skip it last year. Sadly the game is the same day as the W&L at Sewanee game, my biennial opportunity to see the Generals play without having to drive at least 6-8 hours. Not sure which Huntingdon game I'll get to this year, but if they are in the mix I'll get to one. B-SC's home schedule looks a little lacklustre and the only game that I have interest in will be when Centre comes to town since they are a long-time W&L opponent that I haven't seen since I was in school.

10
Kind of sad Wesley won't be returning to Huntingdon or B-SC this year. I've enjoyed seeing one of the top teams play the last couple years within easy driving distance. My options for this year are much more limited with those schools.

11
Depends how you count southern Virginia. Not sure of there status for 14/15 year

12
North Region football / Re: North Coast Athletic Conference
« on: April 11, 2014, 03:28:55 pm »
When it was first announced, I suggested Stag Bowl.

Maybe Beef O Brady's will sponsor it instead of the annual bowl game in Tampa?

13
South Region football / Re: Old Dominion Athletic Conference
« on: April 11, 2014, 03:26:58 pm »
Figured I'd finish this post up on Shenandoah's first year in the ODAC. They definitely had a better Spring than Fall or Winter, but still a mixed bag. On the good side, baseball finished tied for second in the regular season at 13-7, women's lacrosse finished tied for second at 8-2 in the regular season and is in the championship match, and softball finished at 10-10, solidly mid conference.

The bad, unfortunately, was very bad. Men's lacrosse tied football and basketball with an 0-fer, men's tennis went 2-8, and women's tennis went 2-9, both finishing second from bottom.

_______________________________________ _______________________________________ ________



Wasn't sure where to post this, but after the fall and winter seasons Shenandoah has had one painful welcome to the ODAC.

Complete failures in football and men's basketball (0 fer the conference schedule) were followed up with 7th place finishes in men's and women's cc, 11th in men's soccer with a 1-9-1 record, last place in men's indoor track, and 6th of 7 in women's indoor track.

This woeful record is somewhat balanced by the following: A 4-4 and 4th place finish in Field Hockey, a 4-7 8th place finish in volleyball, a 7-9 6th place finish in women's basketball and the only above .500 conference record, a 6-5-1 7th place finish in women's soccer.

As far as spring sports go, Shenandoah seems to have better hopes (at least in preseason polls) for high finishes in baseball and women's lacrosse. I was unable to access some of the other preseason information. Be interesting to see where Shenandoah finishes in the end of year ODAC overall athletic cups. Still, it can't have been a pleasant welcome so far to the a new conference.

I posted this last year and figured I'd do a follow up. Shenandoah deserves some props for making solid strides in a lot of sports this year.

Women's CC: 7 of 10
Men's CC: 9 of 11
Field Hockey: 6-2 (all records for conf play only!)
Football: 3-4
Men's Soccer: 0-11
Women's Soccer: 8-3-1
Volleyball: 5-6

Men's Basketball: 4-12
Women's Basketball: 6-10

Baseball 11-3 (partial season)
Men's Lax 1-4 (partial)
Women's Lax 5-2 (partial)
Softball 6-6 (partial)
Men's Tennis 1-7 (partial)
Women's Tennis 5-3 (partial)

So there you have it. Big strides. Last year Shenandoah was an 0-fer in several sports including football, men's basketball and men's lacrosse. This year there is marked improvement in all of those, including no 0-fers. Men's soccer remains pretty putrid, but overall Shenandoah is either competitive or becoming more competitive in most sports. They continue to be pretty good in some sports including baseball, women's lax, women's soccer, and field hockey. So while it looked pretty gruesome last year, I'm more than willing to give credit where it is due for improvement.

14
13 Huskies are in the Association.  This year those players are making an average of $5,886,817.  The average career salary to date of those 13 is $53,929,597.  Is UConn really failing those players?

Yes, there are 13 Huskies in the NBA beginning with Ray Allen who started at UConn in 1993. Assuming 4 recruits per year, that is 21 years of recruiting and 84 kids. 13 are in the NBA, about 15%. What about the other 85% of basketball players at a school that had one, count them one, basketball recruit from 2003 to 2006 graduate?

Not all of those 85% failed to graduate, but a significant number did. UConn is failing a significant number and a very small number is going on to fabulous riches. I wish I had the percentage of recruits from 1993 to 2013 graduating classes who failed to get a degree. That is the most important number. Just my guess, but I bet it isn't pretty.

15
Here's a good summation of UConn's academic woes, although it does point out that they are getting better:

http://articles.courant.com/2013-10-24/sports/hc-uconn-men-1025-20131024_1_uconn-men-gsr-basketball

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