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A Thoughtful Outlook
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Tribe32 Offline
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Post: #21
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
My only real inside view into college athletics was via W&M including my days there as a student athlete and as a fan for the last 30 plus years. When my sons both went to big SEC schools I woke up really fast and realized the difference. They have more football fans at their worst home opponent game than we have for the entire home season. Even a bad turn out in hoops is 10,000 fans. They sell merchandise everywhere. Tailgating passes are sold in the thousands. Of course they get 3-5k fans at baseball games, soccer games, women's hoops and so on. The one example is in a metro area not a lot bigger than Williamsburg/James City/York. Go big with football and everything follows. The recipe is simple and proven over and over again.
07-11-2017 02:45 PM
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tribeinexile Offline
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Post: #22
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
Before determining the right conference, the program must establish its principles. I infer two that are non-negotiable at this point.

Compete at the highest level of FCS football. The question of whether W&M should be a “football” or “basketball” school has long been settled. Football is the only sport in which W&M currently invests significant institutional funds. Since the CAA is the premier FCS football conference in the East, it is our best football fit. My opinion is that programs that move, or have recently moved, to FBS will be back at the FCS level within 20 years and with athletic programs much the worse for wear. I am not quite as extreme as the link below (I do think Tech makes the cut) but I do feel the cut line will be difficult for Virginia, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt, much less ODU, Liberty, Delaware or JMU.

https://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/sec-fo...-like-nfl/

Field the largest number of intercollegiate teams possible. This is a philosophical decision driven by school’s vision of graduating well-rounded students. The measure of success is not won-loss records but number of student-athletes. In this regard, we are most like the Services Academies, the Ivies and possibly VMI, Citadel. The CAA and the Patriot offer more or less the same number of sports so I’m not sure either has a strong advantage in this.

I see these two principles as locked in stone. What I feel might be alterable is the question of whether there are other sports in which W&M might want to invest:

Basketball – we are in the wrong basketball conference for our current level of investment for this sport. We need either to add institutional support or consider a CAA football/Patriot League everything else solution. I would prefer the former.

Baseball – the CAA is a very strong baseball conference with the right regional footprint. (In South Carolina they seem to care more about baseball than even basketball.)

Soccer, Lacrosse – CAA and Patriot seem comparable in both. The difference comes down to footprint with the Patriot seeming to be a more logical fit for W&M.

I don’t know what restrictions the Patriot puts on its school’s athletic programs. I accept that they are unacceptable for us in football. However, if they are not restrictive in the other sports I see us with two options:

Invest money in basketball and stay in the CAA.

Stay in the CAA for football and go Patriot for everything else. This probably hurts our baseball program but the Patriot is better aligned with our current basketball spending and its geographic footprint is better aligned with our recruiting profile.

I don't see a new league on the horizon.
07-11-2017 02:55 PM
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Zorch Offline
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Post: #23
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-11-2017 01:08 PM)Rocco Wrote:  http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/

W&M had $26M in revenue. They have 23 varsity teams. VT, for example had almost ~$84M and 19 varsity teams. JMU has 18 teams and $47M in revenue. New Mexico State (just ahead of W&M) has 16 teams. Missouri State has 14 teams.

I'm no budget expert but I think I've found the problem.

I look at the data in that table with a jaundiced eye -- in that I noticed that JMU (and also Delaware; there are probably numerous others) had exactly the same amount for revenues and expenses. That may be legal according to standard accounting principles but there is no way that it is true in real life. It means that either some expenses or some revenues are hidden in some catch-all category in order to make the numbers match.

I think these numbers, especially the example of VT that was mentioned, actually back up my assertion that our coaches are doing a great job -- working with less. Imagine what we could do if we had $84M to work with. (To be honest, I don't think that we would do much better in the Olympic sports at all. I think a large influx of money in those sports might make a difference for 1-2 years but then the gains would level off. I think, as many posters here have said, that the greatest benefit to be gained from more money in the budget would benefit basketball the most).
07-11-2017 03:01 PM
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Zorch Offline
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Post: #24
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-11-2017 01:26 PM)LeadBolt Wrote:  I would be happy supporting the same number of sports we currently support with the revenue VCU has for fewer sports.

According to the article, through 2011 W&M had higher sports revenues than VCU.

In 2016 they were 85th in revenue and we were 115th. This basically shows the ROI for BB, imho.

Absolutely right that VCU lives and thrives on basketball. 2011 is when they went to the Final Four (as a CAA member). They have sold out every home game at the Siegel Center since it was built. That brings in a lot of revenue. I also assume that they bring in more TV money as a member of the A-10 than W&M does as a CAA member.
07-11-2017 03:08 PM
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Sitting bull Offline
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Post: #25
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
Our worst attended football game brings in far more revenue than a sold out Siegel Center where only 3,000 or so are actually sold.
07-11-2017 05:35 PM
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Rocco Offline
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Post: #26
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-11-2017 03:01 PM)Zorch Wrote:  
(07-11-2017 01:08 PM)Rocco Wrote:  http://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/finances/

W&M had $26M in revenue. They have 23 varsity teams. VT, for example had almost ~$84M and 19 varsity teams. JMU has 18 teams and $47M in revenue. New Mexico State (just ahead of W&M) has 16 teams. Missouri State has 14 teams.

I'm no budget expert but I think I've found the problem.

I look at the data in that table with a jaundiced eye -- in that I noticed that JMU (and also Delaware; there are probably numerous others) had exactly the same amount for revenues and expenses. That may be legal according to standard accounting principles but there is no way that it is true in real life. It means that either some expenses or some revenues are hidden in some catch-all category in order to make the numbers match.

I think these numbers, especially the example of VT that was mentioned, actually back up my assertion that our coaches are doing a great job -- working with less. Imagine what we could do if we had $84M to work with. (To be honest, I don't think that we would do much better in the Olympic sports at all. I think a large influx of money in those sports might make a difference for 1-2 years but then the gains would level off. I think, as many posters here have said, that the greatest benefit to be gained from more money in the budget would benefit basketball the most).

The specific numbers aren't the point. The point is that W&M has champagne tastes on a beer budget. The most obvious way to solve the problem is to cut sports but that's a non-starter. The next most obvious way is to make the school bigger and increase the number of students paying fees but that's a non-starter as well. At some point W&M has to grow the pie or cut it into smaller slices. Things aren't magically going to get better. The sports may be able to do a better job of fundraising and outreach but you're going to have a major structural problem.
07-11-2017 05:54 PM
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Zorch Offline
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Post: #27
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-11-2017 05:35 PM)Sitting bull Wrote:  Our worst attended football game brings in far more revenue than a sold out Siegel Center where only 3,000 or so are actually sold.

Okay ..... But we have 5 home games. Multiplied by, say, a high estimate of 11K per game equals 55K attendance. Then pay the overhead costs associated with 5 football games. VCU has, what, 16 or 17 home games. Using your number of 3K, that is 48-51K attendance. They have overhead for more games but I'm sure the per game amount is much less. Then add in the concessions and merchandise sales for 16 games and their dollars keep growing. Plus their TV money. Meanwhile, NOT fielding a football team saves their program tons of money. Their model appears to be working very well for them. It appears, from the perspective of what they were looking for from their athletics program (which are not the same things that W&M is looking for) that they were wise to jump ship to the A-10 (more so, I think, than Richmond who haven't received many (if any) at-large invitations to the Big Dance and now are in a lesser conference for their other sports; and George Mason who are probably wondering why they left).
07-11-2017 11:46 PM
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Sitting bull Offline
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Post: #28
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-11-2017 11:46 PM)Zorch Wrote:  
(07-11-2017 05:35 PM)Sitting bull Wrote:  Our worst attended football game brings in far more revenue than a sold out Siegel Center where only 3,000 or so are actually sold.

Okay ..... But we have 5 home games. Multiplied by, say, a high estimate of 11K per game equals 55K attendance. Then pay the overhead costs associated with 5 football games. VCU has, what, 16 or 17 home games. Using your number of 3K, that is 48-51K attendance. They have overhead for more games but I'm sure the per game amount is much less. Then add in the concessions and merchandise sales for 16 games and their dollars keep growing. Plus their TV money. Meanwhile, NOT fielding a football team saves their program tons of money. Their model appears to be working very well for them. It appears, from the perspective of what they were looking for from their athletics program (which are not the same things that W&M is looking for) that they were wise to jump ship to the A-10 (more so, I think, than Richmond who haven't received many (if any) at-large invitations to the Big Dance and now are in a lesser conference for their other sports; and George Mason who are probably wondering why they left).

I'm not arguing the specific success of basketball at VCU or what it has done for them.

You however left out one very important variable above. Football tix at W&M run $25 to $35 a pop, depending on the game. VCU floods much of Siegel with students. Those paying aren't laying out $30 for a game.

Football also runs near 3 hours plus, almost twice as much as a basketball game. You are going to sell substantially more concessions during a full afternoon or evening outdoors.

We also pull in $300,000+ for a single road game at Tech, UNC, UVA, etc. That doesn't happen in basketball.

No one is getting rich off college athletics. If this is the best VCU can do with the agreed success the last ten years, they better keep the product at the top. The point which I think is exemplified by ODU is that football will drive the bus and revenue stream at any school.
07-12-2017 06:31 AM
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Zorch Offline
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Post: #29
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-12-2017 06:31 AM)Sitting bull Wrote:  You however left out one very important variable above. Football tix at W&M run $25 to $35 a pop, depending on the game. VCU floods much of Siegel with students. Those paying aren't laying out $30 for a game.

Football also runs near 3 hours plus, almost twice as much as a basketball game. You are going to sell substantially more concessions during a full afternoon or evening outdoors.

No one is getting rich off college athletics.

First a trio of nit picks and then a new point:

The single game tickets appear to range from $19 to $30 (except premium chairback seats are $40 but who buys those on a single game basis?). However, your point is valid in that I failed to consider the ticket price of football games. On the other hand, I believed I paid $10 or $11 for basketball last year and there are a lot more of those games.

Football runs 3 hours and basketball runs 2 hours per game -- so football is only 50% longer, not almost 100% longer. I have no idea how that relates to concessions since I never buy anything at football or basketball.

Re no one getting rich: look again at the top team on that chart that was posted. The big boys do make money. Even when their expenses are not far short of their revenue, it is only because they are spending out of their excess. Those big-time coaches sure are making money. However, I do understand your point and way down here at W&M's level, no school is making money and all are ecstatic were they to even break even.

My new comment is that if football generates as much revenue as you imply then that reinforces what I have been saying for many, many years (although not on this board since I have only been a member here since Feb. '17): W&M should schedule 6 home games. My usual reasons are generally couched in competitive (playoffs) terms -- but perhaps now I should add an economic reason, as well. :o)
07-12-2017 09:01 AM
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mrjoolius Offline
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Post: #30
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-12-2017 06:31 AM)Sitting bull Wrote:  No one is getting rich off college athletics.

I think what you meant was...

No ** team outside of the Power 5 conferences ** is getting rich off college athletics.
07-12-2017 09:02 AM
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