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Buc66 Offline
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Do Academics Matter?
How important are academics in athletic conference affiliation? I mean academics to be, in addition to quality and rigor, programs of study and degrees offered. Not many state regional universities have ETSU's lineup of colleges and schools with their accompanying undergraduate and graduate degrees backed by the full accreditation of all eligible programs. It sometimes seems that ETSU has not received its due for its academic accomplishments against rather significant odds over the years. That said, are ETSU's academic assets a plus for Dr Noland as he seeks a different athletic conference for ETSU?
01-03-2013 09:19 PM
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bucfan81 Offline
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-03-2013 09:19 PM)Buc66 Wrote:  How important are academics in athletic conference affiliation? I mean academics to be, in addition to quality and rigor, programs of study and degrees offered. Not many state regional universities have ETSU's lineup of colleges and schools with their accompanying undergraduate and graduate degrees backed by the full accreditation of all eligible programs. It sometimes seems that ETSU has not received its due for its academic accomplishments against rather significant odds over the years. That said, are ETSU's academic assets a plus for Dr Noland as he seeks a different athletic conference for ETSU?

I think that is we currently had a top 40 basketball team and an FCS playoff football team that our academics would get their due consideration!
01-03-2013 09:28 PM
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PittsburghBucs Offline
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
No, you have a point, and it's why people who think ETSU to the A-10 know not what they are talking about (ETSU is not Catholic) , why the SoCon might be a struggle to re-enter, etc.
(This post was last modified: 01-03-2013 09:34 PM by PittsburghBucs.)
01-03-2013 09:33 PM
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Buc66 Offline
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-03-2013 09:33 PM)PittsburghBucs Wrote:  No, you have a point, and it's why people who think ETSU to the A-10 know not what they are talking about (ETSU is not Catholic) , why the SoCon might be a struggle to re-enter, etc.

Say what?
01-03-2013 10:13 PM
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PittsburghBucs Offline
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
What do you want clarified?
01-03-2013 10:41 PM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-03-2013 09:19 PM)Buc66 Wrote:  It sometimes seems that ETSU has not received its due for its academic accomplishments against rather significant odds over the years.

626
01-04-2013 12:40 AM
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One Of The Last Buc Linemen Offline
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
academics dont really play as big of a role with conference affiliations these days as money does. rutgers/maryland move to big 10 wasnt because the big 10 is any smarter than the big east,,,,,,,,,,,its because theyll make million$ every time they play michigan and ohio state in a cbs broadcast fball game. when app state leaves the socon for conf usa or whoever, it will be for bc$ not classwork. belmont didnt join ovc because all those state schools are smarter than the privates in the asun, rather theyre saving probably a mil or $o in travel

these days its all about the green, not the grey (matter)
01-04-2013 03:22 AM
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ReturnOfMommaBear Offline
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-03-2013 09:19 PM)Buc66 Wrote:  How important are academics in athletic conference affiliation? I mean academics to be, in addition to quality and rigor, programs of study and degrees offered. Not many state regional universities have ETSU's lineup of colleges and schools with their accompanying undergraduate and graduate degrees backed by the full accreditation of all eligible programs. It sometimes seems that ETSU has not received its due for its academic accomplishments against rather significant odds over the years. That said, are ETSU's academic assets a plus for Dr Noland as he seeks a different athletic conference for ETSU?

I think we can basically outline how Academics impact conference invitations/affiliation with A) Perception and B) Admissions, C) Retention and Graduation

The people who vote for conference invitations are Presidents with the advice of their Faculty Athletic Reps and the AD. Most Presidents come from the tight little world of Academia. They can be impacted by "reputation," "rankings," and the academic nature of an institution when it comes to conference affiliation. The majority of that "nature" comes from the rankings that we just saw, which can be quite flawed in reality. I think I remember a really deep discussion about this whole idea back on the old SoConHoops page years ago, when we still had several professors available to give their take on things.

In reality, I (and from experience) see Admissions and Graduation/Retention as something that plays a more important role in how a group of Presidents in a conference will look at another school that wants admitted.

If a conference such as the SoCon, which is dominated by small, privates, when the "academics" of a potential member comes up, it's about the admission standards more so than what accredited academic departments a University might have. The less "selective" and the higher the ratio of applications/acceptance, the less desirable a University might be to a group of schools that have higher admissions and retention/graduation.

In other words, will that school be able to recruit athletes that we can't recruit and thus creating an imbalance on the Athletic playing field? That's were the influence of an AD and major sport coaches would come into play, with a much higher impact. I hear that argument all the time from coaches, as they complain about losing a recruit that can't get in under some really loose admissions standards BUT the student is NCAA-eligible (the don't realize how low the initial eligibility standards have been).

So, in my opinion, for an ETSU... the admissions standards and the retention/graduation rate would impact things more than "Academic Reputation."

Money and resources are also a huge factor now, obviously, in the desire to JOIN a conference. Membership invitations to a BCS/FBS conference don't go out to broke school's but the reality is that they don't go out to school's that aren't in impactful media markets with the ability to help generate resources. Hence the limitations that ASU and Georgia Southern are facing. BUT, one of the major things for a SoCon/OVC type conference (notice I don't include the AShame because frankly, they just need a pulse, evidently) will be the Academics in terms of Admissions/Retention/Graduation "reputation"... and the ability to "travel" well and sell tickets at your place.

Frankly, ETSU is in a better position for an FBS-affiliation than other school's with similar "profiles" ... gee... if we'd only had the one thing that those conferences were looking for!!

Can you imagine where we could have been in the conference realignments if we'd had football, had a leadership core that used the constant increases in student fees to fund TOP TIER sports while brining the lower tier sports to higher levels, and had some vision 9 years ago instead?? And here we are...


TITLE IX: I'll add this here because I know I saw it somewhere recently but I didn't respond.

Title IX should not be an issue for ETSU when they add a football program. As long as there is no scholarship money or funding removed from the established women's sports and they ensure that resources are increased to meet the demand of more men being added (adding academic resources, training room, SID, etc) so that the women aren't shoved to the back of the line for those things, there should be NO NEED to add a sport at this point as we add football. ETSU can document two prongs of "test": history of progress and support of women's programs and accomodation of the interests and abilities of the student body.

Anyone who says it's all about "head count" is coming from a very narrowed view of Title IX compliance and going more for the "Gender Equity" philosophy, not the law. ETSU as an institution has a major gender gap with women being the significant majority of enrollment. Adding football can be seen, just as it is a many school's, as an opportunity to bring Gender Balance and an enrollment managment tool. Until ETSU gets back on track with Athletics at the Division I level, it might be time to look at the other prongs for compliance until a future time when there might actually be a demand on campus for women's rugby, lacrosse, or field hockey.
01-04-2013 08:44 AM
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abuc90 Offline
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-04-2013 12:40 AM)Seattle Bucs Wrote:  
(01-03-2013 09:19 PM)Buc66 Wrote:  It sometimes seems that ETSU has not received its due for its academic accomplishments against rather significant odds over the years.

626

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01-04-2013 09:06 AM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
It does play a role. The SEC added Missouri and aTm not just for markets but because they hold some special academic status (Three letter thing) that escapes me. It's not talked about much but Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt, and Alabama all have the same distinction as well. Maryland and Rutgers do too, and I know in the ACC it's a HUGE DEAL to this day, they kicked South Carolina out over their academics, and although Louisville is a great school they don't view it to be as good as theirs.
ETSU could stand some upgrades. We have the one of, if not the lowest entrance requirements GPA wise in Tennessee (I can't remember if it's us or UT-Martin that's lower).
01-04-2013 09:22 AM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-04-2013 09:22 AM)Buccaneerlover Wrote:  It does play a role. The SEC added Missouri and aTm not just for markets but because they hold some special academic status (Three letter thing) that escapes me. It's not talked about much but Florida, Georgia, Vanderbilt, and Alabama all have the same distinction as well. Maryland and Rutgers do too, and I know in the ACC it's a HUGE DEAL to this day, they kicked South Carolina out over their academics, and although Louisville is a great school they don't view it to be as good as theirs.
ETSU could stand some upgrades. We have the one of, if not the lowest entrance requirements GPA wise in Tennessee (I can't remember if it's us or UT-Martin that's lower).

That's AAU membership (Association of American Universities)... pretty elite group and based on research status and academics. I know it used to stem strictly from doctoral level degree granting and research status. I think there's some criteria about "what type" of sponsored funding is also available such as privately endowed, federally funded, etc. It's considered the most elite status that an institution can have and those members definitely wouldn't want to mingle with such lowly non-research institutions. They might tolerate a lower level research-based institution but would scoff at a "regional comprehensive" type school (again, all about admissions) for an Athletics Conference affiliate.

I think those institutions throw the "Academics" term around to impress their Academic friends but when it boils down to it, in college athletics Money is Money. They will still stick to some standards as a "conference" but I think we are seeing some erosion to that notion when the aspects of money get involved. It just so happens that MOST BCS school's are also major research institutions (although not necessarily AAU members). It has very little to do with the quality of the undergraduate programs or even the admissions at the undergraduate level, but it does give that perception.

Like I've said before, if somebody wants a ball player in their school bad enough and they are "Close" to the minimum or at the minimum (and most don't even publish what a minimum cut off would be sometimes so they can play with the way any student could be admitted) but wouldn't ordinarily be admitted through a really, truly admission ranking process... they'll get them in. That's why we now have APR's and GSR's and all kinds of NCAA eligibility rules to embrace. BUT, as we've seen over and over again... there are programs that will do anything to keep those students in (and most of the high profile scandals are those in the AAU!!).

I'll go back to an old discussion we had years ago about a book that I have called "Beer and Circuses"... the supposition is that undergraduate programs at major, research intensive institutions are there to pay bills and keep the lights on for the more important agenda's of the graduate and doctoral ambitions of the school... sports are used as the lure and the drug for those undergrads in order to keep them happy and keep them paying tuition. Just an interesting premise to consider.
(This post was last modified: 01-04-2013 11:12 AM by ReturnOfMommaBear.)
01-04-2013 11:09 AM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
Is there an association between this AAU (for colleges) and the slimy AAU club sports thing that has ruined basketball?
01-04-2013 12:52 PM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-04-2013 03:22 AM)One Of The Last Buc Linemen Wrote:  academics dont really play as big of a role with conference affiliations these days as money does. rutgers/maryland move to big 10 wasnt because the big 10 is any smarter than the big east,,,,,,,,,,,its because theyll make million$ every time they play michigan and ohio state in a cbs broadcast fball game. when app state leaves the socon for conf usa or whoever, it will be for bc$ not classwork. belmont didnt join ovc because all those state schools are smarter than the privates in the asun, rather theyre saving probably a mil or $o in travel

these days its all about the green, not the grey (matter)

Lineman, yes, but using that example, it does.

When Pitt and Syracuse bolted for the ACC, West Virginia immediately wanted out of the Big East and went shopping. But despite having a nice athletic program with a good following, WVU was denied membership to the ACC and SEC.

The reason given, and you can scoff at it if you like, was academics. Which had to make all the WVU grads and students feel real good, but the idea was WVU was not a good fit for conferences with Duke or Vanderbilt in them.

Granted, there are other factors, such as TV markets and strength of play, but if it was all about the level of competition, let alone geography, then WVU would be a better fit for the SEC than Missouri.

Where does this leave ETSU? Guys, I keep reading A-10, but look at the conference. ETSU is nothing like the schools in there. It essentially is a conference comprised of northeastern Catholic schools. St. Louis gets in because they are Catholic. ETSU doesn't have anything they would like.

The SoCon? Perhaps, but you have to consider bridges burned and the like. Also, if you were the SoCon, wouldn't you rather have Jacksonville and/or Mercer?

Jacksonville is a larger market. Both have are much farther along the path to restore football than ETSU, which is still at the "we're gonna look into" mode. Both can play basketball in nicer arenas. And both don't have basketball programs in serious regression.

But the bottom line comes out: wouldn't the Furmans, the Woffords, and the Davidsons of the SoCon prefer a small, private school for SoCon membership to replace C of C than a large state university coming across like an ex-girlfriend asking for a favor?

From my own personal tastes-

I don't like the OVC. Just a blah conference that doesn't really appeal to anyone under the age of 55. Most of the other schools are in boring college towns in the central time zone. I see better potential just staying in the A-Sun, winning the A-Sun Tournament every three years for NCAA berths, getting the Florida recruits, and, if football returns, bringing it along slowly as an independent until a real conference switch can be made. Plus, I have to think the OVC is less than receptive to the school that scorned them five years ago.

The Big South isn't a whole lot better, but there's an opportunity to revive football in it. Old rivalries with schools like VMI can be restored, new ones with Radford and UNC-A can be established.

Only problem is that it still isn't where the program was in 2003, and are you really that excited about the possibility of playing VMI again?

It's my opinion that ETSU could have joined the Big South 10 years ago, but the administration knew football would always still be on the table if they joined there and that made the A-Sun that much more desirable, as well as the fact the Florida schools were desirable as rivals with the greater emphasis that would be placed on sports such as tennis at ETSU.

CAA I'm really intrigued by. Really intrigued. ETSU gets into the CAA, and the Bucs aren't restoring themselves to past glories, they are exceeding their past glories.
01-04-2013 02:13 PM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-04-2013 09:22 AM)Buccaneerlover Wrote:  they kicked South Carolina out over their academics,

South Carolina left the ACC in 1971 because Frank McGuire didn't like the fact a school had to win a conference tournament to make the NCAAs and felt it would be an easier path for his then-powerhouse men's basketball program to get at large bids as an independent.

The football program went with it because they felt being able to make their own schedule would allow them to grow their program out of the then-doldrums of the ACC, which was not a highly respected football conference then.
01-04-2013 02:18 PM
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Buc66 Offline
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-04-2013 02:18 PM)PittsburghBucs Wrote:  
(01-04-2013 09:22 AM)Buccaneerlover Wrote:  they kicked South Carolina out over their academics,

South Carolina left the ACC in 1971 because Frank McGuire didn't like the fact a school had to win a conference tournament to make the NCAAs and felt it would be an easier path for his then-powerhouse men's basketball program to get at large bids as an independent.

The football program went with it because they felt being able to make their own schedule would allow them to grow their program out of the then-doldrums of the ACC, which was not a highly respected football conference then.

And, South Carolina did not like the admissions standards for athletes that the ACC had at the time. They wanted a more relaxed standard, more like the SEC.
01-04-2013 03:04 PM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
That's good to know. But they left on their own volition, not because they were kicked out.
01-04-2013 03:26 PM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
EKeep in mind... the SEC was carved out of the SoCon because of increased "academic standards" which all rolls back again to admissions and perceptions.



I'm fairly certain the only thing the AAU and THE AAU have in common is oxygen. 04-cheers
01-04-2013 04:09 PM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-04-2013 04:09 PM)ReturnOfMommaBear Wrote:  EKeep in mind... the SEC was carved out of the SoCon because of increased "academic standards" which all rolls back again to admissions and perceptions.



I'm fairly certain the only thing the AAU and THE AAU have in common is oxygen. 04-cheers

I am surprised one hasn't sued the other over use of AAU. Hell the World Wildlife Fund sued what was at the time the World Wrestling Federation for using WWF. They won, that is why it is now the WWE World Wrestling Entertainment.
(This post was last modified: 01-04-2013 04:33 PM by RodShaw2.)
01-04-2013 04:32 PM
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Buc66 Offline
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-04-2013 03:26 PM)PittsburghBucs Wrote:  That's good to know. But they left on their own volition, not because they were kicked out.

Who said they were kicked out? Of course they were not kicked out. Ga Tech had left the SEC in 1963 over a number of issues, but mostly over how the SEC allocated athletic scholarships. Even in 1971, it was still a maverick move for South Carolina to leave the conference it helped found. They were also tired of being pushed around by the four NC schools. Clemson was supposed to leave with them but backed out. There a still stories floating around about Ga Tech and USC leaving the conferences they helped found.
01-04-2013 04:51 PM
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RE: Do Academics Matter?
(01-04-2013 02:13 PM)PittsburghBucs Wrote:  
(01-04-2013 03:22 AM)One Of The Last Buc Linemen Wrote:  academics dont really play as big of a role with conference affiliations these days as money does. rutgers/maryland move to big 10 wasnt because the big 10 is any smarter than the big east,,,,,,,,,,,its because theyll make million$ every time they play michigan and ohio state in a cbs broadcast fball game. when app state leaves the socon for conf usa or whoever, it will be for bc$ not classwork. belmont didnt join ovc because all those state schools are smarter than the privates in the asun, rather theyre saving probably a mil or $o in travel

these days its all about the green, not the grey (matter)

Lineman, yes, but using that example, it does.

When Pitt and Syracuse bolted for the ACC, West Virginia immediately wanted out of the Big East and went shopping. But despite having a nice athletic program with a good following, WVU was denied membership to the ACC and SEC.

The reason given, and you can scoff at it if you like, was academics. Which had to make all the WVU grads and students feel real good, but the idea was WVU was not a good fit for conferences with Duke or Vanderbilt in them.

Granted, there are other factors, such as TV markets and strength of play, but if it was all about the level of competition, let alone geography, then WVU would be a better fit for the SEC than Missouri.

Where does this leave ETSU? Guys, I keep reading A-10, but look at the conference. ETSU is nothing like the schools in there. It essentially is a conference comprised of northeastern Catholic schools. St. Louis gets in because they are Catholic. ETSU doesn't have anything they would like.

The SoCon? Perhaps, but you have to consider bridges burned and the like. Also, if you were the SoCon, wouldn't you rather have Jacksonville and/or Mercer?

Jacksonville is a larger market. Both have are much farther along the path to restore football than ETSU, which is still at the "we're gonna look into" mode. Both can play basketball in nicer arenas. And both don't have basketball programs in serious regression.

But the bottom line comes out: wouldn't the Furmans, the Woffords, and the Davidsons of the SoCon prefer a small, private school for SoCon membership to replace C of C than a large state university coming across like an ex-girlfriend asking for a favor?

From my own personal tastes-

I don't like the OVC. Just a blah conference that doesn't really appeal to anyone under the age of 55. Most of the other schools are in boring college towns in the central time zone. I see better potential just staying in the A-Sun, winning the A-Sun Tournament every three years for NCAA berths, getting the Florida recruits, and, if football returns, bringing it along slowly as an independent until a real conference switch can be made. Plus, I have to think the OVC is less than receptive to the school that scorned them five years ago.

The Big South isn't a whole lot better, but there's an opportunity to revive football in it. Old rivalries with schools like VMI can be restored, new ones with Radford and UNC-A can be established.

Only problem is that it still isn't where the program was in 2003, and are you really that excited about the possibility of playing VMI again?

It's my opinion that ETSU could have joined the Big South 10 years ago, but the administration knew football would always still be on the table if they joined there and that made the A-Sun that much more desirable, as well as the fact the Florida schools were desirable as rivals with the greater emphasis that would be placed on sports such as tennis at ETSU.

CAA I'm really intrigued by. Really intrigued. ETSU gets into the CAA, and the Bucs aren't restoring themselves to past glories, they are exceeding their past glories.

I agree with everything in this post! Spot on!
01-04-2013 04:59 PM
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