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A Thoughtful Outlook
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Tribe32 Online
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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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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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billymac Offline
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Post: #31
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
While I strongly believe that we need to get our own financial house in order, before we can be suggesting what type of leagues we should be in (why would they want us...), I had to add some info to the VCU revenue discussion.

I'm not sure where the VCU attendance/ticket sales came from, but my contacts at VCU tell a much different story. They are selling out 5,900 available seats, every game. They allow for approximately 2700 student seats (they turned away 2000+ students at the last two games of the season), completing their 7600 capacity (about 3500 season tickets, 2500 game day sales). They also have 8 suites ($40, 000 - $45,00 per year, all sold out) and on the floor seating (all premium priced - usually all sold out).

Every reserved season ticket seat requires a minimum (now) $250 a year donation to the athletic fund, before you can order your season tickets (and these are the cheap seats - next to the students). The good seats require a $7,500 - $10,000 a year donation to buy your season tickets.

Each of their 15 or so home games produces a minimum of $150,000 per game (that is using the low end of the ticket price range). VCU uses a floating ticket price, with $25 being the cheapest games and $55 being the ticket cost for games vs opponents like Dayton, Richmond or a big time OOC school (like Georgia Tech or UVA).

Their minimum take on basketball ticket sales for the season is 2.25 mil, and that is a low estimate, before concessions, parking and merchandise, as well as the required annual donations to the athletic fund, and decent TV money from the A-10.

If we ever get our basketball program into high gear, we could, potentially, reach toward those levels, as well.
07-12-2017 09:15 AM
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Post: #32
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-11-2017 09:36 AM)Zorch Wrote:  
(07-11-2017 06:03 AM)HyperDuke Wrote:  
(07-10-2017 02:43 PM)Zorch Wrote:  So, bottom line, I am okay with being THE flagship program of the CAA (regardless of what JMU thinks; total conference championships mean more than the occasional football national championship).

I don't care to argue JMU vs W&M as CAA "flagship". I have plenty of respect for W&M and appreciate how unique the College is as far as having real academic standards for ALL students. I will just offer that JMU fully funds ALL sports while W&M does not, so by that measure, W&M has some catching up to do. If measuring by number of annual conference championships earned, I have no qualms bowing to the Tribe's prowess. Not trying to put words in your mouth, but the above came across to me as if we are some kind of football version of VCU with all eggs in one basket (football).

I am recalling this from memory so perhaps the numbers have changed. However, I remember reading once that JMU only has about 15 or 16 sports. W&M has 23. It is harder to fully fund 23, plus JMU's student body is 2-3 times as large as W&M's (thus, W&M loses out on that many more student athletic fees). By the way, I do not lower JMU into the same "eggs" category as VCU (ugh!). JMU has a very good Women's Basketball team and an even better Women's Softball team.

Yeah, JMU decided to cut some sports (can't remember the exact year, but think it was sometime around 2005?) & fully fund the remaining sports rather than continue sponsoring too many to fund. It was also sold as our best route to continued Title 9 compliance. I completely agree with you about the importance of a well-rounded athletic program. I just don't see it as a positive to offer more sports that aren't fully-funded. I am a major critic of our university leadership as it relates to athletics. However, I am 100% on-board with funding ALL programs fully rather than dumping resources into revenue sports at the others' expense. It rings true to our roots as a women's-only school. At this point, the only variance at JMU is the COA stipends offered only to MBB & WBB.
07-12-2017 09:16 AM
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Sitting bull Offline
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Post: #33
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-12-2017 09:15 AM)billymac Wrote:  While I strongly believe that we need to get our own financial house in order, before we can be suggesting what type of leagues we should be in (why would they want us...), I had to add some info to the VCU revenue discussion.

I'm not sure where the VCU attendance/ticket sales came from, but my contacts at VCU tell a much different story. They are selling out 5,900 available seats, every game. They allow for approximately 2700 student seats (they turned away 2000+ students at the last two games of the season), completing their 7600 capacity (about 3500 season tickets, 2500 game day sales). They also have 8 suites ($40, 000 - $45,00 per year, all sold out) and on the floor seating (all premium priced - usually all sold out).

Every reserved season ticket seat requires a minimum (now) $250 a year donation to the athletic fund, before you can order your season tickets (and these are the cheap seats - next to the students). The good seats require a $7,500 - $10,000 a year donation to buy your season tickets.

Each of their 15 or so home games produces a minimum of $150,000 per game (that is using the low end of the ticket price range). VCU uses a floating ticket price, with $25 being the cheapest games and $55 being the ticket cost for games vs opponents like Dayton, Richmond or a big time OOC school (like Georgia Tech or UVA).

Their minimum take on basketball ticket sales for the season is 2.25 mil, and that is a low estimate, before concessions, parking and merchandise, as well as the required annual donations to the athletic fund, and decent TV money from the A-10.

If we ever get our basketball program into high gear, we could, potentially, reach toward those levels, as well.

Just checking here - if they have 2,700 student tix, doesn't that leave 4,900 for sale, not 5,900?

Also, don't we have obligations for good seats as well in football - the suites, the parking, etc?

Again, I'm not arguing with the crush on VCU. For one, I am surprised at the cost the tickets, higher than I expected.

I do think though we always short change ourselves all the time with these narrow comparisons. I wouldn't want to change places with VCU on athletics.

No football = Dullsville.

Also, on the football revenue, we could get a 6th home game or second FBS game if needed.
(This post was last modified: 07-12-2017 10:08 AM by Sitting bull.)
07-12-2017 10:06 AM
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SoCal Frank Offline
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Post: #34
A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-12-2017 09:15 AM)billymac Wrote:  While I strongly believe that we need to get our own financial house in order, before we can be suggesting what type of leagues we should be in (why would they want us...), I had to add some info to the VCU revenue discussion.

I'm not sure where the VCU attendance/ticket sales came from, but my contacts at VCU tell a much different story. They are selling out 5,900 available seats, every game. They allow for approximately 2700 student seats (they turned away 2000+ students at the last two games of the season), completing their 7600 capacity (about 3500 season tickets, 2500 game day sales). They also have 8 suites ($40, 000 - $45,00 per year, all sold out) and on the floor seating (all premium priced - usually all sold out).

Every reserved season ticket seat requires a minimum (now) $250 a year donation to the athletic fund, before you can order your season tickets (and these are the cheap seats - next to the students). The good seats require a $7,500 - $10,000 a year donation to buy your season tickets.

Each of their 15 or so home games produces a minimum of $150,000 per game (that is using the low end of the ticket price range). VCU uses a floating ticket price, with $25 being the cheapest games and $55 being the ticket cost for games vs opponents like Dayton, Richmond or a big time OOC school (like Georgia Tech or UVA).

Their minimum take on basketball ticket sales for the season is 2.25 mil, and that is a low estimate, before concessions, parking and merchandise, as well as the required annual donations to the athletic fund, and decent TV money from the A-10.

If we ever get our basketball program into high gear, we could, potentially, reach toward those levels, as well.

Thanks for this. For Wm and Mary to get within smelling distance of VCU basketball would require a quantum leap. It's fascinating to imagine though. Ms Huge could make a name for herself. This truly would be something big for all you TP fans.
(This post was last modified: 07-12-2017 10:07 AM by SoCal Frank.)
07-12-2017 10:07 AM
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Zorch Offline
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Post: #35
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-12-2017 09:15 AM)billymac Wrote:  While I strongly believe that we need to get our own financial house in order, before we can be suggesting what type of leagues we should be in (why would they want us...), I had to add some info to the VCU revenue discussion.

I'm not sure where the VCU attendance/ticket sales came from, but my contacts at VCU tell a much different story. They are selling out 5,900 available seats, every game. They allow for approximately 2700 student seats (they turned away 2000+ students at the last two games of the season), completing their 7600 capacity (about 3500 season tickets, 2500 game day sales). They also have 8 suites ($40, 000 - $45,00 per year, all sold out) and on the floor seating (all premium priced - usually all sold out).

Every reserved season ticket seat requires a minimum (now) $250 a year donation to the athletic fund, before you can order your season tickets (and these are the cheap seats - next to the students). The good seats require a $7,500 - $10,000 a year donation to buy your season tickets.

Each of their 15 or so home games produces a minimum of $150,000 per game (that is using the low end of the ticket price range). VCU uses a floating ticket price, with $25 being the cheapest games and $55 being the ticket cost for games vs opponents like Dayton, Richmond or a big time OOC school (like Georgia Tech or UVA).

Their minimum take on basketball ticket sales for the season is 2.25 mil, and that is a low estimate, before concessions, parking and merchandise, as well as the required annual donations to the athletic fund, and decent TV money from the A-10.

If we ever get our basketball program into high gear, we could, potentially, reach toward those levels, as well.

Thanks for the great info!
07-12-2017 02:40 PM
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bubbadog57 Offline
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Post: #36
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
Let us not forget a very important point that we can do little about that separates the basketball programs at VCU, Richmond, and ODU...

That is they have built in major newspaper and TV coverage from local newspapers, radio and TV...
a never ending barrage of daily coverage and features that we can only dream of. We have become an afterthought at the Daily Press and invisible at the Virginian-Pilot and local tv. The DP features
UVA and Va Tech and the big tv stations zero in on ODU. WAVY-10, the number one tv station in the 757 has coaches' shows for the ODU football & basketball coaches, for heavens sake.
07-13-2017 07:06 AM
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nj alum Offline
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Post: #37
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
Do you think the change in coverage from the 1970's to the present day has anything to do with football downgraded from 1-A to FCS, and hoops being in the CAA rather than the A-10?

I know it's a chicken or the egg thing, but let's face it ... our major sports have been downgraded, and the natural consequence is loss of press coverage.
07-13-2017 09:03 AM
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Sitting bull Offline
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Post: #38
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
We seem to get good press when we are winning.

Media support comes with a better product and reader interest. These other Universities simply invested more in a better product.

All this is masking the real problem - it's internal. It's not necessarily about media coverage, or which league we are in, etc. If we put out a great product, we would get coverage. We would have interest from other leagues.

We have not and do not invest in ourselves as all the others have. That has been made very evident. And as such, we have an inferior product and less interest in the program. Simple.

It can be fixed only when people start to accept the biggest problem is ourselves and make changes from there.
07-13-2017 10:36 AM
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Post: #39
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
No, NJ, actually, it's more about today's media landscape. Newspapers are shrinking every day, trying to cover more things, with fewer people and resources. Choices have to be made on who/what to cover, based on what the media outlets think the public want to see/read and will be willing to pay for.

In our state, UVA and Tech get the across the state coverage (with ODU beginning to make some small inroads during the fall) and the localities add a couple regular local teams (for Richmond it is UR, VCU and High School sports) and every one else just fights for the leftover scraps. In Hampton Roads, we are probably on the pecking list (along with Hampton, CNU and high schools), but the DP just has a very tight budget and doesn't give the in-depth coverage of years gone by. Heck, Dave Teel is getting close to being a one man show (along with Dave Johnson). So, UVA, Tech and the ACC get the majority of the ink there, because the numbers must say that is what sells papers and we get left over basic coverage.

What would make the difference in coverage, is, probably, (and very simply put) more success. If the football team makes a run to the FCS Championship, we would be featured more. If the basketball team ever breaks through it's current limitations, it too would receive more than "stringer" coverage.

That is one reason, I feel, the adjustment of Athletic Department resources, or at least, the consideration of a readjustment by the new AD, early on in her administration, is so vitally important. A school funding the most number of sports programs possible is just, frankly, a thing of the past, a throw back to the 1960's - 1990's era, when it was prestigious to show how well rounded your program was.

Now, only P-5 schools, who have more money than they can spend and have to throw it somewhere, Ivy League schools, with endowments so big they have to throw the money somewhere, and D-III schools, who use having an Archery Team or Equestrian Team, or any of the other 25 of their teams, as a recruiting tool to get students to their institution, should even be considering having more than 20 sports programs. It's no longer economically feasible to do this and, as we can attest from our situation, a detraction from realizing certain goals for the more prominent programs, like Men's and Women's Basketball, which might be more successful in spreading the William & Mary brand.

I would like to see an overview of how we have done things for so long (the William & Mary Way) and see if an overhaul is now appropriate for the Way. Should we downsize, a bit (20 sports teams would still be a lot of teams) and refocus our somewhat limited resources into better avenues of distribution.

Hopefully, the new AD will also get good advice on how to use the current (newspaper/TV) and future media sources (internet/social media) more efficiently, to get W&M increased public awareness and news coverage.


.

(Okay, so two rants in one week. I'm done. Nothing else to say (probably said nothing of great import, anyway)... I'm gonna go see the eclipse... Peace - Out.)
04-drinky
(This post was last modified: 07-13-2017 10:41 AM by billymac.)
07-13-2017 10:40 AM
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Post: #40
RE: A Thoughtful Outlook
(07-13-2017 09:03 AM)nj alum Wrote:  Do you think the change in coverage from the 1970's to the present day has anything to do with football downgraded from 1-A to FCS, and hoops being in the CAA rather than the A-10?

I know it's a chicken or the egg thing, but let's face it ... our major sports have been downgraded, and the natural consequence is loss of press coverage.

I 100% agree that our substantially lower amount of media coverage is due to FCS v FBS. We were still I-A football when I was there and we were competitive with UVA and Tech, although it was clear even then that our program would never be one of the "big boys" -- (which was fine by me because W&M is not a football factory - there are enough of those already).

Then into the '80s and early '90s, our football program still got very good coverage in Richmond - but every year the gap in coverage between FBS and FCS grew a little wider. The Richmond Times-Dispatch used to call the Division I football programs in Virginia the "Big Five" which consisted of W&M, UVa, Tech, UR, and VMI and the paper used to keep separate standings of how these teams fared against each other. When JMU turned I-AA, they added them to the list. However, in the '90s they stopped such references and by then the Big Five had turned into the Big Two. It will remain as such indefinitely. ODU's addition to FBS has not really changed the media outlook, at least in Richmond. If JMU upgrades, then I think they will get more coverage. If they win, they will get even more coverage. Winning makes a difference at any level but even a top winning program in FCS will never get the attention that even mediocre UVa or Tech teams get.

Re basketball: I don't think it matters whether it is CAA or A-10. What seems to matter in basketball is how good the team is -- and as we all know, we went a really long time without winning and thus became an afterthought. When we win the CAA, we will get more of the coverage we deserve.
07-13-2017 10:59 AM
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