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GFlash68 Offline
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Post: #21
RE: #GivingTuesday
(11-19-2018 08:38 PM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  
(11-12-2018 09:33 AM)KSU93 Wrote:  I am setting up a fund to help with moving costs for Nielson.

That fund might do well... and you'd probably raise most of the money from inside the department :)

Dave, what are you doing now? I am one of the many that miss you.
11-20-2018 12:12 AM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #22
RE: #GivingTuesday
[/quote]

Well that's not a ringing endorsement from someone who has meant so much to KSU athletics lol
[/quote]

Haha. Well, It's no secret that morale in the athletic department is low. Calling it low would actually be kind. And while Joel was always relatively nice to me, there are so many people I care about who he has not treated well. I'll always be disappointed in myself for not trying to do more about that. There are many people in the department now who would love to speak out, but they are afraid to lose their jobs or to have their careers in athletics cut down in their prime. I chose to grow angry and resentful, and like so many others, I had to make the choice to leave.

With a new president taking over next year, it would be a good time to make a change at athletic director.

It’s impossible to justify continuing to pay the current AD’s salary salary when the athletic department looks just about exactly the way it did nine years ago when Joel was hired. The records of all four "priority" sports (football, men's basketball, women's basketball and volleyball) are worse in nine years under Joel's watch than in the last nine years of Laing Kennedy's tenure as athletic director. And that's including football’s magical 2012 season! Most KSU sports fall under the steadfast "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and "treading water" categories. The only sports to show significant improvement under Nielsen are women’s soccer and women’s indoor track and field. Fundraising is also still a big problem. Attendance continues to fall. There's little interest or excitement prior to big games. Remember how vibrant this message board used to be?

The biggest difference between now and when Kennedy was AD is people who worked in the athletic department nine years ago were actually happy. They were valued. They never had their morale shredded by a mantra like “you are all expendable.”

Back then, if a women on staff suffered from sexual harassment, she would never be told she should leave if she is not happy, or she is just going to have to learn to work with "him" after HR upheld a sexual harassment complaint.

Back then, if a senior woman administrator stood up for those who were being mistreated, they wouldn't suffer "death by a thousand cuts," having responsibilities and titles taken away before finally being told she could have her position eliminated or save face by tendering her resignation under pressure.

Back then, women who did their job the right way would never be shunned or ignored. If I had a daughter, I would do everything I could to discourage her from taking a job in this Kent State athletic department. That's a painful thing to say about a place I love so much.

But it's not just the women on staff who are suffering.

KSU fans should read the recent university "climate study." It's pretty shocking. The opening sentence to the Athletics Executive Summary is "The climate study results for staff in Athletics show a consistent pattern of statistically significant lower outcomes across all of the question areas, often the lowest scores of any of the 11 divisions." It goes on to say that "staff in Athletics are also significantly more likely to experience exclusionary behavior and unwanted sexual contact than staff elsewhere on campus." Exclusionary behavior is later defined as being bullied, harassed, shunned and ignored in a way that "has interfered with [their] ability to work or learn at Kent State."

It's hard to win when morale is low and you believe the AD shows little interest or support. I always ask the question, if you plant a tree and hope for it to grow, would you insert a poison in the ground right next to it?

Now consider the mediocrity and the morale against this list:

Salaries of Mid-American Conference Athletic Directors in 2017-18

Joel Nielsen $436,560
Sean Frazier (NIU) $299,000
William Lawrence (Akron) $285,000
Jim Schaus (Ohio) $281,000
Michael Alford (CMU) $275,000
Robert Moosbrugger (BGSU) $275,000
David Sayler (Miami) $272,360
Scott Wetherbee (EMU) $269,000
Kathy Beauregard (WMU) $262,650
Mark Alnutt (Buffalo) $260,000
Mike O’Brien (Toledo) $254,898
Mark Sandy (Ball State) $249,000

Remember, it was Joel who chose not to renew the contracts of hugely successful coaches like Bob Lindsay and Mike Morrow. Does he deserve better than Lindsay or Morrow, who gave so much to Kent State only to be unceremoniously let go?

Unfortunately, I heard tonight there are rumors Joel could receive a new three-year extension from president Warren before she retires at the end of the year. I don't know if the rumor is true. It's difficult to believe Warren would hang that giant salary over a university and its athletic department that is suffering from so many financial problems.

But then, one of Kent State's head coaches told me just a few months ago about approaching Joel to talk about the department's low morale. Joel's response according to the coach: "I don't care about morale. I answer to one person." The implication was the one person was president Warren.

Maybe ignoring the needs of the department and its staff to curry favor with the president worked? I admit bias when I say I hope the rumors are not true. Joel himself once said in a senior staff meeting I attended that ADs and presidents of universities have a shelf life. I can’t remember what he said that shelf life was, but it was far less than nine years.

If Joel sees this, I'm sure he'll be angry. But he should know that loyalty is earned. And when he asks himself who is truly loyal to him in Kent State's athletic department, he should remember that most "loyal" subjects are really just afraid to tell the emperor he has no clothes.

What's the old saying? A leader without followers is just a guy out for a walk.
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2018 12:02 PM by DavidCarducci.)
11-20-2018 12:22 AM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #23
RE: #GivingTuesday
(11-20-2018 12:12 AM)GFlash68 Wrote:  
(11-19-2018 08:38 PM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  
(11-12-2018 09:33 AM)KSU93 Wrote:  I am setting up a fund to help with moving costs for Nielson.

That fund might do well... and you'd probably raise most of the money from inside the department :)

Dave, what are you doing now? I am one of the many that miss you.


Hi GFlash68,
Thanks! I work for a law firm in downtown Cleveland. My master's degree is in PR, and I was fortunate to find a great job where my work is appreciated.
I considered Kent State a dream job when I took the position. I thought I would never leave. But, like so many others, it became difficult for me to justify staying. I don't mind working long hours for little pay if I love the work and I'm appreciated.
I miss the people at Kent State and the days when KSU Athletics was a great place to work.
The way in which Joel chose to fire Janet Kittell was the last straw for me, and I haven't been back for a game. I think I've been to at least one Kent State game every year since the mid 1970s. I still support and cheer for all of my friends who are coaching and working so hard for the student-athletes, but I can't bring myself to go until there is a change in leadership.
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2018 12:42 AM by DavidCarducci.)
11-20-2018 12:33 AM
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Proud pilot Offline
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Post: #24
RE: #GivingTuesday
How can they justify his salary being so much higher then the salaries of other conference AD?
One would think that this rude behavior might be a reason why we have trouble with fund raising.If President Warren would sign off on a new contract that would be very unprofessional. The new president should have the right to retain or select their AD.
11-20-2018 12:47 AM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #25
RE: #GivingTuesday
(11-20-2018 12:47 AM)Proud pilot Wrote:  How can they justify his salary being so much higher then the salaries of other conference AD?
One would think that this rude behavior might be a reason why we have trouble with fund raising.If President Warren would sign off on a new contract that would be very unprofessional. The new president should have the right to retain or select their AD.

I agree with you Proud pilot.

The reason for Joel’s salary is former KSU president Lefton.
He hired Joel, and when he retired he gave Joel an enormous contract as a parting gift.

Speculation around Kent State is that if president Warren gives Joel an extension it will be a “thank you gift” for introducing her to Kent State alums who are in the C-suite at FedEx. That led to the major gift to renovate the Kent State Airport.

Imagine the support staff in marketing or other key areas that could be hired if Joel’s salary was $200,000 per year less.

Those are the positions that make a real difference at the mid-major level. But Kent State can’t afford them because of the top-heavy salary at the, errr, top.

If you, me, other fans, alumni, students, faculty, staff, administrators, members of the community, or anyone who cares about Kent State decides to sit back and allow the university to extend the contract at anything close to the current salary, well, we all deserve what we get.
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2018 08:06 AM by DavidCarducci.)
11-20-2018 01:09 AM
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burden Offline
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Post: #26
RE: #GivingTuesday
Interesting.
11-20-2018 09:01 AM
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thanksjim Offline
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Post: #27
RE: #GivingTuesday
(11-20-2018 01:09 AM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  If you, me, other fans, alumni, students, faculty, staff, administrators, members of the community, or anyone who cares about Kent State decides to sit back and allow the university to extend the contract at anything close to the current salary, well, we all deserve what we get.

Consider me involved. David, What can I/we do to not support Joel Nielsen? Start a #FireJoel campaign lol
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2018 09:31 AM by thanksjim.)
11-20-2018 09:19 AM
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thanksjim Offline
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Post: #28
RE: #GivingTuesday
(11-19-2018 10:06 PM)burden Wrote:  Some of the recent decisions worry me. Spending 1,500,000 (that’s what I heard, correct me if someone knows better) on a scoreboard seems like money poorly spent.

It's a reason why I have a hard time giving to KSU sports. Money doesn't seem to be properly managed. I want someone to be a good steward of the donations everyone gives. Not seeing that right now.
11-20-2018 09:21 AM
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thanksjim Offline
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Post: #29
RE: #GivingTuesday
I really like the direction of the football team, I would hate to think that the administration side of things could stifle their growth.
11-20-2018 09:24 AM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #30
RE: #GivingTuesday
(11-20-2018 09:19 AM)thanksjim Wrote:  
(11-20-2018 01:09 AM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  If you, me, other fans, alumni, students, faculty, staff, administrators, members of the community, or anyone who cares about Kent State decides to sit back and allow the university to extend the contract at anything close to the current salary, well, we all deserve what we get.

Consider me involved. David, What can I/we do to not support Joel Nielsen? Start a #FireJoel campaign lol

Hi thanksjim,

There may be some things coming out in the media that will shed some more light on the problems in the department. Maybe that will lead to more motivation and ideas. I know donors are coming forward and going on record with reporters about why they are no longer willing to give. More and more former employees and coaches have also been willing to go on record and tell their stories, so I guess we'll see where that goes.

I have an admitted bias. How coaches and staff are treated may be important only to people like me based on relationships. I care about the people who work in the M.A.C. Center. Everyone should judge for themselves if Kent State has been getting its money's worth over the last nine years. I think it would be hard for anyone to argue the athletic department has made any significant strides during that time. Meanwhile, the athletic director is being paid significantly more than market value when compared to other MAC ADs. Biased or not, to me that doesn't make sense.

When so many people within that department are working long hours at barely a living wage, the top-heavy salary claimed by the AD is better spent elsewhere.

Joel's motto for years when people have asked to be paid just a little closer to their value has been "you are replaceable."

Joel should then take no offense to the suggestion that he is also replaceable. And at a much lower salary point!

Renewing Joel at his current salary would be a slap in the face to every staff member, coach and assistant who is so dramatically underpaid for the hard work they provide to the university and its student-athletes.
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2018 11:39 AM by DavidCarducci.)
11-20-2018 11:28 AM
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BuckeyeFlyerFlash Offline
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Post: #31
RE: #GivingTuesday
Observation: sat next to former Assoc AD Matt Geis and his wife at mens bball game last year ( very nice/affiable/ alum who spent whole career at KSU.) Observed the number of people in chairback seats who all approached/chatted with Matt. Players families came over and chatted with Matt. Joel just standing by himself near walkway- only person I saw him speak to was President +her friend...did not engage with season ticket/alum base etc....Matt Geis now at D3 Case Western-not as AD!!- must have really wanted to get out from under Joel... just sayin...when is the #FireJoel campaign kicking off??
11-20-2018 01:31 PM
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burden Offline
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Post: #32
RE: #GivingTuesday
I was just thinking that Dr. Kamensense had this all pegged 4 or so years ago. No one apparently listened.
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2018 02:07 PM by burden.)
11-20-2018 02:07 PM
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Kentastic Offline
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Post: #33
RE: #GivingTuesday
(11-20-2018 01:31 PM)BuckeyeFlyerFlash Wrote:  Observation: sat next to former Assoc AD Matt Geis and his wife at mens bball game last year ( very nice/affiable/ alum who spent whole career at KSU.) Observed the number of people in chairback seats who all approached/chatted with Matt. Players families came over and chatted with Matt. Joel just standing by himself near walkway- only person I saw him speak to was President +her friend...did not engage with season ticket/alum base etc....Matt Geis now at D3 Case Western-not as AD!!- must have really wanted to get out from under Joel... just sayin...when is the #FireJoel campaign kicking off??

Matt Geis and a ton of other staff members (like Dave) I have noticed left. Wondering if anyone knows the total number of staff/coaches that have left since Joel took over? Has to be high. Seems like people have really fled the department since the day he took over, especially in the marketing, ticketing, athletic communications and advancement offices. You expect assistant coaches to come and go, but support staff? I swear it was never that high when Laing Kennedy ran the show.
11-20-2018 02:50 PM
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Post: #34
RE: #GivingTuesday
Not that I have any first hand experience in the world of college athletics however have seen in business world all too often. The person going out the door takes care of their buddy before leaving. Encouraged that individuals are stepping up based on their concern for Kent State and being proactive.
Thank you !
11-20-2018 03:07 PM
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GFlash68 Offline
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Post: #35
RE: #GivingTuesday #FireJoel
Hope this thread is waking some people, finally. As a 45 year season ticket holder and probably as many years as a contributor, I can say that loyalty is barely acknowledged by this staff. Let me add that I am not really looking for anything, nor is it required for my loyalty. But, there were past regimes that were well known to the contributors and some ADs even knew how to ask for something additional when it was needed. We used to have a working Blue Gold Club, with members having drives and social events that raised money and recruited new members, just like the big boys do. I do not see any of this today. BTW, I will repeat, the new seating concept that splits students and sends some to the upper level is just plain dumb and not well received. Whose idea was that? A dozen bar tables at the end zone of a BB court is not an asset to a real BB fan.
11-20-2018 04:00 PM
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Post: #36
RE: #GivingTuesday #FireJoel
(11-20-2018 04:00 PM)GFlash68 Wrote:  Hope this thread is waking some people, finally. As a 45 year season ticket holder and probably as many years as a contributor, I can say that loyalty is barely acknowledged by this staff. Let me add that I am not really looking for anything, nor is it required for my loyalty. But, there were past regimes that were well known to the contributors and some ADs even knew how to ask for something additional when it was needed. We used to have a working Blue Gold Club, with members having drives and social events that raised money and recruited new members, just like the big boys do. I do not see any of this today. BTW, I will repeat, the new seating concept that splits students and sends some to the upper level is just plain dumb and not well received. Whose idea was that? A dozen bar tables at the end zone of a BB court is not an asset to a real BB fan.

That would probably be Joel's right-hand man, the 28-year-old deputy athletic director, Casey Cegles. https://kentstatesports.com/staff.aspx?staff=203. He oversees the department's external operations. He sure has a lot of experience in that department and I'm sure brings a LOT to the table. LOL. The "kid" makes over $105k a year for decisions like that? Laughable.
11-20-2018 04:18 PM
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GFlash68 Offline
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Post: #37
RE: #GivingTuesday #FireJoel
(11-20-2018 04:18 PM)Kentastic Wrote:  
(11-20-2018 04:00 PM)GFlash68 Wrote:  Hope this thread is waking some people, finally. As a 45 year season ticket holder and probably as many years as a contributor, I can say that loyalty is barely acknowledged by this staff. Let me add that I am not really looking for anything, nor is it required for my loyalty. But, there were past regimes that were well known to the contributors and some ADs even knew how to ask for something additional when it was needed. We used to have a working Blue Gold Club, with members having drives and social events that raised money and recruited new members, just like the big boys do. I do not see any of this today. BTW, I will repeat, the new seating concept that splits students and sends some to the upper level is just plain dumb and not well received. Whose idea was that? A dozen bar tables at the end zone of a BB court is not an asset to a real BB fan.

That would probably be Joel's right-hand man, the 28-year-old deputy athletic director, Casey Cegles. https://kentstatesports.com/staff.aspx?staff=203. He oversees the department's external operations. He sure has a lot of experience in that department and I'm sure brings a LOT to the table. LOL. The "kid" makes over $105k a year for decisions like that? Laughable.

You have to be kidding.
11-20-2018 05:36 PM
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Post: #38
RE: #GivingTuesday #FireJoel
(11-20-2018 09:19 AM)thanksjim Wrote:  
(11-20-2018 01:09 AM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  If you, me, other fans, alumni, students, faculty, staff, administrators, members of the community, or anyone who cares about Kent State decides to sit back and allow the university to extend the contract at anything close to the current salary, well, we all deserve what we get.

Consider me involved. David, What can I/we do to not support Joel Nielsen? Start a #FireJoel campaign lol

While probably ineffective, it would be pretty funny if he got Roger Godell treatment every time he was announced for giving out some award at basketball games.
11-20-2018 06:02 PM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #39
RE: #GivingTuesday #FireJoel
That would probably be Joel's right-hand man, the 28-year-old deputy athletic director, Casey Cegles. https://kentstatesports.com/staff.aspx?staff=203. He oversees the department's external operations. He sure has a lot of experience in that department and I'm sure brings a LOT to the table. LOL. The "kid" makes over $105k a year for decisions like that? Laughable.
[/quote]

Hi Kentastic,

I understand your feelings, but I also wouldn't blame Casey for Kent State's problems. I know Casey to be a genuinely good person who cares about doing a good job. And, more importantly, he cares about the people who work under him. He has a bright future ahead of him in college athletics, and he may one day benefit from what he has learned in an impossible situation.

Kent State Athletics has become a place that has to sell itself as a proving ground for young talent. Unfortunately, KSU doesn't nurture that young talent. Training is practically nonexistent. Young administrators, staff and even coaches are not mentored but thrown into the deep end and left to assume they need to figure out how to swim on their own. When they realize sinking is inevitable, and because "everyone is replaceable" they can't count on someone saving them from drowning, they move on. Too often, they are so discouraged that they leave the business entirely.

Lots of fans were critical of Danni O'Banion, but I'll never forget when she told me before she left town that Joel was in her office no more than three times during her three years as head women's basketball coach. Here's a young woman in her first head coaching job, and she found zero support from her AD. In contrast, I remember when Jim Christian telling me about painful losses as a young coach and what it meant to him to have Laing Kennedy show up in his office after every game just to listen. To answer a question from another post, that's why there was far less turnover under Kennedy.

I can't tell you how many players and head coaches have told me how they know they will only see Joel stop by the locker room after a big win. There is a lot of bitterness about that. People need leaders the most to help them find their way through the difficult times. It's easy for a leader to show up when all is well.

Anyway, you mentioned Casey. Whether people agree with all of his ideas or not, I know him as someone who does his best to claw out a win any way he can in a difficult job.
(This post was last modified: 11-20-2018 06:08 PM by DavidCarducci.)
11-20-2018 06:02 PM
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Post: #40
RE: #GivingTuesday #FireJoel
I have a fundraising idea. We'll make "Let Jaylin Play His Music" t-shirts. We will make dozens of dollars just off sales on this site alone!

Jokes aside, we shouldn't forget that a fourth year senior star was upset with Joel, blasted him on Twitter that basically amounted to "he won't let us play music. Can't wait to get out of here." His twitter account is now deactivated and he has a mysterious ongoing suspension while having nothing in the portage county court records. Maybe it's unrelated but it doesn't feel like it... And come on Singletary got what 2 games for a DUI and 1 for punching a dude?

Not saying whatever slights got Jaylin mad are comparable to sexual harrasment, but it does show a rift between the AD and the athletes.
11-20-2018 06:23 PM
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