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Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-18-2019 02:27 PM)Muskrat Wrote:  I really miss Laign Kennedy. Ever since he left the "vibe" surrounding the sports teams just hasn't been the same. I can't put my finger on it, but it's just not the same.

Hi Muskrat,

One of the great things about Laing Kennedy was the way he made everyone feel appreciated.

One of his former head coaches put it best when he said "Laing made everyone feel like we were fighting the good fight together," and it didn't matter that other schools had bigger budgets, nicer stadiums, and more modern arenas and facilities.

So many coaches have talked about how much they appreciated the way Kennedy would show up in the office or call after every game, whether it was to share in the celebration of a win or to build them up after a tough loss.

Win or lose, he was there for them.

Many of those same coaches also said Nielsen is an AD who is there win or win. He's in the locker room to celebrate a championship, but nowhere to be found after a tough loss. I've actually been in locker rooms when a season ended earlier than hoped and student-athletes had angrily mocked the AD shouting "where is Nielsen now."

Several head coaches he hired have told me that Nielsen didn't step foot in their offices more than three or four times each during their entire time at Kent State. Those include coaches who have been both non-renewed and left for supposedly bigger and better jobs.

The personal touch of a Laing Kennedy goes a long way in building loyalty in a staff. It's hard to instill loyalty in workers who believe or know their boss doesn't give a damn about them.
02-18-2019 09:47 PM
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burden Offline
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Post: #42
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-18-2019 09:47 PM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  
(02-18-2019 02:27 PM)Muskrat Wrote:  I really miss Laign Kennedy. Ever since he left the "vibe" surrounding the sports teams just hasn't been the same. I can't put my finger on it, but it's just not the same.

Hi Muskrat,

One of the great things about Laing Kennedy was the way he made everyone feel appreciated.

One of his former head coaches put it best when he said "Laing made everyone feel like we were fighting the good fight together," and it didn't matter that other schools had bigger budgets, nicer stadiums, and more modern arenas and facilities.

So many coaches have talked about how much they appreciated the way Kennedy would show up in the office or call after every game, whether it was to share in the celebration of a win or to build them up after a tough loss.

Win or lose, he was there for them.

Many of those same coaches also said Nielsen is an AD who is there win or win. He's in the locker room to celebrate a championship, but nowhere to be found after a tough loss. I've actually been in locker rooms when a season ended earlier than hoped and student-athletes had angrily mocked the AD shouting "where is Nielsen now."

Several head coaches he hired have told me that Nielsen didn't step foot in their offices more than three or four times each during their entire time at Kent State. Those include coaches who have been both non-renewed and left for supposedly bigger and better jobs.

The personal touch of a Laing Kennedy goes a long way in building loyalty in a staff. It's hard to instill loyalty in workers who believe or know their boss doesn't give a damn about them.

Laing really cared if the teams won or lost. He could be seen pacing the gym because he couldn’t just sit and watch. Too nervous. That was whether he was at a big time basketball game or a women’s gymnastic meet. He realized if he didn’t create successful programs, fund raising was just that much tougher. I suspect if Laing had three daughters he would have praised his daughter at Arkansas and his daughter at Kent St. in the same tweet! Nobody would have thought twice if Joel had done it that way.
02-18-2019 10:11 PM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #43
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-18-2019 05:28 PM)theoldflash Wrote:  
(02-18-2019 11:39 AM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  [quote='ksu315' pid='15913547' dateline='1550498592']
My main passions at Kent are Men Hoops, Baseball and Women's Hoops. How is JN's relationship with those coaches?

I fully acknowledge and candidly I love the fact that all 3 of those coaches would probably leave at the first chance at a larger job. I want hungry coaches looking to move up.

Dave - Have you voiced your issues with anyone in power as not sure the message board, while interesting, will get anything done?

The idea of posting to this board is only partly to shed some light on what's going on in KSU Athletics. The bigger hope is other former coaches and staff members will come forward to talk about their experiences with Nielsen. That's happening! There may be former coaches and staffers who left KSU feeling good about their experience with Nielsen, but I can't think of one.

Sadly, current staff members are afraid to speak out, and for good reason. That's why I would rather not speak for current staff members and put them in danger of retaliation.

One former member of KSU's senior staff sent me an email today with a link to an article about how employees feeling uncomfortable or scared to speak up is a clear sign of a problem with the organization's culture.

When I was at Kent State, I did quietly take my issues to people in both department and university administration. I even spoke with professors about ethical questions as I struggled with what to do.

Several coaches have taken their issues directly to President Warren, who, according to them, showed no interest.

The fact that it took the university several years to even address results of the climate study in the athletic department says quite a bit about how much Warren cares about employee satisfaction. I have nothing against President Warren, really. She has done a good PR job in winning over the student body. I think most of the staff and faculty feel like she has accomplished very little and, despite her listening tours and all of her studies, she shows very little interest in taking on some real problems at the university.
[/

David-What is the real story why Mike Morrow was "retired" as women's golf coach?

Hi theoldflash,

I've heard different stories about what happened. It's also been a long time since I heard those stories, and they were told to me by people who were not directly involved.

Maybe someone will come forward who knows more than I do. I try to be very careful to share only what I know to be true, either from witnessing an event firsthand or from what I am told by people (and usually multiple people) I trust who witnessed an event firsthand.

If I was confident I could tell you a story I knew to be true, I'd be happy to share, but I don't.
02-19-2019 08:46 AM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #44
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-18-2019 10:11 PM)burden Wrote:  
(02-18-2019 09:47 PM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  
(02-18-2019 02:27 PM)Muskrat Wrote:  I really miss Laign Kennedy. Ever since he left the "vibe" surrounding the sports teams just hasn't been the same. I can't put my finger on it, but it's just not the same.

Hi Muskrat,

One of the great things about Laing Kennedy was the way he made everyone feel appreciated.

One of his former head coaches put it best when he said "Laing made everyone feel like we were fighting the good fight together," and it didn't matter that other schools had bigger budgets, nicer stadiums, and more modern arenas and facilities.

So many coaches have talked about how much they appreciated the way Kennedy would show up in the office or call after every game, whether it was to share in the celebration of a win or to build them up after a tough loss.

Win or lose, he was there for them.

Many of those same coaches also said Nielsen is an AD who is there win or win. He's in the locker room to celebrate a championship, but nowhere to be found after a tough loss. I've actually been in locker rooms when a season ended earlier than hoped and student-athletes had angrily mocked the AD shouting "where is Nielsen now."

Several head coaches he hired have told me that Nielsen didn't step foot in their offices more than three or four times each during their entire time at Kent State. Those include coaches who have been both non-renewed and left for supposedly bigger and better jobs.

The personal touch of a Laing Kennedy goes a long way in building loyalty in a staff. It's hard to instill loyalty in workers who believe or know their boss doesn't give a damn about them.

Laing really cared if the teams won or lost. He could be seen pacing the gym because he couldn’t just sit and watch. Too nervous. That was whether he was at a big time basketball game or a women’s gymnastic meet. He realized if he didn’t create successful programs, fund raising was just that much tougher. I suspect if Laing had three daughters he would have praised his daughter at Arkansas and his daughter at Kent St. in the same tweet! Nobody would have thought twice if Joel had done it that way.

Hi Burden,

I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote. First, I think you are right on about the Arkansas tweet. I don't blame Nielsen at all for supporting his daughters. He has a responsibility, however, to a school that is paying him basically half a million dollars per year. He should take the time to learn how to appropriately use social media or don't use it at all. It's clear he put no thought into how it could be perceived if he shared ONLY Arkansas posts during a tournament in which it was battling Kent State for the top of the leaderboard. Share both! Tweet about how proud you are to have one daughter battling for a championship for Kent State and going head to head with a daughter who is director of operations for Arkansas.

Back to Laing, I also remember the way he couldn't sit still during a game or match. At Schoonover, I remember watching him stalking the right field line, disappearing behind the outfield wall between innings, and then reappearing to pace again.

Former director of athletic communications Alan Ashby wanted to put a pedometer on Laing to see how many miles he would pace during a game.

Ashby, by the way, is one of the many people who is so missed after leaving the department because of Nielsen. He is remembered at KSU as a hero for standing up to Nielsen during a staff meeting and resigning his position on the spot after Nielsen ordered him to fire a communications staffer who had asked for a schedule adjustment to make it easier for her to take care of her family while her husband was working out of town.
(This post was last modified: 02-19-2019 09:14 AM by DavidCarducci.)
02-19-2019 09:11 AM
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Lambert58 Offline
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Post: #45
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-18-2019 02:27 PM)Muskrat Wrote:  I really miss Laign Kennedy. Ever since he left the "vibe" surrounding the sports teams just hasn't been the same. I can't put my finger on it, but it's just not the same.

Kennedy was a gem, both as an AD and as a human being. He also benefitted greatly from President Cartwright’s support of the Athletic Department. They were the perfect combination for a number of years. In stark contrast, President Lefton didn’t give a hoot about the Athletic Department and told the coaches to sink or swim regarding fundraising, etc. Nielsen was the perfect tool to implement Lefton’s vision of how to operate the Department, lean and mean.
02-19-2019 07:48 PM
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Post: #46
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Laing is obviously greatly missed and that’s not just for the coaches and players but others he came in contact with. As a former player and alumni I felt appreciated in dealing with athletic department staff and the people seemed to have a genuine interest in you from the top on down and as a result I liked to give back. Once Joel took over you could just sense the morale nosedived. As a donor I never got the sense my contribution mattered, Joel seemed to only care only about wining/dining and chasing the whale than anything (how’d that work out for the donor we were naming the court after?). To me if you gave $5 I’d squeeze you for $100, if you gave $1000 I’d try to make you feel appreciated enough you’d want to write that check for $2500 and onward.
(This post was last modified: 02-19-2019 10:48 PM by Polish Hammer.)
02-19-2019 10:44 PM
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dannyb73 Offline
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Post: #47
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Maybe I am an anomaly being out of state and probably out of mind. And I am on record as having stated I like Joel. For me, it's the personal relationship I have with him that I never had with Laing. That said, I am not going to get involved in the debate of the performance of teams or the AD's accomplishments. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY was going to follow the LK tenure and look great. Kennedy was nationally recognized (literally) and was just one of a kind. Based on what I hear and read, there are most definitely things JN could do better/differently, but who can't say that?
02-20-2019 09:23 AM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #48
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-20-2019 09:23 AM)dannyb73 Wrote:  Maybe I am an anomaly being out of state and probably out of mind. And I am on record as having stated I like Joel. For me, it's the personal relationship I have with him that I never had with Laing. That said, I am not going to get involved in the debate of the performance of teams or the AD's accomplishments. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY was going to follow the LK tenure and look great. Kennedy was nationally recognized (literally) and was just one of a kind. Based on what I hear and read, there are most definitely things JN could do better/differently, but who can't say that?

Hi Danny, we are friends and I always respect your opinion, including now. I can't disagree with anything you wrote. It would have been a difficult task to follow anybody. Certainly Nielsen has had some successes in his nine years. While not awful, KSU Athletics had a few academic issues prior to Nielsen's arrival. Academics have steadily improved during his tenure and he deserves to take credit as AD.

I have also always respected the approach you take in questioning when it might be time to go in another direction with a head coach. You've always been consistent and results-oriented in your judgement. I usually am wary of coaching turnover, so I often didn't agree, which led to some good discussion. I admit that I almost always had a bias because those coaches were often good friends, and working at KSU I may have had a more rose-colored view because I could see the work going on behind the scenes.

I don't blame you for liking Joel. He can be charming when meeting donors or fans at games or other events.

If you forget the fact that you like Joel and all of the criticisms of him that I've offered, then look at his nine years from a pure value perspective, I'd be surprised if you would think KSU is getting a reasonable return on investment based on Nielsen's high salary.

From that standpoint alone I would argue that this is the perfect time to move on to leadership.

Nielsen took over a mid-major athletic department that was well above average. Even if I agreed that the department was in the same or slightly better shape nine years later (which I don't), is he worth half a million a year.

From a pure cost-benefit perspective, KSU can get at least the same value from an athletic director at a $200,000-per-year savings. Even if KSU wanted to keep its AD salary at the top of the MAC, think of the new life a talented young athletic director with some new ideas could breathe into this department.

With a new president on the horizon, he or she should be allowed to hire the AD he or she wants and not be hamstrung by Nielsen's crazy salary. I think it would be a crime for president Warren to renew his contract on her way out the door.
(This post was last modified: 02-20-2019 07:38 PM by DavidCarducci.)
02-20-2019 06:25 PM
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Post: #49
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-20-2019 06:25 PM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  
(02-20-2019 09:23 AM)dannyb73 Wrote:  Maybe I am an anomaly being out of state and probably out of mind. And I am on record as having stated I like Joel. For me, it's the personal relationship I have with him that I never had with Laing. That said, I am not going to get involved in the debate of the performance of teams or the AD's accomplishments. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY was going to follow the LK tenure and look great. Kennedy was nationally recognized (literally) and was just one of a kind. Based on what I hear and read, there are most definitely things JN could do better/differently, but who can't say that?

Hi Danny, we are friends and I always respect your opinion, including now. I can't disagree with anything you wrote. It would have been a difficult task to follow anybody. Certainly Nielsen has had some successes in his nine years. While not awful, KSU Athletics had a few academic issues prior to Nielsen's arrival. Academics have steadily improved during his tenure and he deserves to take credit as AD.

I have also always respected the approach you take in questioning when it might be time to go in another direction with a head coach. You've always been consistent and results-oriented in your judgement. I usually am wary of coaching turnover, so I often didn't agree, which led to some good discussion. I admit that I almost always had a bias because those coaches were often good friends, and working at KSU I may have had a more rose-colored view because I could see the work going on behind the scenes.

I don't blame you for liking Joel. He can be charming when meeting donors or fans at games or other events.

If you forget the fact that you like Joel and all of the criticisms of him that I've offered, then look at his nine years from a pure value perspective, I'd be surprised if you would think KSU is getting a reasonable return on investment based on Nielsen's high salary.

From that standpoint alone I would argue that this is the perfect time to move on to leadership.

Nielsen took over a mid-major athletic department that was well above average. Even if I agreed that the department was in the same or slightly better shape nine years later (which I don't), is he worth half a million a year.

From a pure cost-benefit perspective, KSU can get at least the same value from an athletic director at a $200,000-per-year savings. Even if KSU wanted to keep its AD salary at the top of the MAC, think of the new life a talented young athletic director with some new ideas could breathe into this department.

With a new president on the horizon, he should be allowed to hire the AD he wants and not be hamstrung by Nielsen's crazy salary. I think it would be a crime for president Warren to renew his contract on her way out the door.

And to your reply, I cannot disagree. Joel is paid a salary that seems to be out of line compared to other MAC AD's. KSU has a lot of needs that go unmet because we don't have the resources. Potentially areas that could be addressed with some spare change. That said, if the new president decides to renew Joel, that would be his/her prerogative, but Warren shouldn't do it.
02-20-2019 06:45 PM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #50
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-20-2019 06:45 PM)dannyb73 Wrote:  
(02-20-2019 06:25 PM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  
(02-20-2019 09:23 AM)dannyb73 Wrote:  Maybe I am an anomaly being out of state and probably out of mind. And I am on record as having stated I like Joel. For me, it's the personal relationship I have with him that I never had with Laing. That said, I am not going to get involved in the debate of the performance of teams or the AD's accomplishments. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY was going to follow the LK tenure and look great. Kennedy was nationally recognized (literally) and was just one of a kind. Based on what I hear and read, there are most definitely things JN could do better/differently, but who can't say that?

Hi Danny, we are friends and I always respect your opinion, including now. I can't disagree with anything you wrote. It would have been a difficult task to follow anybody. Certainly Nielsen has had some successes in his nine years. While not awful, KSU Athletics had a few academic issues prior to Nielsen's arrival. Academics have steadily improved during his tenure and he deserves to take credit as AD.

I have also always respected the approach you take in questioning when it might be time to go in another direction with a head coach. You've always been consistent and results-oriented in your judgement. I usually am wary of coaching turnover, so I often didn't agree, which led to some good discussion. I admit that I almost always had a bias because those coaches were often good friends, and working at KSU I may have had a more rose-colored view because I could see the work going on behind the scenes.

I don't blame you for liking Joel. He can be charming when meeting donors or fans at games or other events.

If you forget the fact that you like Joel and all of the criticisms of him that I've offered, then look at his nine years from a pure value perspective, I'd be surprised if you would think KSU is getting a reasonable return on investment based on Nielsen's high salary.

From that standpoint alone I would argue that this is the perfect time to move on to leadership.

Nielsen took over a mid-major athletic department that was well above average. Even if I agreed that the department was in the same or slightly better shape nine years later (which I don't), is he worth half a million a year.

From a pure cost-benefit perspective, KSU can get at least the same value from an athletic director at a $200,000-per-year savings. Even if KSU wanted to keep its AD salary at the top of the MAC, think of the new life a talented young athletic director with some new ideas could breathe into this department.

With a new president on the horizon, he should be allowed to hire the AD he wants and not be hamstrung by Nielsen's crazy salary. I think it would be a crime for president Warren to renew his contract on her way out the door.

And to your reply, I cannot disagree. Joel is paid a salary that seems to be out of line compared to other MAC AD's. KSU has a lot of needs that go unmet because we don't have the resources. Potentially areas that could be addressed with some spare change. That said, if the new president decides to renew Joel, that would be his/her prerogative, but Warren shouldn't do it.

Just realized I referred to the next president as a "he." Meant he or she! Sorry about that! Embarrassing.
(This post was last modified: 02-20-2019 07:41 PM by DavidCarducci.)
02-20-2019 07:39 PM
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Post: #51
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
I spoke to a VP at the University yesterday and they were fully aware of Joel rooting on Arkansas. He was not happy about the situation and said it was a bad look regardless of where his daughter worked.
03-06-2019 08:59 AM
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