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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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Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
The two best women's golf teams in this week's field at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic are Arkansas at No. 7 in the nation, according to the current Golfstat rankings, and Kent State at No. 11.

Following today's second round, Kent State sits atop the leaderboard, five shots ahead of Arkansas.

You'd think the athletic director at Kent State would be all over social media, sharing his pride in a Golden Flashes women's golf program that has a legitimate chance at competing for a national championship... wouldn't you?

Well, you'd be wrong. If you look at Joel Nielsen's Twitter account, he's been wearing out his right thumb pressing the like button in support of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Five hours ago, he "liked" @RazorbackWGolf's tweet touting "another solid round" and "in great position to accomplish our goals!" along with #WinAsOneRazorback.

Seriously!

No tweet or like of a tweet about Kent State actually leading the Razorbacks.

In fact, during the month of February Nielsen has pressed "like" for posts about Arkansas Men's and Women's Golf teams a total of 15 times. Compare that to the number of posts he has tweeted, liked or shared about Kent State's golf programs. That total? One. That's right, just once.

No congratulations to Kent State for a brilliant even-par round that has the Flashes in the lead. No love or even a feigning of interest since liking a tweet back on Feb. 5.

Now, for some perspective, Nielsen's daughter, Kelly, is the director of operations for Arkansas' men's and women's golf teams. How could anyone blame Nielsen for supporting the programs that employ his daughter?

But, how can an athletic director support a family member's team to the relative exclusion of the coaches and student-athletes from his own school. Remember, this is an athletic director who is cashing paychecks totaling more than $450,000 per year – a salary that is $130,000 above any other athletic director in the Mid-American Conference.

Based on my quick tabulation, Nielsen has shared more about Arkansas Golf in the last week than he has about Kent State Golf since May... And that's a Golden Flashes team that has been ranked in the top 10, won two tournaments and finished second three times since May.

There are only a few options (or combinations of options) that offer any sense in explaining Nielsen's apparent show of favoritism to Arkansas over Kent State:

1. Nielsen really does favor Arkansas to Kent State, which would be inexcusable considering the ridiculous salary Kent State is paying him. Yes, support your daughter... BUT SUPPORT YOUR OWN SCHOOL, TOO!

2. Nielsen is oblivious. If he doesn't understand the optics involved in supporting another team over the one representing the school for which he works (insert salary again here)... and when those teams are playing in the same tournament and battling for the top of the leaderboard... that's a big problem. Can any school justify overpaying an AD for this kind of attention to detail?

3. Nielsen doesn't really care about anyone other than himself and his family. This is a very real possibility. Remember, this is an AD who told coaches a few years back that he doesn't care about the morale in the department and that he answers to only one person (referring to KSU's president, who later gave him a contract extension). He has also told numerous staff members "you are replaceable." The results of an embarrassing climate study are pretty telling with this option.

Nielsen's social media activity is a slap in the face to Kent State Golf. It's a slap in the face to the coaches, student athletes, alumni, donors, parents, fans and community members who have cared about these programs for so many years.

It's a slap that, for me, is more proof that the person who really is expendable in Kent State's Athletic Department is Joel Nielsen himself. And his expendability could provide a nice financial boon that would allow so many underpaid "replaceable" staff members and coaches the chance to be paid closer to a living wage.

Sorry for the rant, but it's time for Kent State to thank Nielsen for his service and begin a new era.

Dave Carducci
(This post was last modified: 02-11-2019 09:27 PM by DavidCarducci.)
02-11-2019 08:15 PM
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Proud pilot Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Would be interesting IF he traveled to this tournament on the Kent State dime?
02-11-2019 08:41 PM
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Lambert58 Offline
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
04-bow04-bow04-bow

(02-11-2019 08:15 PM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  The two best women's golf teams in this week's field at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic are Arkansas at No. 7 in the nation, according to the current Golfstat rankings, and Kent State at No. 11.

Following today's second round, Kent State sits atop the leaderboard, five shots ahead of Arkansas.

You'd think the athletic director at Kent State would be all over social media, sharing his pride in a Golden Flashes women's golf program that has a legitimate chance at competing for a national championship... wouldn't you?

Well, you'd be wrong. If you look at Joel Nielsen's Twitter account, he's been wearing out his right thumb pressing the like button in support of the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Five hours ago, he "liked" @RazorbackWGolf's tweet touting "another solid round" and "in great position to accomplish our goals!" along with #WinAsOneRazorback.

Seriously!

No tweet or like of a tweet about Kent State actually leading the Razorbacks.

In fact, during the month of February Nielsen has pressed "like" for posts about Arkansas Men's and Women's Golf teams a total of 15 times. Compare that to the number of posts he has tweeted, liked or shared about Kent State's golf programs. That total? One. That's right, just once.

No congratulations to Kent State for a brilliant even-par round that has the Flashes in the lead. No love or even a feigning of interest since liking a tweet back on Feb. 5.

Now, for some perspective, Nielsen's daughter, Kelly, is the director of operations for Arkansas' men's and women's golf teams. How could anyone blame Nielsen for supporting the programs that employ his daughter?

But, how can an athletic director support a family member's team to the relative exclusion of the coaches and student-athletes from his own school. Remember, this is an athletic director who is cashing paychecks totaling more than $450,000 per year – a salary that is $130,000 above any other athletic director in the Mid-American Conference.

Based on my quick tabulation, Nielsen has shared more about Arkansas golf in the last week than he has about Kent State since May... And that's a Golden Flashes team that has been ranked in the top 10, won two tournaments and finished second three times since May.

There are only a few options (or combinations of options) that offer any sense in explaining Nielsen's apparent show of favoritism to Arkansas over Kent State:

1. Nielsen really does favor Arkansas to Kent State, which would be inexcusable considering the ridiculous salary Kent State is paying him. Yes, support your daughter... BUT SUPPORT YOUR OWN SCHOOL, TOO!

2. Nielsen is oblivious. If he doesn't understand the optics involved in supporting another team over the one representing the school for which he works (insert salary again here)... and when those teams are playing in the same tournament and battling for the top of the leaderboard... that's a big problem. Can any school justify overpaying an AD for this kind of attention to detail?

3. Nielsen doesn't really care about anyone other than himself and his family. This is a very real possibility. Remember, this is an AD who told coaches a few years back that he doesn't care about the morale in the department and that he answers to only one person (referring to KSU's president, who can give him an extension. He has also told numerous staff members "you are replaceable." The results of an embarrassing climate study are pretty telling with this option.

Nielsen's social media activity is a slap in the face to Kent State Golf. It's a slap in the face to the coaches, student athletes, alumni, donors, parents, fans and community members who have cared about these programs for so many years.

It's a slap that, for me, is more proof that the person who really is expendable in Kent State's Athletic Department is Joel Nielsen himself. And his expendability could provide a nice financial boon that would allow so many underpaid "replaceable" staff members and coaches the chance to be paid closer to a living wage.

Sorry for the rant, but it's time for Kent State to thank Nielsen for his service and begin a new era.

Dave Carducci
02-11-2019 08:46 PM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-11-2019 08:41 PM)Proud pilot Wrote:  Would be interesting IF he traveled to this tournament on the Kent State dime?

It would be interesting, wouldn't it... I wonder if that's happened in the past! Hmmmm.
02-11-2019 08:54 PM
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bopol Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Well, Kori Nielsen is the #3 golfer on Kent's team, so you would think that would be good for twitter like.
02-11-2019 09:38 PM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-11-2019 09:38 PM)bopol Wrote:  Well, Kori Nielsen is the #3 golfer on Kent's team, so you would think that would be good for twitter like.

You would think! It's just absurd.

I had a friend alert me to it today and ask what the deal was, so I decided to take a look... and sure enough.

I think the optics are awful. I know some donors feel that way as well. Don't be surprised to hear some of those donors speak out in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

It could be that Nielsen simply doesn't care. He is almost universally disliked within the athletic department, and he knows it after reading the results of the climate study. And, like I said, coaches have shared the story of Nielsen saying he doesn't care about the morale of the department...the implication being that he cares only about the person who can keep giving him extensions that will keep him by far the highest paid athletic director in the MAC.

I admit, I have a bias. I LOVE Kent State. I have loved it since I was a little kid. And I hate to see what is happening to this athletic department and to so many people for whom I care a great deal.
(This post was last modified: 02-11-2019 10:25 PM by DavidCarducci.)
02-11-2019 09:57 PM
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Albert Flasher Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Agree, that this does not look good from a social media perspective.

Personnally, I have had only two direct encounters with JN, both at the KSU/Penn State tailgates at Happy Valley. Funny, but I told my wife at the time that JN seemed somewhat "standoffish." Both times I had to approach him to shake his hand & greet him as an alumni. Whereas, with President Warren, we had a nice two-way conversation & even took some selfies the one time she was there.

If you measure JN from an ROI (return on investment) view, KSU is certainly not getting the ROI compared to many of the other MAC schools & even other comparable institutions outside of the MAC.

Logically, it may make sense to have the incoming president have the opportunity to bring in an AD of her/his choice.
02-11-2019 10:59 PM
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Polish Hammer Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Dave, thank you for pointing this all out, just another example of why Nielsen is such a fraud it’s sickening. That he continues to be the highest paid AD with the lowest paid coaches and lowest paid programs in the MAC is an injustice. And not only would I expect him to be down at the tourney on KSUs dime, but probably took a few of his inner circle with him, also on the athletic departments dime as well.
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 12:08 AM by Polish Hammer.)
02-11-2019 11:15 PM
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Proud pilot Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Let's for conversation say logic doesn't prevail and before leaving the president renews his contract. Does the contract go before the The Board of Trustees of Kent State University for approval before it is final?
02-11-2019 11:47 PM
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cschierh Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Every major decision like that goes to the trustees. But in 30 years, I can’t remember their overturning one. If they opposed, they’d work behind the scenes to make sure it never happened.

Right now trustees are completely focused on president search.

Korey Nielsen is probably closer to 5/6 on team. She played as an individual in first tournament.

She’s very good — best golfer of the three sisters. Team is just loaded. They’ve added a second excellent player from Thailand.
02-12-2019 12:24 AM
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Albert Flasher Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
FWIW, the Golden Flashes won the Lady Puerto Rico Classic today by four strokes over the Razorbacks, along with an impressive list of other universities.

Karoline Stormo tied for medalist honors.

#GoFlashes, way to represent.
02-12-2019 12:26 PM
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bopol Offline
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
These women are some really great golfers. Winning given the quality of this field firmly establishes that this is a Top 8 Team IMO.

It's funny because the Nielsen sisters would have formed a strong core for almost every other Division 1 team (outside of the Top 25 or 50). That's how strong these Kent golf teams are.

As far as Joel goes, I basically think this thread is an indication on how toxic his personality is. Toxic personalities will eventually destroy the department, so it is probably time to move him along before we lose what we are good at.
02-12-2019 12:58 PM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-12-2019 12:58 PM)bopol Wrote:  These women are some really great golfers. Winning given the quality of this field firmly establishes that this is a Top 8 Team IMO.

It's funny because the Nielsen sisters would have formed a strong core for almost every other Division 1 team (outside of the Top 25 or 50). That's how strong these Kent golf teams are.

As far as Joel goes, I basically think this thread is an indication on how toxic his personality is. Toxic personalities will eventually destroy the department, so it is probably time to move him along before we lose what we are good at.

I couldn't agree more, bopol.
02-12-2019 01:05 PM
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burden Offline
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-12-2019 12:58 PM)bopol Wrote:  These women are some really great golfers. Winning given the quality of this field firmly establishes that this is a Top 8 Team IMO.

It's funny because the Nielsen sisters would have formed a strong core for almost every other Division 1 team (outside of the Top 25 or 50). That's how strong these Kent golf teams are.

As far as Joel goes, I basically think this thread is an indication on how toxic his personality is. Toxic personalities will eventually destroy the department, so it is probably time to move him along before we lose what we are good at.


It might be too late. He’s been here for 7 or 8 years. If he hasn’t destroyed it yet how toxic could it be. Results are down, we apparently don’t have enough money to attract recruits, I guess the GPAs have held up. But overall nobody appears to be too happy with what’s going on. I don’t understand the Academic world that well but I do understand the management world and if half of what I read here is true it has to be affecting results. I’m really surprised more head coaches don’t leave.
02-12-2019 02:54 PM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Hi Burden,

As bad as morale is at Kent State, Division I head coaching jobs are difficult to come by. I can't tell you how many people have said they hoped to outlast him.

Assistant coaches leave all the time, and for lateral moves. We are already starting to see head coaches of championship teams start to rethink whether they want to work under Nielsen.
02-12-2019 04:27 PM
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bopol Offline
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-12-2019 02:54 PM)burden Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 12:58 PM)bopol Wrote:  These women are some really great golfers. Winning given the quality of this field firmly establishes that this is a Top 8 Team IMO.

It's funny because the Nielsen sisters would have formed a strong core for almost every other Division 1 team (outside of the Top 25 or 50). That's how strong these Kent golf teams are.

As far as Joel goes, I basically think this thread is an indication on how toxic his personality is. Toxic personalities will eventually destroy the department, so it is probably time to move him along before we lose what we are good at.


It might be too late. He’s been here for 7 or 8 years. If he hasn’t destroyed it yet how toxic could it be. Results are down, we apparently don’t have enough money to attract recruits, I guess the GPAs have held up. But overall nobody appears to be too happy with what’s going on. I don’t understand the Academic world that well but I do understand the management world and if half of what I read here is true it has to be affecting results. I’m really surprised more head coaches don’t leave.

Maybe it is. Personally, I've worked in a fair share of toxic environments with toxic personalities in leadership roles. In one case, I was laid off (fired with a nice severance package, really). I didn't like that I lost control of my life. In another, I outlasted the toxic personality and things were better for a while before another toxic personality came along and now I am wondering if it was worth outlasting the first.

The end result for me personally is I become disengaged at work and my performance suffers because I end up just wanting to avoid getting yelled at for something that wasn't my fault (like the movie Office Space). In general, that's what I see declines in the performance of others as well; the overall performance goes down.

Which, in my opinion, is why it is usually easier to fire the leader than let that person destroy what has been built up because usually, the toxic personality does not attract good workers to replace the ones that were lost. Now, I don't know if Joel Nielsen is that toxic or not and don't wish to besmirch a man I have never meant, but it does seem like there are serious issues in the AD of Kent. I think all of us want to see Kent be successful, so it is disturbing to see this.
02-12-2019 08:46 PM
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Here’s my question:

Crowds for every sport are way down. Especially men’s basketball. Football has been an abysmal product so that’s a tough one. Now, are the depleted crowds the result of society in general (even Top-25 Buffalo can’t get more than 4500 per home gate) or is it the result of a dramatically underfunded marketing department?
02-12-2019 10:37 PM
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-12-2019 10:37 PM)JimJoyce Wrote:  Here’s my question:

Crowds for every sport are way down. Especially men’s basketball. Football has been an abysmal product so that’s a tough one. Now, are the depleted crowds the result of society in general (even Top-25 Buffalo can’t get more than 4500 per home gate) or is it the result of a dramatically underfunded marketing department?

Watched CMU at UB the other day on ESPN. It was SRO and that was confirmed by the camera shots. Announcers said more than 6200 for Alumni Center record. UB is drawing well.
02-12-2019 11:38 PM
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
Even granting that’s true (I don’t know), UB is averaging 4800 per home game, which is second in the league, 300 fans per game behind OU. Kent is sixth at 2200 per home game. Buffalo is a major professional sports market. To me, 4800 is disappointing. But 2200 for KSU with a record of 17-6 is laughable. And I’m just wondering if there’s any correlation to some of the “heat” some have with our AD.
02-12-2019 11:54 PM
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RE: Joel Nielsen rooting for Arkansas over Kent State in women's golf?
(02-12-2019 10:37 PM)JimJoyce Wrote:  Here’s my question:

Crowds for every sport are way down. Especially men’s basketball. Football has been an abysmal product so that’s a tough one. Now, are the depleted crowds the result of society in general (even Top-25 Buffalo can’t get more than 4500 per home gate) or is it the result of a dramatically underfunded marketing department?

In my completely unscientific analysis (aka, my opinion), there are many factors at play leading to low attendance:

1) Underwhelming marketing to neighboring communities. Between Stow, CFalls and Hudson you have 100,000 people alone. What kind of presence do we have in these cities? Next to none.

2) Apathetic/unengaged students. This has been the case since I was an undergrad. Even in the 01-02 season I'd try to get people from the dorm to go and many acted like they didn't even know we had a team.

3) Ignorance of local media. The CrAkron game always gets a minute but when's the last time local news gave more than a score from any other conference game?

Do these problems exist because of lack of funding? Lack of manpower? Wrong personnel? D, all of the above?

There are probably many, many more that others can contribute to this list, so have at it.
02-13-2019 07:42 AM
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