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Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
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GFlash68 Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
On a more positive note, did anyone notice that our band was vastly superior to Kennesaw's.
09-09-2019 01:30 PM
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Sultan of Euphonistan Offline
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Post: #62
RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-09-2019 01:30 PM)GFlash68 Wrote:  On a more positive note, did anyone notice that our band was vastly superior to Kennesaw's.

That is the best thing I have heard all week!
09-09-2019 03:52 PM
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anti-zip Offline
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Post: #63
RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-08-2019 10:17 PM)GFlash68 Wrote:  
(09-08-2019 07:19 PM)anti-zip Wrote:  One other comment on Barrett vs. Crum. This is 100% speculation on my part but I wonder if Carrigian being out is playing a factor. Barrett seems like the better passer while Crum seems like the better runner. I wonder if being down one of our top receivers makes the coaches feel the better running option gives us the best chance to win.

Could be that Crum just beat Barrett out. Crum has looked good in practice, and he answered the bell at Ariz. St. when it looked like Barrett was not ready. A sure way for a coach to lose a team is to not honor who plays better and practices better. I do not know this, but it is obvious that coach has made some decisions. The players know who should be playing.

You might be right, but after one quarter? If he beat him out he should've been starting game one. It seems absurd to think you could find out something about a QB battle 2 years in the making in one week that you couldn't find out in camp. Having that quick of a hook is a good way to keep your players looking over their shoulder and not settling into roles.
09-09-2019 05:02 PM
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goldenflash13 Offline
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Post: #64
RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
On the Field Hockey/pregame fireworks subject, it's hard not to wonder why this was a conflict in the first place. Kent only has 4 home Saturday games. Avoid scheduling field hockey at Dix Stadium those dates, especially if you have a noon start for football. I'm sure wrestling, basketball, and gymnastics have to schedule around each other in the MACC. Doesn't look good to end the field hockey game early.

Glad football pulled out a W this week though.
(This post was last modified: 09-09-2019 05:59 PM by goldenflash13.)
09-09-2019 05:58 PM
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GFlash68 Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-09-2019 05:58 PM)goldenflash13 Wrote:  On the Field Hockey/pregame fireworks subject, it's hard not to wonder why this was a conflict in the first place. Kent only has 4 home Saturday games. Avoid scheduling field hockey at Dix Stadium those dates, especially if you have a noon start for football. I'm sure wrestling, basketball, and gymnastics have to schedule around each other in the MACC. Doesn't look good to end the field hockey game early.

Glad football pulled out a W this week though.

It is my impression that FB and FH were not played on the same field. FH was being played in the fire works staging area. If this is true, FH was not stopped for FB, but was stopped for the fire works pre game. There really did not have to be the conflict between FH and FB. Sacrifice the boom booms only. Am I missing something here?
09-09-2019 09:44 PM
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JimJoyce Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-09-2019 09:44 PM)GFlash68 Wrote:  Am I missing something here?

Just the truth. Joel took the high road and issued an apology today just to appease the faceless mob. But the facts are, Maine and Temple - two GUESTS in our facility - were told well BEFORE the start of their game they had a 10:30 AM deadline. They were also told the reasons for the deadline. They were encouraged to start an hour earlier (they declined) and they were offered the chance to play later (Temple declined due to travel).

The two teams rolled the dice assuming someone would score and a multiple overtime marathon wouldn’t happen.

The dice came up snake eyes and one overreacting coach’s tweet went national and KSU was convicted before the defense team was even seated in the court room.
09-09-2019 11:24 PM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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Post: #67
RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-09-2019 11:24 PM)JimJoyce Wrote:  
(09-09-2019 09:44 PM)GFlash68 Wrote:  Am I missing something here?

Just the truth. Joel took the high road and issued an apology today just to appease the faceless mob. But the facts are, Maine and Temple - two GUESTS in our facility - were told well BEFORE the start of their game they had a 10:30 AM deadline. They were also told the reasons for the deadline. They were encouraged to start an hour earlier (they declined) and they were offered the chance to play later (Temple declined due to travel).

The two teams rolled the dice assuming someone would score and a multiple overtime marathon wouldn’t happen.

The dice came up snake eyes and one overreacting coach’s tweet went national and KSU was convicted before the defense team was even seated in the court room.

Jim,

I agree with you on several points. One is that Kent State was convicted before the defense team was even seated in the court room.

And that's the problem. That is why an athletic director like Nielsen is dangerous to a university. It's also why he has been disastrous for Kent State Football.

Nielsen's inability to recognize or handle the public relations crisis every step of the way is what gave Kent State this black eye.

First, he failed in his job as an administrator through careless scheduling. He approved the schedule. Questions of a potential conflict were raised months ago by a staff member during a planning meeting, and the question was ignored. Contracts were signed without the hard stop in place. It's not appropriate to inform teams traveling many miles for games of a potential problem via email and to then try to offer time changes on the day of the game. That's poor management.

Also, the neutral site game was not scheduled out of the kindness of KSU's heart, as some have claimed. KSU uses the offer of the extra game in an attempt to convince good teams to make the trip to Kent. It's part of their scheduling strategy.

More importantly, Nielsen and his staff completely bungled the public relations crisis in real time. In reality, to use your example, the jury was seated, reading its social media, feeding its outrage, and the jury kept growing without KSU's attorney even entering the courtroom.

As someone who has a master's degree in public relations from Kent State, that is inexcusable. It's one thing to not recognize the potential for a crisis, but to fail to even attempt to take control the narrative for 50 hours before issuing a press release is pathetic. It is a failure to manage the trust he has been given as athletic director. Everything Nielsen and his staff did, or failed to do, is the basis for writing a handbook on how not to handle a public relations crisis.

It wasn't until the communications professionals in Kent State's University Communications and Marketing department took over on Monday morning that some real problem solving began. But by then it was too late.

Again, this kind of mismanagement is why an athletic director like Nielsen is dangerous to a university.

In this case, the mismanagement has given KSU a black eye that was unnecessary.

It isn't the first black eye KSU has received due to Nielsen, and it won't be the last.

Sadly, Kent State Football's 39-68 record (that's a .362 winning percentage) in Nielsen's nine-plus years is one of those black eyes. Instead of giving good coaches the tools they need to succeed, he solves problems with a lipstick-on-a-pig solution like fireworks. Or, maybe that should be mascara on the black eye of a pig.

Pretty much anyone who has worked under Nielsen will tell you in private what kind of a person he is and how ineffective and unsupportive he is as an athletic director. But forget about all of that. Look only at his record as he approaches a decade at KSU. That alone is reason to at least consider that KSU Athletics needs new leadership.

Is 39-68 really okay? Is that what we will accept for Kent State Football. Don't forget, that record includes a 10-win season with a team built behind four future NFL players and a roster that was mostly in place before Nielsen's arrival in Kent. That's pretty sad.
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2019 08:44 AM by DavidCarducci.)
09-10-2019 08:39 AM
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JimJoyce Offline
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Post: #68
RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
Dave - there is one thing I will admit I don’t understand. Years ago, Kent had an assistant AD who handled athletic communications and was basically the spokesperson for the athletic department. Alan Ashby maybe? Or maybe Jeff something. Anyway, it seemed like they served as the mouthpiece for anything KSU Sports - whether it was good, bad or horrific. Nowadays it feels like the message is coming from Eric Mansfield, this UCM staff (which I didn’t even know was a thing) or no one at all. That’s perplexing to me. I thought having one centralized message from one department spokesperson was highly effective.
09-10-2019 09:07 AM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-10-2019 09:07 AM)JimJoyce Wrote:  Dave - there is one thing I will admit I don’t understand. Years ago, Kent had an assistant AD who handled athletic communications and was basically the spokesperson for the athletic department. Alan Ashby maybe? Or maybe Jeff something. Anyway, it seemed like they served as the mouthpiece for anything KSU Sports - whether it was good, bad or horrific. Nowadays it feels like the message is coming from Eric Mansfield, this UCM staff (which I didn’t even know was a thing) or no one at all. That’s perplexing to me. I thought having one centralized message from one department spokesperson was highly effective.

I couldn't agree with you more, Jim.

Both people you mention, Eric Mansfield and Alan Ashby, are fantastic PR and communications professionals and even better people. Unfortunately, in cases like this Eric is forced to come in to try to clean up a mess that is already out of control. I feel for him.

If you read his Twitter, Alan is one of the people who was highly critical of Joel and how Kent State handled the situation. Several former KSU directors of athletics communication were publicly critical on Saturday in part because they understand how impossible Nielsen makes it to due their jobs.

I remember back in my days as a reporter, I would make a phone call to Alan during one looming PR crisis after another, and he wouldn't know about it because Joel hadn't consulted him. This is why so many great people leave Kent State. Well, part of it is that they are embarrassingly underpaid and they aren't provided with the tools they need to do a good job, but the bigger reason is that they aren't valued.

Ashby is a bit of a legend at Kent State because he is one of the few people who had the guts to stand up to Joel. During a senior staff meeting, Alan mentioned that he had moved around the schedules for some of the athletic communications staff because one female member had asked for some coverage to be able to stay home with her children while her husband was out of town. Under Ashby, everyone in the communications department cared about each other and covered for each other whenever they could. There was no problem, but instead of accepting the decision made by his director of communications, Joel ordered Alan to fire the staff member.

It was the final straw for Alan, who told Joel he was fed up and quit on the spot.

Several good people have held the position since Alan, all have left after a very short time on the job. With only one exception, they left because of Joel. It's the No. 1 reason why people leave Kent State Athletics – whether its staff, assistant coaches or head coaches. Yes, it's nice to get more money. But it's more important to get out of a toxic situation.

The reputation has caught up with Joel. It's hard to get experienced people capable of handling the job of being a true spokesman for athletics because people in that fraternity talk.

It's why Kent State never gets its first choice in any coaching hire. People talk.

The director of communications is a rotating door. And now it isn't worth taking even for the money. When the last director of communications was promoted to this difficult job, he was given a raise from $40k per year to $44k per year, which is insulting. He left less than a year later. The job used to pay over $50k. The director who was hired less than a week before the first football game was paid even less than $44k. I don't know him, but I feel for him. I wouldn't wish the job on my worst enemy... Or even on Joel :)
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2019 10:06 AM by DavidCarducci.)
09-10-2019 09:50 AM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
By the way, speaking of how dramatically underpaid staff and underfunded teams like football are at Kent State, consider Nielsen's nearly half-a-million-dollar salary.

If he were to step down or be bought out, and KSU paid its next AD just $1 more than the next highest paid athletic director in the Mid-American Conference, just think about what football or other sports at KSU could do with the almost $150,000 KSU would save.

There is no ROI on the nearly $450k Nielsen is paid. For that kind of money, KSU deserves an AD that would have known how to handle the current PR nightmare or, better yet, avoid it by seeing it coming the way one of his staff members who is paid less than $40k recognized it months earlier.

Like Alan, like me, and like so many others who have worked for Joel, that staff member's simple question was ignored. And like so many times before, KSU suffered a black eye it could have easily avoided.
09-10-2019 10:15 AM
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OLNWFLSH Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-10-2019 10:15 AM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  By the way, speaking of how dramatically underpaid staff and underfunded teams like football are at Kent State, consider Nielsen's nearly half-a-million-dollar salary.

If he were to step down or be bought out, and KSU paid its next AD just $1 more than the next highest paid athletic director in the Mid-American Conference, just think about what football or other sports at KSU could do with the almost $150,000 KSU would save.

There is no ROI on the nearly $450k Nielsen is paid. For that kind of money, KSU deserves an AD that would have known how to handle the current PR nightmare or, better yet, avoid it by seeing it coming the way one of his staff members who is paid less than $40k recognized it months earlier.

Like Alan, like me, and like so many others who have worked for Joel, that staff member's simple question was ignored. And like so many times before, KSU suffered a black eye it could have easily avoided.
Dave and Jim - Thanks for bringing some focus back to the thread. I wasn't aware of the details that Jim cited. I really want to see this team and staff succeed - but we also need to be sensitive to the athletics programs as a whole. As a student I (one who was there during May 4th) and alum I always appreciated KSU as a community - my recent trips back bother me with the focus on $$$ - maybe an old geezer and it's just the times we're in.
09-10-2019 04:58 PM
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Polish Hammer Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-10-2019 04:58 PM)OLNWFLSH Wrote:  As a student I (one who was there during May 4th) and alum I always appreciated KSU as a community - my recent trips back bother me with the focus on $$$ - maybe an old geezer and it's just the times we're in.
To me it’s not that they’re after our $, I expect that, it’s just how they go about it and I feel like the donation is taken for granted. At least make me feel good while you’re reaching around and emptying my wallet out. My donations will increase once this clown of an AD moves on.
(This post was last modified: 09-10-2019 07:20 PM by Polish Hammer.)
09-10-2019 07:18 PM
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TNFlash Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-10-2019 07:18 PM)Polish Hammer Wrote:  
(09-10-2019 04:58 PM)OLNWFLSH Wrote:  As a student I (one who was there during May 4th) and alum I always appreciated KSU as a community - my recent trips back bother me with the focus on $$$ - maybe an old geezer and it's just the times we're in.
To me it’s not that they’re after our $, I expect that, it’s just how they go about it and I feel like the donation is taken for granted. At least make me feel good while you’re reaching around and emptying my wallet out. My donations will increase once this clown of an AD moves on.

Just speaking for myself, I joined Varsity K and maintain a season ticket (although I can only make it to 1 game a year) and have received a hand written thank you and 2 different calls from student athletes thanking me for my donation while not asking anything else. Made me happy to hear from them. Never met Joel so I have no personal opinion on his personality, but he does seem to rile people.
09-11-2019 07:11 AM
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ksu315 Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
I've never had a probelm with Joel and he's always been nice to me but i have no visibility or insight into the inner workings. Guess the biggest question with Joel is what is his relationship with the new president?

I've heard sentiment and read it here that all Joel cares about is himself so since Mr. Diacom isn't new to Kent State was Joel savvy enough to see the likelihood that he was the next president so he saddled up to him over the years to build that relationship that could protect him now or did he discount him.

Like any of us with kids I would think the time to move on would be when your kids are done. his youngest daughter is done either this year or next so was it always Joel's plan to move on then.
09-11-2019 08:20 AM
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-11-2019 08:20 AM)ksu315 Wrote:  I've never had a probelm with Joel and he's always been nice to me but i have no visibility or insight into the inner workings. Guess the biggest question with Joel is what is his relationship with the new president?

I've heard sentiment and read it here that all Joel cares about is himself so since Mr. Diacom isn't new to Kent State was Joel savvy enough to see the likelihood that he was the next president so he saddled up to him over the years to build that relationship that could protect him now or did he discount him.

Like any of us with kids I would think the time to move on would be when your kids are done. his youngest daughter is done either this year or next so was it always Joel's plan to move on then.
USA Today had an article concerning the Field Hockey game in 9/11 issue. Maine and Temple now seem to be leaning towards Title 9 complaint. My opinion watch ESPN do a feature story on this incident and it won't be positive for Kent State.
If someone with more knowledge could explain something that is puzzling to me. All parties agree that an email in "May" mentions the 10:30AM dead line time for the game. No mention of this time in the contract. Again have never worked in this field how ever been involved in event planning and should have been included in message when game date was closer.
09-11-2019 08:50 AM
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DavidCarducci Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-11-2019 08:50 AM)Proud pilot Wrote:  
(09-11-2019 08:20 AM)ksu315 Wrote:  I've never had a probelm with Joel and he's always been nice to me but i have no visibility or insight into the inner workings. Guess the biggest question with Joel is what is his relationship with the new president?

I've heard sentiment and read it here that all Joel cares about is himself so since Mr. Diacom isn't new to Kent State was Joel savvy enough to see the likelihood that he was the next president so he saddled up to him over the years to build that relationship that could protect him now or did he discount him.

Like any of us with kids I would think the time to move on would be when your kids are done. his youngest daughter is done either this year or next so was it always Joel's plan to move on then.
USA Today had an article concerning the Field Hockey game in 9/11 issue. Maine and Temple now seem to be leaning towards Title 9 complaint. My opinion watch ESPN do a feature story on this incident and it won't be positive for Kent State.
If someone with more knowledge could explain something that is puzzling to me. All parties agree that an email in "May" mentions the 10:30AM dead line time for the game. No mention of this time in the contract. Again have never worked in this field how ever been involved in event planning and should have been included in message when game date was closer.

Hi Proud Pilot,

I haven't been involved in scheduling, although I was on Kent State's Athletic Senior staff for almost five years, so I sat in meetings where scheduling was discussed. I talked with Nielsen's former deputy athletic director recently, and she confirmed the strategy of inviting three teams for a weekend series in field hockey with the idea that teams will make the trip if they know they will get multiple good games out of it. So, like I said, this wasn't an issue of KSU "letting" Maine and Temple use the field out of the kindness of their heart. It could probably be argued that what happened was bait and switch, even if unintended.

I am certain there was no intended malice in the careless scheduling, but only Nielsen can be held accountable. He approves all schedules and contracts.

A MAC athletic director making almost $450,000 per year (when nobody else in the conference makes $300,000) should be capable from protecting the university. Football start times likely weren't confirmed when the contract was signed, but there would have been reason to believe that noon was possible. I can't imagine that an email or even a follow-up call would be enough to trump a contract already in place.

I wonder what

Some carelessness can be excused. Carelessness that leads to a PR nightmare like this, whether completely fair or not (and I think it is fair) is inexcusable. Not for an athletic director making nearly half a million dollars.

Nielsen's entire emperor-has-no-clothes tenure has been mired by carelessness and a failure to rely on experts that has caused damage to KSU's reputation.

Who remembers the Cope Court fiasco? There are so many cases like this where even a little bit of forethought could have avoided the crisis. There are even more that are likely to come out soon if KSU doesn't act to either remove Nielsen for cause (and there's reason for that having nothing to do with the events of Saturday) or buys him out for $100,000.
09-11-2019 11:34 AM
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Polish Hammer Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-11-2019 11:34 AM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  Who remembers the Cope Court fiasco? There are so many cases like this where even a little bit of forethought could have avoided the crisis. There are even more that are likely to come out soon if KSU doesn't act to either remove Nielsen for cause (and there's reason for that having nothing to do with the events of Saturday) or buys him out for $100,000.
I certainly remember the mess coming from the Cope Court. Ironically, it was at that time the light bulb went off about this guy. He was more worried about snagging the whale that the smaller donors were forgotten.
09-11-2019 02:56 PM
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-10-2019 08:39 AM)DavidCarducci Wrote:  
(09-09-2019 11:24 PM)JimJoyce Wrote:  
(09-09-2019 09:44 PM)GFlash68 Wrote:  Am I missing something here?

Just the truth. Joel took the high road and issued an apology today just to appease the faceless mob. But the facts are, Maine and Temple - two GUESTS in our facility - were told well BEFORE the start of their game they had a 10:30 AM deadline. They were also told the reasons for the deadline. They were encouraged to start an hour earlier (they declined) and they were offered the chance to play later (Temple declined due to travel).

The two teams rolled the dice assuming someone would score and a multiple overtime marathon wouldn’t happen.

The dice came up snake eyes and one overreacting coach’s tweet went national and KSU was convicted before the defense team was even seated in the court room.

Jim,

I agree with you on several points. One is that Kent State was convicted before the defense team was even seated in the court room.

And that's the problem. That is why an athletic director like Nielsen is dangerous to a university. It's also why he has been disastrous for Kent State Football.

Nielsen's inability to recognize or handle the public relations crisis every step of the way is what gave Kent State this black eye.

First, he failed in his job as an administrator through careless scheduling. He approved the schedule. Questions of a potential conflict were raised months ago by a staff member during a planning meeting, and the question was ignored. Contracts were signed without the hard stop in place. It's not appropriate to inform teams traveling many miles for games of a potential problem via email and to then try to offer time changes on the day of the game. That's poor management.

Also, the neutral site game was not scheduled out of the kindness of KSU's heart, as some have claimed. KSU uses the offer of the extra game in an attempt to convince good teams to make the trip to Kent. It's part of their scheduling strategy.

More importantly, Nielsen and his staff completely bungled the public relations crisis in real time. In reality, to use your example, the jury was seated, reading its social media, feeding its outrage, and the jury kept growing without KSU's attorney even entering the courtroom.

As someone who has a master's degree in public relations from Kent State, that is inexcusable. It's one thing to not recognize the potential for a crisis, but to fail to even attempt to take control the narrative for 50 hours before issuing a press release is pathetic. It is a failure to manage the trust he has been given as athletic director. Everything Nielsen and his staff did, or failed to do, is the basis for writing a handbook on how not to handle a public relations crisis.

It wasn't until the communications professionals in Kent State's University Communications and Marketing department took over on Monday morning that some real problem solving began. But by then it was too late.

Again, this kind of mismanagement is why an athletic director like Nielsen is dangerous to a university.

In this case, the mismanagement has given KSU a black eye that was unnecessary.

It isn't the first black eye KSU has received due to Nielsen, and it won't be the last.

Sadly, Kent State Football's 39-68 record (that's a .362 winning percentage) in Nielsen's nine-plus years is one of those black eyes. Instead of giving good coaches the tools they need to succeed, he solves problems with a lipstick-on-a-pig solution like fireworks. Or, maybe that should be mascara on the black eye of a pig.



Pretty much anyone who has worked under Nielsen will tell you in private what kind of a person he is and how ineffective and unsupportive he is as an athletic director. But forget about all of that. Look only at his record as he approaches a decade at KSU. That alone is reason to at least consider that KSU Athletics needs new leadership.

Is 39-68 really okay? Is that what we will accept for Kent State Football. Don't forget, that record includes a 10-win season with a team built behind four future NFL players and a roster that was mostly in place before Nielsen's arrival in Kent. That's pretty sad.


Good post which probably hits Nielsen’s problems right on the head. Being anti women sports is probably way down the list of issues. My biggest concern is his boss(es) don’t really care about the 39-68 record and that might be the biggest problem of all. I think 39-68 has become part of the Kent State culture.
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2019 03:52 PM by burden.)
09-11-2019 03:48 PM
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goldenflash13 Offline
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RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
Just curious, what's the MAC record out of the 39-68? That should be the more telling mark, especially when they're playing 3 P5 teams every year now it seems. Not that the MAC record is great, just seems like a better measure.
09-12-2019 07:45 PM
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Post: #80
RE: Week 2 - Kennesaw State at KSU
(09-12-2019 07:45 PM)goldenflash13 Wrote:  Just curious, what's the MAC record out of the 39-68? That should be the more telling mark, especially when they're playing 3 P5 teams every year now it seems. Not that the MAC record is great, just seems like a better measure.
Quick glance at the numbers and I think it’s 26-45.
09-12-2019 08:47 PM
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