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Akron cutting colleges...NIU reaction and what about us?
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pvk75 Offline
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Post: #1
Akron cutting colleges...NIU reaction and what about us?
Picked these up off the csnbbs conference board: Akron eliminating 6 of 11 colleges, cutting athletics 20%:

https://www.cleveland.com/education/2020...demic.html

https://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-hea...defensible

One quote from the second story: “They have to ask tougher questions now,” (Terry) Pluto (Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist) told WKSU, “and sometimes you have to humble yourself and say, ‘What really did football do for the MAC?’”

The faculty has recommended a drop to FCS football to get out of the "arms race" and making its fb team "grist" for the TV mill.
(This post was last modified: 05-05-2020 03:21 PM by pvk75.)
05-04-2020 10:33 PM
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RE: Akron cutting colleges
If the MAC out of necessity were to drop down to FCS, it would be okay with me, and it's better than losing football completely. These are difficult times financially, and many schools will simply not be able to compete with the financially-stable powerhouses. Schools are considering reducing sports and maybe dropping football. The FCS still provides competitive football, and FCS teams do get to play the big boy schools. It's not like the MAC generates much revenue from ticket sales, anyway. Maybe we'll lose a few fans, big deal. Maybe this would be one way to get rid of that ESPN contract and bring back Saturday football. If NIU were to drop down to FCS, it would not affect my season ticket purchases or donations.
05-05-2020 07:09 AM
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golf4501 Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges
If we drop to FCS, I'll still give to the university but I will not keep my season tickets
05-05-2020 07:33 AM
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Big Red Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges
(05-05-2020 07:33 AM)golf4501 Wrote:  If we drop to FCS, I'll still give to the university but I will not keep my season tickets

Is there a reason?

Granted, I don't know how they'd organize the entire conference dropping the level, but...if that were to happen...we'd be playing virtually the same schedule as before.
05-05-2020 07:39 AM
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ChicagoHuskie Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges
(05-05-2020 07:33 AM)golf4501 Wrote:  If we drop to FCS, I'll still give to the university but I will not keep my season tickets
Maybe I would come around, but I do not think I would be able to get excited about FCS. I need a true D1 program to keep interested. That way I can dream and wait for those magical years, Top 25 finish, bowl games ect.. It is the carrot that keeps me fired up. Nothing against the FCS, but just could not get fired up for it.
05-05-2020 09:03 AM
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Dog Fan Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Akron cutting colleges
So for those of you against FCS, if NIU were ever to face the decision of FCS or no football, you would be in favor of NIU dropping football?
05-05-2020 09:25 AM
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Boca Rocket Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Akron cutting colleges
Akron is combining colleges not getting rid of them.
Fewer Dean's, etc.
05-05-2020 10:46 AM
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Rabid Squirrel Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges
(05-05-2020 09:03 AM)ChicagoHuskie Wrote:  
(05-05-2020 07:33 AM)golf4501 Wrote:  If we drop to FCS, I'll still give to the university but I will not keep my season tickets
Maybe I would come around, but I do not think I would be able to get excited about FCS. I need a true D1 program to keep interested. That way I can dream and wait for those magical years, Top 25 finish, bowl games ect.. It is the carrot that keeps me fired up. Nothing against the FCS, but just could not get fired up for it.

Assuming something HAS to change, NIU to the FCS would be OK with me because it won’t be the same FCS. If it has Marshall, CMU, Ohio, Western Kentucky, st.jose state....etc, combined with the top FCS and a playoff, I’m entertained.

But IMO the best solution is to lop off the top programs. 70% of the P5 programs have as little of a shot as NIU does. Take the top 36 programs or so, the ones with revenues upwards of $115 million, and let them compete vs each other in an “elite” league. Probably drop another 30 or so struggling G5’s down to FCS. Let the remaining 60 be called FBS. No G or P qualifier.
05-05-2020 12:47 PM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges
How about all FBS schools that are hurting simply stay FBS, and drop several side sports + cut payroll until the world rights itself?

I don't see the need for some dramatic shake up.
05-05-2020 01:30 PM
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bikechuck Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Akron cutting colleges
It might be better to be a top tier FCS team with the opportunity to compete for an occasional national championship instead of occupying the lowest rung on the FBS ladder. It would also be good for attendance to play 2 - 3 games a year against other Illinois FCS schools.

I would be more supportive of the move if it comes with the opportunity to ditch mid week games. Might have to leave the MAC to get out of that as the ESPN contract could survive if the MAC moves down as a conference.
(This post was last modified: 05-05-2020 02:49 PM by bikechuck.)
05-05-2020 02:49 PM
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pvk75 Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges
Apologize for length, but there's no way to do this in a few graphs. Hate to do this, imo, but it's time. The Covid-19 pandemic has ripped the facade off any pretenses and pie-in-the-sky dreams. So ... time to come in for a landing and ask the hard question: what is realistic for the future of Huskie athletics?

The string of mistakes and missed chances is coming home to roost. E.g., football. Northern blew its first chance to grow as D1A when it went independent. At that time, there were 23 major independents, most of which were looking for conferences. Of that group, only Notre Dame and Army remain. And of course it blew several coaching hires after Bill Mallory left for Indiana after the 1983 California Bowl. (And dragged all other sports including bball down.) The high water mark for the program was the BCS Orange Bowl in 2013, now seven years ago. The chance for a move-up is gone. And the gap between P5 and G5 is getting wider.

Add the disastrous ESPN contract that doesn't bring in much money and moves two home games to weekday nights. To that you can pile on an aging group of loyal fans and ticket buyers. Now we have the wide-open transfer portal, possibly allowing transfers to play right away -- together, allowing the P5 to milk the G5 -- the coming name-image-likeness (NIL) change, and facilities that are aging (Huskie Stadium west side) and incomplete (Convocation Center concourse) with major costs to renovate. And, of course, the recent state budget impasse and cuts, rising student costs to attend, declining enrollment and declining student interest (where is that next generation of fans??).

Now -- on top of everything -- there's cost-cutting required to absorb Covid-19 impacts, which are going to linger for years after.

I could list a dozen or so more minor to major factors since the early 1980s, but there are plenty of others on the board who have been around NIU long enough to know.

I only started this thread, as I said, because it's time to come in for a landing. All over the MAC, cutbacks are under way, and these are not going to be temporary. Northern has only revealed the tip of its own iceberg, but you can be sure more is coming, and that it will last a long, long time.

Ok, the flak jacket is on. But before you start taking aim, I am NOT in favor of just dropping to FCS. I'd like to see NIU hang on as long as it can. Just injecting some realism. But I and some others around here may not be here in 10-15 years to wait for that reset everyone seems to be clinging to. Call it selfish ... whatever.

So let 'er rip ...
(This post was last modified: 05-05-2020 03:09 PM by pvk75.)
05-05-2020 02:56 PM
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Rabid Squirrel Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges
(05-05-2020 01:30 PM)NIUfilmmaker Wrote:  How about all FBS schools that are hurting simply stay FBS, and drop several side sports + cut payroll until the world rights itself?

I don't see the need for some dramatic shake up.

Football is the problem. It’s become a “keeping up with the Joneses” endeavor. It’s been coming for awhile now. The pandemic may just be the last straw.
05-05-2020 03:11 PM
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pvk75 Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges
(05-05-2020 02:49 PM)bikechuck Wrote:  It might be better to be a top tier FCS team with the opportunity to compete for an occasional national championship instead of occupying the lowest rung on the FBS ladder. It would also be good for attendance to play 2 - 3 games a year against other Illinois FCS schools.

I would be more supportive of the move if it comes with the opportunity to ditch mid week games. Might have to leave the MAC to get out of that as the ESPN contract could survive if the MAC moves down as a conference.

That contract runs through 2027, but that it might control online streaming really bugs me. Can Northern hire a firm to get advertising for online streaming? Academics online is growing, pushed by the Covid-19 crisis. Schools are developing more and better internal tech to support it. And btw, is the video production of what ESPN streams produced by ESPN or NIU? I can't see them sending camera teams to every game of all those sports, so I suspect Northern.

So you might be right, and there might be a revenue stream there. Promote it to remote alumni to build viewership. Get those numbers up to pitch to advertisers. I'll bet there are a number of Chicago-area firms that would jump on a deal.

That contract is private between ESPN and MAC hq, both private entities. Would love to get details of how badly we got screwed.

NOTE TO ALL: I changed the OP name since I probably should have started a separate thread about NIU. Now it is, sorta.
(This post was last modified: 05-05-2020 03:21 PM by pvk75.)
05-05-2020 03:14 PM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges...NIU reaction and what about us?
(05-05-2020 03:11 PM)Rabid Squirrel Wrote:  
(05-05-2020 01:30 PM)NIUfilmmaker Wrote:  How about all FBS schools that are hurting simply stay FBS, and drop several side sports + cut payroll until the world rights itself?

I don't see the need for some dramatic shake up.

Football is the problem. It’s become a “keeping up with the Joneses” endeavor. It’s been coming for awhile now. The pandemic may just be the last straw.

If we're FCS, our basketball costs will be similar, and we'll still always be looking towards the next football-related project. ISU just did an expensive buildout on their luxury boxes, no FCS savings there. Just would mean less P5 matchups moving on, which would not help the balance sheet either. Hang on to the higher status, give up elsewhere to weather the storm. Also factor in further-diminished alumni and corporate interest/support.
(This post was last modified: 05-05-2020 04:44 PM by NIUfilmmaker.)
05-05-2020 04:42 PM
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holybovine Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges...NIU reaction and what about us?
(05-05-2020 07:39 AM)Big Red Wrote:  
(05-05-2020 07:33 AM)golf4501 Wrote:  If we drop to FCS, I'll still give to the university but I will not keep my season tickets

Is there a reason?

Granted, I don't know how they'd organize the entire conference dropping the level, but...if that were to happen...we'd be playing virtually the same schedule as before.

Exactly. And the FCS playoff format is fun to watch...much more engaging than getting crushed by FSU once in a lifetime.

I’m not poking fun; you guys have a much better program than us, past and present. I’m just asking: What does FBS football really do for us (the MAC)?
05-05-2020 05:10 PM
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RE: Akron cutting colleges...NIU reaction and what about us?
If football has to go FCS, I will hope for success, but meh, I just won't care nearly as much.
05-05-2020 05:18 PM
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dogdangit Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges...NIU reaction and what about us?
NIU being FBS is a big reason why I chose to come here. It differentiated NIU from all the other directionals and ISU. From the outside it made NIU look like the "big school" that all the other BIG state schools look like watching on TV when I was in hs. Sadly my case is rare as most other students now don't really care or know the difference between fbs and fcs. I also can't imagine a drop to fcs will lower our student athletic fees. After I "graduate" in 4 days I'll still cheer on my Huskies but if we drop to fcs I'll be looking for a new team to adopt.
05-05-2020 05:24 PM
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HOF 08 Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges...NIU reaction and what about us?
As long as we are speculating on many topics/scenarios let me throw this into the mix. If NIU/MAC drops from D1 why do we have to stay with the same MAC schools? I for one would find it much more interesting to combine some Missouri Valley/MAC/Ohio Valley schools and make a very competitive conference with some geographical rivals. NIU-ISU-SIU-Toledo-Miami-CMU-WMU-Missouri State-North Dakota St-Western Kentucky-Ball St. Throw in another school or 2- subtract a school or two use your imagination. Imo it would be very competitive in most sports and with some in state rivals I think you would get more fan interest especially students and have a nice non D1 league. Ok I’ll put my margarita down try to sober up and wish all happy cinco de mayo.
05-05-2020 06:26 PM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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RE: Akron cutting colleges...NIU reaction and what about us?
(05-05-2020 05:24 PM)dogdangit Wrote:  NIU being FBS is a big reason why I chose to come here.

Same. I wouldn’t have attended NIU otherwise. Watching College Gameday‘s NIU @ Bowling Green was the moment I subconsciously knew I’d always attend NIU.

If NIU went FCS, I’d still support the team but wouldn’t care that much. I’d go to more Northwestern games in that scenario, to be brutally honest. FCS football just doesn’t interest me.
05-05-2020 06:27 PM
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Big Red Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Akron cutting colleges...NIU reaction and what about us?
(05-05-2020 05:24 PM)dogdangit Wrote:  NIU being FBS is a big reason why I chose to come here. It differentiated NIU from all the other directionals and ISU. From the outside it made NIU look like the "big school" that all the other BIG state schools look like watching on TV when I was in hs. Sadly my case is rare as most other students now don't really care or know the difference between fbs and fcs. I also can't imagine a drop to fcs will lower our student athletic fees. After I "graduate" in 4 days I'll still cheer on my Huskies but if we drop to fcs I'll be looking for a new team to adopt.

What exactly are you rooting for? If a change in FBS to FCS is a deal breaker, then I don't understand what it is that you think the ultimate goal is.

Winning the Boca Raton Bowl? Is that the penultimate accomplishment? Because if it's breaking into the Top 10 and winning a New Year's Eve Bowl then, I hate to break it to you but your expectations are not in line with reality even though they played in one 7 years ago. That was a long time ago in terms of how FBS is ran and it's never going to get easier or more accommodating to schools like NIU.

Right now, I dare you to argue that the 2012-13 Huskies were better than the last two years of Appalachian State and they weren't able to pull off what NIU pulled off. And NIU needed a lot of help for the dominoes to fall just right to get in to the Orange Bowl. And since then? It's harder to pull it off.

Or maybe the example is UCF? I mean, not only does UCF play in a conference that is borderline on P5 level, but they also are in a city of 2.5M people and have an enrollment of 65,000 with an endowment of $183,000,000. They are leagues ahead of NIU in a ton of aspects and resources. Yeah, they got to the same place. But it took a team like UCF, with all the resources as they have to get it done this last time. And one year later, they're in the Gasparilla Bowl two days before Christmas (granted, they beat down Marshall, which we couldn't do...).

Nevertheless, what is the goal for a person like you who would consider a move to FCS a complete deal breaker? People were voting for North Dakota State in the AP Rankings this year and they aren't even in FBS. There is prestige in being a top FCS team. They put guys in the NFL (as much or more than we do).

Look, I'd love to stay in FBS. But its really hard to justify it if the program is hemorrhaging money to the point that we have to have two money games a season and have given up on hosting any big name schools in our own stadium just to stay afloat, then this fantasy of FBS in 2020 and beyond is ludicrous.

Hey, I'm more of a basketball fan anyway and when I enrolled at NIU back in the early 90s, I honestly had no clue they were on the same level as Illinois (back then I think it was D-1A or something like that). And, to be honest with you, I didn't even know there was a "Northern Illinois University" until my high school guidance counselor told me about it. But, going on 30 years later, when I'm asked who my favorite football team is (and often they're talking about he pros), I say NIU. And I'd still say that if they dropped to FCS.

And I'm not trying to say that like I'm better than you or a better fan or anything. I'm not sure it's even relevant to the question I initially posed (which was supposed to be the only part of this comment...).

What is it that makes a move to FCS a deal breaker? And...why does staying FBS solidify your fandom?
05-05-2020 06:47 PM
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