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Staying FCS and expanding the A-10?
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Jackman
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Used to be VOR wrote:
Jackman wrote:
In addition to "make money", you should also consider the phrase "lose less money". The majority lose less money in the long term, and they help the other sports lose less money via access to better conferences, greater media coverage and more fan interest. But short term, nothing is going to match the savings of dropping all UMass sports entirely, since every single one loses money. This will bring us more in line with the other UMass hyphen campuses and create a better system of equals.


So joining the MAC or being an independent will help our other sports how exactly?


Those would be intermediate moves for positioning. If you want to be a major research institution and receive big corporate grants, do you upgrade your laboratory facilities, or do you stick with your rusty bunsen burners and clouded-up thermometers and wait for some major corporation to call you out of the blue with research dollars? Neither business works that way. There are plenty of other universities to contact if nobody is going to do anything until free money is handed to them. I'll go start a university from scratch right now if you give me a grant and a spot in the BCS.
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UMass87
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Determining if and FBS school makes money on football depends on how you do the accounting. If you include the TV contract revenue then all the Big 10, SEC, and ACC teams make money on football. I'm not sure about the Big 12 contract. The Big East is at the end of a not very lucrative TV deal (about 10% of the ACC deal) so there may well teams that lose money.

UMass' only real chance of making money in FBS would be to get into a real conference eventually. It is unlikely that there will ever be a good MAC tv contract. It is likely that UMass would loses less money on football at the FBS level then they do at the FCS level.
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InnervisionsUMASS
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UMass87 wrote:
It is likely that UMass would loses less money on football at the FBS level then they do at the FCS level.



That is the key.... we know this, but how do we go about getting the money for the initial investment to make a move? That is the problem. Long term this works out well for us... short term, it is a tough sell.
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twisters tavern
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

InnervisionsUMASS wrote:
UMass87 wrote:
It is likely that UMass would loses less money on football at the FBS level then they do at the FCS level.



That is the key.... we know this, but how do we go about getting the money for the initial investment to make a move? That is the problem. Long term this works out well for us... short term, it is a tough sell.


Or when we accept that a move up to FBS is not financially in the cards and therefore start the conversation to eliminate a clear cut "money loser". If we are going to stay FCS, then why not non-scholarship FCS? Prospective students do not choose to attend UMass or not because of athletics. UMass is an institution of public higher education that should be made affordable by children and adults from the Commonwealth. Maximum PUBLIC resources should be spent on academics and infrastructure.
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InnervisionsUMASS
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^

I've never understood the advocating of eliminating sports programs. Successful sports at the higher education level bring in more funds and prestige for the university, and, believe it or not, does cause some people to pick one school over the other. I believe that there is a solution to the "financially not in the cards" situation, and find no reason to move to a non-scholarship or "no football" situation. Doing so won't put money back into the coffers of the univeristy, it will only allow the athletic department allocate more funds to b-ball or baseball or softball or field hockey. And it certainly won't cause the state to put more money into academics.

So what do you do? Do you go in a direction that provides us with a crappy or no football program? Or do you go in a direction that in the long run will save money, and hopefully provide more of a national presence and bring more prestige and national influence?

I'd go with the latter. And that doesn't even take into account my love for football, the sport.
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UMass87
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twisters - I generally agree with you. In my ideal version of the NCAA world - all D1 scholarship football would be 35-player limited. That will never happen. Since that won't happen I'd like to see UMass move to FBS or go non-scholarship. A three to four million dollar deficit in football that we currently experience seems to be a serious waste of money that the Commonwealth is very stingy with.
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Jack
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

imo its a superb investment on many levels and its relatively a drop in the bucket. for example, the commonwealth just spent nearly 20 million on a parking lot.
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Jackman
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

twisters tavern wrote:
Or when we accept that a move up to FBS is not financially in the cards and therefore start the conversation to eliminate a clear cut "money loser". If we are going to stay FCS, then why not non-scholarship FCS? Prospective students do not choose to attend UMass or not because of athletics. UMass is an institution of public higher education that should be made affordable by children and adults from the Commonwealth. Maximum PUBLIC resources should be spent on academics and infrastructure.


Why do you say things like this but not discuss cutting all athletic programs? Non-scholarship FCS loses money. Basketball loses money. Cross country loses money. Club sports lose money. That new fountain loses money. Cutting the grass loses money. Nobody has ever bought a single ticket to sit by the pond. Fill it in and pave it over.

We could move all the best students and faculty to UM-Boston, -Lowell and -Dartmouth and close down -Amherst entirely. What does the state need this giant, luxurious campus out in the western part of the state for? No jobs out there. Why not just condense it all into online learning? Record the professors giving their lectures once and then fire them. Outsource the grading of papers to India.

Why does someone bother going to UMass instead of the University of Phoenix? Serious question. If you're not interested in a field of study that requires any resources beyond a textbook and an instructor, why pay the premium to attend a brick & mortar institution? All I can come up with to answer that question is: landscaping. You go to a real university to be immersed in the landscape. And sports, and the arts, and the other activities and your fellow students and professors are all part of the landscaping. They are all essential to the beautification of a university.
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Jackman
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

InnervisionsUMASS wrote:
UMass87 wrote:
It is likely that UMass would loses less money on football at the FBS level then they do at the FCS level.



That is the key.... we know this, but how do we go about getting the money for the initial investment to make a move? That is the problem. Long term this works out well for us... short term, it is a tough sell.


I think we need to think about a series of small steps rather than a Great Leap Forward. The Great Leap Forward will get by far the most push-back and could end as badly for us as it did for China. I like the approach we've been taking with football facilities. A weight room one year, lights the next year, field turf another year, a new scoreboard last year, etc. If it was possible to build a new stadium one seat at a time as the funds came in, that's how I'd propose doing it. But it isn't. The next closest thing to that is the James Madison/Charlotte approach. Don't try to build a 50,000 capacity stadium. Build one-quarter of the stadium on a modular design, and make it expandable for when you need it, to cut the costs and fundraising required for a later upgrade. We get small capital projects done at UMass. The new student rec center cost $52 million. The approved champions center for basketball has a price tag of $35 million. One-quarter of a stadium would be less than that, and would still be a valuable addition to the existing program even without an upgrade.

To get a quarter-stadium, we need more support for the existing program and we need to dangle the possibility of FBS in the future to generate interest. I understand why McCutcheon likes to squash talk of FBS. It must be a terrible nuisance for him. But it's a mistake for the program and the university to do that. Every UMass program, whether it's football, basketball, softball, cross country, computer science or comparative literature, needs at least the illusion of building towards something bigger and better. Even if we were winning BCS championships, we'd want to keep that attitude. Only Harvard can get away with standing pat. They're already at the top. But any time UMass agrees to settle for less, it plays right into the psychology of students who think they "settled" for UMass. And they get a diploma and leave this place, and they don't come back or contribute to the alumni network, because UMass was just a place to put in time and get a task done. By far the weakest part of a UMass education is the network you're left with afterward. Football is not the biggest reason for that, but it's a piece of the greater puzzle.

Sell the existing program. Sell the tailgating as the best in New England. Sell the band as the best in New England. Sell the tickets as the best value in New England. And sell the idea that we are doing something better here than anyone can do elsewhere and this is all going somewhere in the future. Then be ready with the quarter-stadium (drawn as a whole stadium like JMU did) as the carrot when the timing is right.
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InnervisionsUMASS
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jackman wrote:
Sell the tailgating as the best in New England. Sell the band as the best in New England.



We already have both of those set.



Very well done post Jackman... I'd like to meet you sometime (if I haven't already...)
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UMass87
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another good post, Jackman. UMass is not good at "selling" anything, though. Maybe that's really where we need to start.
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Uman
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jackman - That might have been the smartest thing ever said on this board. I say the same thing quite often to my friends and couldn't agree with you more. The only thing I would add to it is that it needs to start with the freshmen on campus each year. What I mean by this, is that when students are in orientation, first weeks of classes, etc., they need to hear about that great parts of going to UMass. Current alumni are already set in their ways and have their minds set. You are not going to get them to care about the school if they don't already. If the current students become proud to be at UMass and see all the great things it has to offer, that will rub off on the incoming students, their high school friends, etc.

One example comes to mind. Since I live in the DC metro area, I have several friends from Penn State. They all continuously go back to University Park because they loved their experience their. During orientations and throughout the school year, people just walking around campus yell out: "We are!" and others respond, "Penn State!". I am not saying that we necessarily do that same thing, but I am guessing you all get the idea.

I can only think of a few ways that this is going to happen. One of them is for the people on this board (myself included) somehow getting more connected to the students on campus and basically talking about how UMass was a great place that led us to good career paths. The more important way though is for a group of students to start promoting the school to their fellow students. If enough of them become passionate about the school, I think it could eventual grow into something positive.

Anyways, that is my 2 cents.
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Jack
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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post Jackman.
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