April 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm #10048
Interesting full list of college basketball spending by institution:
Lehigh checks in at 230 of 344 for total expenses and 5th in the (old) PL.April 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm #10051
This brings up a problem that I think has become quite troubling to me. What has happened to the Lehigh fan base?
Lehigh had always prided itself in having a significant fan base based on the level of program they field. The generation that made up a significant portion of that group are gradually dying off and the next generation has not replaced it. Based on what I have witnessed recently, the situation is only getting worse with today’s students.
There was a time when a Lehigh wrestling ticket was almost impossible to get and students would line up hours before a match. There are still decent crowds today, but there is no denying that hair color of choice is almost all grey. Where will the program be 10 years from now.
Football always attracted 10,000+ for decades. Even with the weather being nice the last few years, we are now hovering around 8,000/game and it’s almost easier to find Waldo than a group of students there anymore.
Basketball began the season with one of the most exciting college basketball players in the country and fresh off perhaps the biggest win in Lehigh history and IMHO, the attendance was still bordering on abysmal.
I bring this up because spending is only one side of the equation. I fully understand that the financing for athletic programs is multi-faceted but I still must assume that game revenue is critical in determining what we are able to spend.
I’m sure that Lehigh gets a lot of exposure by being on CBS College Sports and perhaps even Service Electric but I’ll assume that they get very little or no revenue from it. Is it hurting the attendance (esp Service Electric) and if so, should we be continuing to provide free access for a product that people should be viewing up close.
Just an item for discussion during slow time.April 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm #10054
All sports seem to be losing attendance and not just at LU.Reason may be changing demographic of students. No idea why or the impact but student culture outside of athletes has changed.
It does seem Joe getting excellent return for his $$ in Bball. At that level, evident we wont keep Doc w/o raising his salary a lot. Seems unlikely given LU.April 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm #10059
If there’s been a meaningful dropoff in football attendance, I can’t really speak to that. But I do have thoughts on hoops – and I think it’s really all about the product. The culture needs to be built, and that takes time. I was lucky enough to get to Lehigh at the end of our last big “peak” in hoops, the P&Q era. There was a decent amount of excitement on campus at that time, as I recall. A bunch of guys from my fraternity were making road trips to the ECC tourney, and we were “into it”. Not like a major hoops school, but it was tangible. But there was then a significant dropoff in “the product” – made more difficult by the ECC to PL move, I’m sure. ECC was pretty decent at that time, as I recall, and the PL was, of course, an unknown.
I guess my point would be that we have to build the hoops culture. I think the past few years have been a great start – but another dropoff is certainly a risk in my mind. The % increase in attendance over these past few years makes the point, to me. Success builds the culture, and that can then sustain itself. If the excitement takes hold, I think that contributes to continuing success, more exposure, and more excitement. I just hope we can continue to build on the recent success…
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