December 5, 2009 at 4:12 am #1299
(I posted this on the Lafayette board and I thought I’d transfer it over here verbatim to get some opinions from the loyal opposition.)
And I’m not talking about scholarships. What I’m really fishing for are some opinions about the staying power of some of these football programs. In the light of the Northeastern, and particularly Hofstra, announcements, you simply have to face the fact that FCS football is an expensive proposition, and is not all that well supported at elite private institutions. Here, for instance, are the 2009 home average attendance figures for Patriot League teams:
Georgetown: Who knows, but probably 2,000 or less because Multisport Whatsit doesn’t hold much more.
Holy Cross: 7,552 (with Randolph!)
Lehigh: 8,130 (More like 6,900 if you leave out the Lafayette guaranteed sellout)
Granted that this was a terrible weather year for football, but no matter how you turn this page, these are not encouraging numbers. Further, if you take a close look at the fan bases of the two largest draws here, Lafayette and Lehigh, you will note that the stands are filled with olde fartes, many of whom won’t be in those seats in 10 years – and there are very few students in attendance at either school.
My question: Is this really sustainable?December 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm #1301
Georgetown: Who knows, but probably 2,000 or less because Multisport Whatsit doesn’t hold much more.
2009 attendance: 2,527. Seats 2,400, It wasn’t always full, but there was walk-in, walk-out traffic that accounts for the overflow.
Obviously, that number won’t go higher unless something gets built.December 5, 2009 at 2:29 pm #1302
2527?? In your dreams, please!December 5, 2009 at 2:37 pm #1303
At LU the kids will re appear with winning 4 yrs of mediocrity have decreased student interest. 1st hand knowledge from my twins at LU. better weather and performance LU will be OK. Expect new coaches at BU and GU and perhaps HC.
For all the shifting lanscape will affect us. HOw? Very unclear but I am not particularly optimistic. Climate not good now but it is ripe for advantage if PL positions itself properly and quickly. Neither school was a specific recruiting opponent but it does decrease the overall# of schollies in play which we should take advantage of NOWDecember 5, 2009 at 3:17 pm #1304
2,527 is the official number. There are a lot of students who show up for only a quarter or so–a lot of these kids have never seen a single Georgetown football win at home (only two wins since Sep. 2006) and the frustration/discouragement level becomes very high because recent GU teams do not have the means to come back from a deficit. As they leave, others come in…and then they leave. If you have 600 seats for students and 300 leave after GU is quickly down 14-0 in the 1st, and 100 more take their spot in at the second quarter, it counts as 700, not 600.December 5, 2009 at 4:11 pm #1305
"RichH" wrote: At LU the kids will re appear with winning 4 yrs of mediocrity have decreased student interest. 1st hand knowledge from my twins at LU. better weather and performance LU will be OK.
I respectfully disagree. With better weather and a decent product on the field, Lehigh will jump to the 10,000 range – for now. Looking at all those gray heads in the stands and, despite your words to the contrary, noting a decided lack of student interest in football at all Patriot League institutions, leads me to question how long this is sustainable. Five years? Ten? Then what?
If I’m a school administrator with a voice in the decision, I’d be asking why we should incur the problems and expense of football scholarships for this. One of the key factors in the Hofstra decision was apparently the lack of student interest. To a lesser degree, I see that problem throughout the Patriot League.December 5, 2009 at 4:42 pm #1306
As one of those gray heads, I’venoticed over the many many yrs that alums #pretty constant. When I was a younger version always wondered why those Old fogies were at the game. Balance kids to fogies was about even in late 90s early this decade. Last couple of years not so much.December 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm #1308
"RichH" wrote: As one of those gray heads, I’venoticed over the many many yrs that alums #pretty constant. When I was a younger version always wondered why those Old fogies were at the game. Balance kids to fogies was about even in late 90s early this decade. Last couple of years not so much.
Rule 1: "Old fogies" die.
Rule 2: Students who do not care about football do not become "old fogies" who do.
Further, is your middle name myopia? "Lehigh will be OK." Or, "I’m OK, screw you." Let’s assume you’re right. What about the rest of the League? What about Bucknell, Fordham, Georgetown, Holy Cross? Hell, what about Colgate? With attendance stuck in the 4,000-5,000 range and located way out on the tundra with no hopes of seriously changing things, are they eventually going to be forced into their 1930s mode where they had to play almost all of their games on the road to survive? How long can they sustain something like that? Everyone is pointing to those FBS "money games" as the financial savior. In a few years everyone will be chasing those games and they won’t be growing on trees waiting to be plucked. Availability will be down, and, due to the old supply/demand equation, payoffs will be down. In a worst case scenario an "OK" Lehigh would be forced to play Delaware, JMU, UMass, Appalachian State, W&M, etc. week in and week out. Good luck in that league. C’mon, Rich, wake up and smell the coffee. This thread isn’t about Lehigh.December 6, 2009 at 12:20 am #1310
Hey, Carney…..you came over here and asked for opinions (no problem with that) and got them. When you did, you started bitching.
You can climb back into your hole now. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
JJHDecember 6, 2009 at 12:28 am #1311
On a more serious note, it seems to me that Hofstra and Northeastern are in large metropolitan areas where the interest in sports centers on the large professional leagues.
That leaves a lingering question about Boston U. Could they be next?
Fordham also falls into this category, and they have already proclaimed themselves neither fish nor fowl. I’m not sure where they are headed, and I wonder if they do…….
Ivy teams, with their large endowments, are probably more protected than CAA and Patriot teams.
It would probably be helpful (if someone knows how to do it) to look at annual giving by team, either from team alumni or by restricted giving to football.
I think Lehigh stacks up rather well in this regard, at least in the Patriot League, and probably in the CAA as well, but I admit this is really an uninformed guess. JJHDecember 6, 2009 at 11:09 am #1312
Boston U dropped football over a decade ago!December 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm #1313
"DFW HOYA" wrote: 2,527 is the official number. There are a lot of students who show up for only a quarter or so–a lot of these kids have never seen a single Georgetown football win at home (only two wins since Sep. 2006) and the frustration/discouragement level becomes very high because recent GU teams do not have the means to come back from a deficit. As they leave, others come in…and then they leave. If you have 600 seats for students and 300 leave after GU is quickly down 14-0 in the 1st, and 100 more take their spot in at the second quarter, it counts as 700, not 600.
I am sure it’s officail and I am qalso sure it is "bloated" to avoid further embarrassment.December 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm #1314
Carney I cant speak for other schools attendance with any real knowledge. Therefore ltd my comments to Lehigh. If you want opinions on those schools ask on their boards. Overall, my opinion is that for PL schools ## are related to performance. Will any of the other schools avg 8000 or so like LV schools do, probably notDecember 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm #1315
"colorless raider" wrote: I am sure it’s official and I am also sure it is "bloated" to avoid further embarrassment.
The crowds have been large at the beginning of the season and wither as the losses mount. When a student body has seen, what, two home wins over four years, playing on a field that is closer to Colgate’s Van Doren Field than a I-AA level stadium, you lose any hope of momentum in repeat customers. How many PL fans have even been to a game at MSF? Not many.December 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm #1316
"RichH" wrote: Carney I cant speak for other schools attendance with any real knowledge. Therefore ltd my comments to Lehigh. If you want opinions on those schools ask on their boards. Overall, my opinion is that for PL schools ## are related to performance. Will any of the other schools avg 8000 or so like LV schools do, probably not
I agree with what you say, with the possible exception of the hi-lited phrase. I guess I’ll try to redirect the discussion by asking some pointed questions.
Is there any hope at all for BUCKNELL? What are the chances they will still have a D-1 football program in, let’s say, 15-20 years?
Does COLGATE really have a long-term problem in that they cannot do much about attendance no matter how many scholarships they give or how consistent they are (and they are consistent – consistently good)?
FORDHAM is charging into the land of football scholarships with inadequate facilities and no fan base to speak of. Now they are "talking" about deserting the Patriot League for [fill in the disaster of your choice]. This gives every appearance of being Einstein’s definition of insanity (doing the same thing again and expecting different results) because they ripped their basketball program out of the Patriot League to go into their dream world of the "big time," and have proven consistently unable to cope. (They will tell you that it has been a series of bad decisions, including incompetent coaches, but it’s been almost 20 years now. It isn’t bad luck. It’s a way of life.) You can slide by and delude yourself with crappy hoops, but football is the 500 pound gorilla. A repeat of the basketball fiasco (and it is, in my opinion, almost inevitable if they leave the Patriot League) would very likely mean a Hofstra-esque news conference in The Bronx in a few years.
I won’t touch the GEORGETOWN situation for fear of sending DFW into yet another rage.
HOLY CROSS is set for a Randolph-free football downfall. Will they eventually follow other Roman Catholic institutions into the all basketball, football-free landscape?
LAFAYETTE and LEHIGH are in the same boat, but my perception is that Lehigh is in better shape – actually, the best shape in the League. Still, they have two common problems: (1) their fan base is aging and does not show any sign of replenishing itself; and (2) they may eventually be facing the fact that their peer institutions have serious football problems and may begin dropping like flies (see above).
So, I come back to my original question: Where is the Patriot league headed? Is it truly viable at the D-1 level in the long run?
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