oldrunner wrote: ↑
Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:15 am
Bengal visitor wrote: ↑
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:52 am
oldrunner wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:41 pm
The Unknown Fan wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:31 pm
Murphy gone at NAU. First year assistant Burcar is given the interim tag for a year, after spending the last 12 years coaching high school ball. This should be interesting.
The rats have started jumping off the NAU ship. Murphy saw his chance to swim to another ship and jumped. NAU and ISU are in similar situations. They are in serious need of facilities upgrades and have let things go for far too long. It's hard to recruit to a place that doesn't have a legitimate D1 court to play and practice on. There are a few programs in the BSC who are in this same situation. They need an influx of money or things are not going to get better. All the new coaches in the world can't fix what is wrong with these programs until they fix their foundation. With a good foundation they can start to build a solid program.
Ryan Looney is planning to take ISU back to Reed Gym fulltime, which I believe is the right move. The energy level there is much better than Holt, especially when there are only 1,200 people in the stands. Long-term, I think Idaho State needs to make a commitment to Reed, invest in some improved seating, concessions and rest room facilities and try to make it the best situation they can. They will never raise the money necessary to build a new arena. The administration passed on the opportunity in the early 2000s, using money that would have built a new arena for the Performing Arts Center instead. The cost of construction has doubled since then, and there are no more "sugar daddies" available to make the kind of "lead gift" necessary to make an arena happen.
The Idaho experience is instructive. They are going to spend $80 million, including $33 million in interest to bond their new arena, which will seat 4,000 fans. This for a program that averages 700 fans a game. What an incredible waste of resources. And their athletic department is already $2 million in the red. There are a lot of athletic programs in similar circumstances in the Big Sky. Northern Colorado has been grappling with deficits recently, and even Montana, once the "showcase" program in the conference, is dealing with shrinking enrollment and the impacts that is having on student fee support.
What should be instructive is that the costs are all relative and they don't seem to go down over time. A disintegrating infrastructure needs to be dealt with. If it isn't, you lose everything. Hindsight should tell you that if you are not getting better, you are getting worse. People that care need to get the stick out of their collective butts and get things moving. I look at Sac, and the size of their community, there is no reason that money can't be raised to upgrade their campus. Granted, it is a bigger struggle at ISU, but it is not impossible to get this thing done. You just need to start the process and not stop until it is done. Apathy is what is killing you.
If you'll recall, Tingey announced about 7 or 8 years ago he was starting a campaign to build a new arena, even declared it a "top priority" for the athletic department. Seven or eight years later, no "lead gift" was identified.
I've talked to Joe Borich, who was hired to be ISU's lead fundraiser for the athletic department a couple of years ago. Nobody more engaging or enthusiastic than Joe. He has beaten every bush he can find to locate a "lead gift," with no success. It's not like folks haven't been trying to find the resources to do this.
Now if you want to do what Idaho did, which is to go into massive long-term debt to build an arena to accommodate that 700 fan average turnout, I suppose you can. To me, that makes absolutely no sense. And I'm expecting that more and more people at smaller institutions like those that make up the Big Sky Conference are going to start to say, "Tell me again why we are pouring millions of dollars into athletic infrastructure to accommodate the few hundred people who actually care about the program?"
ISU is an extreme example because of where it's located, but there are plenty of other schools in the Big Sky in similar circumstances: NAU, UNC, Portland State, Sac State, Idaho...Heck, even Weber and Montana's basketball attendance is down significantly from the "good, old days" of the 1980s and early 1990s, when it peaked. More and more, athletics at the non-Power 5 institutions are going to have to make their case for why they deserve significant "infrastructure investment" at a time when schools are struggling with declining enrollments.