FOOTBALL Met with athletics staff today

MTOleBlue

All Conference
Gold Member
Sep 30, 2015
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I met with two associate ADs today (Keith McCluney and Kortne Gosha) and had an in-depth discussion with them about many of the issues facing our athletic program today. I won't go into a whole lot of detail about what was said (because a lot of it was just throwing ideas around) but I wanted to let everyone know of a few things.

Priority #1 in terms of our football program -- from CRS perspective, at least -- is facilities improvement and that means the new south end zone operations facility, not an IPF. We are still using the 1972 Murphy Center offices and locker rooms that can only be retrofitted so much, when you have teams like WKU, Southern Miss, Marshall, even BGSU having $15 million facilities that make ours look really ancient. I have to agree 100% with Coach Stock on this one. We have to take things one step at a time and that starts with improving our basic facilities before we can even have a discussion about an IPF. In the proposed endzone facility will be offices, locker rooms (I think), and other - including training rooms and medical facilities. I should also add -- this is HUGE for recruiting. So many recruits go to our peer institutions and see these nice shiny new facilities and we are stuck with mid 20th century cinder-block offices.

Season tickets are not anywhere near where we want them to be. They have been stagnant at least over the last couple of years, and we are still under 5,000. Community outreach is a major goal of the AD staff and they have been working to make that happen. Staff has been meeting with community organizations (recently, First Community Mortgage) and BRAA is slowly growing. Major effort is needed, however, in outreach operations during football season and the staff's daily scheduling proves difficult to work around. Chris Massaro may be able to get the ball rolling in terms of getting coordination with schools, the hospital, city gov't, etc. but it is tough.

From a "game day atmosphere" perspective, the BRAA and Athletic Dept is trying to do as much as they can to improve things though these things take time. The Raider Town festivities outside of Gate 3 are one of their focal points and they want feedback to try to make it as good as possible. In addition, one of their major points of concern is that folks go to tailgate and then never enter the stadium. They recognize that this is an additional drain on attendance and involvement and have had internal debates on whether or not to make everyone in the Walnut Grove area head to the stadium 30 minutes prior to kick off or not. Personally, I think it is a good idea. If you are there to tailgate for the game, you should go to the game and if you have to leave for some other reason then do so and don't just sit out there. I realize some might be upset at this but it is pretty dumb how people stay there the whole game. Ole Miss recently implemented the "Leave at 30 minutes or get kicked off" policy and it is working well. The siren that was added last year -- and pyrotechnics this year -- is to both enhance stadium atmosphere AND put us out in the community around the university in a big way. Every time we score people will know it, especially those people who go to tailgating and then watch some other game on TV in their camping chairs.

They want to get community feedback and questions. Each week (or, every so often) I will post a thread along the lines of "Ask the Athletic Department" and pass 5-7 burning questions along to the athletics staff, and they will answer those questions to the best of their ability and see what changes need to be done. Folks, if you want things to change or for them to even know what your biggest concerns are, there must be a back and forth of communication. And they are very clearly open to making this happen. This does not happen at every university with an athletics staff so willing to interact with their fan and donor base like we have here. In addition, Keith and I have agreed to have a weekly give-away for all NEW or re-activating BRAA members who join before a home football game -- there will be a drawing for 2 free CLUB SEATS provided to a new member who signs up to the BRAA in Monday-Friday before the game. They are dedicated to doing all they can to improve things both for students and the general fan base. Please be involved as we move to upgrade up our support.

If you are not a member of the BRAA or you have stopped giving, I strongly encourage you to join. They have huge plans for our athletic facilities and game day experience. The goal is to have 3,000 annual donors giving a total of $3m or more. They will also be working to expand marketing outreach in a major way. More on that to come, I believe. That's all that I can think of from the meeting off the top of my head.
 

JohnDavidBlue

All American
Sep 10, 2005
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Is there anyone on here that I could resign up on the BRAA that could give them points/credit whatever. Do they still do team stuff like that?
 

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