Reality About Things Including MBB

MT01

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Aug 1, 2005
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The university’s leadership has made a significant series of head scratching decisions over the past few years. Even the Board got in on the action extending McPhee and raising his salary. The pure persistence of the poor decisions that have been made is mind boggling. I’m not going to go all Wiley here but I’m not spending another penny at MT until changes are made - most especially in Cope and in the football program. This university has ruined every positive momentum since 2013 when we moved to C-USA and started our run as one of the top mid basketball programs in country. They have ****ed this up so severely it’s going to be a decade before we recover from this cluster. And that’s assuming we ever recover at all.

But let’s talk MBB for a moment. Bonehead decision #1. Why did our brain trust pay the same amount to an inexperienced coach as we were paying a coach who had been here 17 years with multiple championships and NCAA Tourney wins?? Seriously, WTF? Especially when you quadruple his salary from his previous school. Wouldn’t have doubling CNM’s salary been sufficient? When more experienced coaches like Forbes scoffed at coming here (who might have been justified in a such a salary) MT should have lowered the payout for less experienced coaches like McDevitt and Odom. Just lame decisions made by our administration.

Lastly, on to this situation. I have made no bones about my position on this hire. To me it was a bad hire then and it is a bad one now. In fact, there isn’t one thing CNM has done since coming here that leads me to believe I should reconsider. Not one. There have been enablers. Plenty on this board in fact that we must give it a chance and then making excuses for the evidence consistently being presented before our very eyes. I said from day one this style and philosophy can’t work here. That’s nothing against CNM. But it has been worse than even I thought. I figured he could at least limp along to some .500 type seasons. What happened with ETSU demonstrates that this situation is so much worse than even I could have imagined. ETSU was coming off a 30 win season. Lost their head coach to a P5. Graduated a bunch of key players and had even more who were expected to lead the team the next year transfer including a couple of which who followed Forbes to Wake Forest. Sound familiar? In fact, ETSU lost 69 of the teams 76 points from year prior. Think about that. ETSU lost 91% of its scoring production since last year. So, we are to believe - from some around here - that CNM needs three or four years because of the situation he inherited but ETSU can face a similar and in a lot of ways worse situation but still take us to the woodshed with their coaches second game of his career against our now third year coach. You guys really need to think about how messed up this is. How similar those situations were to CNM and how one game can tell you so much about a situation. Jason Shay exposed CNMs team easily with a suffocating defensive mindset. We have seen a couple comments about the team quitting. Maybe they did because they couldn’t handle somebody playing a pressure defense against them. And if so thats on the head coach for being too soft.

Our athletic department is in complete disarray and this started a long time ago. Most of our fan base has already checked out. McPhee and Co have literally driven our programs into the sewer. Our voices are irrelevant to them. All we can do now is vote with our wallet and time. And that may mean the end of MT athletics for good. If so, fair enough but I’m not going to keep supporting people who make such bad decisions. I sit here and wonder if we were trying to be this bad could we even succeed this well. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. When was the last time we were right in any significant decision?? It blows my mind how many terrible decisions have been made and how perpetually and consistently they’ve been bad for the better part of seven or eight years now. And this university needs a house cleaning like nothing we’ve ever seen. The President needs to be fired. The AD needs to be fired. The head football coach needs to be fired. And the basketball coach needs to be fired. Until those changes are made I’m out.
 
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FranklinRaider315

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Excellent post. And if I might add another area that has literally gone dark is the BRAA since Lansden and Farley left. Also include Roy and Clint and Linda. I miss those good times when the BRAA actually engaged the fans and the alumni. ALL alumni. Not just the folks in the suites or the courtside seats. There have been 3 questionable hires since Alan left. I think the former Golf Coach actually tried but, given the leadership above him just checked out. For a while, there was a even a former intern handling the job on the cheap. He and McCluney are now at FAMU together. I still have no idea what the BRAA Leadership actually did or does. It seems to me this is where we are, guys in all areas of the Athletic Dept. just coasting to retirement or padding their retirement.....Head Coaches, Asst. Coaches and Admins. Nothing will change until the BOT actually steps in and stops the flow of the student fee revenue subsidy and require people to actually work and be creative.
Just my two cents.
 
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MTFNBY5

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Jul 26, 2005
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In my hopefully rational (and painful) view of MT with emphasis on athletics the problem can be stated in two words: finances and location.

Sure, some of the financial problems are self-imposed (salaries and the obvious inability to find a way to secure support from fans, alumni, and the business community - bad hires resulting in poor performance resulting in fewer tickets sold) but other financial problems are the result of changes in the landscape of the area (athletic along with other social and economic changes). We can't send the Titans back to Texas and the Preds back to wherever they came from. We can't keep the media in Nashville from embracing the new soccer franchise. We can't go back to the time when The Murph would be filled for a game between two good %$&-major (hate the term) basketball teams with the resulting ticket sales. Belmont and Lipscomb can't be sent back to the less relevant NAIA. We can't stop the migration to the area of those who are already fans of some "power" conference school and wouldn't think twice in rejecting supporting MT even if they only live a few miles away. Heck, we can't even go back a dozen years when I would often see vehicles with MT flags flying as I traveled on the interstate to a MT FB game.
We lost our chance at relevance when we went D-1 a decade too late and when it took us 20 +/- years to rebound from the (damn near for us death-penalty) BkB sanctions for what IMHO were minor offenses. I'm sure Walker, Donnelly, and Fowler realized when the NFL announced the move to Nashville shortly after the MT D-1 announcement that the road had just become much harder. Furthermore, I'm sure Massaro couldn't believe, once he got the job, how a school so large with such a large area alumni base had so few alumni and area business mgt. who would support the school along with the fact that we just don't have any "deep-pocket" donors.
As far as location is concerned: the PTB at MT like to talk about the location as being a positive: Close to Nashville and all it offers, close to a major airport, large number of alumni in the area, etc. None of that makes a damn if we don't have a "sphere of influence" and we don't. As far as sports are concerned if we are covered by TV sports they get the footage from the TV, if at all. The only metropolitan newspaper only covers us with infrequent articles from the DNJ. We are so far down the pecking order in the mid-state sports world as to be non-existent. Don't believe me, listen to Nashville sports talk radio and see just how often MT sports is brought up in the discussion.
As far as men's BkB which it the topic at hand. Perhaps McDevitt will right the ship but it doesn't look good at all. Not only did he not immediately bring in quality contributors when hired (not enough contacts through out the BkB world?) but this crop of transfers is obviously not the immediate answer. We saw how well transfers played for ETSU. I mentioned in another thread that WKU has a couple of transfer contributors. And now we learn that Belmont has a transfer starter from U. of South - Sewanee (freaking D-III U. of South) who scored 20, 16, and 18 as the Bruins won the tournament they were in. Beginning to look as if these MT transfers are no more skilled than the players brought in for McDevitt's first year (are they over rated and over hyped?) I just don't know. We obviously could have been this bad and expended far fewer precious funds for a coach.

No more time to continue today but later I'll give my thoughts on McPhee, the board, the Foundation, fundraising, and academics. Lot to discuss.
 
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dukewayne

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Jul 11, 2008
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To me, talk of growth, media coverage, and packed houses diminishing because of Nashville growth is so far removed from the problems at hand that it barely is worth mentioning. That was a good problem to have when Kermit had consistent attendance in the 6,000 - 7,000 range while trying to figure out how to consistently get to 10,000+.

The last few years has seen MT athletics crater overall. It is so bad that covid about saved the athletic department the humiliation of mostly empty football stadium & basketball arena.

The worst part of all is the seemingly absolute disregard for the fans, supporters, and alumni of MT. You lose your base, you have nothing. Frankly, I'm astonished at the utter disregard and disrespect McPhee & Massaro have demonstrated towards the university's core supporters. Let's face it, particularly here in the South, athletics is a key point of connection with your alumni and community.

Instead of cleaning house over at the university leadership, the university leadership is cleaning house among the supporters of MT.

I had chalked up all this failure and disregard to incompetence and apathy. Now I'm starting to suspect something more at work like maybe State political agenda. You almost have to try to screw things up this badly and to treat your base or core supporters this badly with such disrespect.

There was a day, even many a year that I might have seriously considered supporting such an effort as the recently announced "virtual sellout." Now, I see it as McPhee & Massaro have a lot nerve to ask for such support while they have dumped on most of us for at least several years.
 

Raiderclyde

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May 1, 2012
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What has been forgotten in MC and Cope is sidewalk fans and season ticket holders are primary customers of Blue Raider athletics. Platitudes such as “Our Town, Our Team” only go so far. Murfreesboro is no longer the 26,370 college town it was in 1970 and fan base has far more choices and more sophisticated in expectations than when I was a student 30 years ago or back in the world of 1970. We cannot just plan for 2020 either; leadership has to look well beyond the immediate future—like what university or athletics will be by 2036 or 2050. Our sense of expectations, visions, and growth in what our brand stands for is obscured at best view and now ruined at worst view. The loss of the Valparaiso law school opportunity really damaged our credibility as being a flagship institution in Middle Tennessee (yes, it’s legitimately crying 😢 over spilled milk) and our commitment to professional programs. Its probably going to take a complete overhaul of executive and senior leadership to rebuild community’s trust and confidence in our programs when being compared to UTK, Georgia, Alabama (Tuscaloosa or UAB), or any other top tier public “research” institution in higher education. The recent exploration by UTK and Martin Methodist College for Southern Middle Tennessee should be an eye opener to our leadership as this move will likely reduce our sphere of influence even more.

Sure, Middle Tennessee Boulevard looks great immediately around campus. However, much of the facilities and infrastructure is viewed as essential replacements for threadbare buildings, parking lots, and utilities to function in the 21st Century. And, this capital project plan was necessary because we had grown from the 8,800 enrollment in the early 70s and were functioning on that footprints at the new millennium 20 years ago. As we move towards mid 21st century with the new generation (today’s kindergartners will be Seniors or upperclassmen students in 2036, our 125th year), were either going to fall woefully behind or the education concept we see today will cease to exist in its present form and space. Consequences from COVID logistics has invented delivery ways that will be mainstream in education: the idea of “going physically to class” MWF for 50 minutes in a room at KOM or Peck Hall will be more of an anomaly rather than standard practice thanks to 5G or whatever technology that will be enhanced later this decade. And with that, other ways to develop university loyalty and connections will have to be refined to get the engagement needed to be successful in athletics or academics. The 20th Century conventional playbook won’t work anymore in soliciting every thing from ticket sales to university bequeaths from estate planning.
 

dukewayne

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And Clyde if I know you, your population stat from 1970 is almost certainly the exact number you stated of 26,370.

If I were a big money guy, I would want you advising me financially.
 
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AustinLewis

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Sep 16, 2006
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I wasn't a huge fan of the McD hire (thought there were some better candidates out there who MT COULD bring in), but I wanted to give him a chance.

So far, the returns aren't great.
 
Jul 31, 2005
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Totally off subject but since you mentioned Linda, who formerly worked in the BRAA office, in your message I wanted to share. She was mentioned at our church service yesterday. She is hospitalized with Covid and is apparently struggling at this time. Prayers are appreciated.
Excellent post. And if I might add another area that has literally gone dark is the BRAA since Lansden and Farley left. Also include Roy and Clint and Linda. I miss those good times when the BRAA actually engaged the fans and the alumni. ALL alumni. Not just the folks in the suites or the courtside seats. There have been 3 questionable hires since Alan left. I think the former Golf Coach actually tried but, given the leadership above him just checked out. For a while, there was a even a former intern handling the job on the cheap. He and McCluney are now at FAMU together. I still have no idea what the BRAA Leadership actually did or does. It seems to me this is where we are, guys in all areas of the Athletic Dept. just coasting to retirement or padding their retirement.....Head Coaches, Asst. Coaches and Admins. Nothing will change until the BOT actually steps in and stops the flow of the student fee revenue subsidy and require people to actually work and be creative.
Just my two cents.
 

FranklinRaider315

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Jun 24, 2009
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Totally off subject but since you mentioned Linda, who formerly worked in the BRAA office, in your message I wanted to share. She was mentioned at our church service yesterday. She is hospitalized with Covid and is apparently struggling at this time. Prayers are appreciated.
I hate to hear this and will be praying for her. Such a sweet lady. This Covid is real to many in our age group. Ron Crawford lost his mom, Mrs. Pat, to Covid two weeks ago. Coach Tom Crawford was one of our assistants on the staff at JCM back in the day.
 

RaiderDawg78

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Totally off subject but since you mentioned Linda, who formerly worked in the BRAA office, in your message I wanted to share. She was mentioned at our church service yesterday. She is hospitalized with Covid and is apparently struggling at this time. Prayers are appreciated.

I truly hate to hear that. My cousin is about to bury his 26 yr old daughter. No known underlying conditions, just gone. This is a cruel virus and the outcomes seem so random. I hope Linda recovers.
 
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Sommy

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The buck has to stop with McFlea an MESSaro. Those two have to take the responsibilty for this decade long decline and failure. Our window to advance the program closed 10 years ago. It’s gotten worse and worse the past few years. Complete lack of leadership
 
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RaiderDawg78

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The buck has to stop with McFlea an MESSaro. Those two have to take the responsibilty for this decade long decline and failure. Our window to advance the program closed 10 years ago. It’s gotten worse and worse the past few years. Complete lack of leadership

You are correct.

The problem is we won’t see a change until we get a new president or get lucky with the new AD when Massaro leaves. There is no commitment to excellence.