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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 9:04 am 
Sacramento and SD just passed student referendums to assure funding for the athletics teams, including football. sac is building an on-campus 8K seat arena to be incorporated into the football stadium.

San Jose will do the same either through a vote in favor by the students or a mandate by the new prez, similar to what happened in SD.

Sacramento's new President is from Fresno and was President of a CSU near SD, so he saw first hand how to build a program and the benefits it brings to a school.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 12:41 pm 
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San Diego State students did not pass their referendum. Did the president override that?

Do you really think the Sac proposal lends itself to improving football? Michigan and maybe Oklahoma are the two schools I can think of that consistently have powerful football and basketball programs; everywhere else, it's one or the other. If you make the choice to improve basketball, it is often at football's expense.

Having said that, it is market forces that make the difference here. It works in Fresno because there's been a good marriage between long timers, newcomers, a city that doesn't have a larger sports interest, and the university. Sacramento has a completely different dynamic, I see the Big West being a big pull for them, the Kings run the town, and the AD is too far behind the recruiting curve to be making improvements in football. San Jose has languished for so long that all of one more trigger will probably sink football. San Diego State needs a major improvement in order to justify paying rent in Qualcomm, and I don't see where there's a major mandate for football there, though that process will take more time.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 1:02 pm 
"Did the president override that?"

Yes, Weber over-rode the vote and approved the passage.

Sac passed by 55.2%. The RWEC at Sac will benefit football in that new locker rooms, offices, weights, etc. will be housed in a 236,000 sq ft. facility. The RWEC will incorporate the football stadium into a bowl. New seats in the bowl will be incorporated into the RWEC.

http://www.fm.csus.edu/MASTERPLAN200311-24-03.pdf

I don't think SD, SJ or Sac have to worry about being mistaken for a SuperPower football program.



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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 1:07 pm 
"I see the Big West being a big pull for them"

Why? They don't offer football and comprise of schools who are totally apathetic towards sports and facilities.

There are exceptions to the rule.

You are correct, Sacramento expects competetion at the highest level. The Kings are sleeping with the local paper's editors. If you provide a product that is similar to the Sacramento Surge and CFL Gold Miners, you will average 26K, or more, fans every week.

The biggest hurdle in the past at Sac has been facilities and an apathetic administration. That has changed.



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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 1:18 pm 
If the shovels started pushing dirt today, it wouldn't be until 2007/8 before Sac could even consider moving up and out.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 7:31 pm 
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There is no need or demand for Sac St and the few others to move up. Rather, there is reason for San Jose St, La-Mon, Buffalo and other weaklings to go to IAA.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2004 10:18 pm 
"There is no need or demand for Sac St and the few others to move up."

I agree and disagree.

TEXT Sacramento media market is in the top 25 nationally. The population is exploding. The market includes Sac, Stockton, Modesto, N. Valley, Tahoe and into the E. Bay.

I think Sac will invest heavily in at least trying to be a top I-AA prgram, but the long term, 40,000 students projected by 2010, goal is to play regional, peer institutions like San Diego State, San Jose and Nevada. At least that is what the new President has said his goal is. The campus is adding 5K beds to enhance the on-campus community.

40K students provide a nice consistent fee (IRA) for athletic revenue. Sacramento Sports Association supports Sac State 110%. Alex Spanos is bank rolling upgrades to the stadium and soon RWEC, which is already named in his honor.

The Sacramento community is beside themselves with the Kings. The CFL Gold Miners and Surge drew over 25K a game at Hornet stadium. The school almost has the same budget as WAC member and C-USA hopeful La. Tech.

The school is Title IX complient and offers 63 football schollies (Big Sky mandate). The volleyball, MBall, and tennis teams either won or participated in the conferece title.

There is no money in I-AA.

TEXT I would like to see bottom IA schools drop to I-AA. It would add instant credibility and competetiveness to the league. It might allow some schools who have dropped football the ability to re-instate their program. Form some I-AA leagues that are strictly non scholarship like the IVY (Rice, Tulane, SMU, etc.) or have some conference's with cost containment (45-50 schollies max).

IA is becoming semi-pro, keep I-AA a college oriented game. The Sacramento community wants to see competetion at the highest level though. Sac averaged over 11K fans between 99-01 when the team was winning and having players establish new NCAA records (Charles Roberts). The interest is there. Other than our Davis neighbor, there is no hometown team at the IA level in a 125 mile radius.

A new President, AD, executive officers and a recent passing of a huge student referendum has Sac buzzing. I think the people pushing the buttons at Sac are swinging for the fence in fund raising and community awareness saturation. The ultimate goal for Sac is to become another Fresno State, which is a compliment to Fresno.

Hell, our football coach and almost his entire staff are former FSU players/coaches. The new Sac President was at FSU during the 80's and saw the growth.

Logistically, the numbers are there for Sac. Easy airport, baseball/softball, large media market, large student population who has exhibited a desire for growth, 170K alumni, soon facilities.

Exploration of joining the WAC was mentioned by the Pres. in his SOU speach. Something should be announced at or near the start of the Olympic Trials held at Sac. in July.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 9:53 am 
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One thing we have to consider, as several of you have, is to think long term. Not only will any move suggested here not take place for 1-3 years, but the goal should be long-term stability and not a quick fix. Under that mindset, it sounds as if Sac St. has such potential.

It also sounds as if what the WAC, Sun Belt and others are going through right now will serve as the growing pains necessary to resolve the management issues behind collegiate football. IMO, half the image-related and actual problems are created by sub-par ADs thinking they're the next Marshall or Kansas State without any true grasp of what lies behind building and maintaining a program. Similar barbs should be lobbied at those who encourage such behavior (TV, fans) and those who blindly support it (school administrators). This just in, football is not a financial manna like basketball! The logistics of the sport demand it, as it is too big in scale to be a windfall without the right support.

Yes, down the line another program may emerge from nowhere to average 80-100,000 fans per game. Until then, let's have some reality while milking talent from the athletes and the support of us fans.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 4:23 pm 
Sac and UC Davis have much potential.

It is a great valley rivalry, drawing 21K + when held at Sac.

Sac is physically a dozen years ahead of Davis, Sac having moved D-AA in '92, Davis making the probationary move next year.

During those 11 years Sac had a relic 65+ president who toured the world while his campus languished in 1955 California beauracratic(sp?) bliss. The program was I-AA in name only.

Events are 180* at Sac during the last year. The Sacramento community has never been tapped for donations at the magnitude the RWEC and other projects are bringing. Davis draws a different market and $$ support structure than does Sac.

When the two semi-pro teams splayed at Sac during the early 90's, the stadium rocked with 26K people, beer gardens and every concession imaginable. Restroom facilities sucked though. Where don't they though?

Too bad the economy isn't rocking like it was five years ago, it is always easier when you are holding out your hand. Having the new student fees and the RWEC will move mountains.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 12:31 am 
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For those of you who are skeptical of my previous post:

What was the WAC conference alignment in 1988? How many are still members of the WAC? Is it reasonable to expect stability for the next 16 years?

There aren't that many D-I programs west of the Mississippi. How many are in top-120 Nielsen markets?

How many top-120 Nielsen markets are there west of the Mississippi?

How many flagship state universities are there west of the Mississippi? How many of those universities aren't already members of the MWC, Pac-10 or Big XII?

If you think that Portland State has more long term potential than Montana, North Dakota State or South Dakota State, you're smoking better weed than I can get. PSU will always be #3 in Portland, below the fold after Oregon and OSU. Even Sac State will be below the fold in Sacramento more often than not to Cal and Stanford.

Market size ain't the whole story. Market share is important, too. Ask Boise State, or Ohio State for that matter. NDSU and SDSU will have statewide support and statewide market share as (currently) the only D-I games in town in their media markets.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 6:12 am 
"NDSU and SDSU will have statewide support and statewide market share as (currently) the only D-I games in town in their media markets."

They don't start the probationary 5(?) period until next year. They are 5 years, at least, away from any conference championship or NCAA appearance.

All 253 TV sets will be turned into the mighty cows vs. rabbits contest.

There are almost more alumni at Sac State than Dakota has residents.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 7:06 am 
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Quote:
How many [WAC teams] are in top-120 Nielsen markets?


How many SEC teams are in top 120 markets? I can think of more that aren't than are.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 8:58 am 
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The statement about Portland State is essentially spot on.

Portland and Sacramento are in similar positions of growth, the sporting makeup of their markets, and MAYBE in income levels as well. There's a definite cultural difference.

I could cite Blazers attendance (strong enough not only to merit a 20,000-seat arena, but to stay above 19K average through 4 years of the annoying "JailBlazers" era until FINALLY deteriorating this last season, making me wonder what took so long), I could talk about how PGE Park tends to sell out appearances by both national soccer teams, I can refer to how Pokey Allen helped draw crowds of 13K to Portland State games when they were D2, and I can certainly cite the traffic on I-5 down to Corvallis and Eugene on game days, not too different than what Jim has cited with Sacramento. There's a difference between "can" and "consistently do," and neither Portland State nor Sacramento State have consistency on their resume.

The bigges trick of all, for both markets, in major metro areas, is to actually qualify for 1-A. I believe the standards the NCAA were pushing, but tabled in April, will definitely be enforced for teams trying to move up from 1-AA (it's the current 1-A schools that may get a break). To achieve that, you have to draw better for games against 1-AA schools, and neither market shows more than a base of 6 or 7K in attendance, possibly 3-4K season ticket holders (if that)- problems Fresno never had to deal with. I know a lot of fans in Portland who think they can (or just should) make shortcuts and actually get home games with Alabama and the like... some people just haven't got the message the NCAA is sending.

If Sac State doesn't drop football, I do wonder if they're better off getting in the same league with Davis (and Cal Poly SLO, speaking of old rivals, presuming that means anything). I doubt Sac State would do that, or need to if they're truly serious about football, but the goal needs to be raising the BASE of attendance.

Last part of my rant. It's something I mentioned in another thread about the California football market. It's relatively limited. I don't think the demise of so many programs (public and private) in the state are an accident. I think Sacramento is not Fresno, and is susceptible to the same fate as Northridge, Long Beach, Fullerton, and most of the D3 schools that ended up giving up the sport there.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 10:24 am 
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Quote:
It's something I mentioned in another thread about the California football market. It's relatively limited. I don't think the demise of so many programs (public and private) in the state are an accident. I think Sacramento is not Fresno, and is susceptible to the same fate as Northridge, Long Beach, Fullerton, and most of the D3 schools that ended up giving up the sport there.


Agreed Pounder, football is far from a passion in the metro areas of California. Just check the support or SJSU and SDSU as examples (Cal and Stanford too for that matter). Hell, in my many trips to the So Cal area I find that people there actually revel in the fact that there is no NFL team in the LA basin.


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 Post subject: WAC Realignment
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 11:23 am 
I am speculating this based on change. Of course Sac, Portland State and Davis have never averaged 15K for home football and will require substantial upgrades to facilities and infrastructure funding. Sac has already taken a step in approving the RWEC, Davis has plans which were held up by the regents.

What is seen as an ominous omen, is in reality good. Football in California has been dropped by almost all the college programs. But, that leaves the programs left standing a substantial pool of above-average recruits.

Sac is light years ahead of Northridge and has different demographics than Fullerton, Long Beach and the other CSU's. The LA CSU's are located on every street corner. Sac is the CSU for an enormous region.

Northridge sold the land their stadium was on, they folded partly because their stadium was demolished. Sac students have passed two referendums ('95 to fully fund football $55/semester and '04 to provide ASI with $110/semester for the RWEC and leisure/activities), so the funding is vastly different than Northridge. Sac is different than the other CSU's in that Sac has sugar daddies who bank roll facility upgrades(Spanos, Anderson, et al) and have the full support of the Sacramento Sports Association to assist in marketing and fundraising.

All of what I am suggesting will be known by the public in about six weeks.

Perhaps Sac will fold and become another apathetic CSU? I think Sac will either remain in the Big Sky and grow for a possible upgrade, or they will go indy and explore the possibility of upgrading. We all know that there is no money at the I-AA level.

And the rivalry with Davis will offer deep thoughts into folding any program. The Sac/Davis rivalry energizes both towns during the week of the game and provides both schools with added exposure and income.

Plus, if you are trying to raise $25M, cutting your most prominent and visible sport is suicide.


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