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Is Villanova A Good Model for Fordham Athletics?


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rambacker
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« on: April 05, 2016, 08:10:57 am »

Given that there has been much discussion here about Villanova's reclassification to a national university, and the fact that they just won a Men's Basketball National Championship, it begs the question - are they a good model for Fordham's future development of its athletic program? Both schools have FCS football and there are other similarities, but Nova plays in the Big East(what a boost that conference got last night!) and has impressive athletic facilities.

The branding exposure that Villanova gained last night was invaluable. What does Fordham need to do to reach Villanova's level of athletic success?

Fire away!
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 08:40:50 am »

I agree with the vision RB.

If McShane agrees then here are the likely "wheels in motion" from the administration....
-daily rosaries
-an article in Fordham Magazine..though not a cover story
-a memo to Jeff Gray to be like Villanova in sports
-make a video on the charms of our venerable venues

That should work fellas!
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 08:56:45 am »

If Fordham were to make it a priority AND finally come up with a Marshall Plan for athletic$, sure, Villanova is a great model.  No serious scandals, kids seem to graduate and they win.  What's not to like?    It would require new board and administrative leadership and a new way of thinking.  Financially, things would have to be put on hold and the President and Board would have to stand up to serious push back.  It would all start at the top and these Trustees aren't there.
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 08:58:42 am »

If Fordham were to make it a priority AND finally come up with a Marshall Plan for athletic$, sure, Villanova is a great model.  No serious scandals, kids seem to graduate and they win.  What's not to like?    It would require new board and administrative leadership and a new way of thinking.  Financially, things would have to be put on hold and the President and Board would have to stand up to serious push back.  It would all start at the top and these Trustees aren't there.

Push back from who and where do you get that from?
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 08:59:43 am »

Given that there has been much discussion here about Villanova's reclassification to a national university, and the fact that they just won a Men's Basketball National Championship, it begs the question - are they a good model for Fordham's future development of its athletic program? Both schools have FCS football and there are other similarities, but Nova plays in the Big East(what a boost that conference got last night!) and has impressive athletic facilities.

The branding exposure that Villanova gained last night was invaluable. What does Fordham need to do to reach Villanova's level of athletic success?

Fire away!

I honestly dont think we are that far off of Nova on a global basis. We beat them in football 2 years ago, we are now very competitive across the board in our sports on a national level. Obviously, winning a national championship in mens basketball is not something that is likely to ever happen for us but getting to the NCAA tournament is not such a far off dream. Roach has helped to steady the ship and we just need that oomph over the top once he retires. A younger go getter to take it to the next level.     Do we get to where Nova is as in a national champinship ?  No. I dont think thats ever going to be in the cards. But we can get to the next level. Nova light if you will.  I dont think we are that far off, I really dont. 
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 09:33:17 am »

We are talking about 10-15 years and tens of millions of dollars invested at a minimum. There has to be an institutional will to sustain that level of sunk cost investment for a return that may not be attainable or even quantifiable. Can a private school with a limited endowment even consider running these kinds of losses for that amount of time?

Villanova had the benefit of the run up in the Big East that began 35 years ago. Think about that length of time and the once in a lifetime sea change in conference based athletics of which they a part (e.g. hockey stick growth path in revenues/landmark TV rights deals).

Without the benefit of state funding; and without being in a premier power basketball conference with a mega TV deal we will never be at the program level that Villanova is at. They have been the premier basketball program in the northeast, along with Syracuse and UCONN for at least 15 years running. Sorry, but the A10 won't get us there. Let's be Seton Hall or St. Joseph's first, then worry about being an elite program that runs in the top 10 consistently.

Congratulations on the very special achievement that the Wildcats earned and the way they positioned themselves and managed the basketball program.

Good water cooler stuff, but we are talking about putting a man on Mars while we have trouble with the scoreboard and backup rims.
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 09:35:43 am »

I honestly dont think we are that far off of Nova on a global basis. We beat them in football 2 years ago, we are now very competitive across the board in our sports on a national level. Obviously, winning a national championship in mens basketball is not something that is likely to ever happen for us but getting to the NCAA tournament is not such a far off dream. Roach has helped to steady the ship and we just need that oomph over the top once he retires. A younger go getter to take it to the next level.     Do we get to where Nova is as in a national champinship ?  No. I dont think thats ever going to be in the cards. But we can get to the next level. Nova light if you will.  I dont think we are that far off, I really dont. 

In order to get Fordham basketball to the next level of being a legitimate contender for a NCAA bid in any given year, Fordham fans need to step up and make it clear that they will support the team financially.

Since no on-campus facility is in the cards, Fordham needs to make the Barclays Center its home court for at least eight homes games a year, including most of our A-10 home games.

WE need to organize a plan -- call it the "Fordham 3000" and then take our plan to the AD.

The Fordham 3000 are those who will commit to purchasing two season tickets per game at the Barclays Center, at up to $100.  Total annual outlay to be a member of the Fordham 3000 is $1600 per year.  Fordham alumni inside NYC many businesses should be able to get their companies to commit to two tickets per game for 8 games.  

With 600 tickets pre-sold to every game, and up to $600,000 in revenue per game before the first tipoff, we can make Barclays the home for Fordham basketball.

We curtain off the top level, and we'll have a first-class home facility that can be home to a solid A-10 and NCAA tournament contender.

No initiative like this is coming from the inside, but if we had 3000 supporters promising to buy two tickets per game for eight games, Dave Roach would have to listen.
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2016, 09:38:58 am »

Nova attracts excellent Students who are team Fans. Fordham attracts students who walk past the RHG-JCF to go to the Caf.
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2016, 09:39:48 am »

In order to get Fordham basketball to the next level of being a legitimate contender for a NCAA bid in any given year, Fordham fans need to step up and make it clear that they will support the team financially.

 

Unfortunately with that, and I dont disagree with you, there is a reluctance on many alums part  (at least that I know) to donate heavily. Why? Because many are not too trusting in who is in charge of the funds and how they will be used.  I know, shoot me for being a broken record, but as long as FM is there in charge of alumni funding or something of a senior level position with athletic funding, Im not tossing in any cash. that position needs to be re-established and manned by new blood with some credentials.

Since I originally started at Nova I can tell you that the mindset towards sports is definitely different amongst the students. Thats why I dont think we try to emulate anyone else's model. We need our own model that meets our unique needs.
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2016, 09:40:28 am »

We are talking about 10-15 years and tens of millions of dollars invested at a minimum. There has to be an institutional will to sustain that level of sunk cost investment for a return that may not be attainable or even quantifiable. Can a private school with a limited endowment even consider running these kinds of losses for that amount of time?

Our basketball budget is $5.3 million.  We are already #2 in the A-10 in annual spending in men's basketball.

I assume you are speaking about an investment in infrastructure.  We are not building an on-campus facility, so we need to think creatively about how to make a home for ourselves in an off-campus venue.
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 09:42:03 am »

Nova attracts excellent Students who are team Fans. Fordham attracts students who walk past the RHG-JCF to go to the Caf.

I think part of that has to do with experience once you get onto campus. At freshmen orientation they have Jay Wright come out and speak to the Freshmen about the team and about Villanova basketball.

It's a priority there. While I agree there are more basketball centric students that apply to Villanova, students across the board want to be part of it once they get there.

That's what Fordham needs.
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 09:43:10 am »

Again Vinny, it is a chicken and egg scenario and I really think it all starts with personnel.

Look at how swiftly the culture changed with Neuabuer.

We need a new guy in charge of this and one with the appropriate initials and street cred. It could change the dynamic overnight.
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2016, 09:44:14 am »

Our basketball budget is $5.3 million.  We are already #2 in the A-10 in annual spending in men's basketball.

I assume you are speaking about an investment in infrastructure.  We are not building an on-campus facility, so we need to think creatively about how to make a home for ourselves in an off-campus venue.
$5.3 million out the door is not what I am worried about. Without TV money coming, I am worried about that side of the equation. Hence sustained losses.
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2016, 09:45:12 am »

In order to get Fordham basketball to the next level of being a legitimate contender for a NCAA bid in any given year, Fordham fans need to step up and make it clear that they will support the team financially.

Since no on-campus facility is in the cards, Fordham needs to make the Barclays Center its home court for at least eight homes games a year, including most of our A-10 home games.

WE need to organize a plan -- call it the "Fordham 3000" and then take our plan to the AD.

The Fordham 3000 are those who will commit to purchasing two season tickets per game at the Barclays Center, at up to $100.  Total annual outlay to be a member of the Fordham 3000 is $1600 per year.  Fordham alumni inside NYC many businesses should be able to get their companies to commit to two tickets per game for 8 games.  

With 600 tickets pre-sold to every game, and up to $600,000 in revenue per game before the first tipoff, we can make Barclays the home for Fordham basketball.

We curtain off the top level, and we'll have a first-class home facility that can be home to a solid A-10 and NCAA tournament contender.

No initiative like this is coming from the inside, but if we had 3000 supporters promising to buy two tickets per game for eight games, Dave Roach would have to listen.

That can start now by buying season tickets for far less money.  We won 17 games this year and you have a chance to see A-10 basketball up close.  Buy season tickets and commit to the program, next step after that is worrying about Barclays.  
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2016, 09:48:29 am »

Unfortunately with that, and I dont disagree with you, there is a reluctance on many alums part  (at least that I know) to donate heavily. Why? Because many are not too trusting in who is in charge of the funds and how they will be used.  I know, shoot me for being a broken record, but as long as FM is there in charge of alumni funding or something of a senior level position with athletic funding, Im not tossing in any cash. that position needs to be re-established and manned by new blood with some credentials.

Since I originally started at Nova I can tell you that the mindset towards sports is definitely different amongst the students. Thats why I dont think we try to emulate anyone else's model. We need our own model that meets our unique needs.

That's why the Fordham 3000 should be a private initiative.  We appoint someone we know from within with a reputation for making things happened, and we commit our money to him.  He then takes our money, commitment, and ideas to Dave Roach.  Your money is pledged, but safely in your pocket until we accomplish our objective.

During the 1920s, AD Jack Coffey believed that Fordham needed to hire a prominent football coach and establish a visible football program at Fordham.  The university administration didn't help.  So Coffey lined up prominent alumni, and they arranged to pass the hat, and raise the funds necessary to hire Frank Cavanaugh.  There is a precedent for alumni initiative at Fordham.
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2016, 09:50:03 am »

That can start now by buying season tickets for far less money.  We won 17 games this year and you have a chance to see A-10 basketball up close.  Buy season tickets and commit to the program, next step after that is worrying about Barclays.  

I don't disagree.  Buy tickets now AND also commit to be part of the Fordham 3000. Grin
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2016, 09:51:04 am »

Again, I dont disagree but I think it would get serious push back.

Why not start by retiring Frank and putting someone with funding background in that spot and go from there. Look at the culture change Moorhead created, and Neubauer and Gaitley. It shouldnt have to be such a Ruthian  endeavor, change one spot and the rest might take care of itself.   And yes, it can be that simple.
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2016, 09:52:30 am »

That's why the Fordham 3000 should be a private initiative.  We appoint someone we know from within with a reputation for making things happened, and we commit our money to him.  He then takes our money, commitment, and ideas to Dave Roach.  Your money is pledged, but safely in your pocket until we accomplish our objective.

During the 1920s, AD Jack Coffey believed that Fordham needed to hire a prominent football coach and establish a visible football program at Fordham.  The university administration didn't help.  So Coffey lined up prominent alumni, passed the hat, and raised the funds necessary to hire Frank Cavanaugh.  There is a precedent for alumni initiative at Fordham.

Why aren't you focused on getting people to support the program now?  Winning matters and attendance matters.  We have a coach who is committed to winning in the RHG why not focus getting people pack RHG and donate to program?  That will impress the higher ups more than 600 people in a 10000 seat arena in Brooklyn. You may want to talk to our coach as to whether he thinks your idea is what we need now.
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« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2016, 09:54:29 am »

Side note but somewhat relevant to the discussion. Are they promoting from within for Marianne's spot or actively looking for new blood?
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« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2016, 10:01:54 am »

You may want to talk to our coach as to whether he thinks your idea is what we need now.

That of course, is a fair point and something we'd have to do.  This is just an idea.  I suspect the coach will appreciate the initiative, although he may want to shape it and take it in other directions.

The goal is to demonstrate there is a substantial financial commitment behind the 3000.
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« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2016, 10:06:55 am »

That of course, is a fair point and something we'd have to do.  This is just an idea.  I suspect the coach will appreciate the initiative, although he may want to shape it and take it in other directions.

The goal is to demonstrate there is a substantial financial commitment behind the 3000.

He will tell you get rid of the Barclays part of it especially for conference games.  He will point to our last two home conference games and say that is what we need.  Get that done this year as that will help us more than playing at Barclays. 
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« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2016, 10:10:35 am »

Why aren't you focused on getting people to support the program now?  Winning matters and attendance matters.  We have a coach who is committed to winning in the RHG why not focus getting people pack RHG and donate to program?  That will impress the higher ups more than 600 people in a 10000 seat arena in Brooklyn. You may want to talk to our coach as to whether he thinks your idea is what we need now.

Sometimes the trouble with asking a coach for a strategic vision is that his long-term goal might be different than what is best for the program. A coach may want to win now so they can be gone tomorrow while the program needs to win and set up a plan for where to take it from there.
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« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2016, 10:12:10 am »

He will tell you get rid of the Barclays part of it especially for conference games.  He will point to our last two home conference games and say that is what we need.  Get that done this year as that will help us more than playing at Barclays. 

You're right.  Especially since it is clear we are not making Barclays a home court in 2016-17, we need to show our commitment to next season.  And since tickets to RHG are so much cheaper, I'm in for for per game next year.

Take the pledge on this thread.  

"I seen Coach N has created a new atmosphere for the program, and I'm am willing to do my part by buying four season tickets for 2015-16, and I promise to see that someone uses my tickets even when I cannot make the game."

I'm in.
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« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2016, 11:18:34 am »

Push back from who and where do you get that from?

If Fordham really wanted to make a run at a successful, big-time, all the bells and whistles program it would take an institutional sea change, starting with it being an identified priority, something that Fordham has never done.  The words, "We want success, we want to win, we want athletics to be as important as anything else and we're going to spend what it takes to do it," would have to be spoken clearly and loudly.  Think what UConn did in the 80's/early 90's and what Rutgers is trying to do now.   If you think that won't bring some serious push back by those who would feel threatened, think again.
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« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2016, 11:25:35 am »

In order to get Fordham basketball to the next level of being a legitimate contender for a NCAA bid in any given year, Fordham fans need to step up and make it clear that they will support the team financially.

Since no on-campus facility is in the cards, Fordham needs to make the Barclays Center its home court for at least eight homes games a year, including most of our A-10 home games.

WE need to organize a plan -- call it the "Fordham 3000" and then take our plan to the AD.

The Fordham 3000 are those who will commit to purchasing two season tickets per game at the Barclays Center, at up to $100.  Total annual outlay to be a member of the Fordham 3000 is $1600 per year.  Fordham alumni inside NYC many businesses should be able to get their companies to commit to two tickets per game for 8 games.  

With 600 tickets pre-sold to every game, and up to $600,000 in revenue per game before the first tipoff, we can make Barclays the home for Fordham basketball.

We curtain off the top level, and we'll have a first-class home facility that can be home to a solid A-10 and NCAA tournament contender.

No initiative like this is coming from the inside, but if we had 3000 supporters promising to buy two tickets per game for eight games, Dave Roach would have to listen.

This is not a Fordham fans issue.  RB's question was "Is Nova a good model for Fordham athletics?"  If the premise is a successful, major college athletic program is the goal, then the University has to say so and lead the way.  That vision can't come from the coach, the AD or the boosters.  No grass roots, "let's sell 600 season tickets" is going to move the needle.  Fordham has to say, "here's the goal, here's the plan; let's go!"
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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2016, 11:25:42 am »



Since I originally started at Nova I can tell you that the mindset towards sports is definitely different amongst the students. Thats why I dont think we try to emulate anyone else's model. We need our own model that meets our unique needs.


85....I agree and I find this very important. Can you please go deeper into the differences....including why? And maybe how to shift it towards the Villanova 'mindset'

I don't think a student body and alumni base that is ambivalent to athletics serves the strategic interests of Fordham
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« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2016, 11:30:01 am »

This is not a Fordham fans issue.  RB's question was "Is Nova a good model for Fordham athletics?"  If the premise is a successful, major college athletic program is the goal, then the University has to say so and lead the way.  That vision can't come from the coach, the AD or the boosters.  No grass roots, "let's sell 600 season tickets" is going to move the needle.  Fordham has to say, "here's the goal, here's the plan; let's go!"

Glad to hear you're not on board.

I would have had to re-think the whole idea if you said it was a good idea.
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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2016, 11:36:47 am »

85....I agree and I find this very important. Can you please go deeper into the differences....including why? And maybe how to shift it towards the Villanova 'mindset'

I don't think a student body and alumni base that is ambivalent to athletics serves the strategic interests of Fordham

You need competent people running things. Too often it seems people in the Athletic Dept are ambivalent to athletics. I had 4 season tix this year. When the post-season BU game was announced I heard about it from a friend -not a word from the Athletic Dept. When I inquired about tix (again not a word from the athletic dept - I sought them out), it took three emails to two different people to order my tix. There's a lot of easy stuff just not being done. It's not hard to see why attendance is awful.
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« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2016, 11:48:26 am »

Glad to hear you're not on board.

I would have had to re-think the whole idea if you said it was a good idea.

I was responding Rambacker's original question regarding using Villanova as a model.  Your plan has nothing to do with that.
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« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2016, 11:57:03 am »

85....I agree and I find this very important. Can you please go deeper into the differences....including why? And maybe how to shift it towards the Villanova 'mindset'

I don't think a student body and alumni base that is ambivalent to athletics serves the strategic interests of Fordham

Square peg  round hole. 

We cant and shouldn't emulate Nova because our students are different and have a different attitude towards sports. I don't think its a bad thing, we just need to work within our own culture. Fordham's culture has evolved over many decades. Let's not try to be someone else. It's workable,  you just need the right people.  Nova might serve as a good model but we need to make it our own and inclucde what makes Fordham different in a good way. That might start from a few new hires.
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