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The Care and Feeding of Athletics at Fordham


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Author Topic: The Care and Feeding of Athletics at Fordham  (Read 930 times)
Scott W 86
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« on: April 29, 2016, 09:38:37 am »


Twice a year, spring and fall, I get a beautiful, well designed Fordham Magazine at home, as do most of you. If we're lucky we can review it cover to cover. Occasionally go back into key sections. The older we are, the faster we check "memoriam" .... admit it, it's OK to do that.

It is a very well done magazine. I see a few other schools magazines in my house, and I'm always proud of how it compares to others that my family gets.

If I can stipulate, I think it is excellent.

However, over the years I've felt like I was noticing certain trends. Maybe it was that dancers made for more dramatic cover photos. Perhaps the stage lighting of the performing arts made for a better look or feel. "I'm not in publishing, what do I know?" is what I'd say to myself.

So with that little chip on my should I started to look for something..... how about an athletics cover once in a while?  Maybe they had them, and  missed it. It's a great university, and my parochial interests were creating a perception and grievance perhaps.

It did seem like more of the direct mail I got for donations were sports oriented though. No surprise, that's were my directed donations were going so they were targeting .... sound management I said to myself.

Then I had enough time to start some research. "How many covers, going back as far as I can go, were devoted to Athletics?"

What do we spend on athletics ...$30M?   Big ticket item.   But since it's been hard to think of Fordham without thinking "Rams" .... you'd assume a normal level of highlighting on something like a magazine cover, one every few years maybe? Maybe two coming into the household while junior was growing up from K through 12?  A beautiful, exciting photo of a baseball, football, soccer player proudly succeeding in Fordham Maroon.

Not every other issues like those backward types at U of Texas or Auburn ..... God Forbid.  But something about the women and men, our men and women,  carrying our banners ..... surely.

So I enlisted the help a wonderful Fordham parson named Ryan S.  I told Ryan I wanted to see if thee was a way to view past covers, and he graciously supplied a set of links to take me down memory lane,
 
Here's the bottom line,,,,,

Over the last 37 covers ..... a lonely 1 had an athletic subject.

---That 1 cover was nine years ago, in 2007.  It was an 80 year old photo of Vince Lombardi.  Beautiful picture; but again, 80 years old!

Now in fairness to the publishers, and Ryan, he did point out the features that they've done in the past few years, on Moorhead, Rowing, Skelton, Club Football in 65, The new AD Q&A and Softball.   Terrific stories ...... but no soccer, no baseball.   No covers for any to the $30M we spend per year.  And we wonder why attendance can be disappointing. And we ask ourselves ....'what's with these students not seeming to care?'

I'm not faulting the magazine here. I think they are reflecting the values and tastes of leadership.

If that charge is unfair to leadership .... then I'd respectfully ask them to walk over to the magazine offices, and a few other influencers in the school, and say "How about a damn cover once in a while?"

"How about some more effort Marketing?"
"Where the hell are the banners on these walls people?"


If you'd like to see the covers yourself ..... here are the links that the fine folks at the magazine sent to me.



You can find quite a few covers of back issues on our old site:

http://legacy.fordham.edu/campus_resources/enewsroom/fordham_magazine/fordham_magazine_arc/index.asp

Recent magazine covers are on this page:

http://news.fordham.edu/magazine-archive/

And the cover of our current issue is on this page:

fordham.edu/magazine
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2016, 11:01:55 am »

The photo of Lombardi was 70 years old when it appeared in 2007, not 80, but I get your point. An occasional sports cover would be welcome.
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2016, 12:01:49 pm »

Athletics at Fordham is not configured to be a significant contributor. Alumni magazines are designed to promote good feelings among alums and drum up contributions. One could contribute to Fordham Athletics as much as you want, but the fact is, athletics are a sunk cost at Fordham and, given our facilities, have no glimmer of a prayer of a hope of a chance of ever turning a profit or contributing to the University's bottom line.

Fordham Magazine will run an occasional "feel good" piece about a team that's doing well, but the Magazine will devote its resources to activities more likely to expand the University's coffers.

That the last athletics cover was a picture of Lombardi should tell you something about Fordham sports in the modern era.
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2016, 12:13:51 pm »



That the last athletics cover was a picture of Lombardi should tell you something about Fordham sports in the modern era.

As a D-1 program, Fordham Athletics has been pretty darn successful over the past few years. We have championships across multiple sports and NCAA Tournament Appearances in Soccer, Softball, WBB and FB.

The problem is that most people just don't care. I'm hopeful the success of Men's BB changes the culture.
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2016, 12:16:52 pm »

Athletics at Fordham is not configured to be a significant contributor. Alumni magazines are designed to promote good feelings among alums and drum up contributions. One could contribute to Fordham Athletics as much as you want, but the fact is, athletics are a sunk cost at Fordham and, given our facilities, have no glimmer of a prayer of a hope of a chance of ever turning a profit or contributing to the University's bottom line.

Fordham Magazine will run an occasional "feel good" piece about a team that's doing well, but the Magazine will devote its resources to activities more likely to expand the University's coffers.

That the last athletics cover was a picture of Lombardi should tell you something about Fordham sports in the modern era.

John.... I'd like to run out the people, and types, that "configured" us this way. 

It's a cost that is sunk to the level it's sunk to because of the leadership.

I won't give them a pass.  It's the condition they created and/or enable.

Joe Moglia for POFU
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2016, 12:42:52 pm »

The hiring of Dave Roach as AD has, in my opinion, increased the competence levels in the Athletic Department noticeably. And the records of our A-10 teams have improved as well. Dave is doing the job his predecessor was paid to do, but didn't, couldn't or wouldn't.  A couple more seasons of respectable performances by the men's hoops team will hopefully put to bed forever this "does Fordham belong in the A-10?" angst, and let us reshape the question as "how does Fordham get to or near the top of the A-10 consistently?"

Where there has been little improvement, sadly, is in Athletic Department communications and sports marketing. We have had some remarkable athletes (and people) come through here in recent years, some good team performances, and we've not done enough to showcase them.  Hopefully, that will change. The Daily News piece on Garrick Mayweather was stunning, an eye-opener: if we could get a few more Fordham Athletics stories like that in the press each year, I think it would have a big impact.

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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2016, 09:44:44 pm »

The hiring of Dave Roach as AD has, in my opinion, increased the competence levels in the Athletic Department noticeably. And the records of our A-10 teams have improved as well. Dave is doing the job his predecessor was paid to do, but didn't, couldn't or wouldn't.  A couple more seasons of respectable performances by the men's hoops team will hopefully put to bed forever this "does Fordham belong in the A-10?" angst, and let us reshape the question as "how does Fordham get to or near the top of the A-10 consistently?"

Where there has been little improvement, sadly, is in Athletic Department communications and sports marketing. We have had some remarkable athletes (and people) come through here in recent years, some good team performances, and we've not done enough to showcase them.  Hopefully, that will change. The Daily News piece on Garrick Mayweather was stunning, an eye-opener: if we could get a few more Fordham Athletics stories like that in the press each year, I think it would have a big impact.



All true IMO John.

I started this with a simple request for a magazine cover and ended up loping off heads!

But I'd love to see leadership that wants to win, not just be happy when we do win.  A critical difference to me.
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2016, 10:25:07 pm »

All true IMO John.

I started this with a simple request for a magazine cover and ended up loping off heads!

But I'd love to see leadership that wants to win, not just be happy when we do win.  A critical difference to me.

I'd prefer leadership that hates losing.
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2016, 12:18:43 am »

I don't see a lot of sports on the covers of any Alumni Magazines. They tend to focus on new building projects or Academic achievements.

Besides GSB@Hughes and the Law School, we have not built much.

The back cover, like tabloids, could be dedicated to Sports.



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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2016, 10:28:14 am »

I don't see a lot of sports on the covers of any Alumni Magazines. They tend to focus on new building projects or Academic achievements.

Besides GSB@Hughes and the Law School, we have not built much.

The back cover, like tabloids, could be dedicated to Sports.



Thanks 92a .... I'm not advocating for many .... just a healthy mix on par with the level of interest, and effort, there is in athletics. I think 0 for 37 covers with a current sport is out of balance, and wrong for our school.

But I wanted to look into your point that you "don't see a lot" .... I did some desk research.

I started with BC  ( Wink ... surprise)

A couple in the last few years. Here's a look....

http://bcm.bc.edu/issues/summer_2014/

http://bcm.bc.edu/issues/fall_2012/


Thinking that BC wasn't quite up to our lofty standards I reached out beyond the Jesuit world and looked at Duke. Bingo...that basketball school didn't disappoint....

https://image.isu.pub/150429193826-94ab9ccff181145fdd03591bebc18ba0/jpg/page_1_thumb_large.jpg


Knowing that we don't want to be thought of as "a basketball school," like the folks at Duke, I climbed up to the Ivy League and looked at Dartmouth. Surely they would show us the way. Oooops....they recently featured their AD on the cover. Roach, get yourself a damn publicist.  SM, can you help Dave? ....

http://dartmouthalumnimagazine.com/issue-archive


Next I came closer to home, I attempted Georgetown, but their archival system is too hellish to navigate, no report on the Hoyas; sorry.  We know their leadership doesn't mind a bad ass sports profile in basketball though.

So then, at the risk of the howls of the Dome Haters, I looked into Notre Dame. If nothing else, they are an example of a Catholic university that supports athletics. Well, the results were interesting .... only one sports cover over the years (6-7) I looked at. And that wasn't a football cover.
 
http://magazine.nd.edu/archives/2014/summer-2014/

However, it was a cover story article that some might find interesting from a sociological standpoint. It's entitled "Why We Love Sports." by a journalist not associated with ND.  It has a few wonderful anecdotes and observations from a diverse set of characters.  To paraphrase one of my favorites ... we love sports because of the victory, heroism and defeat .... without the consequences of real life.  I'll think about real life consequences when we end up arguing about the number of minutes Zarko is getting!

Here's the article......

http://magazine.nd.edu/news/49019/







 
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2016, 10:47:21 am »

I don't see a lot of sports on the covers of any Alumni Magazines. They tend to focus on new building projects or Academic achievements.


The only lucid observation in the whole thread ... 
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2016, 11:06:41 am »

The hiring of Dave Roach as AD has, in my opinion, increased the competence levels in the Athletic Department noticeably. And the records of our A-10 teams have improved as well. Dave is doing the job his predecessor was paid to do, but didn't, couldn't or wouldn't.  A couple more seasons of respectable performances by the men's hoops team will hopefully put to bed forever this "does Fordham belong in the A-10?" angst, and let us reshape the question as "how does Fordham get to or near the top of the A-10 consistently?"
 

Roach has done a much better job than I had anticipated. We are pretty good now in every sport. No catastrophic zonkers either, like in Frank's regime.

What's next will follow with a new President. Given the apparent restrictions of working in athletics under McShane, I think Roach has earned an A. Now, is Roach the guy to take it up a few notches? Probably not given his age and given his pedigree, its a job for a Gen X er or a millenial  in my opinion.

Fordham is not defined by its athletics, and probably never will be. Its ok, its our culture. I dont believe in fighting it with magazine covers. Its who Fordham is and that has developed over decades. it doesnt mean we can have significant success in athletics. I started at Nova and hated that every kid was walking around with a GO CATS shirt on. We arent that. Thank god.

We are getting close, it will happen with the next President in my opinion. Just like our friend RB stepped up to get us into the A-10, we need the millenial in a position to help get the bricks and sticks to the next level. 
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2016, 11:52:04 am »

Grank still in position(s) of power at Fordham. Nothing about Roach until the ghosts are dead and buried.
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2016, 12:34:57 pm »

The only lucid observation in the whole thread ... 


On behalf of NYRam07, xtey92a, ace93, John and FUCoP69 ..... that's a typically dickish comment by a full of himself windbag.

 Wink
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2016, 12:46:34 pm »


On behalf of NYRam07, xtey92a, ace93, John and FUCoP69 ..... that's a typically dickish comment by a full of himself windbag.

 Wink

You forgot AOC, in the top billing.  Wink
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2016, 01:03:05 pm »

You forgot AOC, in the top billing.  Wink

Touche
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2016, 01:10:04 pm »

You forgot AOC, in the top billing.  Wink

Na, that would mean I gave a crap about you or any of your drivel.  I don't.
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2016, 05:24:35 pm »

I once asked a former chairman of the BOT how much time they spend at meetings on athletic issues. He glibly said "about 30 seconds."  Don't hold your breath waiting for any cover stories. The tone is set from the top.
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