These numbers prove how vital a football program is to the athletic department
Over the past year or so we've taken a several looks at the value that a football program can bring to a university.
A successful football program raises admission numbers, fundraising efforts, and makes the university more visible in the public eye. That's all the icing on the cake compared to the most obvious reason that schools are deciding to add football to their docket, which is a major increase in revenue.
Penn State recently released their revenue numbers over the past year, and while the football program continues to generate an enormous amount of profit ($34.1 million in 2012), the entire athletic department finished 2012-2013 year in the red by nearly $6 million. While we found that somewhat interesting, it was the money that the football program generated for the university that really caught our attention.
On page 7 of the document below, highlighting ticket sales, the football team accounted for over $31.75 million dollars of the $32.9 million that ticket sales brought in across all men's programs. No other program accounted for over $1 million in ticket sales. The next closest was men's basketball with $795,653 in sales. Needless to say, that's a huge gap. Total women's athletic department ticket sales for all sports accounted for $468,000.
The other area that caught our attention is detailed on page 14 where they take a look at the sales in regards to concessions, novelties, and parking. Football accounted for $4.1 million, while all men's teams accounted for a grand total of $4.2 million. Of the hundred thousand dollars accounted for by other men's sports programs, the wrestling program accounted for $58,594 and the men's basketball program accounted for just $7,764.
While reports like this can be a bit intimidating to look at upon your first glance, it really puts the importance of a football program for a university into perspective. These kind of numbers are a major driving force behind why 23 athletic departments have, or are planning to launch football programs by 2016.
The Penn State athletic department's full release can be seen below.
Video: Eastern Michigan coaches and players take the polar plunge
A couple of Eastern Michigan's new staff, and a handful of players, participated in the 6th annual Ford Lake Frozen Leap on Saturday.
Among the coaches that took the plunge for charity, was first year EMU head coach Chris Creighton.
While some of the players went for the bonus points, jumping in and doing a cannonball, or flexing and taking their time to get out of the frigid waters, coach Creighton opted for the "jump in and get to the ladder as quick as possible" approach. As a Michigander myself, I can't say that I blame him.
See him take his plunge around the two minute mark.
Larry Johnson explains changing jobs is like 'changing parking lots, not cars'
This off season has been unlike any other off season that Larry Johnson has ever known.
After 18 years in Happy Valley where he wore blue every day, Johnson now sits in the offices at Ohio State, where wearing blue is not only banned, but you're not even allowed to write in blue ink because of the rival up north.
While he notes in Buckeye Extra that some things have changed, he uses an analogy to explain that he's the same coach and person, just doing it at a different location.
“I might have changed lots, but I didn’t change cars. There’s no question it’s different, because 18 years at one place — my staying at Penn State was because I was real loyal to my players. That’s why I stayed all those years. It was just that at this time, this juncture, it was time to separate.”
One area where Johnson and his message haven't had to change, is on the recruiting trail.
“Recruiting is recruiting; you’re just doing it for a different school. The product we sold at Penn State is the same product here: great students and student-athletes, quality players, quality people. That makes it easy to transition, because you’re recruiting the same kind of players.”
In the article, one coach talks about how weird it is to see Johnson walk into their school wearing a new color scheme, and how his approach to recruiting impacts high school kids. Read the whole piece here.
SEC players at the combine
We saw this tweet this morning (released by LSU director of player personnel Austin Thomas):
While the general order depicted probably is largely in line with most people's expectations (although I have to say that 40 in 4 years seems impressively high and 5 on the other end is surprisingly low), I wonder what this same type of image will look like 3 or 4 years from now.
Any informed opinions want to weigh in on this one? If so, tweet back to us and we'll add your thoughts to this article.
Video: Iowa football players collaborate with the dance team
The time between the end of bowl games and the start of spring ball is a stretch dominated by winter weight room sessions and grueling conditioning.
Every once in a while a video is brought to our attention that aims to break up that monotony for the players, and that's exactly what this clip from Iowa provides.
From the looks of it, the football team put in quite a bit of work with the Hawkeye dance squad to come up with this routine that they debuted during a recent halftime of a womens basketball game. It's too bad more people weren't in the stands to see this one live, because some of the guys can bust a move.
VIDEO: Abilene Christian announces plans for new on-campus stadium
It's a good time to be an Abilene Christian Wildcat.
After an aggressive courtship from Central Arkansas, Abilene Christian held on to head coach Ken Collums and signed him to a four-year contract extension in December. The Wildcats have completed their transitional move to Division I, becoming full-fledged members of FCS's Southland Conference this fall and open the 2014 season at Air Force. And, soon, they'll have a long-awaited brand new on-campus stadium as the cherry on top of their sundae.
Launched in 1910, the program has won or shared a dozen conference championships, most recently in 2010, claimed NAIA national championships in 1973 and 1977 and put 31 players in the NFL. Yet they've been trying to play a full home schedule on campus since the 1940's but have not been able to get it done. The Wildcats' official home is Shotwell Stadium, a 15,000 seat venue owned by Abilene Independent School District. It's not an ideal situation, especially for a soon-to-be Division I university.
Finally, that's about to change.
At a price tag of $30 million, Wildcat Stadium will contain 8,000 seats but create enough space to hold 12,000 people. It should open in time for the 2016 season.
"Our goal is clear," said Collums. "We intend to be one of the top up-and-coming FCS teams in the country. And while we already enjoy tremendous strengths as a program, securing our own stadium will provide an extraordinary new surge of momentum."
The sparkling new stadium adds Abilene Christian on to a growing list of college programs in Texas that have completed or in the process of constructing brand new stadiums or massive stadium renovations. SMU (Ford Stadium opened in 2000) and North Texas (Apogee Stadium, 2011) play in recently-completed stadiums, while new venues at Baylor and Houston will be done in time for this upcoming season. TCU essentially tore down Amon Carter Stadium and built a new one inside of it, and Texas A&M is in the process of doing the same with Kyle Field. Texas, Texas State and Texas Tech have also installed major upgrades to their existing stadiums.
It's definitely not a bad thing for Abilene Christian to have something in common with its Lone Star siblings.
Wildcats… This is your future home! Just announced today. Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium pic.twitter.com/O6MT067bBm— Ken Collums (@kencollums) February 14, 2014
Mike Leach sums up the 10-second rule debate in one sentence
Mike Leach has been the strongest critic of the NCAA's proposed 10-second rule, going on Birmingham radio to say he will "debate anyone" on the merits of the rule. Considering he's college football's only head coach with a law degree, that's a debate he would probably win.
Or, of course, he could end the entire thing in one sentence. This is the same coach that once suggested college football should have a 64-team tournament with seeding based off graduation rates. So here's how he sums up the 10-second rule:
Love you, pirate. pic.twitter.com/NVRF0yabZF— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) February 14, 2014
'If you want to do it for a competitive advantage, then come out and say it'
Yesterday we covered the reception up-tempo offensive coaches had to the NCAA's proposed 10-second rule. Predictably, it wasn't pretty. And that's understandable. After all, this rule cuts at the heart of the way those coaches do business.
But perhaps the most vitriolic and dumbfounded responses have come from those who aren't affected at all by the rule, athletic trainers. Turns out, they're not big fans of using their livelihood as a political forcefield as a means to curb a competitive disadvantage.
"If you want to do it for a competitive advantage, then come out and say you're doing it for a competitive advantage," said Arizona head athletic trainer Raydn Cohen, chair of the college committee of the National Athletic Trainers' Association. "Don't say it's a safety issue because right now we don't have any data about this. None."
Jon Solomon of AL.com reached out to the medical community, and the response was muddied. Most agreed that a reduction of plays would thereby reduce the opportunity for injury and that a tired player is more likely to be injured, but all agreed there was no conclusive data to support a necessity for change.
"From the outside looking in, it looks like they're using the health and safety initiative to pass it this year because that's the only way to pass it," said Harvard head athletic trainer Brant Berkstresser, a member of the NCAA Competitive Safeguards Committee. "That being said, I don't think there's any harm for the student-athlete. The longer players are on the field or play a set amount of plays longer than the previous norm, you certainly can make a theoretical assumption that would increase the risks of injury."
Here's another, from Purdue biomedical engineer Thomas Talvage.
"This did not even come up at our task force meeting two weeks ago," Talavage said. "That's why I say I don't think their motivation behind this is necessarily the head."
If coaches truly wanted to make the game safer for defensive players, Talvage offered a sure-fire solution. "However, we have to keep in mind the hits they take in the game may only represent less than 50 percent of the total number of hits they take on a given week," he said. "A bigger benefit may be schools cutting down contact practices to twice a week."
"It's the boy who cried wolf," Cohen concluded. "If you keep crying wolf about safety, safety, safety, yet it isn't about safety, when you really want to implement something for safety, it won't get done and that will be a tragedy."