Jamie Pollard is a smart guy, but he thinks that you are an idiot as an ISU fan. We get an e-mail from Jamie, and translate what this all means
Dear Cyclone fans,
Nearly four years ago, we implemented several strategic decisions to elevate our athletics program within the Big 12 Conference. Our initiatives were to grow funding, enhance facilities and improve academic and competitive performance.
Dear Cyclone Fans, thank you for increasing your donations. We spent a shit ton and then some!
I am pleased to share with you that we have made significant progress:
1. We have increased annual funding for our athletics program from $28 million to $42 million. More importantly, we have achieved that level of funding while reducing our annual reliance on State support from 12% to less than 5%.
2. We have invested more than $50 million in critical facility upgrades and new construction, including the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center, the Sukup Basketball Complex, the Jack Trice Club and a golf indoor practice facility.
While you have given us more money than in the past, and we've spent more money on the facilities that were needed, we still need more money from you.
3. Last fall, our student-athletes recorded the highest graduation rate (79%) in Iowa State University history. That rate led the Big 12 and was 14% higher than ISU undergraduates.
Our non-revenue sports have some of the best student-athletes in America
4. We are in the midst of, potentially, the best competitive season in school history. Our Directors’ Cup finish for the fall (22nd nationally) is the best in ISU history and we are currently fifth in Big 12 all-sports rankings (on the heels of finishing last in seven of the prior eight years).
Our non-revenue sports are also our best performing sports on campus
Unfortunately, one of the key elements in that competitive success - men’s basketball - has not experienced the same level of on-court success as many of our other programs. The competitive performance of our men’s basketball program has been both disappointing and frustrating.
This is the shit that you really want to talk about
Some fans have suggested that we make a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program. It is important to understand that many factors are considered when deciding who gets the privilege and honor to be an Iowa State head coach. Certainly, competitive success is an important measure. However, so are the personal character and integrity of our coaches and the performance of our student-athletes in the classroom and in public.
I'm tired of these goddamn e-mails about firing the coach, so here's some stuff about academics,integrity, honor, blah, blah, blah.
Although we have not yet won games at the level we all desire, Coach McDermott and his staff have exhibited exemplary character and integrity and our men’s basketball student-athletes have performed admirably in many areas. As a result, I remain fully committed and supportive of Coach McDermott and his staff. Our department will continue to provide the necessary resources for our men’s basketball program to be competitive in this league and nationally so that we can achieve the goals we have outlined for our department.
We're keeping McDermott as the coach, because
we can't afford not to he's "my guy" and I'm going to be stubborn about it. Deal with it
As investors in our athletics program – through season ticket purchases and/or donations to the Cyclone Club – we felt it was important to communicate directly to you about our men’s basketball program.
There I talked about it, but shit isn't changing. Oh by the way, did I mention that we need more of your money?
Thank you for continuing to support us. As true Cyclones, we know that we can count upon your help as we try to reach our goals.
No seriously. I know you're getting your tax refunds soon. Mail us the goddamn money! We need it! I know you are all excited about football, so SHOW ME THE MONEY!
Director of Athletics
If you buy into this shit I'm telling you, you really are morons!
Seriously, this is the weakest e-mail I've seen from Jamie Pollard ever. I know they're trying to get Cyclone Club renewals despite the basketball program, but people around here want straight talk. I think that if he were 100% honest to the fanbase and explained where he was coming from, people might buy into it more.
But instead, he somehow wants us to think that all of these positives that he outlines has anything to do with Basketball. This is some of that straight political garbage.
He fires Wayne Morgan because he says that the performance on the court isn't enough, and that the program can do better (people claim other issues, but I'm going by what is on the record). We then hire a coach who's performance is head and shoulders worse than the previous guy, but because he has integrity we keep him. Where was that message when Dan McCarney, a man with integrity in the program, was disappointing on the field? The fanbase absolutely loved the guy, and there was no hesitation to axe him!
Now, Jamie says it all has to do with money. That's the truth of it. He's lucky as hell that Paul Rhoads has worked out so far and that football exceeded expectations. Donations and season tickets will be up for football, helping offset the reduction in basketball renewals. Had football or Rhoads backfired, and Jamie Pollard might be on the hot seat.
When Morgan was let go, we were told that we were a basketball school. We were told that basketball is the marquee program and Iowa State expects better. Now we're basically being told that losing consistently for 4 years is OK because we have a "great guy" running the team. We're going to continue to see the promotion like hell out of football because everyone loves Rhoads and is happy with the program for now.
I just want to know which is it? Because with Football it's a hell of a mountain to climb to compete with the best. Texas took in, what?, $87 million in revenue from Football alone? You aren't going to compete with that! ISU has shown it can compete in basketball. Fans have stepped it up, and the program has been given resources to put them on par with other programs in the nation. It's time to deliver.
I want to support the people that are here, but I also want to win. Be honest with us Jamie. I'm not an idiot, and I'm not going to buy into this crap that you and your marketing people spent hours trying to spin up. Don't tell me we're a basketball school in 2005, but then we're a football school in 2010. You can't continue going with the hot hand.
What Jamie doesn't realize is that while football is the big revenue stream with college sports, you don't have to be amazing at it to be successful at Iowa State. People here like to tailgate, and they like to go to the games. All people want are bowl games, and to be competitive. Hell, you don't even have to be that competitive. It would have to take a few years in a row of going 6-6 or 7-5 before people complained about wanting to go to the next level. Even then, going something like 8-4 and you're golden here.
With basketball, it's a lot different. There isn't tailgating. It isn't as popular of a sport it used to be. In order to get people to go, you have to either continue offering a boatload of $99 season tickets (which don't make you much money), or you have to win. The good news is that there are a lot less equity issues with College Basketball. You get together a few of the right guys, make the dance, and anything is possible. The marginal cost you have to spend for success at basketball is much lower than football.
ISU can exist just fine being a mediocre at best football team, and a competitive basketball team. Trying to catch up with empires in other sports is only going to make us broke, and put us in situations where we can't afford to make needed moves if needed.
I'm done with the rant for today. I just feel completely insulted as a fan, and season ticket holder. Getting these condescending messages like this make me wish I was some high profile donor, just so I could send a message.
The guy running the teams that I love think I'm an idiot, along with the rest of you. How sad is that?