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Inspired By Pollard, Trying To Do My Part

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This isn't a joke, or a sarcastic post here. This is 100% how I feel right now. Say what? The dude that just ripped a Pollard e-mail is now signing his praises? What gives?

I didn't necessarily like the decision made regarding the Men's Basketball team, but it was more the reasoning (or lack of reasoning) behind the decision that bothered me. I just felt like we were being told that what has happened on the court hasn't been a problem, and that everything is a-ok. I just feel in general that there is a lack of responsibility taken for the results on the court this year. If Rick Barnes can say "this year was the worst coaching job of my life" when talking about Texas' season this year (when it isn't necessarily his worst coaching job of his life), why can't our guy at least acknowledge any fault?

Well, this e-mail exchange between Pollard and an ISU fan really made me think about things a little bit more. I've had teachers and other adults tell me before that if you don't vote, then you don't have the right to complain about the President/Governor, etc. It's kind of the same way with college athletics. If you aren't doing anything to try and help the situation, you don't really have room to be as judgemental.

At the end of the day, though it's about money. If you look at the info here from 2007-2008, you will see that ISU's revenue is ranked 63rd. It isn't shocking that the football team has probably been the 70th-100th best program, and the basketball team has been somewhere in that range as well.  If you look at the list, there is a high correlation in terms of success and dollars brought into the department. I don't know the latest figures, but I wouldn't be surprised if the gap between ISU and programs at the top to be even larger.

If ISU can generate more revenue, the athletic programs will be able to go where we'd like to see them go. 

It has absolutely made me sick watching ISU Men's Basketball not be at the level I was hoping to see it at. All I've been wanting to do is something to try and make an impact. I certainly do not want to see the program fail. I'd much rather have this staff be successful and make it. I'm not going to say it's going to happen, but it definitley won't happen if fans bail on the team.

This is our program, and since we aren't players nor are we coaches, the only thing we can do is step up.

Which is why I am happy to announce that for the first time ever, I am now a member of the National Cyclone Club!

I really think that if you are a fan, and haven't been one in the past, that you should join me! You can spread out the donation over the course of monthly payments, or quarterly payments if making the lump sum is inconvenient. I'm not a rich guy, so if you're in a situation where you can't contribute a lot at once like me, you can donate $10, $20, or $30 (or more) a month. It's better than nothing. I'm no accountant, but I believe that you can write this off on your taxes as well, which may help you out come April of next year.

I realize that my low contribution alone isn't going to make a big impact, but if 50-100 people did something like this, that's an extra $1,000 a month the Athletic Department didn't have before. Not to get too much into politics, but Howard Dean and Ron Paul have shown that you can raise large amounts of money with many small donations. It can be done.

I am not saying that if you do you not donate, you can't be a fan of Iowa State. But what I am saying is that by not donating, and not buying season tickets you aren't doing anything to make things better. I can promise that if ISU fans can step up and deliver, things will work itself out on the field/court, and on the sidelines. Money talks.

I know it's a hard sell to some fans, and I'm no salesmen. I know many fans feel like they are purchasing a product, and as a consumer, they are unhappy with the product. I can relate to that in a sense, but College Athletics isn't the same as buying a Coke, or choosing what restaurant to eat at. At least not to me. I just feel like it's an investment in a lot more than just basketball. It's an investment in the University. These guys and gals in our programs are representing us when they're out there competing. I'm investing in something that will give those people a better chance to succeed. 40 years from now, I plan on being a Cyclone fan, and there will be a different President, AD, and Coaching staff.

This is my program. I love ISU. I'm a Cyclone for life, regardless of W-L record and regardless of who is coaching the team. It's time for us to step up and take ownership in the program, rather than complain and hope that someone else will take care of this for us. If you stop buying, you're obviously upset about the situation. Why not be part of the solution?

I'm just stating my thought process with this. I feel like if I do my part, there's a much better chance at things getting better, than if I do nothing.

This is the best mood I've been in, since ISU beat Nebraska in football! In a way, I know feel more connected to the programs and that I have a voice (albeit a small one). I'm young (2 years removed from College), and hope that down the road I can help make a much larger impact as I continue to advance in my career. This is just the start of something bigger for me. I may not have a large voice now, but I will one day.

Pollard has made some mistakes, and done some things that I disagree with. At the same time, he's a Cyclone. He's 110% committed to Iowa State. I really think he's in catch-22. On one hand people want him to act professional, and temper what he says and does. On the other hand, those same things are what ISU fans complain about regarding Chizik. A big reason why Rhoads is popular is because we saw his energy and passion. We saw him cry in the locker room after the Nebraska win. But those same people think Pollard is ridiculous when he cried after Chizik left. On some days they want an AD that's basically an asshole businessmen, but on other days they want a guy who bleeds Cardinal and Gold. You can't have it both ways. I'll tell you that chances are, the asshole businessman would be looking to jump ship first chance he got, and wouldn't really do much to help ISU.

When you look at things like facility upgrades, can you imagine where ISU might be right now if we didn't have Pollard at the helm? I really think that if it were a different AD, Jack Trice would not have gotten as many facility upgrades, Hilton may not have gotten renovated a few years ago, and we almost surely would not have the Basketball Practice facility. Pollard's trying to help take ISU to the next level, even he makes some mistakes along the way. I know that at my job, I've made mistakes before, and I'll make mistakes again. We all do.

Even if you don't like the guy, showing your dislike by cutting off athletic department funding, mostly hurts the programs. Sure, it may send a message, and but likely the teams will suffer. At the end of the day, all it will hurt are the people you aren't angry at (the kids in the program, other fans, other coaches that you may like like Volleyball, Women's Basketball, etc).

Life is silly like that. One day, you can be angry at someone, and the next day you can think about it more, and try to come up with a way to help. It takes that energy from being angry, and directs it at a possible solution. I may not like certain messages being sent, or decisions being made, but I'm going to help these athletic programs because they need it.