this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Via the Michigan Daily (LINK):
The Michigan Athletic Department will announce a new policy Monday regarding the prices of student tickets, in which students demonstrating financial need are eligible for pricing discounts.
Students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Federal Pell Grant will be able to purchase season tickets for football, men’s basketball and hockey at a discounted rate. The standard prices for football, men’s basketball and hockey tickets in 2015-16 will be $175, $200 and $150, respectively, while the discounted prices are $100, $120 and $90.
Nice work by CSG prez Bobby Dishell:
The idea for need-based pricing for tickets came from Central Student Government President Bobby Dishell. When Dishell worked with the Athletic Department earlier in the school year to come up with a plan for lowering football ticket prices, he spoke with members of the Athletic Department about the possibility of special need-based pricing.
The link above (if it works correctly) contains details about Division 1 athletic departments that lose money and suggests that UAB may be the first NCAA Division 1 football program to disband since 1995. Although the fact that many athletic departments operate at a loss is no surprise, I was surprised to see schools like UNLV and Cincinnati on the list.
Also, while UAB is no football power, they are no doormat either. If they abandon football, you have to wonder how many others will follow, especially if rule changes permit the Power 5 schools to provide additional benefits.
Gregg Henson has published a new article on his website alleging that more than 450 former football players signed a petition and presented it to the Regents to have Dave Brandon removed.
Among other things, there's an alleged email exceprt from a "former football captain" that lists all the things the players can't stand about Brandon. If you like juicy info and potentional conspiracy theories, this piece is chock-full.
If any or all of this is true, look out, fireworks may actually start happening around the Big House.
The article is short, give it a read. I'll post some quotes from it, though, and save my personal comments for a post below.
Brandon said that the department expects to incur about $145.9 million in expenses, giving it a surplus of about $5.2 million.
"Our projected surplus will be a little below previous years, but we'll be ample and our operating surpluses will be reinvested in the facility plans we have (over the next four years)." [Brandon]
Salaries, wages and benefits of department employees account for the largest year-over-year increase. The department budgeted an increase of $3.6 million in salaries for department personnel, making it the largest expanse at $53.2 million.
Team and game expenses are expected to increase to $23.9, up $1.4 million from the previous year, and "other operating and administrative expenses" are projected to increase by $1.1 million.
Nearly $20.4 million is budgeted for financial aid scholarships for student-athletes.
Emphasis mine in the last block quote.
I was going to post this in the thread below, but I thought it would be better as a new forum topic (or maybe a diary I guess?) since I witnessed the whole situation and so there will be less rampant speculation.
I got to the stadium around 2:30am with my tent, and was turned away by the security guard. Went home, slept for a couple of hours, got back at 5:30. There was a line forming at the bus stop at the corner where you can go up to the big house or towards Crisler. I was about 30th in line.
At about 6:45, the people at the front of the line (now about 100 strong) started walking up towards Crisler, meaning to get the line going over there. Some people towards the back started running and then basically everyone was. We lined up at the gate where they generally let people in. The security guard came up to check us out but didn't really say anything to us about moving or leaving.
Maybe 10 minutes later, one of the Maize Rage leaders (not sure who) came up and started talking to the security guard. Apparently it was a big issue that we had lined up at the gate at 6:50 rather than 7. Long story short, she started a new line (at about 7:15) down in the parking lot without really making it clear that it was happening to the people at the front of the original line. This started a new stampede, mostly from the back of the line (now about 200-300 strong).
The people at the front of the line (me included), once this had happened and it looked like they were getting kicked out of the bleachers despite arriving earlier than the people in the other line, pretty much decided that they were staying put. A few security guys tried to get us to move and then they called the cops. The officers told us that if we didn't move, they would get a bus with 20 officers and arrest all of us. Some went to the other line (now of about 500 people) and about 100 stayed put.
Eventually (looking to avoid the PR issue) they convinced us to move to the parking lot. Associate Athletic Director Rob Rademacher took us inside the football visitor locker room (119 people total) and told us that they were going to reserve the front 12-13 rows of Section 130 for us as a compromise. He also took all of our names and uniquenames and presumably will be emailing us to get feedback on this situation. We then (a few hours later) were taken through the facility and the tunnel, and up to the section. The seats weren't quite as good as the bleachers, but it turned out pretty well and the game was obviously amazing.
My personal takeaway: the Maize Rage leader was put in a tough situation, and made a really bad kneejerk decision rather than figuring it out with the people that had lined up early. She then couldn't really backtrack from it without pissing off some group of students or another. The Associate AD was really awesome and made a good compromise from a bad situation.
Others who were there, let me know if you had a different experience.