These two pictures were taken yesterday approximately 1:40 away from kickoff. The top picture is the alumni section and the bottom picture is the corresponding student section. One is full and one is approximately 25% empty. A lot of people both here on the board and in the stands are asking why this is happening and looking for answers on how to stop it.
Student attendance is a problem that is new (to Michigan anyways) and using positive reinforcement (The Hail program) didn't work. Negative reinforcement (General Admission) appears to also not be working if the goal is to get students to the games on time. And make no mistake from my perspective - I WANT the students to show up. They are loud, they are enthusiastic and they make the entire gameday environment better when they are there in force. But, I'd rather they were there from the beginning of the game and not midway into the first quarter to make their presence felt.
Here is my proposal on how to remedy this rather new student attendance issue:
- Discontinue general admission. Students have always had seating assigned based on their class and this should not change. Freshman should get the least desirable seats and Seniors should be rewarded. It was that way when my dad was there in the late 40's, for me in the late 70's and it should be that way now. General admission, in my opinion, is a mistake and should be ended.
- Stop discounting the price of student tickets. Students should pay the same rate as the rest of us for the seat and if that is too expensive for the student (or their parents) to afford then they always have the option of not purchasing them. This should weed out those who buy them without truly wanting to use them.
- Allow students unfettered rights to buy and sell tickets to anyone that wants to buy them. The free market will then determine if those seats have value and for how much. And if they are going to pay the same price as me to buy the seat, they should have the same freedom I do to sell that ticket for whatever the market says it's worth and to anyone who wishes to buy it. I sold two extra seats to the Notre Dame game for $300 each. I sold the same two tickets to Akron for $20 each. Give the students the same freedom as I have to buy and sell their seat.
We have fantastic students who make the Big House loud and an extremely difficult place to play for opposing teams (just ask Notre Dame). And I don't believe "punishing" them through general admission will make them show up for games earlier or in greater numbers. But making them pay the market rate for their seat might make those who arent really sure about football think twice before buying. And letting them sell that seat to whoever wants it is only fair.
EDIT: GoBlue20111 accurately points out the flaw in my proposal in that it depends on somebody holding mulitiple seats as I do to be able to sell one ticket at a profit while still attending the game. And students don't hold multiple seats so my idea wouldnt really fix anything for less attractive games. Mods can leave the post up or take it down if they chose - my idea is flawed and I see that now. The problem is real though and while my solution may not solve it we are need to acknowledge it exists.
No Wheaties were harmed (or eaten) in the creation of this thread. My thoughts: Devin + Devin = Good. OL improved a bit. JR III solid game. No TOs, yea! Commence...
Likely out-of-division easy-turkeys for Nebraska and MSU put them in the Legends contention discussion. Northwestern could be 0-2 after a trip to Wiscy next week. Of course, Michigan is ALWAYS in the discussion on MGoBlog. In terms of out-of-division degree of difficulty, Michigan hosts THE GAME but does not face Wisconsin.
Some of you might have heard this brief on-air essay by John U. Bacon last Friday on one of the three stations of the Michigan Radio network.
I waited until Michigan Radio posted it online before starting this thread. You can read the post and listen to the Bacon podcast at this LINK.
Bacon's suggestion is a simple, elegant, traditional solution to much of what ails collegiate football and basketball right now; end the eligibility for freshmen in intercollegiate athletics.
John's suggestion is not in a vacuum. He is explicitly linking it to the establishment of minor leagues for basketball and football, and the implicit message is to push athletes who are less interested in four years of college and more interested in professional sports, to go directly to professional sports.
What John does in this essay is little more than to set out a premise for discussion. As a boradcast radio podcast, he is not given enough time or space to develop a full brief on the subject. Which makes it particularly sutiable for further discussion on the MGoBoard.
This is one of the more definitive and forceful policy positions to be taken by Bacon, who is customarily a reporter and storyteller. And I could not agree with him more. Freshman ineligibility would unquestionably be good, in just about every imaginable way, for student-athletes as athletic students.
Freshman ineligibility would only be bad for students who wish to use college exposure to get to professional leagues. Let those players go. Colleges should not be capitalizing on those players, and those players should not be using their college days in that fashion. Freshman ineligibility would actually help the development of developmental leagues. There would be, or should be, players who do not want to waste a year of their athletic development as a university student. Again, let them go. We'd be left with a population of student-athletes who are more dedicated to their collegiate careers.
Talk amongst yourselves.
For a long time, officiating crews have had chains to measure whether the spot of the ball is beyond 10 yards from the original LOS. They now also have instant replay to review things. But what about the spot itself? We saw in NW-Ohio that the spot of the ball was a game-changing call, and it looked like a questionable spot. (I thought we got a bad spot on a 3rd and 1 in our game as well, although it ended up not mattering.) Why does the sport accept this?
It seems very strange and contradictory to me that football is willing to put up with spotting that seems like complete guesswork on the part of a line judge who is often far away from the play itself, only to then bring out the chains and measure everything. Is there a way to use technology to improve this?
And NW only dropped to 18, which seems right.
9. Texas A&M
12. South Carolina
20. Oklahoma St.
21. Texas Tech
22. Fresno State
23. Northern Illinois
25. Virginia Tech
The AP Poll has Michigan at #18 and NW dropping to #19.
9. Texas A&M
14. South Carolina
20. Texas Tech
21. Fresno State
22. Oklahoma St.
23. Northern Illinois
24. Virginia Tech