I still can't believe it's called "The Journey," which should by rights be a Hallmark Channel series about entering puberty. But it's talking Michigan-Michigan State. Cazzie Russell gets his eyebrow on and Novak rains threes in Breslin:
Once regularly an asylum for 1,200 Crazies, Section 17 at Cameron Indoor Stadium now rarely plays host to a student-only crowd.
Student attendance at men’s basketball games has fallen consistently over the last five years, even dropping after Duke won its fourth national championship in 2010. This season, approximately 650 undergraduates have attended each game, 150 fewer than during the 2008-09 season. As a result, Duke Athletics has begun to sell an increasing number of general admission tickets in the student section on a regular basis.
“It has nothing to do with the revenue. We just want it to be full,” Director of Marketing and Relations Mike Forman said. “If there were 1,200 students every game we would love it.”
I've given Michigan students crap for late/spotty attendance at football and hockey (basketball seems immune for some reason) but, like… Jebus. If Duke can't sell out their student tickets it is a nationwide epidemic.
The article goes on to describe a couple of reasons for the decline: the prevalence of online streaming (which seems ludicrous since I'm sure all Duke games are televised in Durham) and "the students' misconception of the time commitment involved." Apparently it's first-come, first-serve and you show up for a game sans ticket and hope to get in. That's a little nuts.
Even if Duke is too far at one end of the scale, Michigan could slide closer to them without incurring the same effect. Offer incentives for having your tickets scanned on time or early and revoke student ticket privileges for people who don't bother to show up.
There is "growing support" among conference commissioners, athletic directors and bowl officials to increase the difficulty of becoming bowl eligible by requiring teams to have seven victories, or a winning record, when the new BCS cycle begins in 2014, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com. The seven-win requirement would also mean a handful of bowls likely would be discontinued because there would not be enough eligible teams to fill all of the current 70 berths. In the past two years alone, 27 teams with 6-6 records were needed to fill all the bowl slots, meaning nearly 20 percent of the bowl field didn't have a winning record.
That would hack out about seven of the existing bowls, none of which would be missed in the slightest. It would still allow a dozen or more bowls that are net negatives to exist. The way to fix the current system is to get rid of ticket and hotel guarantees and let the bowls, not the schools, assume the risk of a crappy matchup.
Slicing out the bottom of the barrel is better than nothing, I guess. And at least athletic directors and presidents are getting wise to the scam:
"The 7-5 proposal is getting serious support," a non-BCS bowl official said. "They're telling a coach [that] 6-6 doesn't cut it, but then the coach gets a $50,000 or $100,000 bonus for a bowl game that none of the fan base wants to see. Athletic directors feel like they're pouring money down a hole and they're getting frustrated with it. The only people making out on 6-6 bowl games are the coaches."
You’ve probably heard about Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson’s phenomenal six-goal game with the St. Louis Blues in 1968. But what about the record-breaking season of one of his assistants, who averaged over five goals per game en route to a 413-goal campaign?
“They didn’t even keep those stats when I was a kid,” Berenson said.
He's certain of one thing, though: He has doubters. And he knows exactly where they can go.
"It's just, stuff like that pisses me off," Molk said, voice rising. "Any scout who denies me pisses me off. 'Oh, this is what you got. You’re not good enough.'
"Well, (to hell with) you, let me show you what I got."
For the record, I have never doubted Molk and move around constantly so my location cannot be pinned down. Also, Molk's Sugar Bowl injury was a severed tendon. Competition for center of the 2010s is now closed.
Surprise unwarranted. After the Purdue game I noted that Michigan's bench was a nonfactor this year. A UMHoops mailbag points out that is no outlier:
Here are the statistics for the percentage of minutes played by the bench (Bench Minutes/Total minutes) under John Beilein since 2005:
Beilein has high expectations and he’s going to play who he trusts at any given time.
The last three years Michigan has been incredibly thin. I'm hoping that changes next year. Michigan's not going to shoot up into Arkansas territory but if they can get into the middle of the pack injuries get a lot less frightening and players having off nights can spend more of them on the bench.
Of course, basketball is king there so doing what they do probably doesn't get us all the way there, and we'd probably need to do something further. But clearly incentivizing earlier arrivals for the students is something that is done. I think that's the core of the Duke system too -- if you really want to go and really want to have great seats, then put up your tent and camp out in Kryzeskzkezcwkaczkseski-ville.
We are not lazy, bums, or not passionate. We live in a high pressure environment where time is a valuable commodity. We do show up on a consistent basis. We bought more student tickets than students in a long time. We are the only part of the stadium that is actually loud through out the game. Stop with the "get off my lawn" crap.
That may all be true, but you can still do better. Having a half-empty student section at kickoff hurts our homefield advantage. Don't rationalize it. Just make an effort to get to the games on time. I managed to do it when I was a student. I don't think college has gotten that much more stressful since 2003, when I graduated.
When people say, "The students need to be there," don't take it as a slap in the face. It's an acknowledgement that you guys are very important to the stadium atmosphere. It's because you guys are so loud that we need you there.
With family to support, and a mortgage, and things that need fixing/doing/going to. Not "how can I wake up early enough to be able to get completely wasted rather than just really drunk for the game?" Enjoy it while you have it. You'll actually never have it easier, or have more fun.
Saturday mornings at 11:30-12 is not a "high-pressure environment," nor do you have any excuse NOT to be in the stands at Michigan Stadium, or Crisler, or Yost on time when you have a ticket.
If you had class at 11:30 on a Monday, you'd show up on time, right? If you had a minicourse that met at 7 on a Tuesday night, you'd show up on time. Yet the idea of showing up for kickoff, faceoff, or tipoff gets a knee-jerk reaction. Life must be so tough.
I fail to see why it's so hard, or controversial, to rag on the fact that our students don't seem to have their priorities straight. It certainly wasn't this much of an issue when I was a student and either held student tickets or was in the band for no less than three sports at a time for four years.
Guilty here too. I'm more than happy to watch a couple of 6-6 teams on a random December evening than not have anything.
In re Brian's comment - I Agree the risk of losing $$ needs to be put on the Bowl and not the teams, but there are some positives beyond just the guys in Blazers and the coaches. The players get a few more weeks of practice and another chance to play (this assumes of course that they'd rather do that than go back to offseason workouts which I think is a safe assumption to make).
Unfortunately the bandwagon fans come early and take the good seats. These are the same kids that leave before the end of the game instead of staying and singing the alma mater. My cousin who graduated in '09 suffered through the Amaker years and then had to deal with the bandwagon kids his senior year and year of grad school. I realize the importance of having a full student section; however, the fans that have shown dedication should be rewarded properly.
That video was, um, interesting. My sense is that MSU are a bunch of sore losers, but whatever.
A severed tendon sounds insane to me - I know there are shots and pain thresholds, but when you lose connective tissue that should shut you down. Molk will be missed, and I fully expect to tell my kids about him one day, which isn't what people usually say about offensive linemen,
Michigan basketball is first come first serve for the good seats which other posters have mentioned. In terms of hockey attendance my theory is the price of student tickets. Football tickets cost over $200 (I know its cheap compared to real tickets but I and many are broke students whose parents don't pay for these things), hockey season tickets are $200 and basketball is $100. My first two years I had basketball and football season tickets, this year I didn't even really have the money for the extra 100 for basketball. My friends at Maryland get all sports tickets for free and that is worth a lot for basketball tickets. It would be nice if Michigan stopped raising the price of student tickets, it certainly isn't helping lesser revenue sports like hockey to have high season ticket prices.
"revoke student ticket privileges for people who don't bother to show up"
I think this would be great. I have less of a problem with late, but when there are ton's of empty seats in the student section for Nebraska then something is wrong. If you are too busy or stressed to attend the games then don't buy tickets, or do a ticket share with a fellow student and split the games.
I went as a Freshman but attended less the next three years (I was working) so I get it. I just don't understand buying tickets and not showing up.
"I knew Bo Schembechler and you sir, are no Bo Schembechler!"
I don't exactly know how things work for undergrads., since I was a grad. student at Duke. My impression of it, though, was that undergrads. got in for free. Technically, the K-ville line was for NC plus another ACC home game (uaually Maryland or Wake or whoever was good that year) but it functioned, de facto, as the line for the other home games.... the line started after the people camping out. (I'm not 100% sure if this is how it worked. Any current Duke undergrads. or alums feel free to correct me.)
I do actually think the time issue is probably correct. K-ville is basically a cesspool of germs (Really, people have gotten really sick from staying in k-ville.... partying all the time, freezing their asses off, sleep deprived, staying in close quarters with many others) and as for walking-up for a game, it really is an all-day thing. People have flunked out of school before because of K-ville.
Also the Crazies are not what they used to be. During my time there (haven't been in a few years) it was already on decline as far as the noise level, and seen as more of a social thing... an event to be seen at.... rather than filled with true fans who are passionae about Duke basketball. Plus lots of Duke studens have such a huge entitlement mentality that excellence on the basketball court is just taken for granted. I think the Cameron Crazies developed while Duke was on the rise, and a lot of passion came with that. Now that Duke is perenially near the top, I think part of that's begun to stagnate.
But only 650 undergrads.?? Man, that's crazy. Never thought it'd get that low. I do wonder, though, if that figure is an average, that takes into account games over Christmas break against schools like Southwestern Utah State, where there's like 100 kids there because they're all at home (almost all of Duke's student population is from out of state.)
So anyways, in conclusion.... I don't think the decline in attendence is likely as precipitous as the article portrays it, but, I don't doubt there is some decline, and I do think lack of time (and stagnating fandom) are the culprits.
I also went to Duke for grad school and I have the same impressions. K-ville is insane. At the time, the dedication it took to live in line, through the rain and sometimes snow, amazed me. To hear that it's become a social thing and that undergrads aren't showing up to games is difficult for me to understand.
The idea of incentives for showing up and getting your ticket scanned is always a good one. Supposedly Maryland has a lottery that gives you priority depending on the number of scans you have. It leads to people getting scanned and then turning around and leaving, but that could easily be solved by setting up buckets as the game ends and having students deposit their tickets as they leave so as to be scanned a second time and given another turn in the lottery.
if a school can't make money on going to a bowl, they should turn it down and make a stink about it to chide the bowls into fairly structuring the system. changing the record is basically a "protect you from yourself" move (i am not a big right winger) and i don't see there is any harm from having 30 bowl games, just in the fact that they screw everyone over.
NCAA could simply mandate a winning record against FBS teams to become bowl eligible. 5-6 vs FBS and 1 win over an FCS school wouldn't cut it anymore, and schools will think twice about scheduling FCS teams.
I was hoping we'd get a bowl UFR to address one question: How much was David Molk's injury related to our dismal offensive production? Given that he broke, as I understand it, "the thing that makes his foot work", I'm guessing the answer is "quite a bit".
My kids' orthodontist is a huge Tech fan. They are all still. lamenting "the catch" and can't beleive our offense sucked so bad. I was trying to explain how much the loss of Molk's one foot meant, but a deeper background would have been useful.
They blame their loss solidly on Beamer by they way. Apparently he has taken on Carr / DeBordian-like stubborness to adapt his game plan in game. I fealt like I was talking to a Michigan fan after the 2007 Rose Bowl.
There is a very obvious reason why football and hockey ticketholders show up late while the line starts an hour before tip off at Crisler. Basketball is the only one of those sports where the tickets are general admission. I don't think that's a coincidence. When there's no incentive to show up early, people won't show up early. And while seeing the whole game might be an incentive to the mgoblog crowd, it isn't to almost everyone else. They don't want to be at the game, they want to have been at the game. If they know they have a good seat, then there really isn't a good reason to go early, especially if they're having a good time pregaming. I think if we switched football and hockey tickets to general admission, we would see a very quick change.
...spending an entire night outside Crisler arena during a blizzard for a Michigan/MSU game when I was an undergrad. It was a fun experience and definitely worth doing once...but really only once.
Frankly, I like the idea of less students attending games and spending more time on their studies. When I think of the uniquely American experience of students losing entire Autumn Saturdays to the call of football, how can that not put the country at a competitive disadvantage compared to top students in Europe, South America, Asia, etc? It may not be fun, but it might be wise if we took some of the emphasis off of spectator sports.
Wiseman once scored 8 goals against my team in a tourney in Port Huron. I remember it like yesterday. Our game got started around midnight because the PH vs. ? game went into overtime. We came out and within 15 seconds Wiseman had scored. He went on to score 7 more times. We lost 8-0 to his team from Chatam. Our team outshot Chatam something like 35-15 but between Brian and the goalie from Chatam we got smoked. Best player I ever played against.