Student Survey Unkind To AD, Football Ticket Prices To Be Lowered

Student Survey Unkind To AD, Football Ticket Prices To Be Lowered

Submitted by Ace on October 16th, 2014 at 4:22 PM

There will be more on today's regents meeting in the days to come, as there's still much to parse through—the live streams I tried to view missed much of the action due to connectivity issues. I'll note a few important things right now, however.

President Mark Schlissel opened the meeting by saying he was "deeply disappointed" in the athletic department's initial response to the Shane Morris controversy, and he's still in the midst of evaluating the AD before making any potential changes. Importantly, the regents stated they support Schissel's mission to fix the issues in the department. It didn't sound like a firing is imminent, as Schlissel is still working to educate himself about the department; it also didn't sound like there are many road blocks left before a change would hypothetically be made.

Central Student Government president Bobby Dishell had more pointed statements, beginning with "the athletic department has broken its trust" with the students. He then cited a student survey—answered by an impressive 5,208 students, for about double the average response rate—that's been released in full via MLive (PDF link).

It does not reflect well upon the athletic department.

Had student seating remained general admission in 2014, less than 9,000 students would have bought season tickets this year (as opposed to under 12,000 this year under assigned seating). 

However, even fewer students intend to purchase next year at a price of $295. To maintain a student section of just under 12,000 students, the Athletic Department needs to drop student tickets to roughly $210, or $30 per game next year. To regain a student section of 20,000 students, the Athletic Department needs to drop the price of student tickets to roughly $150 next year.

The department, at least, has agreed to "significantly" lower prices for student tickets next year, though an exact figure hasn't been determined. That may be a step towards repairing this regime's relationship with the student body, but the other results from the survey make it appear that it's broken beyond repair.

Though the Athletic Director was never mentioned, by name or by title, in the survey, David Brandon is mentioned 1,208 times by respondents (the phrase “Fire Brandon” was used 110 times by respondents). Almost none of the respondents have positive things to say about Mr. Brandon’s tenure as Athletic Director.

The CSG put forth several recommendations, including lowering ticket prices, expanding the student section in the lower bowl for basketball, being "forthcoming and transparent" when crises occur, and shifting "away from commercialization" in the department.

Most damning, perhaps, are the word clouds published based on responses to the following questions [click the word clouds to embiggen]:

1. Before coming to the University, what is one word that you would use to describe Michigan Football?

2. What is one word you would use to describe Michigan Football today?

I'd say those speak for themselves.

Unverified Voracity Upholds Lazy Tradition

Unverified Voracity Upholds Lazy Tradition

Submitted by Brian on October 15th, 2014 at 3:38 PM

A BYE WEEK TRADITION. UFRs Thursday and Friday on a bye week.

Compliance with the Dennis Norfleet Atomic Dog act of 2560.

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I'M A BONAFIDE ATTENDER

At least let people prove they're bonafide. Michigan oversold basketball season tickets again. This time the sheer extent is lesser, as they've only sold 3250 tickets for 3000 seats instead of the 4500 last year, but they've again announced the rules after the tickets were bought… and you wonder if last year's policy reduced the number of people willing to buy this year. It's not like the team outlook is a whole lot different—Michigan was not expected to rampage through the Big Ten a year ago and looked a lot like a bubble team early.

Changes:

IMPROVEMENTS FOR 2014-15 INCLUDE:

Fewer claim periods (only three vs. six last season)

Missed claimed game penalties will only affect the ability to claim in the 3rd and final claim period (vs. penalties in each claim period last season)

Students will have the ability to return up to three (3) claimed games up to 24 hours before a game to account for last minute plans (not available last season)
Electronic tracking of scanned tickets for confirmation of attendance (not available last season)

I get that attendance is an issue; this is all stick, no carrot, though. There's a core of attendees who were at every game last year. They should get to just have normal tickets since they've proved their bonafides.

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OSU is facing a ton of cover zero. They are rushing for 4.9 YPC anyway.

Well… more time isn't going to fix things. Not that you need convincing of this but here are the boggling numbers Ohio State is putting up minus Braxton Miller:

Ohio State ranks second in the Big Ten and 12th nationally in total offense at 523.6 yards per game. The Buckeyes' 44.6 points per game are second in the Big Ten and fifth in the country. And redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett ranks third in all of college football in passing efficiency.

And that's with the one-off collapse against Virginia Tech when Bud Foster reached deep into the playbook to bring out Buddy Ryan's old bear fronts. Opponents are trying to replicate that success weekly now, and Ohio State has adapted quickly.

OSU's line is mostly new and a bit more experienced than Michigan's, but it's the smallest possible gap. Michigan has two fourth year players, two third year players, and a freshman for a total of 10 years already on campus. OSU is at 11. They've only got one senior. Meanwhile, their backfield consists of all second year players: JT Barrett, Ezekiel Elliott, Dontre Wilson, and Jalin Marshall are all sophomores or redshirt freshmen.

If you know what you're doing you can put together some killer offenses without piles of experience these days; the coaching gap between Michigan and Ohio State is vast.

Upcoming quarterbacks. Nate Sudfeld is out for the year for Indiana, which is a huge blow for them after both Cam Coffman and Tre Roberson left the program this summer. Indiana went from one of the most solid situations in the league to auditioning true freshmen they hoped to redshirt. Unless they catch lightning in a bottle that's looking like a win. Indiana's defense is so permeable even Michigan will go up and down the field on them. Iowa scored consecutive 60-plus-yard TDs. I mean.

Northwestern is also having some issues with Trevor Siemian:

Siemian went down against Northern Illinois and needed to be taken out of the game without putting any pressure on his leg. It turns out it was an ankle injury. It was clear that if there was a game the next week, he would not have played. He healed during the bye week, and although he was not 100 percent, he played against Western Illinois.

It appeared the injury was improving, but this week, Siemian was limping at times, and he had a massive ball of tape on his ankles.

siemiantape

Northwestern's policy is that Pat Fitzgerald will not discuss injuries in-depth. He will get as specific as "upper body" or "lower body."

Maryland has CJ Brown back after a wrist injury, FWIW.

Redshirts? Michigan won't talk injuries but a lot of people are reading bad things into this statement from Hoke's teleconference yesterday:

With five games remaining for the Wolverines (3-4 overall, 1-2 Big Ten), Hoke was asked if it is time to consider looking at a redshirt for Peppers.

"We would handle that when the time would come," Hoke said.

I'm not sure how he's supposed to answer that question with the usual level of vagueness without implying that a medical redshirt is possible, so I don't read too much into that. I have heard that the injury is severe enough that it's certainly on the table. How much does that mean if Peppers is still likely to be a three-and-out guy? Maybe not much.

Meanwhile, Desmond Morgan is also eligible for a medical redshirt if he does not return and that was broached:

"I don't think there's any difference (between Morgan and Peppers), it just depends on how guys progress," Hoke said. "Us not doing anything or doing something with (Morgan), yeah (we could)."

Is there a cutoff point you have to get to in order to make that decision?

"I think we're kind of by it, in some way," Hoke said. "I didn't say (he'd miss the season), (but) I think there's a lot of possibilities."

That would make sense, as Michigan's not doing anything this year and Morgan might prefer another crack at being a senior… especially if he thinks he's got a shot at the NFL.

The Orsoning. He came, he saw, he cackled madly like he was Walter White in Crawl Space while looking almost exactly like Walter White in Crawl Space, and he writes about it:

The normal Michigan crankiness involves the complaints that all fanbases spanning a wide age range involve: that they do not run the ball enough, that the stadium speakers play music too loudly and too frequently now, that someone's knees stick into your back in the cramped stands, even with the rows of empty seats visible here and there. We don't run the ball enough. Bo, sainted Bo Schembechler, would never, ever have let a team not run the ball like this.

Those are normal complaints, the kind of ideological complaints any fanbase has in variation. See "Any older portion of the fanbase wondering why they're playing hip-hop where there are children," or "Team raised on fierce offense and naked aggression gets saddled with a dullard defensive coach." That might be me talking about Florida, because it is. The point is that every fanbase is unhappy in its own unique key. When Alabama fans are unhappy, it is because a linebacker has just missed a tackle or because someone has unleashed the horror of a passing touchdown on them. When Michigan is unhappy, it is cold, someone is edging onto your seat cushion, and someone has just done something deeply unSchembechler-ish.

The abnormal grievances, the ones indicative of a real theological schism in the church of Michigan, come from the older gentleman standing up when Michigan takes a timeout -- with one second left on the clock in the first half and Penn State leaving for the locker rooms -- and yelling:

"HOKE! YOU IDIOTTTTTTTT!"

Grievances of that severity can't hide.

He did not mention a guy at Marlin Jackson's Go Blue Bowl tailgate asking Roy Roundtree to do his Donald Duck impression, but he got everything else.

Etc.: Orson talks Ann Arbor at about the ten minute mark in the latest Shutdown Fullcast. Everything is dappled, he says. Will Leitch on how Todd Gurley may as well GTFO without taking more hits before he can get paid.