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#41 Coach_J

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 06:17 AM

This was the letter I send to the EMU AD:

 

I was the assistant wrestling coach at EMU from 1998 until 2000, and it was the most corrupt athletic department I’ve ever witnessed.  I saw funds embezzled and NCAA rules broken with impunity as the EMU athletic “leadership” turned a blind eye (yes, the same people who lied about football attendance figures to maintain NCAA Division I-A status).  I attended meetings in which these putrid individuals joked about Dean Rockwell dying sooner so they could get his money to start an endowment for the wrestling team.  Personally, I was rewarded for my loyalty to the young men on the team and being the only member of the program to actually follow rules and act with integrity by being forced out of my job.  In short, I thought I saw the worst of EMU and naively believed the school could go no lower.

 

Now I learn of the decision to drop the program altogether, ironically after a season in which they crowned a rare NCAA Division I All-American (I coached EMU’s last D-I All-American, Mike Feeney).  What happened to Mr. Rockwell’s endowment?  Is it being moved from wrestling?  That was not Mr. Rockwell’s wish and anyone who knew Dean is well aware of this.  Why not drop sports that cost far more money to run and maintain that have not crowned an All-American? 

 

Coach Bolyard and the hard-working men of the wrestling team deserve far better than this horrid decision to unalterably devastate their lives.  The EMU athletic department should be ashamed.

 

This was his response:

 

I appreciate you reaching out and I am sorry I didn't get to your email yesterday.  I want you to know that I am ashamed that it has come to this.  Unfortunately, if I felt there was a way to save the programs in the first place we would have certainly done that.  We had 21 sports and a budget not sustainable for that many, and then the university notified us that we needed to cut even more ($2 million).  It would takes $10's of millions to save all 4 programs over the long haul.  We could probably rally and save softball and tennis for a year but not raise enough to save all of them and maintain that for years to come.  I hate this more than anyone, I don't like taking away opportunities for these great athletes and these coaches.  I believe this was unavoidable.

Coach Bolyard and his wife Amanda are friends and incredible people.  I do not take lightly what has happen to them, David doesn't deserve this, he has been a model coach and someone I am proud to work along side.  We have to make extremely difficult decisions all across campus and it effects many lives. 

 

Notice that he does not answer my questions about the endowments designated for wrestling.  I give him credit for answering, but his reply falls far short of providing a complete answer.


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#42 paboom

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Posted 21 March 2018 - 11:58 AM

Yeah, I don't see this as much a title IX issue as much as it's a money issue. Girls wrestling isn't going to help that and to be honest, any other program.

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#43 Tofurky

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 05:19 AM

Again, why does football not have to make sacrifices as well? Reduce scholarships, reduce staff... I'm not suggesting the university eliminate the program as a whole, but assuming they offer 85 scholarships for football and they cut back to 60, the athletic department saves anywhere from $569,050 to $949,350 (in-state resident vs. out-of-state). Does the university really need 19 coaches for one sport? What does that payroll look like without incentives/bonuses?


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#44 1032004

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 05:40 AM

Again, why does football not have to make sacrifices as well? Reduce scholarships, reduce staff... I'm not suggesting the university eliminate the program as a whole, but assuming they offer 85 scholarships for football and they cut back to 60, the athletic department saves anywhere from $569,050 to $949,350 (in-state resident vs. out-of-state). Does the university really need 19 coaches for one sport? What does that payroll look like without incentives/bonuses?

 

But isn't part of EMU's problem that their football team stinks?   Reduce scholarships and staff probably while staying in the FBS (do they still call it that?) isn't going to make matters any better.



#45 Pinnum

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 05:46 AM

Again, why does football not have to make sacrifices as well? Reduce scholarships, reduce staff... I'm not suggesting the university eliminate the program as a whole, but assuming they offer 85 scholarships for football and they cut back to 60, the athletic department saves anywhere from $569,050 to $949,350 (in-state resident vs. out-of-state). Does the university really need 19 coaches for one sport? What does that payroll look like without incentives/bonuses?


FBS football teams can't cut their scholarships.

They would have to move to FCS in order to do this, which means leaving the MAC. So they would have to leave their association with WMU and CMU do accomplish this.

It is the correct decision but not one that anyone in a leadership position is willing to make. The President and Board of Regents specifically gave the directive to reduce the funding without leaving the MAC or FBS.
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#46 Tofurky

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 06:43 AM

Thank you both for saying that. I don't follow college football, so I am not aware of how all of that works.

 

That said, what does an association with the FBS offer a school like EMU?



#47 OldGrappler

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 07:11 AM

No revenue plus no fan base equals good bye wrestling.

 

 

It probably is as simple as that when you are under the gun to cut your budget by a large amount.   If cutting a sport won't reduce the applications to your school, (especially the ones from full tuition payers), the school is always going to have that sport in its sights.   So goodbye swimming, and two others as well. 

 

The revenue part of it comes into play slightly, but not that much, imo.  Other than football and basketball, what sports at any school produce any revenue? 

 

The fan base issue is interesting though.  I do think that the decades long drop off in dual meets in favor of tournaments and quads helps the student body to ignore the wrestling teams.  Maybe that doesn't matter.  Just another factor in a long list. 



#48 KSchlosser

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 07:15 AM

Thank you both for saying that. I don't follow college football, so I am not aware of how all of that works.

 

That said, what does an association with the FBS offer a school like EMU?

 

2,000,000 a year in tv money

 

a smaller and local geographic footprint of travel for all sports teams

 

9 of 12 schools are in Ohio or Michigan with Buffalo, Ball State and Northern Illinois as the outliers

 

Championships in 11 mens and 12 womens sports



#49 Billyhoyle

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 07:22 AM

Why is funding being cut for EMU? Was this due to a drop in enrollment or something dictated by the state? This seems less about the AD to me and more about whatever caused him to lose millions in funding.


Edited by Billyhoyle, 22 March 2018 - 07:22 AM.


#50 Tofurky

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 07:37 AM

2,000,000 a year in tv money

 

a smaller and local geographic footprint of travel for all sports teams

 

9 of 12 schools are in Ohio or Michigan with Buffalo, Ball State and Northern Illinois as the outliers

 

Championships in 11 mens and 12 womens sports

 

Thank you, KSchlosser. I am hazy on a few of the specifics you've mentioned.

 

EMU and all of the other 129 FBS colleges and universities annually receive $2,000,000 from the FBS?

 

I don't understand how the FBS impacts travel and championships for all the sports teams. What did swimming and diving have to do with this?



#51 Pinnum

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 07:48 AM

Thank you both for saying that. I don't follow college football, so I am not aware of how all of that works.
 
That said, what does an association with the FBS offer a school like EMU?


There is a revenue share with the new college football playoff where each school gets a cut of the money generated from it. This is similar to the college basketball revenue share from the March Madness TV contract.

So the MAC gets a share of that and they use it to fund their bowl games and to give money to the schools. Unlike prior to the college football playoff, EMU's trip to the Bahamas last year for a bowl game was not a burden for the school.

The MAC also has a contract with ESPN that gives them money for football (mainly played on weeknights when there is no other events going on) that is shared with each school.

In addition, FBS teams get paid good money for their guarantee games. For instance, Eastern Michigan just signed a deal to play a game at Wisconsin in 2021 and Wisconsin is paying EMU $1.4MM for the game. EMU typically plays two FBS guarantee games a year. They typically take $300-400k of that money to bring in a FCS team to get another home game (FBS has a minimum number of home game requirement) and a projected win.

So there are reasons schools are reluctant to touch football.
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#52 KSchlosser

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 08:41 AM

Thank you, KSchlosser. I am hazy on a few of the specifics you've mentioned.

 

EMU and all of the other 129 FBS colleges and universities annually receive $2,000,000 from the FBS?

 

I don't understand how the FBS impacts travel and championships for all the sports teams. What did swimming and diving have to do with this?

 

I wasn't talking about the revenue shares from the NCAA, I was talking about the payouts from their football and basketball contracts. Pretty sure that is what OU clears from the MAC so all schools are on a similar draw unless they have negotiated more or agreed to take less. As a longtime MAC member I am assuming EMU is fully vested and earns a full share.

 

As far as the geographic footprint, the less distance you have to travel for 20 teams a year, the less money it costs you at the end of the season. Having less travel and fewer overnights is also not as hard on your student athletes as more events are single day trips meaning less missed classes and more time for study not on a bus and a degree more of student life.

 

Dropping football would probably add at least 10,000,000 per years to their athletic department but it would cost them in terms of revenue from guaranteed games (Ohio State is paying OOC teams an average of a million a game), NCAA payouts, bowl game payouts (though they have played in two 1987 and 2016), money from their conference television contract, and money from their local television and radio contracts. I would assume they would probably lose some donations to the athletic department as well. They would have to figure out what to do with the football stadium they just spent 15,000,000 plus upgrading in 2014. (They did get a 6,000,000 gift, largest ever in school history for this.)

 

If they drop football they have to leave the MAC as the conference is only allowing affiliate memberships in a limited number of sports. Their best options leaving the MAC would be to join the Horizon League or the Missouri Valley Conference which do not sponsor Division I football. Travel would be similar though probably higher and neither sponsor as many sports as the MAC. EMU would be the eastern most MVC school and I think the vast majority of those schools are private so the Horizon League may be their best option with a few sport affiliates.

 

Continuing to sponsor football and dropping down a level may cost them their football rivalries with WMU and CMU as both MAC members need wins over BCS teams to qualify for a bowl. Like most MAC schools, WMU and CMU are playing at least two revenue games in their non conference schedules to make a few extra millions. Other than a guaranteed win against EMU, that doesn't do much except give them another win, they would probably only be willing to host EMU. Worst case for EMU is never playing, but more than likely they could be playing once every few years and they would have a hard time getting them to come to ypsilanti for a home game because their is little revenue compared to a home game for WMU or CMU.

 

No matter how you look at it location of your league is important when you are concerned about your budget and revenue.

 

Maryland and Rutgers just joined the Big Ten and if they aren't playing each other every team they have is traveling west when they go on the road. Across multiple sports the costs can sky rocket if the increase of revenue does not rise proportionally. If you have to be an affiliate member in a single sport you could end up with a lot more travel then the footprint your conference offers such as when Temple joined the MAC in football or Missouri in wrestling. I think most affiliates tend to be in the fringe or olympic sports as their conference doesn't offer.

 

In the case of Temple football, they could have filled a schedule with teams within a 200 mile radius and instead traveled 800 miles every time they went on the road. Looking at Missouri their league travel for wrestling involved OSU, OK, ISU, and WVU isn't bad when you are in the 2012 Big 12 but when they add in SDSU, NDSU, USAF, UVU, Wyoming, and FSUin 2017 it would add a lot more travel and expense for a wrestling team. I don't know if they had an option to stay in the Big 12 as an affiliate but going east they can make a road trip out of duals in conference and out along the way as a member of the MAC so that could be saving them money.


Edited by KSchlosser, 22 March 2018 - 09:06 AM.


#53 Holtfan

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 01:02 PM

Here is a letter that was shared on the MichganGrappler page, penned by Noel Dean. Noel is the football coach at Lowell (MI) High School, who has a top-notch program in the state, and has sent many players to D1 and D2 schools. He is also Dave Dean's brother and Gabe Dean's uncle. 

As I understand it, many coaches in Michigan penning similar letters to EMU Football coach, indicated the same sediments that Noel Dean states below. 

https://www.michigan...rrer_id=1024194

Letter from Hall of Fame Football Coach Noel Dean to EMU Football Coach Chris Creighton
 

Chris ,
 

I have to do what is right for the state of Michigan. As you know, I have coached high school football in the state of Michigan for the past 27 years. I have great respect for you as a coach and a person. You are just under the wrong leadership at the wrong time.

 

 

Your president, a guy from South Dakota obviously doesn't understand the culture of Michigan and the value us lifelong Michigan residents not only have for the sport of football but wrestling too.

 

He doesn't understand how deeply intertwined football and wrestling is in this state. Many coaches are involved in both and have sons, nephews and grand kids that participate in both.

My biggest impact players have been both football players that are wrestlers. I am always and also told to have multi athletic players. This is in stark contrast to HIS position.

 

I can't stand by and not take a stand against what is happening at EMU with the wrestling program. Wrestling contributes too much to the fabric of our schools systems in Michigan (a guy from South Dakota might not get it), but if I stick to the facts on this. wrestling is only a bone to keep people happy FOR NOW. They are coming for you next.

 

If this goes through, you and your staff will not be allowed in any one of our buildings. I won't speak for the others copied in this email but I wanted them to see my position.

 

Bottom line is, a guy from South Dakota is dumping on boys in the state of Michigan. I personally have had enough of people like this. Time to get priorities in order.

 

You are a good man but, you may be at the wrong institution.

 

Noel Dean


Edited by Holtfan, 22 March 2018 - 01:04 PM.


#54 MatShots

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 03:17 PM

FYI, James Smith is an Ohio native, is not from South Dakota, only worked at Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD, when he also tried to shut down the NSU wrestling program.

 

PLEASE do not refer to him as being a South Dakotan, that is an insult!


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#55 Billyhoyle

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 05:04 PM

It's idiotic to ban EMU football from recruiting on their HS campus.  All that does is punish their student athletes/limit a scholarship opportunity for them.  Do they ban all other universities that don't have wrestling teams from recruiting there? 

 

This situation seems unique from a number of others that we have seen before.  Clearly EMU is having budget issues....There's anger at the coach and AD, but I hope people are actively working towards solutions that address these issues. 


Edited by Billyhoyle, 22 March 2018 - 05:05 PM.


#56 Coach_J

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 10:01 PM

The myth of D-I football programs being "revenue" sports has been debunked ad nauseum.  At most about 20 programs make money.  Everyone looks at the "revenue" but ignores the expenditures.  Look at UM--you better damn well make a bowl game and share TV revenue when you pay one man $7 million a year to coach.  Throw in salaries of all coordinators, assistants, sports information people, trainers, groundskeepers, tutors, etc., then add in travel and equipment expenditures and teams are lucky to break even.  When I was at EMU, the team checked into a hotel for HOME GAMES (pretty common in D-I) and they weren't eating at McDonald's.  http://www.chicagotr...106-story.html 


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#57 GuillermoBilletas

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 10:55 PM

This was the letter I send to the EMU AD:

 

I was the assistant wrestling coach at EMU from 1998 until 2000, and it was the most corrupt athletic department I’ve ever witnessed.  I saw funds embezzled and NCAA rules broken with impunity as the EMU athletic “leadership” turned a blind eye (yes, the same people who lied about football attendance figures to maintain NCAA Division I-A status).  I attended meetings in which these putrid individuals joked about Dean Rockwell dying sooner so they could get his money to start an endowment for the wrestling team.  Personally, I was rewarded for my loyalty to the young men on the team and being the only member of the program to actually follow rules and act with integrity by being forced out of my job.  In short, I thought I saw the worst of EMU and naively believed the school could go no lower.

 

Now I learn of the decision to drop the program altogether, ironically after a season in which they crowned a rare NCAA Division I All-American (I coached EMU’s last D-I All-American, Mike Feeney).  What happened to Mr. Rockwell’s endowment?  Is it being moved from wrestling?  That was not Mr. Rockwell’s wish and anyone who knew Dean is well aware of this.  Why not drop sports that cost far more money to run and maintain that have not crowned an All-American? 

 

Coach Bolyard and the hard-working men of the wrestling team deserve far better than this horrid decision to unalterably devastate their lives.  The EMU athletic department should be ashamed.

 

This was his response:

 

I appreciate you reaching out and I am sorry I didn't get to your email yesterday.  I want you to know that I am ashamed that it has come to this.  Unfortunately, if I felt there was a way to save the programs in the first place we would have certainly done that.  We had 21 sports and a budget not sustainable for that many, and then the university notified us that we needed to cut even more ($2 million).  It would takes $10's of millions to save all 4 programs over the long haul.  We could probably rally and save softball and tennis for a year but not raise enough to save all of them and maintain that for years to come.  I hate this more than anyone, I don't like taking away opportunities for these great athletes and these coaches.  I believe this was unavoidable.

Coach Bolyard and his wife Amanda are friends and incredible people.  I do not take lightly what has happen to them, David doesn't deserve this, he has been a model coach and someone I am proud to work along side.  We have to make extremely difficult decisions all across campus and it effects many lives. 

 

Notice that he does not answer my questions about the endowments designated for wrestling.  I give him credit for answering, but his reply falls far short of providing a complete answer.

I realize you have skin in the game, but I though his response was much classier than your email


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#58 Coach_J

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 12:31 AM

I realize you have skin in the game, but I though his response was much classier than your email

Your opinion and I respect your right to voice it.


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#59 SetonHallPirate

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 03:54 PM

Link to the AD's contract (Source: FOIA request from Eastern Michigan University): https://drive.google...iwuBTZVt6S/view

 

Take a look at 8.3.1, on page 9...tell me that's not an incentive to cut sports!


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#60 SetonHallPirate

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 07:41 AM

No responses? Surprised...


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