The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Friday, February 02, 2007

Ohio U update

The following was sent to me via e-mail from a former college teammate. The author is uncredited but obviously the parent of an affected Ohio University athlete.

Below is the majority of an open letter from an OU athlete's parents. I cut out the "my poor son" portions, but thought some of the reported facts might interest you.

Here is what, you as alumni should be upset about and keep hounding the adminstation about from now till the time they come clean or reinstate the program or come to some kind of compromise like Miami did several years ago. This has far more to do with a new football coaching staff that has an insatiable appetite for spending and perks than it has to do with Title IX.

Your athletic director has stated over and over in the media that this has to do with equalling the number of scholarships on the men's side of the equation as the women's side. One of your assitant athletic directors, Amy Dean's mantra was "compliance, compliance, compliance."

By cutting men's indoor and outdoor track (five scholarships), and men's swimming (zero scholarships), and women's lacrosse (12 scholarships), that even with my poor math skills, that's a net gain of seven scholarships on the men's side.

This is about the interest of one football coach, who allegedly (haven't seen it in writing yet) got a $100,000 bonus for taking the team to a bowl game, which the team lost money making the trip. There are several more stories coming from the current track coaches about the football program's largesse in general and while on the road in Mobile. As you know, the football coach and the athletic director both are from the Big 12 Conference and have grand plans for the football program, I guess to lose even more money. The sad part is, both will jump ship the first time a larger school makes them an offer. The coach already interviewed at Minnesota but didn't get the job.

These are just a few of the changes that have come about since he and his staff arrived in Athens:

For the first time ever last year, the athletic department paid to keep the team on campus all summer to help them with academics at an estimeted cost of $100,000. Still, the starting tight end failed "softball" and was ineligible for the first couple of games before fall quarter started. He also was ineligible for the bowl game. New quarter, same results I guess.

For the first time, starting last year, the entire football team and staff began staying at Burr Oak Lodge the night before home games. I don't know what that cost is but 85 players, plus staff, has to add up a good bit faster than relay batons and vaulting poles. Oh, and by the way, in addition to the 85 FULL scholarship athletes, they have another 30 or so walk ons and red-shirts.

For the first time ever the team went to a bowl game, every player had his own room at the Univesity Inn for the month of December while they stayed on campus. At $129 to stay there for one night for home track meets, I wouldn't want that bill. Do the math. It had to be 10's of thousands of dollars. There is a rumor that this announcement, cutting three sports, came when it did, because there was so much money
spent participating the GMAC Bowl two weeks before the cuts.

The round numbers I'm hearing is that football took in $1.9 million dollars in 2006 and spent $4 million. They consume about 30 percent of the overall athletic budget. Indoor and outdoor and cross country combined use slightly less than two percent. And, they are keeping the coaches anyway, so where are all the savings?

On the compliance side, there is a website "" that had an article that ranked the schools in Div. I-A football conferences that participate in the BCS, ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-10 and SEC, and then added the Mountain West and the MAC to the mix to make an eight conference tournment out of this mock
competition. The author did a "tournament" comparing the best school in each conference with regard to Title IX compliance based on 2004 criteria set by The Chronicle of Higher Education. By the way, Ohio was top ranked in the MAC.

To quote the article: "In the tournament involving Title IX compliance, the Ohio University Bobcats of the MAC defeated the Stanford Cardinal of the PAC-10 in the finals to win this mythical national championship." So much for non-compliance.

Based on my experiences at Bowling Green, I would say the only kind of action that will get results is to play hardball and put the AD's job in jeopardy. Diplomacy simply does not work.

Swimming World has a pretty good article. Some choice quotes:

First, the University is not out of compliance with Title IX...So why does the athletic director maintain that his department is not in compliance? I believe there are only two possible explanations: Either his analysis was seriously flawed or there was a deliberate attempt to misstate the facts.

...we have learned that even as the A.D. is crying "poverty," he plans to move on with building a $20 million indoor football practice facility.

No comments: