UNO Maverick Athletics

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Postby OmahaBen » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:47 am

Big E wrote:
bearcatguy wrote:And come again on Creighton?  Neither tradition or alumni base come close to UNO?  Yikes.


UNO has double the enrollment.  UNO has been playing football for 100 years.  Aside from one trip to the CWS, no one knew Creighton had an athletic department until the basketball team moved into the Qwest.

I'd even be willing to put the collective pockets of UNO alumni up against the collective pockets of Creighton alumni.


Seriously? Creighton basketball goes back to the turn of the century when the Missouri Valley included teams like Nebraska and Kansas.

Creighton games were packed in the 70's and 80's. I grew up in the Tony Barone era with Harstad and Ghallager and company. My parents remember the Larry Bird game and Benoit Benjamin and Willis Reed.

No offense, but you really are delusional if you honestly think UNO athletics have anywhere near the tradition of Creighton's.

Also, you're really going to take on the Omaha Catholic Mafia in terms of spending power and donations? Really?

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Postby Big E » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:02 am

OK, ok, ok... everyone wins.  Creighton is awesome and everyone that ever attended there has a personal assistant that wipes their bums with the gold bricks they just pooped and it has been the catalyst for the Omaha sports scene for a century and blah blah blah.  Sorry to suggest otherwise.

That being said, don't act like there isn't a larger potential fan base and comparable purchasing power from a future alumni base (ie, undergrads) that is currently double Creighton's.  Sure, there may be more spending power per capita out of Creighton (and yes, I would still be willing to put the collective pockets of UNO against the collective pockets of Creighton's, just not per capita), but you can only put so many butts in seats and sell so many $9 Bud Lights.

But wow... the mere mention that UNO might be able to hang with Creighton in anything sure has the hackles up, doesn't it?

Conspiracy theorists might want to change their gaze from Lincoln.

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Postby Big E » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:03 am

joeglow wrote:PLEASE explain to me why, as an opposing coach going on the road, I would have ANY incentive to let you change the time if that meant my team had to play in front of 15,000 fans (in Happy Big E land) instead of playing in front of only 2,500 opposing fans.  My job is to win and minimizing fan impact while on the road is a part of your job.  I cannot imagine why any coach would willingly make their and their team's job harder just so UNO can become great and dethrone Nebraska.


Ask Pat Behrns or Mike Denney if they'd have any incentive to try to make their league stronger.

It's no different than the Sun Belt taking a money game against BCS schools.

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Postby Big E » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:08 am

Zilla wrote:You seem to have this idea that just moving up to this new division would suddenly invigorate UNO football.


No I don't.  Doing some homework, pitching some current boosters, asking the public (you know, the people who are paying the taxes that subsidize the program), applying some elbow grease, and laying the facts out on the table might be things I would try before going "Hey look! We're 1-AA!" or "|expletive| it, I quit".  

Near as I can tell none of that was done, save for a half-assed attempt at some "homework".

There's simply no proof of that.


There's no proof that it wouldn't, but for some reason that is taken as gospel.

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Postby OmahaBen » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:12 am

Big E wrote:But wow... the mere mention that UNO might be able to hang with Creighton in anything sure has the hackles up, doesn't it?


It's not that you won't be able to compete someday, or even relatively soon in certain sports (baseball, sadly, comes to mind).

It's that you think you're already there, and can simply will your way to being the state's power in basketball and soccer based on all this supposed long lasting tradition. The fact that you think most people didn't even realize Creighton didn't even have an athletic department during the 1900's is likewise fuel for the fodder.

Case in point, I'm curious if there's ever been a time when UNO football outdrew Creighton basketball in average attendance in a given year. Maybe during the Rick Johnson years, but that's about all I can think of. It was probably close a few times early in Altman's career, too. Can't find UNO attendance numbers online, so can't do the comparison myself.

Edit: Found some buried on the website, but don't have time to dig through them all now. At least in the last 4-5 years, the highest UNO football's averaged has been 7500. Will go back farther tonight after work.

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Postby Big E » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:26 am

Everyone please stop with the me/you/us/them bull |expletive|.  Other than living in Omaha I have exactly zero ties to UNO, other than I think the games are a blast.

I want Creighton to do well.  I want UNO to do well.  I want UNL to do well.  If there's an institution in Nebraska I want it to do well.  My pecking order will always be UNL-UNO-Creighton in sports competition, but for the love of Christ turn it off when the game is over, would you please?

I don't buy any of the conspiracy theories.  I'm not promoting any of them (snarky comment above aside).

Everyone here brings up valid points about the validity of 1-AA UNO football.  I understand I'm speaking in a "what if?" scenario.

My biggest beef is it doesn't seem that ANY of that "what if?" scenario was presented by the UNO athletic department to anyone that might have been able to do something about it at any point.  When your largest booster is blindsided by a decision like this, you're absolutely right I'm going to question the intentions and decision making process of the people making that decision.  (Then again, maybe they knew he was going to prison already...)

Bring in the boosters, see if there's interest.  If there's interest, you engage the students and the public, and state that there's interest from the boosters.  If there's interest from the students and the boosters and the public, you engage the state legislature.   If, at the end of all of that, it's clear it won't work, you pull the plug.

Until that happens, don't sit there and tell me they tried or that there's no way it would work.

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Postby HskrFanMike » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:35 pm

Big E wrote:Everyone here brings up valid points about the validity of 1-AA UNO football.  I understand I'm speaking in a "what if?" scenario.

My biggest beef is it doesn't seem that ANY of that "what if?" scenario was presented by the UNO athletic department to anyone that might have been able to do something about it at any point.  When your largest booster is blindsided by a decision like this, you're absolutely right I'm going to question the intentions and decision making process of the people making that decision.  (Then again, maybe they knew he was going to prison already...)

Bring in the boosters, see if there's interest.  If there's interest, you engage the students and the public, and state that there's interest from the boosters.  If there's interest from the students and the boosters and the public, you engage the state legislature.   If, at the end of all of that, it's clear it won't work, you pull the plug.

Until that happens, don't sit there and tell me they tried or that there's no way it would work.

I believe they looked at it, but the numbers started off bad, and only got worse.

UNO football is currently hemorrhaging money at $1.2 million a year. Going 1-AA brings on additional costs...likely another $1 million a year.  A money game might make up half of that difference.  But indications are that you can't assume that's going to exist, what with conferences talking of a 9 conference game schedule. (Personally, I think the money games are here to stay because every school needs home games, but I digress...)

I doubt that they didn't discuss moving football downtown to TD Ameritrade Park as an option, if only because they discussed moving basketball to the Civic. But I think they all realized that UNO football has a scheduling problem when the Husker schedule is imprecise.  If Nebraska plays at 11 or 11:30 am, there's a nice opening at 7 pm.... especially if it's a game on the road. People watch the game at home or a bar, then head out afterwards.  If it's a 2:30 kickoff, that gets tight.  Game over at 6, and you've got an hour to get downtown and eat.  If it's a 6 pm kickoff, you've got an issue.  If it's a road NU game, you might try kicking off at noon.  I suppose you could try to do what the Nighthawks do, and play on Fridays (high school night) or Sundays (NFL day).  But that's a stretch in my mind.

I think the evidence that UNO football is not sustainable was pretty clear and convincing.  That shouldn't have been a surprise to anybody.

Keep in mind that some of the biggest names in Omaha were on the committee. I'm pretty sure that they discussed what it would have taken to make UNO football viable...and they all decided it wasn't.
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Postby Big E » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:08 pm

HskrFanMike wrote:UNO football is currently hemorrhaging money at $1.2 million a year. Going 1-AA brings on additional costs...likely another $1 million a year.  A money game might make up half of that difference.  But indications are that you can't assume that's going to exist, what with conferences talking of a 9 conference game schedule. (Personally, I think the money games are here to stay because every school needs home games, but I digress...)


I'd actually make the argument that the money games are about to proliferate based on the very reasons you stated.

I doubt that they didn't discuss moving football downtown to TD Ameritrade Park as an option, if only because they discussed moving basketball to the Civic. But I think they all realized that UNO football has a scheduling problem when the Husker schedule is imprecise.  If Nebraska plays at 11 or 11:30 am, there's a nice opening at 7 pm.... especially if it's a game on the road. People watch the game at home or a bar, then head out afterwards.  If it's a 2:30 kickoff, that gets tight.  Game over at 6, and you've got an hour to get downtown and eat.  If it's a 6 pm kickoff, you've got an issue.  If it's a road NU game, you might try kicking off at noon.


I haven't done any hard research on this, but anecdotal history suggests the Big Ten is going to continue their early kickoffs times for all non-marquee games.  Basically, I would wager that 80-90% of NU's kickoffs will be 11a or noon, or in the 7-8 PM slot - very easy to schedule around, even on short notice.

I think the evidence that UNO football is not sustainable was pretty clear and convincing.  That shouldn't have been a surprise to anybody.


D2 UNO football, yes.  1-AA, I disagree.  Agree to disagree, I guess.

Keep in mind that some of the biggest names in Omaha were on the committee.


And the biggest boosters weren't.

I suppose you could try to do what the Nighthawks do, and play on Fridays (high school night) or Sundays (NFL day).  But that's a stretch in my mind.


Simply out of curiosity here, how many people in Omaha go to high school football games that either don't have kids in the school or aren't employed by the school?  I know I wouldn't have gone to a sporting event when I was in high school if I hadn't been in the band, and haven't gone to one since.  I know high school sports are big in small towns, but is it that big of a draw in Omaha?  ie, how much competition would there really be on Friday nights?

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Postby joeglow » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:12 pm

Big E wrote:Simply out of curiosity here, how many people in Omaha go to high school football games that either don't have kids in the school or aren't employed by the school?  I know I wouldn't have gone to a sporting event when I was in high school if I hadn't been in the band, and haven't gone to one since.  I know high school sports are big in small towns, but is it that big of a draw in Omaha?  ie, how much competition would there really be on Friday nights?


We do.

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Postby Zilla » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:15 pm

Big E wrote:No I don't.  Doing some homework, pitching some current boosters, asking the public (you know, the people who are paying the taxes that subsidize the program), applying some elbow grease, and laying the facts out on the table might be things I would try before going "Hey look! We're 1-AA!" or "|expletive| it, I quit".  

Near as I can tell none of that was done, save for a half-assed attempt at some "homework".


I'm guessing that the "public" who doesn't even bother going to the games isn't going to want to dish out much money to help keep football going at UNO for any sustained period of time....if at all.  Keep in mind that this wouldn't be a one time thing.  They don't just need to get that money this year and everything is golden.  They'd have to do this EVERY year, especially if the program isn't successful....I don't even want to think about what would happen if it completely tanked.  And again, you're gambling all of the AD department on the hopes that the public and boosters will come through every year.  Not just in donations, but in attendance.

Big E wrote:There's no proof that it wouldn't, but for some reason that is taken as gospel.


There's no 100% guarantee either way, I get that.  Nobody is saying that it's "gospel," simply that it's too big a risk.  From the outside, it doesn't look like they tried everything they could, I get that (but who knows what really happened behind the scenes).  Imagine the beating they would have taken if they decided to just go on status quo and the AD department had to fold completely?  Sure, the football team and wrestlers would have been happy for a few more years....but the end result is worse.  Again, assuming that the information provided about the financial situation surrounding the AD department is accurate.

The other thing to keep in mind is that they had to make a decision rather quickly.  If they didn't, another school would have sucked up that spot that UNO was being offered.  From what I understand, other schools were already being looked at.  Whether that was a "nudge nudge" from the Summit League or a genuine concern, I don't know.  But the last thing UNO wanted was to flounder on the decision and and get left in the dust.  Again, if the AD was really in such bad shape, that would have just been a death sentence.  Oh sure, some other league may have picked them up...but you're gambling again.

Now, if the financial status of the AD department was not as dire as suggested, I'd agree with you.  Take the time, take the gamble.  But if it was really that bad.....again, I don't know what other choices you have.
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Postby Zilla » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:20 pm

Big E wrote:Simply out of curiosity here, how many people in Omaha go to high school football games that either don't have kids in the school or aren't employed by the school?  I know I wouldn't have gone to a sporting event when I was in high school if I hadn't been in the band, and haven't gone to one since.  I know high school sports are big in small towns, but is it that big of a draw in Omaha?  ie, how much competition would there really be on Friday nights?


Not as often as I used to, but I still do from time to time.  Either to see friend's kids play or to check out kids that are on the Huskers "radar."
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Postby iamjacobm » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:02 pm

joeglow wrote:
Big E wrote:Simply out of curiosity here, how many people in Omaha go to high school football games that either don't have kids in the school or aren't employed by the school?  I know I wouldn't have gone to a sporting event when I was in high school if I hadn't been in the band, and haven't gone to one since.  I know high school sports are big in small towns, but is it that big of a draw in Omaha?  ie, how much competition would there really be on Friday nights?


We do.


I usually get to two of each football, basketball and baseball games for Prep and I didn't play anything past freshman b team football.  On a kind of unrelated note I wonder if Prep is looking into an on campus football stadium now that Caniglia's days are numbered?

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Postby joeglow » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:46 pm

iamjacobm wrote:
joeglow wrote:
Big E wrote:Simply out of curiosity here, how many people in Omaha go to high school football games that either don't have kids in the school or aren't employed by the school?  I know I wouldn't have gone to a sporting event when I was in high school if I hadn't been in the band, and haven't gone to one since.  I know high school sports are big in small towns, but is it that big of a draw in Omaha?  ie, how much competition would there really be on Friday nights?


We do.


I usually get to two of each football, basketball and baseball games for Prep and I didn't play anything past freshman b team football.  On a kind of unrelated note I wonder if Prep is looking into an on campus football stadium now that Caniglia's days are numbered?


I wondered the same thing.  I thought I heard somewhere that Prep would need "x" number of parking stalls for a stadium on campus and they could not meet that number.  

I know they donated the land to the District 66 elementary school to the West of the school waaaay back in the day and when they asked for an opportunity to buy back the land they are not using, Prep was basically told to f off.

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Postby iamjacobm » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:58 pm

joeglow wrote:I wondered the same thing.  I thought I heard somewhere that Prep would need "x" number of parking stalls for a stadium on campus and they could not meet that number.  

I know they donated the land to the District 66 elementary school to the West of the school waaaay back in the day and when they asked for an opportunity to buy back the land they are not using, Prep was basically told to f off.


I also heard about the parking issue I believe 1 stall for every 4 seats.  I know on the north side of the Pit Prep owns all, but two parcels of land.  There would be room with some creative designing to simply add a concourse to the Pit, but that doesn't address parking or if a structure like that would even be allowed in that area just an idea that has been floated.

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Postby riceweb » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:04 pm

Just wanted to comment that TD Ameritrade Park might not work under NCAA rules. Remember the game played at Wrigley last year that could only be played in one endzone?

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Postby Big E » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:12 pm

riceweb wrote:Just wanted to comment that TD Ameritrade Park might not work under NCAA rules. Remember the game played at Wrigley last year that could only be played in one endzone?


The actual football field fit in the stadium, but there wasn't any space beyond the endzone.  Not sure there was an actual rule prohibiting it.

Is Wrigley smaller than TD?  How are the Nighthawks planning on doing it?

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Postby iamjacobm » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:18 pm

Big E wrote:
riceweb wrote:Just wanted to comment that TD Ameritrade Park might not work under NCAA rules. Remember the game played at Wrigley last year that could only be played in one endzone?


The actual football field fit in the stadium, but there wasn't any space beyond the endzone.  Not sure there was an actual rule prohibiting it.

Is Wrigley smaller than TD?  How are the Nighthawks planning on doing it?


TD is the same as Rosenblatt.  TD will also be 7 feet deeper in left center than Wrigley and probably has at least 5 more feet of foul ground than Wrigley.

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Postby Brad » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:18 pm

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Postby riceweb » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:49 pm

I just wouldn't count on it being a given that they could play at TD without the NCAA looking into it.

D-1 football could be fun, and I'd have a blast watching my home-state NDSU come down (provided that UNO joins the MVFC), but UNO definitely would need to secure a long-term stadium deal.

Maybe UNO will get lucky and they'll have Penn St luck; Penn St received an $80-some million for a new hockey arena which allowed them to start a hockey program. Maybe someone will donate $20-30m and get a football stadium built south of Aksarben Village. Just imagine what a 30k seat stadium would look like from I-80....

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. At this point, it's just best to get behind UNO basketball and hockey so that they can afford to keep the athletic department humming along.

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Postby Big E » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:14 am

$75 million in facility proposals, but can't afford football.

http://omaha.com/article/20110406/NEWS0 ... -proposals

University Life Complex: A proposed $15 million sports complex on property south of West Center Road would feature a baseball field, two softball fields, a soccer field and possibly a hockey practice rink. The plan stalled for lack of funding.

Hockey arena: A proposed 8,000-seat arena for UNO hockey and possibly basketball would have an estimated price tag of about $60 million. A site and funding sources are not yet determined, though an arena could be near the University Life Complex.

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Postby Brad » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:19 am

They have been proposing to build an Athletic Complex down there for years... I will believe it when I see it.

I hope the Arena never gets built and they stay at the Qwest Center!
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Postby HskrFanMike » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:45 pm

Brad wrote:They have been proposing to build an Athletic Complex down there for years... I will believe it when I see it.

I hope the Arena never gets built and they stay at the Qwest Center!

I think with basketball going Division 1, UNO will need to build something. I don't think Sapp is going to be a long-term solution for basketball...and in fact, they are moving downtown to the Civic next season.

And the Civic is functionally obsolete, and designated for long-term redevelopment.

So SOMETHING is going to happen, because UNO basketball isn't going to work at the Qwest along side Creighton hoops and UNO hockey.
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Postby joeglow » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:36 pm

Big E wrote:$75 million in facility proposals, but can't afford football.

http://omaha.com/article/20110406/NEWS0 ... -proposals

University Life Complex: A proposed $15 million sports complex on property south of West Center Road would feature a baseball field, two softball fields, a soccer field and possibly a hockey practice rink. The plan stalled for lack of funding.

Hockey arena: A proposed 8,000-seat arena for UNO hockey and possibly basketball would have an estimated price tag of about $60 million. A site and funding sources are not yet determined, though an arena could be near the University Life Complex.


darn UNL.  They can afford all those new buildings but won't add Boxing-Chess...

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Postby Big E » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:57 pm

Lost me on that one.

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Postby skinzfan23 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:18 pm

Brad wrote:

They have been proposing to build an Athletic Complex down there for years... I will believe it when I see it.

I hope the Arena never gets built and they stay at the Qwest Center!


I agree, I think it would be nice to have an arena for hockey, but I definitely like the Mavs and Bluejays both playing at the Qwest Center.  It makes the Capitol District more attractive on more nights of the year.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to a hockey game there this year, but it sounded like the atmosphere was better than it has been in the past, of course having such a great record didn't hurt.

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Postby joeglow » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:23 pm

Big E wrote:Lost me on that one.


Because you seem to imply that they should utilize inferior facilities and not upgrade them so they can instead gamble the entire Athletic Department on the success of a D1 football team.

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Postby Big E » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:11 am

joeglow wrote:
Big E wrote:Lost me on that one.


Because you seem to imply that they should utilize inferior facilities and not upgrade them so they can instead gamble the entire Athletic Department on the success of a D1 football team.


Please, with all sincerity, |expletive| off.  If that's what you've gathered from my posts it is time for your relatives to sign the DNR.

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Postby joeglow » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:09 am

Big E wrote:
joeglow wrote:
Big E wrote:Lost me on that one.


Because you seem to imply that they should utilize inferior facilities and not upgrade them so they can instead gamble the entire Athletic Department on the success of a D1 football team.


Please, with all sincerity, |expletive| off.  If that's what you've gathered from my posts it is time for your relatives to sign the DNR.


Wow.  I am having flashbacks to 5th grade.

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Postby Brad » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:18 am

Pelosi, Reid, Calm down...
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Postby S33 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:09 am

Pelosi has a nice set of baby feeders for an 80 year old lady. That's all.

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Postby Linkin5 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:13 am

S33 wrote:Pelosi has a nice set of baby feeders for an 80 year old lady. That's all.


LOL.  stomach hurting from laughing.

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Postby Big E » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:53 am

joeglow wrote:Wow.  I am having flashbacks to 5th grade.


If you'd like to explain to me how they're going to raise that money but couldn't even be bothered to try to make football work, I'm all ears.

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Postby joeglow » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:21 pm

Big E wrote:
joeglow wrote:Wow.  I am having flashbacks to 5th grade.


If you'd like to explain to me how they're going to raise that money but couldn't even be bothered to try to make football work, I'm all ears.


Those costs are needed just to keep those existing sports competitive.  Additionally, by reading the article, they are struggling to come up with the money.

Either lets agree to disagree.  Can we at least agree that Trev and TO didn't fly the planes into the Towers?

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Postby Big E » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:55 pm

joeglow wrote:lets agree to disagree.


I'm totally fine with that.  But please quit inventing bull |expletive| and trying to imply I ever said it, though.  I'm beyond sick of your d-bag schtick.

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Postby S33 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:43 pm

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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:12 am

Postby Big E » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:51 pm

I wear nicer suits than that.

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S33
County Board
Posts: 4552
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 12:15 pm

Postby S33 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:02 pm

I thought they looked handsome.

joeglow
Planning Board
Posts: 2729
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:04 pm

Postby joeglow » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:51 pm

Big E wrote:
joeglow wrote:lets agree to disagree.


I'm totally fine with that.  But please quit inventing bull |expletive| and trying to imply I ever said it, though.  I'm beyond sick of your d-bag schtick.


I re-read and see no "inventing bull |expletive|."  However, I do see only one person resorting to childish name-calling and swearing at people for having a different opinion.

riceweb
Home Owners Association
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:54 am
Location: Omaha, NE

Postby riceweb » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:41 am

I tend to agree with joeglow, especially since the football facilities, also, were inadequate, and there would have been facilities expenses associated with the football program as well. Even if they rented out TD Ameritrade, there's a significant cost associated that they wouldn't incur playing at their nearly free at Caniglia Field.

Plus, they don't currently have the money for the new basketball/soccer/baseball/hockey facilities. They're on the medium-range plan, and they'll require significant donations to make them work.

Big E
City Council
Posts: 7767
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:12 am

Postby Big E » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:14 am

riceweb wrote:I tend to agree with joeglow, especially since the football facilities, also, were inadequate, and there would have been facilities expenses associated with the football program as well. Even if they rented out TD Ameritrade, there's a significant cost associated that they wouldn't incur playing at their nearly free at Caniglia Field.


Had I said anything even remotely close to that I'd agree, as well.

Plus, they don't currently have the money for the new basketball/soccer/baseball/hockey facilities. They're on the medium-range plan, and they'll require significant donations to make them work.


This is kind of my point (although I do look forward to others telling me what my point actually is).  They've laid out some kind of roadmap, yet they didn't make even a remotely half-assed attempt to include football or wrestling.  Their actions prior to cutting football and wrestling showed no signs of real effort to make anything work, and their stance since seems to ignore the budget problems that they claim forced their hand.  It makes zero sense.


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