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Another Attendance Article.

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Another Attendance Article.

Good article about other teams and their attempts to make the mark. Talk about a domino effect!




Spartans on a slippery slope
Low attendance may threaten I-A status of school

Chadd Cripe
The Idaho Statesman | Edition Date: 11-10-2004

Boise State's game Saturday morning at San Jose State will highlight what could become a major problem in Division I-A football.

The Spartans average 6,949 fans per home game, the worst in I-A football. It could get even worse with a 9:02 a.m. local kickoff (10:02 a.m. MST) at Spartan Stadium.

San Jose State's abysmal attendance will put it one step down a three-step path toward losing its I-A status. A similar fate could await other 2005-06 Western Athletic Conference programs like Idaho, Nevada, Utah State and New Mexico State ? and mid-major programs across the country.

An NCAA rule requiring teams to average 15,000 fans per game ? actual attendance, not paid ? took full effect this year, and already there is talk of repealing it. The NCAA Board of Directors has requested a review of the standard.

"I certainly hope (it's repealed)," Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said. "I just think too many schools out there are going to be impacted. Whether the (Bowl Championship Series-conference) schools like it or not, they need schools like Idaho and Middle Tennessee."

The Vandals have reported an average attendance of 16,620 this season with help from a "home" game at Washington State. However, they won't know the audited number until early next year.

"Based on the numbers that we know, it will be pretty close," Spear said.

Any team that averages fewer than 15,000 fans this season will be put on notice that it is in non-compliance with I-A membership requirements.

During the next 10 years, if a team fails to meet the attendance requirement again, it will be placed on restricted status. That means no bowl game.

And a third instance will cost the school its I-A status ? placing it in limbo. The school would need to re-apply for I-A status.

Current WAC bylaws prohibit schools that don't meet the I-A criteria from remaining in the conference, commissioner Karl Benson said. Those rules may get adjusted to protect the WAC from losing its teams, Benson said.

The WAC could lose its seat on the NCAA Board of Directors if it falls below eight teams, Benson said. However, that's the only conference-wide repercussion.

"Institutions are at much greater risk than the conference is," Benson said. "This is an institutional challenge."

And they've addressed it in a variety of creative ways.

? San Jose State gives away two iPods and an iBook to students at each home game. Vacations also have been given away.

Students, who get in free, get their IDs swiped as they enter. That enters them into a drawing.

One student who has attended a game during the season and is present for the season finale against Fresno State will win a Hummer SUV.

? Nevada, averaging 9,882, distributed 30,000 family coupons for free admission to last week's game in local elementary schools. Only 800-900 were redeemed, allowing about 3,000 fans to get in free.

? Middle Tennessee staged a hip-hop concert by rapper Big Boi after its game against Idaho. Still, attendance was announced at just 16,000, a downpour shortened the concert, and the event reportedly cost $82,500.

? Louisiana-Monroe recently signed an agreement to play Arkansas several times in Little Rock, Ark. It's technically a neutral site, so it will count in Louisiana-Monroe's home attendance.

? Idaho gets to count its game at Washington State, 8 miles away, as a home game every other year. The Vandals must play half of their home games in Pullman, Wash., in order to count the WSU game.

The NCAA has had attendance requirements before, but this is the first time it has been enforced school-by-school and fan-by-fan. Before, a team in a conference with 50 percent compliance was given a free pass, and tickets sold but not used were counted.

It's unclear how many schools will be affected because most won't report actual attendance until early next year.

Only four of 117 I-A schools currently report attendance under 15,000, but 23 are under 20,000 ? putting them at risk when actual attendance is computed.

Spear says he has seen evidence of gross over-reporting as he has traveled with the Vandals, and the Broncos see the same thing in the WAC.

"I don't think (the NCAA) understood the magnitude of it because attendance figures, the way they're announced, are so distorted because they include tickets sold," Spear said.

He says the rule should be abolished because so many outside factors impact attendance, such as hunting seasons, weather and injuries.

"There are a lot of things that are beyond your control," Spear said.


The Idaho Statesman Article

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Another Attendance Article.

We average a lot more than 15k so I dont know why that added us in their. We have the attendence record in the sunbelt that we broke this year. So really don't know why they put us in that.
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I can't believe San Jose State is only averaging 6,000+ per game. Some high schools average more than that. It is especially hard to believe given that they are putting so much money into attracting fans.

The MTSU situation is sad. They have great facilities and really great fans (those who turn out), but they face the same challenge as FAU and FIU. They have to compete with Tennessee for fans each week just as FAU and FIU compete with Miami for fans. In talking with MTSU fans at the game, they were dissappointed about the number of people that leave town to go to Knoxville and watch the Vols play. It is a difficult situation.

Hopefully FAU can work to attract more fans for this game and get upwards of 16,000. GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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It is sad, I'm glad we are at were we are. You guys are averaging almost 15k right. I know FIU isn't going to get their. Keep it up. Hey I didn't mean to come here and talk shit. You guys do have a good team, and will compete in the sunbelt next season. NMSU in the years we been here has always played great ball in the Sunbelt. Last year was the worst record we had since coming into the sunbelt. We should compete in the WAC, because we have a young team right now. Good luck
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Well with Miami's "downfall" these past two weeks FAU and FIU should receive some of the bandwagon type fans. Funny FAU and UM have the same record, but FAU is having a great season while some of the UM fans are severely depressed about this year.
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…. Hey I didn't mean to come here and talk shit….

It would get kind of boring if someone didn't stir the pot once in a while - I hope we all understand it's all in fun.




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Another Attendance Article.

If we all took 1 friend to the game than we would have no worries.
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Another Attendance Article.

i dont understand why more students dont go its free admission for students
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your right and if they are from this area than they should bring their parents, friends and siblings to the game. no excuses.
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