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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

http://www.newschannel5.com/content/mtsu/15890.asp

Former MTSU Coach McCollum Disputes Attendance Figures
Posted: 11/30/2005 7:02:00 AM

Outgoing Middle Tennessee State football coach Andy McCollum has suggested that other schools are inflating attendance figures.

McCollum was fired last week for not winning enough games and for lack of attendance at Blue Raider home games.

At his media luncheon yesterday, he disputed attendance figures he said he heard at Troy State and Florida Atlantic.

He said Middle Tennessee has a better fan base than other schools, but apparently the Blue Raiders don't count attendance the way some universities do.
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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

If this so-called news source is going to make outrageous claims, it ought to at least know the correct names of the universities it "covers". Troy dropped the "State" two years ago.

I was at three home Troy games and four home FAU games and thought the stated attendance was close to actual attendance on each occasion.

Former MTSU coach Andy McCollum is a bitter, disgruntled former coach. Troy hasn't had 5,000 at a game since the I-AA days. On TV, it appears more than 5,000 people were on the press box side of the field. The reporter writing this story would not know that because he couldn't see the same-side crowd from the press box.

To me, it appeared FAU's lowest attendance was around 8,000 (or perhaps a bit lower). I have pictures of the MTSU contingent from the FAU game. It numbered 100 at best.

McCollom's claims are bogus at best. Perhaps if he had spent more time coaching and less time counting heads, his career might have fared better.

And to think, Troy coach Larry Blakeney was the first peer to call McCollom in support after McCollom's firing. Some friend Andy is!

Here is the full story:

McCollum doubts math

Ousted coach questions league attendance figures

By MIKE ORGAN
Nashville Tennessean Staff Writer

MURFREESBORO ? Andy McCollum yesterday accused other Sun Belt Conference football programs of inflating attendance figures, an issue at Middle Tennessee State that he said led to his firing.

When MTSU Athletics Director Chris Massaro discussed his decision last week to terminate McCollum, he cited sagging home attendance at Floyd Stadium as one of the three main factors.

The other reasons, according to Massaro, were four consecutive losing records and a 1-4 record at home this season.

"You know I've been blamed for attendance, (and) I think if you're going to do anything about it at Middle Tennessee you need to get someone to count people how these other people count them," McCollum said. "Then maybe we wouldn't get blamed for so dang much. Middle Tennessee has got a better fan base than any of these (other conference) stadiums that I've been in; we just haven't got people that can count them right. Or, count them the way other people count them."

Average attendance for the Blue Raiders' five home games this season was 14,526.

The Blue Raiders end the season, and McCollum's seven-year tenure as coach, Saturday at 6 p.m. at Florida International, where the average attendance for home games so far in 2005 has been 14,914.

McCollum will be eager to see if that many people actually show up.

"When I walk in at Troy last week, I see 5,000 people there, and then I hear 17,000 was the number they said was there," McCollum said.

"And then I've got to come back and hear attendance problems. Or I walk into Florida Atlantic and see 1,200 and I hear 10,000. Then that gets put on our players and coaches and everything else. That's a bunch of crap."

McCollum appears to be correct about Troy's number being inflated for last Saturday night's game, which MTSU won 17-7. Many students weren't on campus because of the Thanksgiving holiday, and only a smattering of fans showed up ? estimated by some in the media at between 2,000 and 4,000, yet the official attendance was released as 17,005.

After MTSU's game at Florida Atlantic, which the Blue Raiders won 35-14 on Oct. 15, McCollum said he believed his team had more fans in attendance than Florida Atlantic's. The official attendance figures for that game, however, was 10,117.

"If you're going to blame something, let's blame it with some truth,'' McCollum said. "To have that is a joke. It really is. We just need to find out how they count them, because somebody's doing something to get these attendance marks up, and it's always criticism on our university for not having it. We have better crowds than anywhere I've been in; we just don't count right."

MTSU currently ranks seventh out of eight Sun Belt teams in average attendance, according to figures released by the conference office.

The attendance figures MTSU has released are only estimates, according to assistant athletic director/media relations Mark Owens.

The official attendance figures will be figured by the university's auditors and likely won't be available until later in the winter.

With only one Sun Belt Conference game left to be played ? MTSU at Florida International ? Troy has the largest average attendance at 19,425 for five home games according to the conference office.

Five other schools ? Arkansas State (18,381), Louisiana-Lafayette (17,591), North Texas (16,446), Florida International (14,914) and Louisiana-Monroe (14,617) ? all rank ahead of MTSU.

Florida Atlantic, with an average attendance of 11,476 for four home games, is the only school that reported a lower number than MTSU.

Mike Organ can be reached at [email protected] or 615-259-8021.

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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

I have family in Murfreeseboro and one relative that is a proffesor at MTSU so I usually get to have the wonderful pleasure of going to an MTSU game at least once a year except for this year. They have a nice 40,000 + seat stadium and every time I go there it is like a ghost town. Last year they had to hold an Outkast concert after the game to boost attendance. Anyways, MTSU has the perfect scenario for a successful program on the rise. Great Tennessee recruits to pick from, and very nice facilities. McCollum just needs to accept that he couldnt get it done. No one in Murfreesboro is going to come out and watch a losing program after they have invested so much into it and nothing positive is resulting from it. The impression I get from family and friends in Murfreesboro is that the program is basically now a big joke. McCollum should just face the facts, he could not and would not build a winning program even with all the great tools he was given. He just needs to shut his mouth and move on.
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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

Troy fans are also discussing this issue:

ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.

http://www.gotroytrojans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3468

What a slap this was to the one coach (Blakeney) who acted like a friend to McCollom.

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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

The key here is that he is the FORMER coach at MTSU. Way to complain after the fact. A real class act. Attendance wasn't the issue. He was fired because he didn't enough games. He is trying to change the issue and make himself look like a victim in the process.

I also have been fortunate enough to attend an FAU game at MTSU. The stadium was as Roscoeowl said, very nice and very empty even with a free t-shirt promotional give-away.

GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

guess who is on the Troy board sticking up for the MTSU smurfs, yes none other than the guy voted most disliked by this board "blueraiderpride".

I have no doubt he will be here.

FAU - THE REAL SLEEPING GIANT
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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

Here is the relevant part of the article:

"And then I've got to come back and hear attendance problems. Or I walk into Florida Atlantic and see 1,200 and I hear 10,000. Then that gets put on our players and coaches and everything else. That's a bunch of crap."

After MTSU's game at Florida Atlantic, which the Blue Raiders won 35-14 on Oct. 15, McCollum said he believed his team had more fans in attendance than Florida Atlantic's. The official attendance figures for that game, however, was 10,117.

Mr. McCollum should not be trying to take others down with him. It is an insult to the institution which we are all proud of. He is accusing us of being liars. Perhaps MT, having a 100-year football tradition, does have a better fanbase than we do. However, our coaches have more class. Even if what he is claiming were true, you do not make such statements. I would like to see proof of only 1200 in attendance.

If his comments were true it would be a serious scandal. Our first ever game against Slippery Rock did have its announced attendance calculated incorrectly (tickets distributed instead of people in seats) but this was later corrected.
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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

You all are exactly right. IMO he is just a very bitter person right now. He is blaming everyone but himself and he is trying to take down everyone with him. I think it is very pathetic and frankly I expected a lot more from the guy. All I know is that we own Middle Tenn.
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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

I will soon post a photo of the MTSU fan section at Lockhart. I dare anyone to find more than 100 people in it.

>>guess who is on the Troy board sticking up for the MTSU smurfs, yes none other than the guy voted most disliked by this board "blueraiderpride".<<

After Troy woke up but couldn't overcome a 17-point first-half deficit and lost to MTSU, a couple of Blue Raider fans have stayed on, gloating over at GoTroyTrojans.com, apparently unaware that their team has another game this week - one that could very well end very unhappily for them. At least I hope so.

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Former MTSU coach accuses us of padding attendance

I thought attendance was based on ticket sales not actual butts in the seats
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