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How to sell FAU?

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How to sell FAU?

http://www.dnj.com/article/20120520/BLUERAIDERS01/305200053/SPECIAL-REPORT-CONFERENCE-REALIGNMENT-MTSU-emails-make-Case-CUSA

Clearly, MTSU worked hard to sell itself and will be at the top of the list for the next spot in CUSA (the league FAU will be in next unless we stagnate).

Do we have any similar list for FAU?

Email from MTSU AD Chris Massaro to CUSA commissioner Britton Banowsky
1. We are ready immediately.
2. We deliver the Nashville market as evidenced by our 8.1 rating from our most recent bowl game.
3. Three bowl games in last six years (best of known schools under consideration).
4. We offer a geographical bridge to the rest of the conference.
5. We have positioned ourselves for an opportunity in Conference USA for at least eight years.
6. We are in sequence.
7. We offer a proven and sustained track record.
8. 27 basketball wins (Ole Miss, UCLA, Tennessee) last year while earning highest RPI of known schools under consideration.
9. Tremendous track record for bowl attendance.
10. More AQ wins (5) than any other Sun Belt school.
11. Largest undergraduate population in the state.
12. Excellence in all sports – four straight Commissioner Cups.

MTSU administrators had mostly been silent about their strategy and efforts in selling the university to CUSA, drawing strong criticism from many in the Blue Raiders fan base who thought the university wasn’t doing enough. Such frustration even showed up in 53 emails containing criticism from fans to McPhee and Massaro, as obtained by The DNJ.

Some fan emails demanded McPhee and/or Massaro resign due to unsubstantiated rumors that they were inactive in pursuing CUSA membership.

But numerous emails from McPhee and Massaro to various contacts show a regular dialogue about MTSU’s place in conference realignment – both in seeking consideration from CUSA and strategizing the university’s possible future in the Sun Belt.

During a May 4 interview with The DNJ, Massaro acknowledged MTSU had aggressively pursued other conference affiliations, but he did not specifically name CUSA or any other league. At that time, Massaro offered the following statement: “As has always been the case, it is our responsibility to look for opportunities to grow our programs whenever possible, and that has been the foundation for our recent discussions. It has been an honor for conferences to hear our story and learn what Middle Tennessee has to offer. We have dealt with a lot of great people along the way who have told us we are on the right path.”

Was there any similar passion from FAU fans or the administration? Has there been any dialog at all?

The article discusses in-person meetings with other CUSA administrations, outside council, and tremendous confidence and effort from MT.

This is a huge contrast to the apparent effort of FAU's administration. Here's an article from February:

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-02-13/sports/fl-fau-news-0214-20120213_1_athletic-director-craig-angelos-fau-new-conference

"We are monitoring the situation closely," FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos said. "We are looking to see what opportunities are out there."

[…]

But FAU would have to be convinced that the move made financial sense. "Revenues are important," Angelos said, "and we would have to look at travel costs, money from television, bowl tie-ins. There are many factors involved.

There is a huge gap in passion in the material released from MT and the statements from the administration responsible for our affiliation. Were we totally passive? Did we even try to market our institution? Were we not financially-prepared for the move? Look at what USF, UCF, and FIU have been able to accomplish – do we really have any excuse for being the only FBS institution in the state not at or moving towards a higher profile?

Here are some of the more recent comments: FAU President Saunders: Winning key in conference realignment

“It's not on the table for us this year,” Saunders said. “Hopefully, we will be positioned in a short period of time to get bids from other conferences. I'm more disappointed that FIU left because we could lose our rivalry.”

[…]

“I think we have to win,” Saunders said. “It's pretty tough to go 1-11 in football - and have a lot of sports that didn't (win) more than 50 percent - then say that you are competitive enough to move up to another conference. You can talk about the TV markets, there's all sorts of things, but there's also the strength of your teams.”

[…]

“If opportunities come up to get into a better conference – a more highly ranked conference – yeah, that's great. We need to do well in the Sun Belt first,” she said.

There are so many open questions. What specific actions are we taking? How are we going to win? How are we going to improve? What needs to change? The stadium was the last viable excuse.

Why were we not prepared to sell FAU? How would you sell FAU?
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Re: How to sell FAU?

Aren't we in the "wait and see mode"  :P

GO OWLS!
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Re: How to sell FAU?

It seems very much to me like FAU thought they didn't have to market themselves, that our geography and media market would sell itself, and as a result a conference like CUSA would come to us with an invite and we'd reply, "Possibly… show us the money."

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Re: How to sell FAU?

dusky256fc said

Aren't we in the "wait and see mode"  :P

I think Saunders has taken the bull by the horns on that issue.

AD Fired, WBB coach Fired, VB Coach fired, Football overhaul.

I think the fact that FIU got the nod over us shook the admin to it core and some of these changes are the result.

I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick @$$ and I'm out of bubble gum.

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Re: How to sell FAU?

totally agree with the comments here. Saunders knows we have to be more marketable and she has made the right moves. Maybe get the students involved as well.
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Re: How to sell FAU?

owlfamily said

I think Saunders has taken the bull by the horns on that issue. AD Fired, WBB coach Fired, VB Coach fired, Football overhaul…

I'm all for "taking your time to find a good AD" but if we fire any more coaches - and there are a couple more that need to be replaced - then people are going to argue that

a) it will be hard to get qualified candidates to commit here (a concern wiped away by requiring MJS to sign off on dismissals of coaches)
and
b) the new AD is going to inherit a bunch of people he didn't hire, which if you think about it is an absolutely ridiculous argument considering that every new AD is going to inherit coaches s/he didn't hire. It's not like every new AD cleans house the way a new head coach does.


P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Re: How to sell FAU?

Owl2Doc said

but if we fire any more coaches - and there are a couple more that need to be replaced

Like Joan Joyce…. Softball/Golf

This is a tough one because she has done a lot for this program but we went from a perennial powerhouse in the ASun to a bottom dweller in the Sun Belt. Ok you once struck out Ted Williams, but he's long since dead and more than likely the girls on your team couldn't care less about that.

I don't know if she's still coaching golf or not, but how are we bad at golf? There's a golf course on every corner in this state.

That's like being located in Denver and being bad at Skiing. You live on a mountain!

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: How to sell FAU?

It does seem that the curve steping up to the SBC in all other programs really took a beating.

Other then the Football, Basketball, and Basebally, the other sports have really gotten thier teeth kicked in.

I know most dont care about those (myself included) but I guess it does reflect on the university's dedication to athletics on a total level.

Look at MTSU and WKU they consistently win the confrence all sports trophy (Vic Bubas Cup) over and over. Weve never even sniffed a top 5 I dont think.

I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick @$$ and I'm out of bubble gum.

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Re: How to sell FAU?

I agree.  Most people (myself included) don't care about volleyball, golf, soccer, softball, or women's basketball for that matter, but they do exist and FAU has ignored them for far too long.  Winning matters, especially when you are trying to position yourself to get into a better conference.

We've seen what baseball can do with very little support.  With our location and weather, there's no reason that we shouldn't be yearly contenders in golf, softball, soccer, swimming, volleyball, etc.  If you are going to compete in these sports, you need to field competitive teams.  Like OF said, it reflects how seriously you take yourself as a department.  Good for President Saunders for cleaning house.  It's about time. 
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Re: How to sell FAU?

Let's get this AD hired and see how he wants to sell FAU. 

FAU Class of '87
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