View Full Version : More EMU Attendance stuff

Lehigh Football Nation
April 27th, 2005, 10:37 AM
Panel at EMU will investigate attendance (http://http://www.mlive.com/sports/aanews/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1114180928306720.xml)

Original reported attendance figures indicated Eastern averaged more than 15,000 fans per game - an increase of nearly 4,000 from 2003. But how that number is reached can't be determined. Athletics department officials said they can no longer trust internal counters, which are built into stadium turnstiles, believed to be about 45 years old.

Spin spin spin. It's all the turnstiles' fault!

This past season, the department added $1,500 to the baseball team's budget to have players stand behind ticket-takers at eight stadium entrances and count fans with a hand-held clicker as they passed through the gates. The players' count is used as a verification for numbers generated by the Ypsilanti Kiwanis Club, which is paid to use hand-clickers as fans pass through the turnstiles. The athletics department then has three conflicting numbers on which to base football attendance.

3 sets of numbers? Oh so that's why they over reported by over 3,000! Wonder if those turnstiles included, oh I don't know, the opposing players and coaches? Band members?

Here's the kicker:

Even with those three conflicting numbers, the announced attendance is still based on a figure estimated by athletics department officials, who then hand that number to the sports information department and includes it in the game statistics, department officials said.

So they're basically *saying* it's quite possible for AD "officials" to falsify the numbers. It's also saying - official attendance figures, the way they're gathered now, cannot be used as a measurement for attendance. Turnstile counts are the only thing that is remotely measurable - and even that is rife with problems.

University officials also spent about $50,000 in marketing the football program believing that the NCAA would be mandating a minimum requirement for attendance as a way of Division I schools maintaining their status. Now, that policy is not expected to be discussed at the NCAA's April 28 meeting, making the attendance issues moot.

"(Having difficulty determining attendance) is not an Eastern Michigan problem or issue - this is a Division I-A issue," athletics director Dave Diles said. "If our system for counting people through the turnstiles can be changed and improved, then that's an opportunity for growth and advancement of the institution."

Translation: When in doubt, blame the system. Sounds like EMU is blaming anyone and everyone else for their own problems of lying.

April 27th, 2005, 10:50 AM
Talk about ineffiencies... let's have 3 different ways to count attendance; but then guess how many are there and make that official. Whenever they were giving out brains, EMU's staff must have been last in line.

April 27th, 2005, 11:31 AM
Sounds like they have been copying the reporting methods of some I-AA play-off schools..only got it backwards.
Who really gives a crap whether I-AA and I-A schools know how to count attendance?

April 27th, 2005, 02:13 PM
EMU AD just left. Hmmmmmmm !!

April 27th, 2005, 05:48 PM
NCAA Board of Directors meeting tomorrow takes up Div. I issues, including attendance. Discussion in NY Times article (registration req.) http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/27/sports/ncaafootball/27ncaa.html?
Tulane U pres. wants to drop the requirement. BSC Commish Fullerton says if I-AA proposals aren't approved, I-AA schools could lead a revolt to override the board.

April 27th, 2005, 06:05 PM
As "The Fan" has said earlier, no "directional" pubic school should be I-A

Lehigh Football Nation
April 27th, 2005, 10:17 PM
That Times article is a classic.

In the future, any of the 117 Division I-A teams with an attendance problem may simply be allowed to buy enough tickets to its own games - at a substantial discount - to reach the 15,000 minimum. It would not matter if anyone actually used a ticket to sit in a seat. The key statistic would be 15,000 in paid attendance.

"It's more than unseemly, it's dysfunctional," said Scott S. Cowen, the Tulane University president and a member of the Division I board of directors. "It could lead to a lot of unintended consequences, with schools doing things that are not in keeping with the spirit of college athletics."

Something is f***ed up when the president of Tulane - Tulane! - comes out and is the moral compass of ANY NCAA decision. I keep picturing Claude Raines in Casablanca saying, "I'm shocked - shocked! - that there is gambling going on in this establishment!"

Why not just get the right f***ing counts and not lie about them? And if you do lie, fines and loss of scholarships?

Here's something unrelated to the thread, but also fascinating nonetheless:

Fullerton said if the [I-AA enhancement proposals] were not approved, I-AA universities might lead a revolt to override the board's decision, something virtually without precedent in the N.C.A.A.

Berst said that if 30 universities wanted to override a board decision, it would go back on the agenda for the next directors' meeting in August. If 100 member institutions want to override the decision, it is put on the convention agenda in January.

"I think we could win an override," Fullerton said. "We've got more than 100 I-AA schools, and I think some of the I-A's would come with us."

Are the I-AA proposals so urgent that folks would revolt? Is getting rid of the name I-AA so important to I-AA schools? There are other great things in the package (giving more $$ stipends to schools in the I-AA playoffs, for example) that would be great... but I had no idea that it could be a huge battle.

April 28th, 2005, 10:12 AM
Fullerton is great for entertainment.

He told us the Big Sky would move to I-A enmasse if 15,000 was repealed, though we never quite heard that from the university presidents who would need to fund the extra sports, and extra scholarships in I-A.

Now if he doesn't get the I-AA "enhancements" he wants to do an over-ride. Problem is he doesn't have standing to over-ride.

The counting of games for bowl eligibility is a I-A issue. Only I-A schools can over-ride it. So the Big Sky can't run an over-ride.

Counting of games to meet the I-A scheduling requirement is a I-A issue. Only I-A schools can over-ride it. The Big Sky can't even get it on the table.

I-A/I-AA nomenclature presumably would be a Division I football issue and an override might be feasible.

Changing the budget to fund more assistance to the playoffs would a Division I issue so the override could happen except that I-A and I-AAA have no incentive to vote for it and carry a majority of the votes.

April 28th, 2005, 10:57 AM
Lehigh, Your comments about getting the f**in counts and not lie..fines and loss of scholarships...etc.

You don't think the NCAA would do that to the I-AA play-off home teams too, do you? That would be baaaad news for some of our schools. Don't you think? :eek: :eek:

Maybe there IS some advantage in our division being out of the spotlight.

April 28th, 2005, 11:18 AM
Yup, I can just see the legions of official attendance checkers descending on IAA playoff games - maybe they'll even stop the game so they can get an accurate count?!? Oh, IAA-2005, your posts are priceless, thanks again! :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

April 28th, 2005, 02:52 PM
You're right, the NCAA doesn't give a rat's arse about I-AA. But why in the H all the "priceless" posts about some I-A schools padding THEIR attendance?? :eek: :eek:
The I-A's lie to stay in. The I-AA's claim they lie in order to steal a few bucks from the NCAA and the visiting team. Or is it rationalizing for the play-off's lack of draw?? "oh we had thousands more, but we just don't count 'em and pocket the dough, even though it's illegal by NCAA standards." :cool:

I guess you can see those SAME legions decending on Delaware and others.

Gannon, your logic/rationalization is priceless, too. The NCAA should get all bent out of shape and fine/penalize EMU for bad counting (per the Lehigh fan's post) but let Delaware slide? Is Delaware that special..or that insignificant?
Some just don't want to admit that the I-AA four game journey to the NC is break-even $$ at best.
It's about pride, because it sure isn't about any money.

April 28th, 2005, 04:32 PM
He told us the Big Sky would move to I-A enmasse if 15,000 was repealed, though we never quite heard that from the university presidents who would need to fund the extra sports, and extra scholarships in I-A.

You've misquoted, Arkstfan. Here's the actual quote:

“If the standards are indeed not going to stay in place,” said Fullerton, “And there is a guarantee that there is greater access to Bowl games for non-BCS schools, and there would be greater access to scheduling then why wouldn't I advise our schools to go to I-A as a league?

In fairness, advising member schools to reclassify if the incentives were higher and distinctions between sub-divisions fewer is an entirely different animal than claiming that he alone has the ability to make it happen. Fullerton didn't do that at all.

Fullerton is not the only I-AA conference commissioner who has alluded the possibility of mass re-classification should criteria be repealed. Dennis Thomas (MEAC), Greg Burke (Southland) and Danny Morrison (SoCon) have apparently not ruled out the possibility. Ditto Tom Yeager (CAA). I think that's where the "For the NCAA, what's four or five more chairs around the Board of Directors' table?" comment comes from.

April 29th, 2005, 08:13 AM
I wasn't relying on a public comment though there are several that can be interpreted that way. I was relying on what a Management Council member said Fullerton said to try to sway a vote.