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Lehigh Football Nation
April 12th, 2005, 09:32 PM
FYI, this EMU stuff I reported here last week is serious. There's an investigation going on with the interim university president, and the AD is waffling.

Here's the link. (http://www.easternecho.com/cgi-bin/story.cgi?3843)


Figures need investigation

Last Monday, an Echo Special Report revealed discrepancies in the attendance figures of home football and basketball games among figures reported by the ticket management office, figures reported by a separate group and figures reported by the University. The Echo is pleased with the action that interim President Willis has taken, ordering an investigation into the figures.

The NCAA requirement for Division I status is an average 15,000 fans in "actual attendance." The University's official attendance figures reported an average of 16,060 fans for the six home dates.The ticket management office's average, however, is more than 38 percent below that requirement.

None of the three numbers provided by the three sources match up.

An investigation is necessary to get to the bottom of these discrepancies. There should be one number, not three different numbers from each of the groups in charge of reporting attendance figures. This situation has brought to light the need for a revamped straightforward process, which does not lead to such large discrepancies

The truth about the attendance figures needs to be revealed for future seasons. The process that leads to the official attendance figures needs to be made more clear, and certainly more precise. Athletic Director Dave Diles would not stand behind any of the numbers when interviewed by the Echo. Even if the athletic department isn't trying to hide anything, it is appearing that way.

The Echo does not want the athletic department and the University to receive unnecessary bad press. That is not our intention. But the truth is our intention, and it's time to figure out what happened. There should be one coherent attendence number, and the pending investigation is necessary to find out why there isn't.

You wonder if the NCAA won't continue to get involved with this... and if they do... there should be a *lot* of I-A institutions that should be shaking in their boots.

To recap:


According to University documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, attendance figures produced by EMU ticket management officials contradicted the official attendance figures, which didnít agree with numbers reported by the baseball team. The baseball team was hired to use manual counters to determine the number of people at the five home games at Rynearson Stadium.

The ticket management office, meanwhile, used manual counters to determine the number of fans at the games. The ticket management staff, which consisted of university employees and the Ypsilanti Kiwanis, didnít count people who werenít considered fans, such as players, coaches, staff and press members.

But at all five games at Rynearson, the Universityís ticket management office counted less than half the number of fans in the official attendance.

arkstfan
April 13th, 2005, 02:05 AM
Nothing for the NCAA to investigate.

In January the Board of Directors told the NCAA staff to not obtain official attendance figures from I-A schools. Those reports were due in February.

If not for that, if EMU had submitted the high figures... they would have had problems.

SoCon48
April 13th, 2005, 10:19 AM
Need to check the I-AA's for under reporting, too.
Bag em all.

We in I-AA sure can't play holier than thou.

TexasTerror
April 18th, 2005, 09:42 PM
Need to check the I-AA's for under reporting, too.
Bag em all. We in I-AA sure can't play holier than thou.

No doubt I-AAs are fixing attendance and over-doing their numbers. It's a problem at all levels. Is there any reason to fix it since there is no way to solve this problem? Doubt there is possibly a way, especially in I-AA and/or other schools where so many people get in for free (i.e students getting in for free based on student service fees and other fees).

SoCon48
April 19th, 2005, 08:17 AM
If I'm not mistaken, the free admission is supposed to be void for the play-off games and I'm sure the people at Chattanooga don't honor those things for the NC game.

TexasTerror
April 19th, 2005, 09:01 AM
If I'm not mistaken, the free admission is supposed to be void for the play-off games and I'm sure the people at Chattanooga don't honor those things for the NC game.

Free admission is void for playoff games. However, it's the regular season games where this is coming into play as most of these teams with problems are bolsteing their numbers, more than likely due to lack of success on the field, which would mean they aren't in the playoffs. No question about it.

Kill'em
April 20th, 2005, 10:44 PM
From what I understand, if the NCAA has its way, many current I-A teams could be moved "down" to I-AA.

Paladin1aa
April 21st, 2005, 11:04 AM
My sources say that the MAC is really embarassed by the EMU scandal. And doubly so because several other members' "numbers" are also in question.

They are sweating the outcome of the NCAA review of the 15k rule. Even with modification, several MAC schools will remain in trouble.

GannonFan
April 21st, 2005, 11:12 AM
Man, if this doesn't convince the NCAA that they need to step up and seriously fund the effort to accurately count football attendance then nothing will! I would think something along the line of guards at every entrance to the stadium would be a start, and a team of counters for every game. Maybe they could even affix numbered stickers to each person that passes through and then patrol the stadium later on the lookout for anyone without a sticker. Better yet, everyone should have to sign in whenever they enter the stadium and we could have the signatures verified by a handwriting analysis. If we have to go to retinal scans to solve the problem then I say go for it. College football at its very core is at stake and nothing should be spared to save it. If we can't solve this, I say we should stop playing college football at all!

(*an exercise in sarcasm at least once a week is always refreshing*)

henfan
April 21st, 2005, 11:28 AM
>>Need to check the I-AA's for under reporting, too.<<

Did I miss something or has the NCAA instituted legislation requiring schools already playing at the cost-containment level (i.e.- I-AA) to report attendance in an effort to maintain sub-division membership? If there were even modest attendance limits imposed in I-AA, more than half the sub-division would lose their football programs.

greenG
April 21st, 2005, 11:21 PM
Nothing for the NCAA to investigate.

In January the Board of Directors told the NCAA staff to not obtain official attendance figures from I-A schools. Those reports were due in February.

If not for that, if EMU had submitted the high figures... they would have had problems.

The one thing everyone is missing is that the "scandal" was reported by the student newspaper. Do you really think if something was going on the Eastern Echo would scoop the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press? Not to mention the Ann Arbor News.

Lehigh Football Nation
April 22nd, 2005, 08:54 AM
Yes, the student newspaper scooped the Detroit Free Press, and yes, the Detroit Free Press finally reported on it (http://www.freep.com/sports/othersports/metro20e_20050420.htm).

And EMU is calling for an investigation. So, this has truly become serious, not just an exercise in I-AA backslapping.

Why is this important? From the DFP article:


Gary Richter, the assistant commissioner for media relations for the Mid-American Conference, said Eastern's reported attendance of 16,060 ranked seventh among the 14 conference schools. Northern Illinois led the MAC with an average of 27,052. Buffalo ranked last at 12,185. Richter said four schools averaged fewer than 15,000, the average the NCAA deems necessary for schools to remain in Division I-A.

The NCAA soon will consider a proposal that schools become restricted members in Division I-A football if they fail to average 15,000 in at least one season in a two-year period. A restricted member could not play in a bowl and eventually could lose its I-A designation.

So, when people say, "Reporting attendance numbers don't matter", it DOES - until it's formally approved in the coming months. It was voted on approved - but it's not "law" yet.

SoCon48
April 22nd, 2005, 09:39 AM
It would just be nice if SOME college officials at SOME colleges could be trusted not to lie to nor steal from the NCAA.
College admiminstrators should hold their athletic department to some standards.
Seems like there isn't as much difference between Marshall and certain schools as many would like to believe.

Cocky
April 22nd, 2005, 09:50 AM
Man, if this doesn't convince the NCAA that they need to step up and seriously fund the effort to accurately count football attendance then nothing will! I would think something along the line of guards at every entrance to the stadium would be a start, and a team of counters for every game. Maybe they could even affix numbered stickers to each person that passes through and then patrol the stadium later on the lookout for anyone without a sticker. Better yet, everyone should have to sign in whenever they enter the stadium and we could have the signatures verified by a handwriting analysis. If we have to go to retinal scans to solve the problem then I say go for it. College football at its very core is at stake and nothing should be spared to save it. If we can't solve this, I say we should stop playing college football at all!

(*an exercise in sarcasm at least once a week is always refreshing*)

Does this mean I won't be able to carry my mix drink into the game? I will really hate the nc2a then.

SoCon48
April 22nd, 2005, 10:35 AM
Moral of this story. Don't enter into contracts which call for a percentage of the gate with schools who lie to the NCAA.

JohnStOnge
April 23rd, 2005, 08:28 AM
They need to just drop the minimum requirements for being I-A. They really do. I've come around to thinking that even if a school wants to play with zero scholarships in front of 53 fans every week but call itself I-A it ought to be able to do it. For many of these schools it's all about wanting to call themselves something they're not anyway. Just let them do it.