Student Attendance; Baseball Style of Play
|Monday, June 25, 2018, 9:22 AM- -|
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So the issue on football attendance is not about noon games against Furman or other non competitors, it is about what is the average attendance for say the last 10 years and is it changing. Is the attendance average dropping, about the same or less than in past years? I grew up and attended games at Clemson when we could get in for 50 cents or even nothing if one of our high school coaches was at the West End Zone gate but those days are long gone because football is about MONEY. At my age, I hear far more about long time IPTAY members losing parking places they have had for years than about whether the hill is full but it certainly looks better to the nation on ESPN if the stadium is full.
To compare Clemson to Florida State or Georgia is just not fair because Clemson is so much smaller. Florida State has almost 20,000 more students than Clemson does and Georgia has about 13,000 more. A better comparison would be Oklahoma who has only 7000 more students and my guess is they sell out every game just like Auburn does. How many student tickets are reserved for any schools that you want to compare Clemson to? Bottom line is most students do not go to school for 6 or 7 football games a year and even at Clemson, there are other things to do on a Saturday. As long as Clemson continues to sell a record number of season tickets a year and make the money from the ACC television and bowl contracts, a few empty spots on the hill is not a big issue. Big time college football is about money, period.
A few years ago, I spent some time on my radio show and a few blogs on the subject of student attendance. I begged them to show up for football, baseball, and basketball games. But I lost that battle.
Over the past few years, I have learned some things. First, the product has to be good. Second, the opponent has to be good. Third, you have to make it as convenient as possible for them. But sometimes all of those things still don’t matter. Sometimes it seems nothing will get them to come out. For example, last year 2,000 student tickets were not picked up for the Auburn game. Clemson was ranked in the top five. Auburn was ranked. It was a night game. But still, 2,000 students signed up for tickets and didn’t show up.
They have every excuse in the book, so you have to do everything you can to eliminate as many excuses as possible. It’s parking, and time, and temperature, and tickets, and opponent, and WiFi access, etc.
I read an article a couple of years ago about student attendance at Duke basketball being down, so it isn’t just the level of success that matters. And it’s not a Clemson thing.
What I took from Radakovich’s statement is the board of trustees cares about how it looks, and that is encouraging. I love the idea that the board is paying attention to little things in football like how the Hill looks.
What I also learned is the situation is not simple, and the answers are not simple. Our students are changing, and we have to do whatever we can to get them engaged in athletics. Make it as easy as you can and give them every reason you can to come to football, baseball, and basketball games. Take away as many possible excuses as you can, but sometimes there is nothing you can do.
You have forgotten more baseball than I will ever know. Possibly I love the game more than you but that would be the only spot I might surpass you. But I am a little confused about the direction of the overall program. Yes, we have had good numbers of wins the last 3 years, probably more than Jack would have gotten, but dang it, we need to get back to Omaha. Monte has a reputation of and says we want to embrace the long ball, the walks and the free 90s. I get that, as that is the trend in the majors too. It just seems a lot of the art of game is going away, such as hitting singles, bunting, stealing a base, NOT taking called 3rd strike trying to get the free 90, NOT getting thrown out on the bases with 2 outs and your sluggers coming up, etc. My question is - will this work? Does history show that a team and program that lives by the long ball can win the national championship? (Aside from years back before the bats were changed.) In the last 10 years, what types of teams have won? Without looking, I would suspect each year the eventual winner has great pitching, maybe one or two sluggers, a lot of singles and doubles hitters and a lot of speed and a knack to just win in unusual ways when necessary. Maybe I have just gotten old, which I have, but I just wonder if this is the right way to go. I think Jack's small ball was maybe too small and he lacked a couple of pitchers and athleticism the last 5 years. But are we going too far the other way now? And where do we stand with getting the additional scholarships to compete with those schools who can give the academic scholarships that in the past we could not or at least did not give? NCAA needs to cave on this and just allow each school a flat 20 or 25 full scholarships. Can you imagine the team this year if we just had maybe two more good to great pitchers and one to two more guys with some speed? Enjoy your blog and your show.
There is a reason many teams are playing this way now. It works. MLB teams and college programs have spent a ton of resources on their analytics and this is what they have come up with. Baseball has turned into strikeouts, walks, and homers. I am not sure I like this kind of baseball, but there is a reason why so many teams are building around this philosophy.
I am not sure about the scholarship issue. I know this staff is recruiting very well and I expect the continued success.
Finally, I have full confidence in Monte Lee and his staff. I hate the fact that they haven’t played well in the regionals, but I am encouraged with the success in the regular season and ACC tournament in the first three years. This program is so much better than it was the previous five years.
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