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We have two athletic programs not performing to standard ...

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    Several different sources...some sites like this try and aggregate it but they don't do a perfect job. I didn't have time to look around for more than 5 minutes or so but it's all available somewhere.

  • Thanks, all I could find was a combined "olympic sports".

  • facilities are for the fans

    To prove my point: Let UAB hire Coach Saban for football.... What happens? he gets better players first then as team gets better people come support it and then they upgrade there stadium to put them equal to their competition.

    Not saying it wouldn't be nice to have an upgrade... but we have to have a good coach on the diamond.

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  • Wesleygullett, have you been in either of those facilities? Coleman is one of the best facilities in the conference, since the upgrade, and the Joe is a pretty nice field in its own right. It sits in the perfect place and the players areas are pretty darn decent. Facilities for those two sports are not our problem.

  • Arkansas' stadium is somewhat similar to Riverwalk. It's a damn Taj Mahal, right down the street from another one--Bud Walton Arena. We know where that $$$ came from and, while Coleman is in good shape, outside funds must come in to keep us from dropping below Vandy and Missouri in bad baseball stadiums.The location of The Joe is fine and dandy,IMO, but the playing surface is not good, fans sitting down the 1B side can't see anything in the RF corner, the bullpens and cages need work, restrooms and concessions are a joke compared to the new SEC stadiums.....where do I stop!?

  • I agree with that and if you have made a serious donation to that affect then absolutely you should complain to Mal about the facilities.

    But if you haven't and are arguing that we should use other (non donation) funds to dump $30 million in a baseball program that has less than $1 million in REVENUE; well then that's insane.

    Get the funding and then do the upgrades but unless you are willing to cut a nice check, then STFU about it.

  • Which it probably isn't....from a financial point of view. Going out and hiring a expensive ("hot shot") is a waste of money. It could even be argued that a exhaustive search using a bunch of human resources is a waste of energy as well.

    Now I would like to get more lucky than we did with WH, but I don't see any reasons to invest more into it.

  • MrCrimson33306

    What about our track team? Wasn't there a former Texas A&M coach hired?

  • Do you think Alabama football was always the revenue maker that it is now? Do you think that if someone hadn't had the foresight to invest into facilities, coaches, etc., that ESPN and the BCS would have ambled along anyways and turned our conference into the mint that it is now?

    Do you think that in 5 years, or whenever the conference re-ups with ESPN, that somehow college baseball is going to get less a share of coverage than it has now?

    Baseball was left behind for years for a variety of reasons. That era of being irrelevant and insolvent is coming to an end, and now that the sport has a national stage to play on, the pie will get bigger.

    I recall in the late 90s, when Alabama was making runs to Omaha every year, you had to find some weak AM station to hear regional finals. Now, basically every regional and super regional is broadcast on national or regional television. The financial proceeds from those broadcasts will eventually catch up and surpass the overall budgets for major programs. I don't expect Morehouse State's baseball team to ever be profitable, but of you think Texas, LSU, Arkansas, etc. will still be bleeding money in 10 years, you're naive.

    I'd imagine, just for sh*ts and giggles (your term, not mine) that if you look at profit/loss in the 80s and 90s, college baseball debt would have been even more out of whack than it is now (and that was before teams were spending insane amounts of money on facilities, travel, etc.)

    You can't compare football to baseball right now - but to think baseball will always have negative equity simply it will likely never surpass football/basketball is to put your head in the sand. Good thing George Denny had more foresight than Mal does, or else Nick Saban would be coaching on a dirt field in front of 50 people.

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  • It all depends on your relative return on investment. I do not think for example that Alabama invested $30/$50 million in the football program when the football program has less have <$500K in revenue. Or a relative multiple adjusted for inflation; call a 60x to 100x revenue capex investment. That's about as absurd as it gets. The likliehood of getting your money back on that is so small it would just be essentially throwing a large portion of it away. Had we done that and it all worked out it would lucky not foresight, but we didn't do that at all so it's a moot point.

    I think that baseball is a nice sport and worthy of consideration but no way in hell would I drop $30/$50 million unless substantially all of that money came from outside investment. And I really don't think (though I don't know) that LSU, Arkansas, South Carolina upgraded their baseball facilities with athletic department internally generated funds either. My guess is all of those upgrades were accomplished by outside donations. So instead of bitching at Mal, we should probably bitch at ourselves for not being willing to pony up the dough if it's important to you. I know I am not going to give a single dollar to the baseball program so shame on me.

    And the likely of baseball really ever passing football is frankly low. I guess "ever" is a long and uncertain time frame but let's be honest, the macro trends in baseball as a sport at the national level are not good. It has been declining in popularity for a quarter century and football and basketball have surpassed it easily. College baseball I do think has good growth drivers, but then again it came from absolutely a nothing sport 15 years ago. I think the attention paid to it at UA is appropriate.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by manbearpig7 2 years ago

  • Well said. I would add that there is value to a University in having successful athletic programs, particularly in major, visible sports like baseball and basketball, even when the profits/losses within that particular sport may show otherwise. Women's basketball programs like Tennessee and UConn are, to a great degree, self-sustaining, but the benefit and value of the exposure for those programs shows up in many areas outside of ticket sales. As an example close to home, our Gymnastics program is not a major money maker for the University, but Sarah Patterson's program provides advertising and exposure for our University that money simply cannot buy. Nick Saban himself has said time and time again that it helps football and the University as a whole when all of our athletic programs are competing at a high level.

  • This I do agree with - about the funds coming from outside sources. But whose job is it to raise funds and awareness from institutional investors and individuals like you and me? Mal, right?

    A program like LSU isn't a great example here because they've been good for a long time and there's been a sense of civic duty and pride to keep that program strong.

    But look at a program like South Carolina. They have a brand new park, they've won 2 national titles in a row, and they're absolutely stacked. 10 years ago, they were far behind us. Now, we shouldn't even be mentioned in the same discussion as them.

    So if their department built the stadium, paid tanner, and upped their recruiting budget....and the money suddenly started pouring in from the outside...who do you think started that momentum? It didn't happen by magic.

    That's why I'm saying that regardless of whether the program at UA is a moneymaker, we need Mal and Mitch to be out busting their a** selling it and trying to at least foster some sort of dialogue that addresses the lottery issue.

    Instead, Mal is playing golf and admiring all the other sparking facilities on campus while Sewell-Thomas rusts over. He's in charge of being a businessman first, and I get that, so I don't expect him to pump in ridiculous amounts of capital with no chance at a return. But if he could go convince the corporate community to get behind baseball and a new stadium (with enticements like signage priorities, club seats, etc.) then he could fund this and reverse this embarassment that it's become.

    I'm not trying to make it out to be more than it can be - i just want us to do the bare minimum. If Ole Miss, Arkansas and Auburn can have nice places and act like they give a da*n, so can we. That's not to say facilities automatically make you a good program, because Auburn's had a nice place for years and they suck, but they've at least made a cursory effort.

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  • Nobody stopping you. Write a check to the baseball program.

    In football with have PBjr who personally gauranteed the sell of every single ticket that was added on to the stadium in each renovation and gauranteed the loan.

    We do not have a booster or a pool of boosters in any other sport willing to do that, which makes renovations/upgrades a lot more complicated; regardless of the fact that we all want them.

  • I like what South Carolina has done is baseball. I wish we could/would do the same thing. I also know they would give all of that up ten times over for half of what we have done in football in the last three years. That's what's really important to the fans, when football sucks nobody will bitch about anything else but that, when football is great, people will find something else to bitch about.

    But anyway, I don't know how they did it. It's possible they got lucky and had a wealthy booster that just happened to be a huge baseball fan. It's possible, they just got lucky hiring a great coach and everything just sort of exploded kind of like we did with softball. I don't know.

    We have a few boosters like that in basketball but NOBODY nearly a personally invested as Mr. Bryant is in football. It is to some extent Mal's job to find those people and I don't know how he spends his time but I personally would like him continuing to focus the majority of his energy on a stronger fund for football staying ahead of the competition. We take it for granted because it has already happened but that's what's important to me and you can bet the majority of people complaining about baseball in this thread will take exactly the same attitude the minute football even shows the slightest signs of slipping. When football losses 4 games a year, the baseball team could never win a game and the vast majority of donors would complain about football alone.

    It's not going to be easy, we do not have boosters (like Arkansas) that simply have so much money they don't even care. Our boosters have money, but they want to see a return quickly.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by manbearpig7 2 years ago

  • I do write a check to the atheletic department as a whole, not just to football. NashTide makes the retort in his post above better than I can regarding who should be leading the charge on those issues. There are steps that can be taken to use our baseball and women's basketball programs as assets to the University, rather than detriments.

  • Correct. There are certainly steps. We pay enough we could get the manager of the Yankees to coach the baseball team (well maybe not but you get the point). We could build our own little Yankee stadium over there beside the Black Warrior River.

    The point is not that it could be done, the point is who is going to pay for it and what's the return on investment?

  • If all we look at is return on investment in a vacuum, we would never spend a penny on any sport besides football, and most Universities would drop sports altogether. There are like 50 profitable Athletic Departments.

    These AD's know how to read a P&L, they are spending money on baseball because there are secondary benefits to the school as a whole from having success in popular sports, outside of an individual sport turning a profit.

    If we don't have the kinds of boosters we need to fund it, then it won't happen, I get that. And it probably won't because at Alabama as long as football is elite, everything is fine to most of our boosters. Not saying its right but that's how it is.

  • This is true, and it's something that sort of confuses me. Not sure if it's a title 9 issue or what.

    Our softball program isn't overly profitable, yet they got a brand new park.
    Our gymnastics program isn't overly profitable, but Sarah Patterson gets whatever she wants (I know this for a fact.)
    Our tennis, soccer, track, etc. programs don't add anything financially but they've all gotten decent overhauls relative to facilities.
    Women's basketball does absolutely nothing and we renovated Foster.

    I wouldn't even beg that we build a brand new baseball stadium. I'd love to see us just do what Ole Miss did. They didn't relocate their field, but the place looks completely different than it did 6 years ago. The exterior is magnificent, the concourses are nice, they stadium grew by about 30 percent - and we wouldn't even need to add seating. Just give the place a nice facelift and it could be fine, similar to what we did at Coleman. Ole Miss also added a nice indoor hitting and weight facility next door. Nothing overly extravagant, but it's nice enough.

    I'd love a new park by the river, but I'll take whatever I can get. The aluminum bleachers were fine in 1999 but they look trashy as hell now. It's not like we're even using most of those seats anymore. Just empty bleachers to look at. The exterior with its vinyl siding looks like the outside of someones trailer. The press box looks dinky.

    Just brick the place in and remove the metal bleachers in favor of permanent seating and you're off to a decent start. Then add individual seats down the 1st base line where we have bleachers.

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  • I agree with all of that. I am not suggesting that we drop some sports all together but I am suggesting that we think about things rationally and yes consider return on investment. I am well aware that there other benefits to having championship programs in other less marketable sports, but those secondary benefits you mention are by far the strongest in football which is incidently the only sport that's a massive cash cow as well. I think we need to try to value those secondary benefits before we dump $30 million into a new baseball facility when nobody goes to the games and the team produces about $500K in revenue. When we do that valuation, I bet that we will find that to make it work we will need outside investment and we simply don't have the boosters to do that. We have a lot of fans on here that want it done, but I don't think we can come up with the cash.

    We get these "I want all sports to be great; we should fire [___], [___] and [___] and massively upgrade facilities for [___], [___], and [___]" post all the time. Essentially just letting the board know that by God just being good in football is not going to stop you from bitching. Easy to say in a vacuum when it's not your money. And everybody was more pissed off when we lost one game to LSU in football this year than they will be if baseball didn't win another game ever.

    This post was edited by manbearpig7 2 years ago

  • confusedUA has a womens basketball team?

  • Well I certainly can't argue with that. And No doubt there's a lot of bitching without thinking through the economics of it.

    But saying baseball makes $X so we are idiots if we spend $Y is massively over simplifying it too. (I know you were just making a point)

    It's just tough to see other SEC schools who don't have as much money as Bama with these nice facilities when ours blow. I understand why but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

  • Agreed.

    It's probably more tough though for bigger schools with substantially more resources than UA (and more highly regarded academically) like Texas, Ohio State, Florida, Southern Cal, Penn State, Michigan, Georgia, etc. to watch a smaller school like UA dominate college football, which is obviously the most popular college sport by an enormous margin.

    So it least you are not a UGA fan, now that would be really tough. You would have to talk about "class" all the time just to feel better about your mediocrity.

    And that's why I come back to what I said originally. I am fine with spending tons of time/money/resources in baseball or womens' basketball or ping pong or water polor or whatever as long as not a single resource is allocated away from football. Because at the end of the day oversimplification or otherwise, the total economic cost of slipping in football considering the secondary benefits is far worse than anything those programs can realistically deliver even as championship programs.

    Obviously we touched on the P&L, but in terms of the overall value to the University as was your point (and a fair one), the costs of becoming a mediocre football program would not even be partially supplemented by creating championship like programs in almost every single other sport. I think our AD knows that.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by manbearpig7 2 years ago