There may be others that are more up-to-date than i am now, but I know the standards have been historically tougher since the end of Digger's tenure for basketball. It seems that during most of Brey's they have been very tough. Swarbuck did say a year or so ago that the percentage of basketball players ND can't approach because of grades is much higher than the ones football can't go after. All that said, I have heard that in the last year or so things have lossened up for Brey abit and now the concern is that all the recent recruits will be able to handle their academics.
support of basketball for it to have elite facilities and highly paid coaches.
My guess is that maybe (conservative estimate) 25% of the alumni base gives a shit about hoops at all, and easily less than half of the student body follows MBB.
ND's fanbase for basketball depends mostly on the locals, to tell the truth. ND should just give up on trying to get students and alums interested and go "all-in" with advertising and discounting tickets for the folks living in SB and its burbs.
Recruits like Skylar Diggins for women and DJ for the men are a big start in filling up the stands with the locals. That is our best chance for consistent sellouts, building the team for local support.
We will never again go to a game over Winter break or an OOC game versus a non BCS conference team. Complete boredom at an outrageous price.
Now, this year there was a $7 promo for the DePaul game. Even though there was zero atmosphere I could justify taking my daughter for $14. I cannot justify doing it for $30.
Evolution: Adapt or die.
The best values to improve the program are:
Relax standards to the level of the ND football standards (cannot be tougher to get into than Duke or Georgetown). This costs NO extra money and should increase the quality of the recruits immediately…help build a better product.
Stop playing all OOC cupcakes at ND prior to the conference schedule (especially over vacation periods).
• Recruits want to visit where they live and they should play periodically in NYC, Philly, DC (now that Maryland is going to the B1G), Chicago (DePaul in BE) and potentially LA. They do not have to play the best teams in the city…however I would like to still play St. John’s for MSG exposure (that is why Duke has a consistent series with St. John’s) and Georgetown (Holy War game and go after same recruits). ND playing in the Boston area against BC helps with the NE Prep Schools recruiting. ND can play other teams in Philly and Chicago (although playing DePaul rather than Loyola/Northwestern right now is not an unmanageable stretch). Needs to be some balance so you do not get too overmatched in OOC games, but this also helps RPI for NCAA Tourney and prepare for ACC away games.
• The biggest complaint about the season tickets is the crappy OOC games. Decrease the number of crappy OOC home games and this makes the average ticket more valuable (and then you can eventually more easily increase ticket prices).
• The revenue generated at strategic locations during vacations and other times can probably generate more revenue than crappy OCC home games. The costs of travel would be more, but the overall increase in costs would be offset by the strategic benefits…targeted national exposure (recruiting), players going to better locations during vacations (recruiting again); alumni support (recruiting donors), decent away gate receipts (money).
These are 2 things that can be done immediately by the administration to show that they are committed. IMO the trade-offs are very reasonable and not doing these things is arrogantly living in the past and gives excuses for not being successful (in other words failure).
Still look at building a practice facility…but show those that might donate to the facility that ND is committed to success rather than excuses why we “want” to be successful but are not willing to do what is necessary. The basketball version of “Knute Rockne” is not going to come to ND…and if it happens it is only by luck. I am still waiting to hit the lottery...it will be a long time and most likely never. You have to "Make $#!+ Happen!"
Some good points here. The lack of good marketing locally has bothered me for awhile. The women's program rode the Diggns bandwagon well, but they were also marketed very well and very cheaply, may I add. As far as as the students go. A poor showing at a men's game would be considered great for the women. I haven't seen more than thirty students(besides the pep band) at ninety-nine percent of the womens' games. So the attendance has been built on the locals. Now, you don't have to charge three soemthing a game for season tickets like the women do. You do have a fan base but there should certainly be more in promotion for the men and some kind of tier pricing for non-league games.. As far as the students go, there are e-mails, and Brey has gone into the dorms regularly, something that Muffet stopped years ago. If the students come, fine, If they don't keep trying to get them, but expand your scope locally. There is an exciting local guy comign in, use him for local emphasis and build on teh base in South Bend that will be willing to give a fresh look to the new league and teams coming to town.
to generate that much interest or than many tickets sold because he's a local kid. There are several reasons for this IMHO:
1. Skylar came from a high school whose parents had no association with ND except for mothers who worked for housekeeping or in the ND cafeteria kitchens. Hardscrabble is a kind word to describe that portion of South Bend. Marian on the other hand is a private school catering to Granger kids. These people are more than familiar with ND and include many alum and administrators. DJ may change some minds about buying season tickets, but it won't be the first time his classmates and their parents considered it.
2. DJ was not embraced by his school the way Skylar was. For one thing his teams weren't successful. Washington made the state finals 3 years in a row. Marian didn't win a sectional. Secondly. I've heard stories that his teammates considering TJ selfish. Third, let's be honest. I doubt that 5% of the Marian student body was black, while blacks are the largest ethnic group at Washington. Marian has always had the reputation of being the snobbier of the 2 Catholic high schools here. There may be some change in that respect starting now that Marian accepts vouchers, but 10-15 years ago kids would be ostracized if there parents didn't make enough money or weren't otherwise important.
3. Skylar was really something special in the West Side community. I remember well when Jackie come from the same high school and with Parade All-American honors. There was not the same excitement or obvious increase in ticket sales to the West Side community then. Skylar's stepfather was well known and respected on the West Side. Everybody knew about her before she entered high school. And she was frankly the about the only thing the West Side had to be proud of for a while. Marian students and alum and local suburban families have their own goals and dreams apart from DJ.
4. Thee are some other reasons too, Tickets are 3 times as much for the men, there's some apathy about what Brey's teams can do (as compared to Muffet who won a title and generally produced a Sweeet 16 team). Also, Skylar started right away while DJ probably won't (although he may play most of the minutes like Eric did as a freshman.)
If DJ proves to be a great player, then he'll help attendance over his 3 or 4 years. But don't expect sellouts every game this year.
"his teams weren't successful", "Marian didn't win a sectional".
Marian had a historic season for the school in 2012, losing to Norwell in the Huntington Semi-State. The school had never made it to the Semi-State previously. Boys from Michiana simply don't advance deep in the tourney very often. (Even in the class system) Elkhart Memorial also made it deep last year, as it was a very good year for the locals. Doesn't happen often.
I don't think Marian had even won a Sectional in my lifetime.
Marian teams have no history of basketball success. St. Joe has a sporadic one, making the final 4 a few years before the ISHSAA(Indiana small high school athletic association) ruined that tournament. South bend public schools won't commit the resources and Penn and Mishawaka care far more about football and band.
Marian may have had its best year with him, but that's a low bar and far short of what Washington did with Skylar. Marian had nobody else who could keep opponent defenses honest.
Doubt too many coaches would consider playing for the Semi-State championship a "low-bar" even at the 3A level. Even at Carmel or Cathedral where they are fixtures. Win that game and you're playing for the state title. Let alone Berger at Marian with both of their histories.
Hard to blame Jackson for the players around him on the roster. If anything, it speaks more to him being able to do a little bit of everything. It just isn't and hasn't ever been a basketball school.
All that said, it is really tough to compare girls and boys HS basketball. Just totally different circumstances.
I do agree, I wouldn't expect Jackson to move the bar much on attendance at ND. The ticket prices are an issue for so many in Michiana that are still really struggling economically. The disposable income isn't nearly what it was a decade-plus ago and ND basketball isn't high on the disposable priority list. Unemployment is still vast. The RV industry used to pump 24/7 365. Now, there are just abandoned buildings left and right. That used to fund not only the huge RV companies but hundreds of the suppliers too. Lots of people in their 30s-40s have packed up and left the area.
Hickory in 1952. Only if Jimmy Chitwood had gone to ND.
In real life John Wooden was the coach at South Bend Central in the '30's & '40's after he graduated from Purdue...he also coached the baseball team back then.
TB, really enjoyed reading your post. I agree with everything you said. We've been going to women's basketball since 1990 and ahve lived here since then. I fully realize that Skylar had a bigger impact than Jackie for many of the reasons you enuerate. I'm not naive enough to think that Jackson will have the same mega impact. My point was that Jackson could be a part of the overall marketing strategy, not the prime focus. Make him available for local interviews, push him forward a little bit. He certainly isn't a meal ticket for attendance, but he is local and will at least be recongnized by a portion of the local basketball public. I also don't think he will be as much of a focal point basketball wise as Skylar was with McGraw from the day she arrived. He'll certainly play, however. ND really needs some backup for Atkins. And Jackson has enough all-around ability to get some minutes.
Using 2011 data from the Dept. of Education on expenditures and revenues for MBB, for teams in the 2013 sweet sixteen:
* Average expenditures: $8.45 million (compared to ND's $4.62 million)
* Average revenues: $15.5 million (compared to ND's $3.54 million)
* Among the sweet sixteen ND spends more than only LaSalle and FGCU
* 7 of the 10 top teams by expenses were in the sweet sixteen
* 9 of the sweet sixteen are in the top 18 teams by expenses
* 9 of the sweet sixteen are in the top 18 teams by revenues
Among all 344 Div I-III teams, ND ranks
* 70th in expenditures
* 95th in revenues
* 6th in deficit (revenues - expenditures = -$1.08 million) (or 338/344 in profit)
You shouldn't expect MBB to compete at the elite level without making a competitive investment. That means around another $3 million per year in expenses on top of covering the current $1 million/year deficit.
costs to improve the program that are reasonable trade-offs If the product improves, then I also believe the program/revenue improves. I would state:
1. Relax the admissions standards to get close to the football admissions standards...better recruits.
2. Reduce OOC cupcake home games. Reduce total number of home games and play some away games in strategic locations to get good/stronger gate receipts (especially during vacation periods)...NYC, Philly, DC, Chicago & LA on a rotation basis. Helps recruiting (better product) and increases alumni support (money)
This is good stuff, but the issue that keeps raising its ugly head is revenues.
Expanding recruiting, coaching salaries, travel, facilities to competitive levels will requires hard cash. Probably something on the order of $3-5 million a year. What are the options for increasing revenues?
and the quality issue was surrendered to the Germans and eventually the Japanese (after they got a foothold at the lower end of the market), was the beginning of eventual marketshare loses.
The US Auto industry was more concerned about quarterly profits and lowered their R&D budgets and other investments...they took their position for granted, got lazy and the cow was milked.
If you lose quality you can still make better profits for a while, but you will lose what your brand stands for and erosion will take place.
I sure liked the "Big Fins" that ND has put on their basketball car...vroom vroom!
A quality product similar to the better Digger years will be supported by attendance, adidas apparel, etc. There needs to be a reinvestment in the "ND Basketball Brand." IMO, the first sign of investment is giving the coach more flexibility in recruiting admittance...which has an immediate impact and does not require cash...then build a damn practice facility (which may require a donor). But if the Administration does not show good faith and commitment/being serious about recruiting, then why should a donor take it seriously and make a commitment to an uncommitted university?
This notion if milking the program to get money to make improvements is back assward.
and who said anything about 'milking' a program?
To compete consistently with the elite, the MBB program will need an investment in coaches, facilities, and recruiting along the lines mentioned by Hickster, Kayo, and others. imho, there's no point in even talking about risk capital unless there is a realistic revenue plan to sustain that investment over the long haul. To my eyes that is the most urgent task facing the program, nothing else even comes close. Any program upgrade that doesn't address revenue is wishful thinking.
I'm not sure of how much the increase is, but I think ND was getting about $1.5 million per year from the Big East. Roughing out ND's share of the ACC deal works like this - 20% of the 15-year $3.6 billion deal is for basketball. Split 15 ways, Notre Dame's share would be $3.2 million per year.
If my recollection of Big East money is right, ND will realize an additional $1.7 in media revenue. ND was due a raise one way ot the other because the Big East contrast was coming to a close. The increase starts next season.
I've been working on some ideas for attendance. I think Notre Dame is leaving a lot of ticket money on the table because it doesn't promote men's basketball very well. I'll blog that later in the week.
Ticket sales lead to increased licensing revenue. All tolled, I'll bet there is a seven figure number to be had.
I have some ideas on increasing attendance also, and I'll add them on to yours.
I didn't realize the ACC revenues would be that much higher. Very good news. I just hope all of that will be pushed right back into the program.
I couldn't agree more about ticket sales and the promotion of MBB. I personally like the easy, small-town feel of going to games at the JACC, but they're leaving a lot on the table compared to other programs. Empty seats when students are away, no parking or beer revenue, terrible visibility for merchandise or program sales, and no apparent effort at corporate or special event sales. One priority ought to be bringing in someone who has experience in promotion and operations at a first-rate program.
Digger was one hell of a promoter back in the day. We're missing a little of his magic.
besides football, women's hoops and men's hockey? ND has a 6 billion plus endowment. I think they could find a couple million a year for men's hoops if they really valued the sport at ND.
What part of that endowment dedicated to basketball? What is the higher priority for unrestricted spending from the endowment -- financial aid or basketball?
Ignoring the revenue question won't make it go away. Programs that spend more than ND also earn more than ND. Some of this is chicken-and-egg; a stronger program would generate the revenue needed to make the program affordable. But that alone isn't enough to level the playing field with, say, Marquette.
A big time benefactor for basketball wouldn't hurt. In the meanwhile it's hard to see how significant change in MBB will happen without a serious look at revenues.
basketball a priority.
bunch of money and contribute to upgrade the basketball team. It just does not have quite enough to reach the next level because you are either not successful enough or too greedy.
a tiny portion of its over 6 billion dollar endowment on its men's hoops program.
perhaps even likely that the powers that be view the current college mens basketball enviornment as unsustainable.
Does that mean they think the environment will change, or does that mean they don't like the environment and won't swim in that pool?
1) Coaches salaries and the coach dujour syndrome.
2) The shakedown aka Les Miles disease.
3) Long term extedended contracts for recruiting purposes.
4) The arms race aka practice facilities athletic dorms and chartered jets.
5) The overall stench that is AAU basketball and the infiltration of "shoe money"
6) One and dones.
7) Diminished attendance both at ND and at top tier schools.
8) While I don't have any data to support my conclusion I suspect the "Big Dance" has some underlying problems both with arena attendance and telivision viewership.
That being said I have the feeling that the NCAA's inabilities to sensibly police both the AAU circuit and recruiting practces combined with a silly one and done policy is going to kill the "goose that laid the golden egg"
I think there is a measure of truth to MNG's "black sheep" statement from the standpoint that while football remains a cash cow they'll have the stomach for competing. It can't and likely won't ever be allowed to lose money. Once that happens it will be on a very short leash as well.
This was a pretty solid year for them. According to Nielsen, this was the most-watched NCAA tourney in 19 years. Other sources, depending how they break it down, say most-watched in 23-years. Most watched Final Four in 8-years. You had huge fan bases involved deep into the tourney.
The attendance issue is something that I think they have been working to maximize the last 5-10 years. It is why you nearly always see sites in North Carolina. (Duke/Carolina fill it up)
I think you will continue to see them use anchor schools as much as possible even if they need to finaggle the brackets slightly. Use big venues like Indianapolis (where they can slide anchors Indiana, Louisville and/or UK) for huge crowds.
They put 35k+ in there for Friday and Sunday in I believe the $100-$125 range for the weekend. That is a cool sum. Add programs, parking, memorabilia, concessions/beer etc. They made a mint. Likewise, they put 40k+ in Dallas on Friday night for KU/Michigan with KU being an anchor school. 35k on Sunday even though not that many showed as KU was done but they bought the ticket package. Again $100-$125 and all the extras.
They sold out DC with Syracuse and even put 18k+ in LA which shocked me. But Arizona was there to produce that. The 1st two rounds in Dayton were full due to OSU and Indiana although a smaller venue of only 12.5k. KU filled up KC for 18.5k. Duke helped put 20k in Philly. They even sold nearly 15k for Austin which was just Miami and Florida.
I have heard they made an absolute mint in Indy from someone who works with several of the Colts vendors. I imagine it was similar in Dallas and obviously always is for the Final Four.
I think the key to the tourney is having the anchors (big fan bases, big TV #s and attendance) on the top 1-2 lines. UK, KU, Louisville, Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Indiana, MSU and even someone like Arizona for the west coast. Really large schools with tons of alumns that jump on their schools bandqagon help as well to push TV ratings north.
I haven't heard too much as of late from Indy of letting the top seeds play on their home court to draw massive crowds and drive the ticket prices up even more.
Even there, ND was one of the last schools to grayshirt, to build a football practice facility(GUG) and to redshirt for non-football reasons. If ND has to be pulled kicking and screaming to make the kinds of compromises necessary to compete at the highest levels.
In hoops, the money to be made is much more limited and basketball isn't part of the University's history and fabric like football is.
In other words, compromises in admissions involve greater risks than other kids admitted, and the ND administration has obviously decided that tmhose risks are worth it in men's hoops.
The funds for the Gug came from outside donations, if that didn't come through I doubt ND would have spent "its own" money on it. All that to say that if the basketball team got a similar donation, I am sure that ND would let construction commence. to be clear, I agree with your point.
It's a fact of life that exists with nearly every private school in existence. It's an important facet because people confuse these donations or lack thereof with administrative support. There's a whole lot more to the story than that.
When your actions cause a generation of fans to walk away from your program, the onus is on you to take equal action to get them back, not just hope against hope the interest will re-kindle itself.
will be the lifes blood of Universities moving forward. The tuition totals are unsustainable as well. The brick and mortal will become Americas strip malls of the future.
It would require an epic F-up of mammoth proportions. It would almost require conscious destruction. NBC stayed on board, merchandising remained viable, and the sellout streak remained nominally alive through 3 epic failures.
I have no idea what the PTB think about big-time sports in the abstract at this point. It's obvious that they view FB very differently from BB, and it's equally apparent that they're largely indifferent about having a tier 1 MBB program. You've cited likely reasons for that perspective, although the general ennui from both students and alumni (arguably addressed in point 7) is a likely factor, too.
*I know that the N Side goose doesn't lay quite as many golden eggs these days.
followed by a fubared coaching search and we were closer than most would be willing to admit. Fortunatly none of that came to pass.
of the ND sports family. Its one of the two major college sports that requires compromises on ND's behalf and a big investment of resources, in order to win big. ND has obviously decided that unlike in football, the risk/reward for ND in men's college hoops just isn't worth the compromises and influx of resources.