He's a sub-par recruiter and a lousy tournament coach.
That doesn't mean I don't appreciate his accomplishments or that I want him fired. I also understand the institutional disadvantages (at this point, primarily lousy practice facilities) that he has to work with.
Why is it so hard for Brey's supporters to acknowledge his two obvious shortcomings?
I think you can flip that argument to be that he's a great regular season coach, and that in the regular season his teams "out smart" a lot of teams with more talent. By tournament time, however, younger teams have matured and the lack of familiarity and lack of prep time favors teams with more raw talent.
Even factoring in the difficulties of recruiting at ND, that Brey is a mediocre at best recruiter I think is obvious at this point.
In the last four seasons, Brey's teams have lost in the following fashion:
2010: #6 seed loses to #11 Old Dominion
2011: #2 seed loses to #10 Florida State
2012: #7 seed loses to #10 Xavier
2013: #7 seed loses to #10 Iowa State
They're 1-4 in the tourney over the last four years, every game as a higher seed, and their only win in that time was in a 2-15 matchup (vs. Akron in 2011). Had they lost that game, it would have been the lead story of that day in every sports news coverage throughout the nation.
Two of the above losses came at the expense of mid-majors, btw.
They were more experienced, but not more talented.
Brey has one win in the NCAA's versus a team from a major conference (Illinois), the other 5 wins are versus mid-major teams: Xavier, Charlotte, WI-Milwaukee (thanks to a missed lay up), George Mason, and Akron.
The more times we have a big underperformance in a loss, the less credible it is that it's just bad luck, a bad match-up, or a coincidence.
That he gets his teams to "out smart" other teams early on but loses to superior talent late in the year when raw talent often wins out due to short practice times and being unfamiliar with their opponents?
That Brey is a lousy tournament coach?
Maybe not lousy, but not good. In my mind, the athleticism argument might explain some of the losses but it doesn't explain the frequent (though not universal) excessively poor performances.
This may be so much sausage, but a hypothesis that's been thrown out there for some NFL coaches who do well in the regular season and then choke in the playoffs is that they're not good at striking the right motivational note when they're going against teams who get serious.
Of course, that might just be the other side of the coin of regular season overachievement: that there's less room to scheme your way to a win when the better raw talent gets motivated.
Might be lack of prep time against unfamiliar opponents? Very short prep window. That is where your assistants can be of huge value.
Putting together a game plan to cover your weaknesses against said opponent vs finding their weakness that you can exploit etc.
Seems like something is lacking there.
All hands better be on-deck for NCAA tourney preparation/drawing up the game plan. Most coaching staffs work really late (all night) on breaking down the NCAA opponent and putting together a plan on that Sunday night.
Brey has proven that he can compete in such leagues. I think we are past that point. The fact that that has not translated to any tournament success is troubling. It feels to me like the program has plateaued. My solution is to put the money into the things we can control (like a practice facility) and give Brey a few years to prove that that was the problem. Otherwise, we are just kind of stuck in limbo.
school issue anymore? As football money has exploded and five power conferences have emerged, it seems like more and more football schools have been able to regularly compete for national championships, with Florida and Ohio State being the two most obvious examples. Other than one Final Four, Texas hasn't really competed for NCs, but it's not for lack of trying. They've poured tons of resources into mens basketball. A lot of once powerful programs (Memphis, Houston, UMass, UNLV) that were left behind in the conference realignment have struggled to recapture past glory, while more football schools have put together elite basketball programs.
I might be open to an argument about tough admissions, but not the football school complaint. Notre Dame has done both in the past (distant past, I admit) and can do it again. Not easy, but doable.
If you want more recent examples than ND, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and Michigan all have made Final Four appearances within the past decade or so (more than one, in the first two cases). I don't think anyone would argue with a straight face that any of these schools is a "basketball" (as opposed to "football") school.
I think it's more that ND is NOT a hoops
school than anything related to FB.
There's just a lot of apathy when it comes to
hoops among ND students and alumni.
Until that changes, the PTB are willing to
let ND flounder with substandard facilities.
I think it's a lot harder than people imagine.
in the last 70 years? I can only think of two (ND and USC) that have done it with any consistency. Despite being a nouveau riche, Miami probably belongs on the list as well, so that makes three. Stanford, TCU, SMU and others have had some moments of success, but haven't put together sustained success over any extended period of time. I think it's the excelling at football part that makes it hard for private schools to excel at both. More private schools seem to do well in basketball.
Excelling at D1 football or men's basketball requires an incredibly strong commitment of time and money. If you're going to do it in both, you're taxing your resources even more. Not many private schools can afford to do both, let alone decide to do both.
You listed SC and Miami in your post. SC basketball is terrible and has been so for as long as I can remember. With one or two exceptions, so has Miami basketball. No one you put on your football list has done both consistently well.
Has an excellent basketball program. Football not so much, although the football program has had its moments as well. If memory serves, 1987 stands out for Syracuse, in that the basketball team reached the finals that year and in the following football season, the football team went undefeated and went to the Sugar Bowl.
In that regard, excelling at one (football) likely gives you more resources to spend on the other (basketball). Big money football schools like Florida, Ohio State, and Texas have all seen their basketball programs perform way above their historical norms in the last 20 years, and I'm sure that's related to conference realignment and football money. Also, looking at former powers who've spent a decade plus in the wilderness, it seems like it's mostly big money football schools like Michigan (maybe even include IU here) that have found their way out.
The football power private schools haven't had much modern basketball success (other than ND in the 70s maybe), but we're dealing with a sample size of only 3 so it's hard to draw too many conclusions.
I'd say excel = contesting and winning national championships.
The list of private schools doing that on a consistent basis since 1990 is pretty small.
make. By my quick count, there are only 11 private schools out of 68 total in the 5 major conferences. Of those 11, 3 (ND, USC, and Miami) have or have had elite football programs in the last 40 years, and 2 (Duke and Syracuse) have consistently competed for basketball NCs in the last 20 years. Percentage wise, I think that probably compares pretty favorably with the state footballs. Heck, if you look at college football, ND, Miami, and USC have 7 national titles and probably as many runner up finishes dating back to 1980. You could almost argue the private schools are disproportionately successful in college football.
The number of non-major conference football schools in the upper echelon of college basketball probably has decreased in the last 20+ years, but that's not relevant to ND.
EDIT: I now count 12 privates out of 68 - USC, Stanford, TCU, Baylor, Vandy, Northwestern, Syracuse, Duke, Wake, Miami, BC, and ND.
At the highest levels because it was too resource intensive.
The schools that you list are the remains.
Winning in basketball and in football is very hard. The number of schools that really do it is very small. All of them are publics. The publics capital model is very different from the privates. ND has to raise funds for scholarships, academics, and athletics. UFL only needs to raise money for athletics since the state can fund the others.
to supply and demand.
That the hoops team has consistently outperformed
the FB team over the past 16 years is an incontrovertible
fact. The FB team has had losing records
on a number of occasions, and was completely
overmatched in every major/BCS bowl - not to
mention blowout losses and home defeats
at the hands of 3rd tier teams including a
3-9 season. Yet demand for tickets has never
waned. The hoops couldn't sell out in a year
when ND was a top 10 team and #2 seed.
The ND admin sees the apathy among students
and alums and responds in kind with their dollars.
The ROI just won't be worth it.
It's why so few play bcs level football.
The school does not have infinite resources.
resources. When it comes to college athletics, the fact that most privates are "have nots" isn't relative to ND because ND is a "have."
On a different but related topic, with big time football, the barrier to entry may be high for privates, but those private schools that compete seem to have done so fairly well on average over the last 30-40 years, and particularly the last 20 or so years. By my count, there are 12 privates in the 5 major conferences. Of those 12, 3 (ND, USC, and Miami) are what would be considered elite programs of the last 40 years. 1 (Stanford), while certainly not an elite program over the long haul, has managed to put together a run of three straight top 7 finishes and has had several other 7+ win teams. BC, Baylor, Syracuse, and Northwestern have had some good teams and some bad teams in the last 20 years. Wake, Duke, and Vandy have been perennial doormats, but even Wake managed to put together a three year stretch of 28-12. TCU is tough to classify because they've spent most of the last 20 years not playing in a major conference. If you compare that record to the 55+ public universities in the major conferences, I'm guessing it'd be pretty comparable. Those 55 would have about the same percentages in terms of top, middle, and bottom teams.
As Font pointed out, state schools don't have to raise money for classroom buildings or other academic-related pursuits. They can aim all their fundraising at athletics, and whatever money athletics brings in, it keeps.
Also, you need to specify your standards in your last post. Are you saying if a private school spent ANY time in elite status in 40 years they qualify? None of the schools you listed have been consistently elite for 40 years -- indeed, all of them spent significant time in that period very much not elite.
A better metric would be the percentage of private schools in the top 25 every year and how that compares to the percentage of private schools that play D1 football, with perhaps a sidenote as to what percentage of those private schools have that success.
Everyone has a down period in there somewhere.
In fact, I'll back it up with something I said about ND. In 2007, after ND went 3-9, I pointed out that over the previous 43 years (1964-2006), ND had won at least five games every season during that period of time. I also pointed out that only one other program -- Nebraska -- was able to make the same claim.
Obviously, five wins in a season doesn't set the bar terribly high. But over a comparable period of time, most -- hell, virtually all -- programs were unable to meet even that standard.
UVa states that 5.8% of its total budget (academic + hospital) and 10.2% of its academic budget comes from state appropriations. From 2006-13 UVa raised $3 billion from private sources to funds various academic endeavors. One UVa president noted at every opportunity that Wake Forest got more money from the state of North Carolina (primarily because of its hospital) than UVa got from the state of Virginia. We have been in a constant battle with the state higher education authorities about buildings because when we ask for money to build new ones, they always say we're not using the ones we already have to the best extent. When you look at the USN&WR rankings, state schools have been sliding steadily downward over the years as state-allocated money has dried up. Texas-Austin and Meeshigan are prime examples, as they were neck-and-neck with UVa as the best state schools and are now down the list from us. Cal-Berzerkley and UCLA have "moved up" the list of state schools simply by staying relatively the same. We were tied with Berzerkely and are now behind them tied with UCLA.
The link is to an FAQ sheet on UVa's budget.
students and alums. Maybe the tickets are too expensive.
Memphis, UMass and UNLV. Hmm, two were coached by calipari and the other by tarkanian. Two of the biggest cheaters ever. They are never going to recapture the glory unless they pay the top kids as in the past.
...as long as the school shows the same kind of commitment to basketball success that it does for football. Florida spent $8.5 million on basketball and Ohio State spent $6 million copmpared to Notre Dame's $4.6 million according to the most recent EIA data, and the ND number is a significant jump from prior years. Even with the increase, every ACC team spent more on men's basketball than ND did. Only Wake Forest ($4.8 million) was in the same ball park.
Florida opened its practice facility in 2001, back when Kevin White was first promising arena renovation. Like a lot of Big Ten schools, Ohio State lagged on a practice facility; but its new place was supposed to open this summer. At least five other Big Ten schools have open new practice facilities over the last two years or so.
I disagree with Mr. Noie. Football isn't a problem. If nothing else, football weekends can be great recruiting weekends as long as decent lodging is available. Notre Dame's problem is its commitment to basketball success. Unless football takes dollars out of basketball's pocket, and I don't think it does, it should make ND a more attractive place to play.
Challenges can be overcome, but one sport's advantage can be another sport's bane. That needs to be acknowledged, understood, and addressed.
We often have contrasted women's and men's basketball recruiting on this board. The women can excel recruiting Catholic schools and public schools in upper middle class suburbs for two reasons:
1. A large percentage of the top women's basketball recruits attend those kinds of schools and are prepared to be admitted to Notre Dame.
2. Most women's basketball recruits aren't thinking in terms of getting rich by becoming WNBA first round draft picks, so a scholarship to a really good academic college has a lot of value to them.
In contrast, men's basketball has the other side of the recruiting coin:
1. Fewer of the top prospects come from Catholic schools and public schools in upper middle class suburbs where they are generally more prepared to pass ND admissions muster.
2. Many top recruits think challenging academic curricula will interfere with their pursuit of NBA riches.
Notre Dame is an advantage for Muffett McGraw. It's often an obstacle that Mike Brey has to overcome. Brey has to own the four star kids that attend good high schools, and he has to find a way to get a disproportionate number of city school kids who are great basketball players and great students. The latter pursuit might need admissions support on standardized test scores that Muffet is less likely to need.
That's just one example, but it's a significant one. Success doesn't breed success as much as leadership with brains and wisdom does, the brains and wisdom to support each program according to its situation and needs, not by trying to use the same cookie cutter for each.
Supporting most of ND's programs works well for Notre Dame because plenty of top recruits can be admitted without stretching very much and the recruits assign value to the ND pedigree. Football is different, not entirely because there is a large percentage that play at good high schools that prepare them for college. Notre Dame understands that it has to stretch for some football recruits.
On a percentage basis, men's basketball needs more breaks than football if it's ever going to become a national championship caliber program. I don't know that it gets that kind of support.
Consider Duke. Is there any school that combines academic and basketball success better than Duke? Nevertheless, K offered a scholarship to Mitch McGary. That was out of the question for Brey. Don't even ask. That makes it harder to compete regardless of the success other ND programs have.