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Duck

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Apr 20 11 8:18 PM

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My good friend Tom sez UTA cannot ever have football because we wouldn't support it enough. It would be just a big money loser. As evidence, he points at the poor basketball attendance over the years. He sez "if you don't support the sports we have, you don't deserve to get football."

Does anyone here find this logic compelling? I mean, should SMU, TCU and all the football schools in the SLC immediately drop football until their basketball attendance improves? If we were waiting for Daniel Meyer to be filled, TCU would never play football, much less spend $105 million upgrading Carter stadium.

One thing my friend has down pat is defeatism. I cannot stress enough the overwhelming power of negativity. If enough people who nominally care about UTA really buy into this anti-football nonsense, then I think we are in for a very long, sorry future of Tier 3 athletics.

Fortunately, I have to believe we have a bright future, and beginning with the opening of CPC, it's just a matter of time until we get a full menu of college sports here, including football.
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UTAMavalum83

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#1 [url]

Aug 1 11 9:51 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

No, not a good rationale - especially when the alma mater has played forever on a stage. Just plain tough to come out and watch. Just wait; it's going to change, come February 11.

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Duck

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Posts: 623 Member Since:03/04/11 Maverick

#2 [url]

Aug 21 11 11:43 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

Did anybody else notice all the attention UTSA football is getting on Fox Sports SW? If you visit the UNT board, you will see that some of them are hostile about UTSA and the possibility that in a very short time, TSSM and UTSA will eclipse the UNT program. Shoot, they're even afraid we will pass them up. What fun!

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UTAMavalum83

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Aug 22 11 6:55 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

Posters on the WAC board are even suggesting that UTSA might get a call from CUSA once all the other dominos begin to fall - purely on the basis of their strong market and the Alamodome. Who'd have ever thought? (And it is great to see all the UNT posters squirm about it, too.)

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80sAlum

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#4 [url]

Aug 22 11 9:07 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

In retropsect it seems like a no brainer...I mean they have absolutely no competition in that city from any other sports.

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FoUTASportscaster

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Posts: 987 Member Since:07/27/11 Maverick

#5 [url]

Sep 21 12 10:24 AM

Re: Can't Never Could

In an attempt to keep the trivia thread about UTA history, I'll respond to a comment here.

GiantBenMav wrote:
I must of missed the article when it came out ...

http://www.theshorthorn.com/opinion/col ... f6878.html

dissapointing to say the least ... a good program can sustain itself, now would that happen? only one way to find out ... it is simple enough to have another vote on it ... it passed the last time, and I would expect it to pass again ...

The fee is still applicable, right? It only goes into effect if/when football is announced ...

But back to trivia, I hope we rock the option when we bring football back ... like it more then then the over-abundance of spread offenses ... power football is the new market inefficiency ....


First, there were a lot of errors in their, so take it for what it is worth. Second, it is some guys column, not the editorial view.

But, not to be too much of a contrarian with Ben's view, but only 20 programs in all of D1 make money, and none are lower level FBS or any FCS.

That said, that is exactly what the student fee was supposed to cover, some of that shortfall. Guarantee games would be a must. The Nienas report from near a decade ago foresaw a shortfall of about $500,000. For two guarantee games this year, Savannah State will get near $1 million total.

This is why I think CPC is so important. If that place sells out consistently, or at least is more than 50% full every game, it will help to establish UTA's athletic program as a valued part of the student experience. With Texas Hall, I can see why some students viewed the athletic offerings as underwhelming, or sub-D1. Now, many will wonder why there is no program, and support will build from there.

Conversely, if students don't show up at the CPC, then football will not happen.

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GiantBenMav

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Posts: 334 Member Since:03/01/11 Alumni

#6 [url]

Sep 21 12 10:55 AM

Re: Can't Never Could

Excellent point. If the CPC and a successful basketball team does.not get student support, then that is more telling then any vote for football.

And I understand most schools lose money on football, but there a "extra" things football provides that can add value ... Hard to measure, but it is there.

But you have to win, and you HAVE to get students to the games

Buddy Christ Says: Go Mavs !!!

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FoUTASportscaster

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Posts: 987 Member Since:07/27/11 Maverick

#7 [url]

Sep 21 12 10:02 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

I'm nominating this for post of the month.

GiantBenMav wrote:
Excellent point. If the CPC and a successful basketball team does.not get student support, then that is more telling then any vote for football.


This is perhaps the best way I have ever heard this phrased. Very eloquent. People vote without actually going to a ballot box.

[quote]And I understand most schools lose money on football, but there a "extra" things football provides that can add value ... Hard to measure, but it is there.

And this is perhaps the hardest part of the whole decision. If you are looking at concrete things like budget (near $1 mil in the red in '85) or enrollment (increase over 50% since football was dropped), the answer is tilted in one direction.

However, what does a traditional school's value have to do with their football team? UNT was a commuter school too. Those kind of attributes are harder to quantify.

[quote]But you have to win, and you HAVE to get students to the games

This is the part where UTA almost always struggled. In a previous thread, I mentioned how a win in 1979 against McNeese might have mad things different. Being six years removed, it is conjecture. However, one thing I am certain of is that we started off poor (8-19 in season openers) and after the fans turned off, we finished strong (19-8 in season finales). Similarly, almost every year, the largest crowd was the home opener, yet we underperformed (12-14-1 in the first game at the home stadium) at the beginning and won when all the fans on the fence had left (18-9 in the last game at home). In years where this pattern wasn't repeated, attendance was actually well all year.

However, the attendence shows the fans we fairly fair weather. UTA was usually competitive in the SLC, almost always being 2nd or 3rd in the mid-late '70's and after that first loss that knocked them out of their chance of the conference title, attendence didn't just drop, it plummeted (8,200 to 4,600 in '84 or 9,500 to 4,900 in 82).

To me, perhaps the most devastating loss was to Angelo State to open the 85 season. A non-marquee name drew 7,205 in a loss to a D-II school. The Mavs never drew above 6,000 the rest of the season. After UTA was eliminated from SLC contention, they didn't top 5,000 that year. Then Nedderman says one of the two main reasons the program is going is a lack of support. Had UTA beaten Angelo, I firmly believe attendence would have been higher. I don't know if it would have been enough to save it, but 6,500 fan average is sure better than the 5,600 number that was constantly thrown out.

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Duck

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Posts: 623 Member Since:03/04/11 Maverick

#8 [url]

Sep 22 12 4:58 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

Good posts, both of you.

I see it a little differently, having started school in 1967. During that era, UTA played on campus at Memorial Stadium, which was roughly where the tennis center is now. Arlington State/UTA was in the habit of winning, and had great community support and school spirit (!). I won't repeat or belabor the changes that killed us, but you know about them. After our Pecan Bowl and Championship season, in which the stadium was packed every game, the team lost a few more games the next years, but for the first three years I was at UTA, we never lost an opener or a home game.

My point is, we had a winning habit, and everybody stayed on the bandwagon until somebody got the bright ideas that brought us to our knees. Any one of these things would've hurt, but having our long-term head coach retire, tearing down the stadium, banning the bonfire, eliminating the Rebel theme, cutting out SAB funding and never building another on campus dorm for the next 30+ years all played a part. Oops. I repeated and belabored. My bad.

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FoUTASportscaster

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#9 [url]

Sep 22 12 8:42 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

In my DMN research, I did come across an article that said the stadium was to be demoed for the activities building, but it never did say why. Can you elaborate"

Also, Bearden didn't retire. According to the DMN, the folks at the UT system forced him out after his 0-10 year in 1970.

Also, not being a child of the times, I don't understand how renaming the team could have much of a measured impact on the team's following. The articles I read seem to indicate that the student body has fairly split down the middle and I have a hard time fathoming a fan who says I don't like the new name, so I won't follow my school's team. Is there something I am missing?

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UTArlingtonMaverick

Posts: 197 Member Since:08/09/11 Grad Student

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Sep 22 12 9:08 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

Memorial Stadium was rickety; it wasn't anything like stadia of today. Think of an old and falling apart Cravens Field. There was not anything to "renovate." The only thing plausible would have been to demo and re-build. Then we allowed ourselves to be lured across town to Turnpike Stadium by city fathers who wanted to find uses for that stadium, which was, of course, a mistake...a vast emptiness across from crowd.

For many people of that era, it was more than merely renaming a team. People (white people) loved to hear our fight song, "Dixie" and watch Johnny Reb on horseback and the Confederate battle flag unfurled. That was a theme of strong cultural and regional identity. Of course, looking back, one can easily see that it was unsustainable. Spirit did take a hit with the theme and mascot change, but there was no getting around it. Looking back, one could say that it was too bad we even had it.

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UTAMavalum83

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Sep 23 12 1:46 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

UTArlingtonMaverick wrote:
Memorial Stadium was rickety; it wasn't anything like stadia of today. Think of an old and falling apart Cravens Field. There was not anything to "renovate." The only thing plausible would have been to demo and re-build. Then we allowed ourselves to be lured across town to Turnpike Stadium by city fathers who wanted to find uses for that stadium, which was, of course, a mistake...a vast emptiness across from crowd.

For many people of that era, it was more than merely renaming a team. People (white people) loved to hear our fight song, "Dixie" and watch Johnny Reb on horseback and the Confederate battle flag unfurled. That was a theme of strong cultural and regional identity. Of course, looking back, one can easily see that it was unsustainable. Spirit did take a hit with the theme and mascot change, but there was no getting around it. Looking back, one could say that it was too bad we even had it.


Most of the people who felt so strongly about the previous mascot name are either no longer around, may have passed away already - or just don't care. I remember being in the stands when I was six, when students met in the endzone at halftime and burned rebel flags, saying "Go to (instead of give 'em) h--- Johnny Reb, go to h---". It was destined for replacement. (Question is, how did Southern Miss make the change so well without incident?)

It was unfortunate the school even had the name in the first place - but let's face it, the alternative as I recall reading was Cadets. Not too much to get fired up about when it comes to that name, either. And Blue Riders really fell flat.

I'm more concerned with how the U markets now; forget the past, show how the new Maverick head is similar to the profile of the original horse with horns - and please rethink the major orange initiative. I don't mind trim, but orange shirts are a joke.

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UTAMavalum83

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Posts: 142 Member Since:07/13/11 Senior

#12 [url]

Sep 23 12 2:54 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

FoUTASportscaster wrote:
In my DMN research, I did come across an article that said the stadium was to be demoed for the activities building, but it never did say why. Can you elaborate"

Also, Bearden didn't retire. According to the DMN, the folks at the UT system forced him out after his 0-10 year in 1970.

Also, not being a child of the times, I don't understand how renaming the team could have much of a measured impact on the team's following. The articles I read seem to indicate that the student body has fairly split down the middle and I have a hard time fathoming a fan who says I don't like the new name, so I won't follow my school's team. Is there something I am missing?


It was in terrible shape - and would have cost quite a bit just to fix water damage and repair it. There was also little in the way of parking there, too. Quite a shame, since it was well liked and used by Arlington High and Lamar at the time.

UTArlingtonMaverick is also right about Turnpike Stadium. Attendance dropped like a rock when that move was made. Students didn't make the drive, and it was a tough venue visually. Was even rougher when the gridiron was later placed in the outfield, after improvements had been made and the name changed to Arlington Stadium. Fans were way removed from the action. It was quite clumsy, and I'm sure the players couldn't hear anything in the way of crowd noise, either.

The alternatives to Mavericks, by the way, were Toros and Apollos. Sure glad they didn't pick the latter. But I'll never understand the value of a horse with horns. The first year, someone took the horse formerly ridden by Johnny Reb and placed horns on him. It was quite sad looking. An imaginary character; no one got excited about that.

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UTAMavalum83

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#13 [url]

Sep 23 12 3:04 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

The real travesty is the Shorthorn editorial - and the lack of understanding that the DFW needs at least one Tier I university. Why turn away all the disgruntled alums, who might really contribute to the Tier I quest (or support the need for more funded research), if football was restored? I don't think some comprehend that the return of football - and the excitement that would come with it - could help propel UT Arlington (see; I'm being good and using the preferred name) to be the first Tier I school in North Texas.

And hey FoUTASportscaster, you are right that the enrollment has rebounded nicely without football; yet how many more students may have enrolled, how many more alumni may have contributed, if we still had FB? We'll never know.

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FoUTASportscaster

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#14 [url]

Sep 23 12 6:01 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

Thanks for the history. I wonder how much of the move was made by city officials prompting, rather than accommodating, the U. It also shows that Arlington has pursued stadiums as an economic development tool far a while now.

UTAMavalum83 wrote:
The real travesty is the Shorthorn editorial - and the lack of understanding that the DFW needs at least one Tier I university. Why turn away all the disgruntled alums, who might really contribute to the Tier I quest (or support the need for more funded research), if football was restored? I don't think some comprehend that the return of football - and the excitement that would come with it - could help propel UT Arlington (see; I'm being good and using the preferred name) to be the first Tier I school in North Texas.


I don't think there are a lot of disgruntled alums, at least anymore. This is the 28th year without football. That means the youngest alum is near 50. Most of my generation really doesn't care. Also, when you factor in that in 1985, the highest attended game was just over 7,000. For a school with 23,000 students, that isn't a lot. That also assumes that most of the fans weren't from near the area, rather than students. So, even among those students at that time, many didn't care then and are likely not disgruntled now. Another factor is the Mav Club, which lost 75% of its membership. But since it had less than 1,000 members, the number of those disgruntled is still quite low.

I see no correlation between football and an increase in academic stature. In fact, several independent studies have shown a decline in academic performance and football expenditures. I think we can all agree that just because Prairie View, North Texas or any Louisiana school offer football doesn't mean they are a premier academic or research institution.

[quote]And hey FoUTASportscaster, you are right that the enrollment has rebounded nicely without football; yet how many more students may have enrolled, how many more alumni may have contributed, if we still had FB? We'll never know.

You're right, technically, we won't know. However, looking at other schools can give us a good idea. I think the impact was minimal. UTA's enrollment pattern was very similar to other schools. When their's went up, so did ours and vice versa. The percentages weren't always the same, but the graph was similar.

There's a common problem with football boosters that I see and it is exhibited in this post. They want something so bad they magnify their positives and deny their shortcomings. I used to be a big booster, but when my analytical side kicked and I looked at the claims made by boosters to the reality of the numbers, I saw a huge gap. For example, I have seen only two correlations in enrollment growth, the economic cycle and population growth.

In this case, suggesting that academics or location do not matter to students, but rather a sport that plays 5-7 times on campus all year. I choose UTA because it was in the DFW area and had a good reputation.

Plus, I think boosters are myopic, as they project their desires onto the whole population, but UTA is too diverse to do that. Most international students don't care. Some ethnicities follow other sports, and some others just don't care about sports. While some do, having football would do nothing for the rest.

As a comparison, UT doesn't attract students because they have a football team. They attract students because they have a great academic lineup and college life. Part of that is football, but only part.

Like I said, I want football, but I do recognize that it is what it is, a sport. There are other improtant things for a University to consider. We are what we are and to project what goes on at UT or OU and extrapolate that to us is not reality. We have to recognize our strengths and move from there.

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UTAMavalum83

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Posts: 142 Member Since:07/13/11 Senior

#16 [url]

Sep 23 12 9:53 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

I can understand why this thread is entitled the way it is; quite fitting (and unfortunately, the continued negative perspective shared and sold by some).

Personally, I prefer giantbenmav's reply to the shorthorn article:

[quote]The simple fact is the students already voted on this and it passed ... most of the year-to-year expenditures would be covered by the fee ... why not give the alumni a chance to raise the startup money?

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GiantBenMav

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Posts: 334 Member Since:03/01/11 Alumni

#17 [url]

Sep 24 12 5:17 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

I do believe there is a common ground .... Athletics can improve the quality of student life at a university, thus improving the quality of student, thus improving the university itself ...

I am 10000 % in on getting football to UTA ... but as long as atheltics is not "forgotten", which it is not with the additions of the CPC and the much needed improvements for baseball/softball, then I am happy ...

a lot of the boosters Fo is describing are those who would choose football over Tier 1 ... as much as it hurts my sports heart to admit, i would much rather have Tier 1 status then football ... and I do not believe AT ALL that is a mutually exclusive set of circumstances ... I believe football can drive alumni giving and help attract students ... thus helping achieve Tier 1

Buddy Christ Says: Go Mavs !!!

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UTAMavalum83

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Posts: 142 Member Since:07/13/11 Senior

#19 [url]

Sep 24 12 10:30 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

UTAMavalum83 wrote:
The real travesty is the Shorthorn editorial - and the lack of understanding that the DFW needs at least one Tier I university. Why turn away all the disgruntled alums, who might really contribute to the Tier I quest (or support the need for more funded research), if football was restored? I don't think some comprehend that the return of football - and the excitement that would come with it - could help propel UT Arlington (see; I'm being good and using the preferred name) to be the first Tier I school in North Texas.

And hey FoUTASportscaster, you are right that the enrollment has rebounded nicely without football; yet how many more students may have enrolled, how many more alumni may have contributed, if we still had FB? We'll never know.


For what it's worth, please read reread what I wrote; I never said a lot; I said all.

I also tied it to Tier I; In fact, I led with Tier I. Am I missing something here?

Nor did I (or have I ever) suggest sacrificing other sports to get there.

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Duck

Maverick

Posts: 623 Member Since:03/04/11 Maverick

#20 [url]

Sep 27 12 8:10 PM

Re: Can't Never Could

[quote]My point is, we had a winning habit, and everybody stayed on the bandwagon until somebody got the bright ideas that brought us to our knees. Any one of these things would've hurt, but having our long-term head coach retire, tearing down the stadium, banning the bonfire, eliminating the Rebel theme, cutting out SAB funding and never building another on campus dorm for the next 30+ years all played a part. Oops. I repeated and belabored. My bad.

And another thing....

1. There's no way Turnpike or Cravens were improvements over Memorial. It may have had an old pressbox, but the overall stadium was adequate-to-better than average for the SLC.

2. The long-term head coach who retired was Gillstrap. Burley Bearden, while a good assistant coach, was not as strong a recruiter. So the talent dropped off after 1967.

3. The Arlington Fire Marshall killed our bonfire because it kept burning for about a month, which really ticked him off. It burned so long because there was a contest among the on-campus organizations to see who could gather the most wood. We (the DUs) tore down a wood frame house and borrowed a warehouse full of pallets for our stack of wood, and we did not win the contest. Each organization had its pile. After the contest, all the piles were bulldozed together. It was not engineered Aggie style, but was huge and burned, and burned and burned. (Just another example of Rebel spirit.)

4. Younger guys may not get it, but Dixie and Southern Heritage were all matters of patriotism, not racism (except among the usual suspects wearing sheets, none of whom ever showed up in Arlington). Here's a typical southern perspective, with other comments. http://www.lynyrdskynyrd.com/board_posts/a-message-from-gary

5. Our enrollment was about the same or possibly exceeded that of N.Texas in 1985. Afterwards it went way down for a few years. I agree with '83 on this subject. We just don't know what effect the lack of FB had, nor is it a sure thing that enrollment might not have gone down anyway. It's all theoretical.
[quote]And hey FoUTASportscaster, you are right that the enrollment has rebounded nicely without football; yet how many more students may have enrolled, how many more alumni may have contributed, if we still had FB? We'll never know.

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