Votes looming on schedule, expansion

SoCon Champs - 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015

Moderators: dungeonjoe, BestOfBreed

Postby GoldandBlack on Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:12 pm

Just my two pennies' worth- one thing I have always liked about Wofford is that neither the administration or the fans have a hair-trigger on coaches' won-loss records, like some other institutions I could mention, and that academics and personal character are held in higher regard than conference championships.

However, the have been some needed exceptions, such as Rick Gilstrap in the '80s. At this point in time, I do believe there needs to fairly immediate improvement in baseball- say, this year. If my math is correct from Coach Traylor's bio in the www.wofford.edu site, his record at Wofford is 75-80, or a winning percentage of .333. I don't see how that can be allowed to continue after six years to recruit and schedule.

Coach Young, after 5 years, has a record of 48-67, or a winning percentage of .417. I think it's still to early to say "make it work this year, or be gone", although similar results over the next two years would make me wonder if we're going anywhere with the program.

I certainly don't want us to turn into a Georgia Southern (Mike Sewak), but I agree that we shouldn't support losing programs ad infinitum.
User avatar
GoldandBlack
True Terrier Fan
 
Posts: 622
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:15 pm
Location: Simpsonville, SC

Postby GoldandBlack on Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:24 pm

CORRRECTION: Typo in last post- Coach Traylor's record at Wofford is 85-170, for a winning percentage of .333.

Note: Last year's record was 20-37, but record within the SoCon was 5-23, for a winning percentage of .178.
User avatar
GoldandBlack
True Terrier Fan
 
Posts: 622
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:15 pm
Location: Simpsonville, SC

Postby woffordgrad94 on Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:37 pm

I get the sense that our baseball program is seen as somewhat of a joke throughout the conference, and that Traylor is a big reason why. And 5 wins out of 28 conference games is pathetic. I could see an arguement for perhaps giving Mike Young a little more time- he has at least produced some memorable victories and he seems to be a good recruiter and is a very good guy- but outside of a stunning win over USC that was mostly luck and poor play by USC, we have gotten basically nothing from Traylor- not even good character! I would start looking for a baseball coach right now and tell Traylor to either go .500 in SoCon play this year or go elsewhere. I don't normally believe in giving such ultimatums, and on the surface seems a bit childish, but this guy has been an embarrassment! Don't get me wrong, I still think academics are the most important thing at Wofford, but it is very possible to recruit good guys of good academic quality and still win baseball and basketball games. Mike Ayers does it with football. That man should be Coach of the Year every year!
woffordgrad94
True Terrier Fan
 
Posts: 1975
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:55 am

Postby Eyes of Old Main on Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:50 am

I think the arguments presented here are reasonable and fair. I also am proud that Wofford honors its commitments to its coaches and gives them a long leash so long as academic standards and character concerns are not at issue. I would be quickly turned off if Wofford started a coaching carousel in any sport for little or no good reason.

That being said, I think Coach Traylor has been given ample chance with virtually no positive trend developing. I am comfortable with a decision to relieve him of his duties if the baseball team finishes sub-.500 this coming season. I do not believe that anyone looking in fromthe outsdie would fault Wofford for making that move considering the direction of that program and the results he has posted so far.

As for Coach Young, he is obviously much more a "member of the family" considering he was a long time assistant here (when most assistants are here for 2-3 years tops), has a wife that works for the College, and is generally considered a great guy by all who know him. He is showing signs of good recruiting and the program has been transfer and scandal free. Injuries have hindered his progress, but that can only be a crutch for so long. I am comfortable with the state of the basketball program (although I do frequently grumble about these blowout losses) and am OK with giving Coach Young 1-2 more years after this one before demanding improvement. At that time, I would hope that Wofford is finishing with winning records in both its conference and non-conference schedules.

Maybe these are reasonable goals, maybe they are not. Then, you have the problem of who would you hire to replace these guys if you had to? That's kind of hard to say, so that uncertainty should be considered, but it should not paralyze us from making a move if it's needed.
User avatar
Eyes of Old Main
True Terrier Fan
 
Posts: 2702
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:20 pm
Location: 507 Miles from Wofford

Postby i77cat on Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:40 am

I'm sorry, EyesofOldMain, but you are wrong about Davidson football and basketball. 20 conference games absolutely hurts the strong programs. I'm not necessarily talking about at-large bids and seeding, either. I'm talking about being the best you can be. Last year the NCAA allowed 27 regular season games for men's basketball, unless you participated in an exempt tourny. In OOC games, Davidson played Duke, UNC, Charlotte, UIC, and Syracuse on the road. We played Missouri, UMass, St. Joe's, and Princeton at home. That's nine quality games. If we'd been forced to play 20 conference games, we'd have had to drop two of those. Those games are important to the team. They helped make us better. They also helped our seeding a little. If we'd substituted Southern Conference opponents for Syracuse and UNC (the last two games we scheduled), the RPI and SOS would have suffered. 20 conference games? No thanks. There is nothing that prevents conference members from playing games against each other which don't count in the standings. Want more games against Citadel and Elon? Great. Call 'em up.
i77cat
 

Postby Ruckus on Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:17 am

I totally agree with Eyes. I have been biting my tongue and showing great restraint on this board as to avoid offending anyone on it or who happens to read it because, as we know, Wofford is a small community but something has to be done. When we got the new baseball stadium, I was told by someone who will remain anonymous that Traylor is now out of excuses and will have to produce (in so many words). He hasn't. In my opinion, time's up. Maybe it would be different if we were trending up, or things were better, but they're not. I'm not one to jump at firing a coach at Wofford at the slightest down year (heck, Ayers has earned a lifetime job in my opinion) but enough is enough. We can do better than this. But I also must say that I am suprised we hired him in the first place. He had one or two good years at Duke but I remember playing those guys when he was there and they were bad. Coach Young deserves a few more years for the reasons stated but Wofford has historically had a reasonably strong baseball team that is non-existant at this point. Woffordgrad94, I would be very interested in the character issues as I have not heard that before. If you don't want to post them, just email me privately. Thanks.
Ruckus
True Terrier Fan
 
Posts: 6188
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:12 pm
Location: God's Country

Postby TDOG21 on Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:25 am

I have to agree with most of the stuff on Traylor. When I was in school the players constantly complained about him as a person and as a coach. Some of our best players transferred and others quit. As evidenced by Coastal, Winthrop, C of C, and historically the Citadel, small conference baseball can be very good. I know we probably have fewer scholarships than those schools, but that is no excuse for double digit losing streaks in consecutive years.

Coach Young is a tough issue because, as many of have noted, he is a great guy that has been with the Wofford family for a long time. I keep hearing about his great recruiting, but it does not look like we are getting any better. I know if it was my decision that I could not fire him right now. He needs to at least be competitive in the conference, and I am not sure Wofford is right now. I do not know the right answer here, but it is a situation worth watching.

The one thing that needs to change at Wofford is this "aw shucks, we are Wofford, we are small" attitude after losing. Wofford does not have this attitude with academics. The college is small and under funded (compared to Davidson, Furman, etc.) but we are very competitive in the classroom.

On a bright note, our tennis and golf programs do seem to be on the rise.
TDOG21
 

Postby Eyes of Old Main on Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:42 am

i77cat wrote:I'm sorry, EyesofOldMain, but you are wrong about Davidson football and basketball.


I can live with that, my wife tells me I'm wrong about stuff everyday.

But, while you might be right about basketball in the sense of the RPI, you haven't convinced me that RPI matters in the SoCon since we don't (and won't) get at-large bids. Yes, it might make the difference between a 14 seed and a 15 seed, but record and conference RPI as a whole is at least an equal factor in that decision. If that's the case, which helps more, a game against UIC or the fact that 7 of the 11 teams in the conference all throttled Toccoa Falls by 40+?

As for football, I still steadfastly believe that Davidson chooses to play non-scholarship football so it can appear "more academic" and so that it can maintain its ratings there instead of living up to its full potential. There is simply no valid argument for the current setup. Davidson can't use the excuse of money, fan support, student population, or conference affiliation. I don't know about facilities, but money and motivation solves that relatively easily.

With that in mind, the only things I can see that is driving this choice is arrogance on the part of the academic administration and/or fear of being regularly blown out. And if being associated with the SoCon schools for football hurts Davidson's reputation so badly, then why are they still here for all the other sports? If that's the case, then it's like asking you "When did you stop beating your wife?" Either answer makes you look bad.
User avatar
Eyes of Old Main
True Terrier Fan
 
Posts: 2702
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:20 pm
Location: 507 Miles from Wofford

Postby Eyes of Old Main on Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:51 am

TDOG21 wrote:The one thing that needs to change at Wofford is this "aw shucks, we are Wofford, we are small" attitude after losing. Wofford does not have this attitude with academics.


EXACTLY!!!

I'm tired of hearing about how our average SAT score is greater than our enrollment (Newberry's probably is too, but that's not something to brag about in there case) and how we are ranked as a "Best College Value" in this book or that book. Or, how we're the winningest team in the conference for 4 years running (but only have one championship to show for it). These, while facts I am proud of, they are hollow and make us look like we are trying too hard.

In short, it don't want to be told why we can't win, or what we did good besides winning but so many times. We are all adults; so give us a plan and some goals that we need to make things better and we will. Just saying "raise a bunch of money for the Terrier Club" isn't a plan (although it is needed).
User avatar
Eyes of Old Main
True Terrier Fan
 
Posts: 2702
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:20 pm
Location: 507 Miles from Wofford

Postby terrierbob on Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:59 am

[quote="TDOG21"]I have to agree with most of the stuff on Traylor. When I was in school the players constantly complained about him as a person and as a coach. Some of our best players transferred and others quit. As evidenced by Coastal, Winthrop, C of C, and historically the Citadel, small conference baseball can be very good. I know we probably have fewer scholarships than those schools, but that is no excuse for double digit losing streaks in consecutive years.

Coach Young is a tough issue because, as many of have noted, he is a great guy that has been with the Wofford family for a long time. I keep hearing about his great recruiting, but it does not look like we are getting any better. I know if it was my decision that I could not fire him right now. He needs to at least be competitive in the conference, and I am not sure Wofford is right now. I do not know the right answer here, but it is a situation worth watching.

The one thing that needs to change at Wofford is this "aw shucks, we are Wofford, we are small" attitude after losing. Wofford does not have this attitude with academics. The college is small and under funded (compared to Davidson, Furman, etc.) but we are very competitive in the classroom.

On a bright note, our tennis and golf programs do seem to be on the rise.
_____________________________________________________________

A case in point is Wake. Their academic standards compare very well with FU, WC and Davidson, they're below average in size for even a I-AA program, but look what they've done this year with football, and they do well to hang in there with arguably the best BB conference in the country. It can be done.
terrierbob
 

Postby Ruckus on Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:26 pm

While I am big Wake and Jim Grobe fan (Skip Prosser is another story), but this is the first time in 60 years. That being said, they have been competitive under Grobe since day one really. They also have had good success at baseball and basketball. Our problem with this comparison which I think is very appropriate (although it helps when you have the Reynolds tobacco money) is we don't qualify on the last 2 counts or really with any of our other sports. Remember their golf program was for years number 1 in the country under thier legendary coach Jesse Haddock. They do have many of the same challeges but they have more money than we do yet it is still very hard for them to compete.
Ruckus
True Terrier Fan
 
Posts: 6188
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:12 pm
Location: God's Country

Postby The Cats on Wed Dec 06, 2006 7:30 pm

Eyes of Old Main wrote:As I suspected, Davidson's situation is more "we don't want to" than "we can't". It's convenient that such concern is placed on adjusting standards a little bit to accomodate football when they obviously are for other sports such as men's basketball.

I understand the thought that non-scholarship football lets the academic side of the institution act more like it wants to; after all, Wofford chose to move up to I-AA instead of moving down to D-III. Staying in D-II was not an option due to the lax academic requirements. I think the argument centers more around "looking like a big-time academic school", but that doesn't hold much water since the Ivy League competes at the scholarship level with little difficulty and academically-oriented schools like Tulane and Vanderbilt are able to deal with major conference schedules.

As for the scheduling, I agree that SoCon members should not schedule non-D1 games, but I think they hurt the conference RPI much more than losses to major conference teams since those wins don't count at all. But saying that more conference games hurts the better teams is ridiculous. When was the last time the SoCon got an at-large NCAA bid? Unless you think you can get an at-large bid, RPI doesn't matter except for seeding, but realistically the conference tournament champ is looking at a 14 or 15 seed irregardless.

In my estimation, Davidson wants to have it's cake and eat it too. Not playing football to somehow make itself look "more academic" while being so concerned with the RPI of the rest of the conference is both arrogant and offensive. Basically, what has happened is that Davidson feels it is easier to compete in basketball since fewer players are involved and they will position themselves to do just that since hte SoCon leadership is so concerned with having their academics and basketball success that they will not be held accountable for their lack of participation.

If Wofford doesn't mind having its generally weak basketball program get thrashed at the D1 level, Davidson shouldn't mind having its football program thrashed at the I-AA football level.


I agree with your entire post. Davidson leaving would be a loss overall for the conference, but if they play football and belong to the SoCon, they should play football in the conference. Given the fact that they have been allowed to play football outside the conference, they have very little or nothing to complain about when it comes to basketball.
User avatar
The Cats
Junior Terrier
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:38 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

conference expansion - Davidson

Postby JoMo on Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:01 pm

i77cat wrote:Davidson doesn't need a "lack of money" argument for not playing football. That isn't it at all. We have tons of money and would see a huge upturn in donations if we resumed playing scholarship football. Our alumni would love it. .... What I'm saying is that we'd have to adopt policies that even the strong non-scholarship programs use (the ability to red-shirt athletes for development, giving coaches "slots", letting athletes know about their admission status promptly). The facilities upgrades wouldn't be a problem (well, we'd have to build adequate parking).


I have to disagree about the lack of money. Adding scholarships for football would either eat up roughly one sixth of the athletic budget in one shot (assuming you could cut funding from other sports which not going to happen) or you would have to increase the atheltic budget by roughly 1.5 million. The 1.5 million assumes 35 full football scholarships, this is the maximum allowed for D-II (65 max in I-AA) and added money for increasing stadium size and recruiting costs. Since I am not sure how many football scholarships are offered (full and partial) at other SoCon schools I will low-ball this figure. How is that extra money going to be generated?

Leaving aside the money issue, the broader issue becomes changing the culture of the school back to what it was when Davidson had a scholarship football program. Having played football at Davidson I was painfully aware of the poor reputation that the football players obtained (both earned and unearned) during the scholarship years. The members of the administration who have been there a long time are not eager to return to this culture. Another issue becomes student support of the team, which is abysmal for football (stark contrast to men's basketball). You can argue that bringing in scholarship players will increase student interest, but I don't see it happening. Even in the undefeated season in 2000, student attendence at games was pathetic.

So the next question becomes, should Davidson play SoCon football as a non-scholarship program in a scholarship conference? I think that would be a terrible move that would lead Davidson football to a continual cycle of losing seasons, since recruiting would become much more difficult. (Why go to arguably the hardest school in the conference academically to play football while you are not going to get paid, i.e. scholarship, to play?)

There are folks on the Davidson men's basketball board (davidsoncats dot com - since I can't post the URL) who want Davidson to leave the SoCon for a tougher conference (A-10). So kicking us out of the SoCon would only make them happy (assuming we can get into a "better" bball conference). The alums and school in general are happy with the football program as it stands right now - competitive in the Pioneer league with other non-scholarship programs.

The bottom line is this - Davidson is not going to bring back scholarship football and has no real chance of competing w/o scholarships in SoCon football. So kick us out if you want, but you will be hurting the conference in bball dramatically.

Thanks for reading.
JoMo
 

Postby TDOG21 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:45 pm

A couple of points:

(1) First Davidson would have also spend the same amount of money they spend on football on female sports because of Title IX. So really they would have to make the investment twice.

(2) The SoCon football conference has survived quite well without them, I still do not think it is necessary to add them. They will only bring us down.

(3) I still cannot distinguish between Davidson and the other non-football schools (UNCG and C of C). Both of the latter are state schools that could afford football programs. If we are going to tell Davidson to spend money on football, why not the other two schools? Again, SoCon football has thrived without any of these schools, why is there a pressing need for change? Loosing those three schools in basketball (and C of C in baseball) will only weaken our conference.

(4) Reducing your competition does not make you any better. Kicking Davidson (or the non-football schools out of the conference) will not make Wofford players play better or coaches coach harder. At the end of the day, the Wofford has to make intelligent decisions on choosing coaches and recruiting players. Then those coaches and players must go out and perform. Usually the better team wins. Unfortunately (with an exception to football), we usually do not have the better team. We should focus our attention not reducing our competition so we look good, but actually making our teams better (i.e. how to raise funds, coaching analysis, etc.)

(5) If there are teams that we could add to our conference to enhance the overall league, then that is great. However, that does not mean we need to kick out Davidson. Except for Winthrop, another non-football school, there are no schools in the Southeast that could replace Davidson and C of C’s value in basketball.

(6) While I think Wofford's football team is great and I would never advocate ending it. The fact remains that if we did not offer scholarships in football, then we could devote more resources to other sports and would probably be better in those sports. Davidson made this decision, and presumably has benefited. However, they lose out on those great Saturday afternoons. Davidson's decision not to play football does not detract from the conference anymore than any of the other non-football schools and I think we should worry about beating them on the field/court instead of finding ways not to play them. It is ok not to like Davidson, but let's beat them instead of not playing them.
TDOG21
 

Postby BossTerrier on Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:28 pm

Since Wofford joined the SoCon, we are 5-9 against Davidson, with one win in the quarterfinals of the 2000 tourney. I would say that winning 1 out of 3 against them when they have clearly dedicated their entire athletic budget to success in Men's Basketball in pretty good.
User avatar
BossTerrier
2008 SoCon Pickem Co-Champ
 
Posts: 657
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:22 pm
Location: Hilton Head, SC

PreviousNext

Return to Men's Basketball

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest