Here’s an article that you just can’t ignore – Amid woes, U.Va. AD needs to act
Before we get going here… please allow me to remind you that the University of Virginia has one of the best overall Athletics programs in the entire country. It isn’t like they struggle as a department nor as a functional organization.
They have clear vision and road maps to help them achieve their goals. At the beginning of this decade the University of Virginia spent significant time and money producing a detailed strategic plan that included goals for performance and championships for their Athletics Department. Not only did they build a 57 page strategic plan, they had the gumption to post it to various University websites and share it with their stakeholders. (Link)
This organizational professionalism has helped lead the Cavaliers department to consistent top twenty finishes in the the annual Directors Cup competition.
As evidenced by the graphs below (built before athletics competition of this academic year), Virginia has clearly enjoyed a more successful overall Athletics program than NC State in recent years. The graphs compare ACC winning percentages and conference finishes of ACC institutions during Lee Fowler’s tenure as AD for the 21 ACC sports in which NC State competes. The stats do not include some sports where Virginia is traditionally strong but where State does not have a program (lacrosse, field hockey, rowing) or non-ACC sports.
Average ACC Ranking(for the 21 ACC sports in which NC State competes)
1. North Carolina – 3.38
2. Florida St – 3.74
3. Virginia – 4.91
4. Georgia Tech – 5.47
5. Clemson – 5.67
6. Duke – 5.75
7. NC State – 6.52
8. Wake Forest – 6.65
9. Virginia Tech – 6.85
10. Maryland – 7.57
11. Miami – 7.82
12. Boston College – 9.00
ACC Championships (for the 21 ACC sports in which NC State competes)
1. North Carolina – 36
2. Duke – 29
3. Florida St – 24
4. Virginia – 19
5. NC State – 14
6. Georgia Tech – 13
7. Clemson – 11
8. Virginia Tech – 9
9. Maryland – 8
10. Miami – 5
11. Wake Forest – 3
12. Boston College – 1
ACC Championship Sports (for the 21 ACC sports in which NC State competes)
1. North Carolina – 15
2. Duke – 10
3. Florida St – 9
4. Clemson – 7
t5. Georgia Tech – 6
t5. Maryland – 6
t5. Virginia – 6
8. Virginia Tech – 5
9. NC State – 4
t10. Miami – 3
t10. Wake Forest – 3
12. Boston College – 1
Honest to God…I don’t even know where to start. This conversation can go in a million directions.
(1) We could discuss the empathetic, fan-friendly perspective of an Athletics Director who publicly prioritizes winning and who doesn’t criticize his own fans.
“You have made significant investments in our program and I recognize that you expect results,” Littlepage told donors via e-mail. “As the Athletics Director I expect results as well. I realize that many fans are frustrated and I want to make sure you know that I am frustrated as well. … Improvements in football and men’s basketball are a priority.”
(2) We could discuss the rest of the world’s (accurately) negative perspective of NC State’s Athletics Department.
Among the ACC’s 12 schools, name one with deeper troubles in its money-making sports – Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest clearly are superior.
The only remotely comparable straits are at North Carolina State, where Tom O’Brien’s football program is slowly progressing from the mess he inherited from Chuck Amato, while Sidney Lowe’s basketball program is declining.
But even the Wolfpack is ahead of the last-place Cavaliers this basketball season. Wednesday marked the fourth time since the New Year that Virginia has trailed by at least 20 points during the first half, the third at home.
Ahh yes. “Even the Wolfpack”
(3) We could discuss the obvious contrast to NC State’s leadership where Virginia is having this crisis-conversation amid their woes because The last academic year in which Virginia’s football and men’s basketball teams were sub-.500 was 1976-77.
ONE YEAR! ONE YEAR in the last 33 years where both revenue-generating sports were below .500. At friggin Virginia. How many years just under the leadership of NC State’s current administration has that been the case in Raleigh (despite our premiere new ‘fuhcilities’ (that have been finished before Virginia’s upgrades).
(4) Or…we could discuss how the Virginia media is actually writing stories calling for improvement to the current situation. Could you imagine? Could you imagine if anyone in our local media FINALLY ignored their personal relationships with Lee Fowler and their fear of the wrath of Annabelle Vaughn Myers? Could you imagine if anyone actually placed their journalistic integrity and responsibilities ahead of their the potential political fallout and the negative impact to ‘access’ within the NC State Athletics program and started judging the NC State athletics program in the media?
We can imagine. They may become as ‘popular’ in west Raleigh as SFN!