In yesterday’s N&O, Ken Tysiac penned an article about a Public Policy poll suggesting that Wolfpack fans are apathetic about Gottfried. Now I’m not a professional pollster but I have reviewed enough of them to know there are several variables that go into a poll to produce the results: sample size, target group, what questions are asked, and how the questions are worded. Here are the actual poll results from Public Policy Polling
When I first read the Tysiac article I had some pretty immediate impressions.
Public Policy polling reports that 63 percent of self-identified N.C. State fans have no opinion of Gottfried, the former Alabama coach who most recently was an ESPN analyst and was hired April 5 at N.C. State.
Translation: Don’t expect ticket sales to increase for next year.
Fans remained divided on whether firing former coach Sidney Lowe was the right decision. Thirty-three percent agree now that Lowe needed to go, while 26 percent thought he should have been retained.
Translation: 26% of our fanbase can’t tie their own shoes, while 41% don’t even know we play basketball anymore.
Why do I say this about ticket sales and 1/4 of our fanbase walking around about to trip over their own shoelaces? Well let’s look at some numbers here (you guys should know by know by now I’m all about numbers).
Let’s look at attendance first:
As you can see from the chart and graph our attendance numbers have been pretty steady for the last 10 years. Our biggest increase came in Lowe’s second season after he took an undermanned team to the NIT Quaterfinals and had a big signing class featuring JJ Hickson. Then the following season saw our biggest drop in attendance thanks to that miserable second season. Heck, even the season following
Sendek’s Hodge’s trip to the Sweet 16 we only saw a 0.1% increase in attendance. This past season we saw a 3.0% increase in attendance numbers thanks to a combination of making it to the 2nd round of the NIT the previous season but more importantly a banner freshmen class. So as you can see, winning is not enough, we need some excitement and reason to believe we will win to bring in the fans. With “63% of self-identified NC State fans” having no opinion of Coach Gottfried, that doesn’t exactly scream an excited fanbase. Add in a situation very similar to Lowe’s first season with lack of bodies with only one guard and no exciting freshmen coming in, well, you get the picture.
Add in this quote from MG yesterday at the Wolfpack Carovan and I’m not getting a thrill up my leg, even if it is the truth.
”We’re just a long way aways from being an NCAA tournament team,” Gottfried said with the media before talking with the gathered crowd at the football practice facility next to Carter-Finley Stadium. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Now let’s look at that 26% of our fanbase who I wouldn’t trust with a potato gun:
I believe in the 10% Rule. Ten percent of any group will believe anything: Moon landing was faked, Roswell, that’s Donald Trump’s real hair. What I can’t understand is anyone who would believe that Lowe deserved another year when you look at his results over his 5 years as the Wolfpack head coach. The numbers don’t lie, the man just couldn’t coach. Now this isn’t to pile on Lowe, we’ve all said our peace and moved on, but “26% of our fanbase” will someday be nominated for a Darwin Award.
Well after all that I began to dig deeper and looked at the Poll article instead of taking the N&O’s point of view. This is what I found:
27% of North Carolina voters claim to root for NCSU, including 31% in the 919 area code which encompasses Raleigh and the surrounding metro area.
PPP surveyed 507 North Carolina voters, including 137 N.C. State fans, from April 14th to 17th. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/-4.4%, and +/-8.4% for State fans.
That’s a pretty big margin of error for those who identify themselves as NC State fans. The rest of the questions pertaining to Gottfried, Lowe, and Yow, were only taken from the 137 State fans. Still, even if you took the best case scenario you end up with approximately 18% of the fanbase who disagreed with the firing of Lowe.
If you’re one of the 26%, buy Velcro.