Falling Behind Carolina

We don’t link to The Robesonian very often. But, why not give the other set a bone or two? (You will know that things have gotten really bad here when we drive traffic toward’s the Asheville Citizen-Times; that is so bad that we won’t even hotlink the name of the newspaper here).

The Robesonian proclaims that “Wolfpack falling behind UNC in nearly everything”

The 2005-2006 school year may very well go down as the most frustrating in N.C. State sports history. In fact, the Wolfpack yearbook staff might as well save a page at the front of its sports section for a cover sheet titled “We Just Couldn’t Beat the Tar Heels … In Anything.â€?

The article goes on to highlight some selected results from major sports. The information is correct and can’t be debated. But, I guess this kind of analysis that was done for the 2004-2005 season would be too much to ask from a newspaper when meager little blogs can do that work for you.

(We are going to turn on the comments section of this entry in hopes that the members of our community can help us construct the kind of data for this athletics season like we built for last athletics season. We are not looking for people to argue; we are looking for relevant data to construct future entries.)

Obviously The Robesonian – just like all of the Wolfpack that all lived through significantly more competitive athletics performance in the decades before Lee Fowler came to Raleigh – just don’t “know sports” like Jed. NC State can’t be asked to compete with other schools until every little piece of the puzzle is complete. We have just got to have excuses and justifications for losing; nothing is a direct result of decisions that our “leaders” make or don’t make. Take a look at Lee Fowler’s comments in the February 16, 2004 edition of The Wolfpacker:

Question: What are your goals as an athletics director for the upcoming year, in terms of improving athletic programs and in improving facilities? How will those goals be measured? – Herb, Archdale, NC Class of 1987

Fowler: My goals are the same as when I came to NC State three years ago: we want to be top-25 program in all sports. I maintain that goal, and I feel it is very reachable. I think we are moving in that direction in most sports…

…We have to ask our coaches to take their programs toward those levels. But we also have to provide the facilities for them to at that level if we are going to demand those results. And I think that ‘t what we are doing.

By the end of ‘05, we will have most of our programs in the types of facilities that coaches can be held accountable to. I don’t think that was the case when I first got here. I think we had teams competing against people with a lot more assets than we had.�

How is it that other Athletics Directors at NC State and other schools find it appropriate to “hold accountable” the individual programs’ for performance before entering their sixth year at a school? How is it that NC State has produced the worst overall athletics performance in our history over the last six years as we simultaneously were improving our facilities and, according to Fowler, fixing all of the built-in excuses that we had at our disposal?

Whatever Fowler has been doing for the last six years, The Robesonian sums up the results quite nicely:

This state’s ACC schools, at one time, were thought of as The Big Four.

It appears N.C. State is dropping out – but at least it will have Wake Forest’s company.