Tudor: NC State has most loyal fan base in NC

This may shock people, but some members of the media are starting to understand the frustrations of NC State’s supporters. On a morning where the Wall Street Journal did a feature on Bobby Purcell and the incredible fundraising efforts of NC State supporters, Caulton Tudor proves again (as he did last week) that he really has a grasp on NC State athletics:

N.C. State fans are grumbling, and they have a right to.

Various segments of the Wolfpack World are upset with football coach Tom O’Brien, basketball coach Sidney Lowe and/or athletics director Lee Fowler.

These are dark days for State. To say otherwise is to disregard scoreboards, which are the first and ultimately, the final, measure of popularity.

In my 40 or so years of covering sports in North Carolina, the most loyal fan base across the spectrum has been State’s. Through almost as much thin as thick, they’ve purchased the tickets, attended the games, followed through on their financial pledges and stood by their own, including alum Chuck Amato for longer than would have been the case at most area schools.

Here is another from Joe Ovies of 850theBuzz:

Emphasis added, and staggering if you think about it (that Ohio State has half the number of booster club members as NC State). Ohio State fans are like roaches that are hiding everywhere and the Buckeyes win ball games (except those that matter), so you would think donors are be lining up to hand over their money. And for the most part they are, but not as much as a school that could never match its tradition and success. NC State football hasn’t won an ACC title since 1979 and has failed to finished higher than 4th in the ACC in over a decade. The basketball team is bogged down by a tougher that expected transition from the Herb Sendek years (which produced no ACC titles to begin with). At this rate, Wolfpack Nation is the equivalent of late 90’s venture capitalists dumping more money into a “dot com” start-up like Pets.com right before the bubble burst.

One important correction for Caulton Tudor and any other member of the media that may read this entry:

The issues at NC State may or may not have anything to do with Sidney Lowe and Tom O’Brien. It is way premature for either of these coaches to be under any type of pressure from NC State fans or anyone in the media. Lowe took the reigns from Herb Sendek two years ago with six total scholarship players while Tom O’Brien inherited a program that was coming off a 3-9 record (worst record in almost fifty years).

That isn’t to say that both coaches have been perfect during their time in Raleigh, but at this point both coaches deserve 100% support from every NC State fan. Now if you want to criticize others at NC State who impact our athletic programs and have been here longer than five years (as this blog has done on multiple occasions), then go right ahead. Glad to see you are finally catching on.

Here is an earlier entry from StateFans Nation focusing on Lee Fowler:

If you visit regularly visit SFN then you know how to search our archives to find any of our many articles on the current position of NC State’s poorly performing Athletics Department. But, if you need some quick help you can click here for just a sampling of some entries that might be of interest to you.

In that^ spirit – and as Lee Fowler enters his NINTH year of ‘leading’ NC State’s Athletics Department – the projected performance of the programs on which he has put his stamp for almost a decade seems to resemble the underwhelming performance of recent years.WHEN will it get better? WHEN are you, as NC State supporters, allowed to ask such questions and deserve a legitimate response?

AD & Department Fans General NCS Basketball NCS Football Quotes of Note

41 Responses to Tudor: NC State has most loyal fan base in NC

  1. Classof89 09/19/2008 at 7:41 AM #

    this is a big topic on sports talk in Raleigh this morning… JP Giglio on 850 the buzz this morning discussing

  2. Daily Update 09/19/2008 at 7:45 AM #

    What are they saying?

  3. CarnifeX 09/19/2008 at 8:28 AM #

    “blabber blabber blabber, NC State sucks, hahahha, blabber, ECU is to NCSU what NCSU is to UNC, blabber.”


  4. GoldenChain 09/19/2008 at 8:39 AM #

    Cleveland Brown fans are loyal too.
    Does that just make us all great people ….. or just plain stupid?!

    Just like politics, if we keep voting for ’em (with our dollar bills) they’ll just keep doing the SoS.

  5. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 09/19/2008 at 8:43 AM #

    This seems to me to be another opportunity for the N&O and Tudor to bash NC State. Tudor is no doubt the most experienced triangle sports reporter but he is no fan of NC State.

    With all the other problems NC State is facing right now this is the opportune time for Tudor to do a hit piece on the athletic program. Not that I disagree with much of what he is saying, it is just what he is saying isn’t anything new.

    A win would be nice on Saturday.

  6. Daily Update 09/19/2008 at 8:50 AM #

    TCHIATHIUEIEIADS: Hit piece? Don’t see that. The only thing he missed is that he should have defended TOB and put more focus on Lee Fowler. He was correct in pointing out that this would be a big win for TOB (any win over a top 15 team is big in my book).

  7. statered 09/19/2008 at 8:59 AM #

    Maybe at some point the media will get on the fire Lee bandwagon? We can only hope….

  8. wfpk99 09/19/2008 at 9:23 AM #

    Ok, so it’s hard for me, too, to let go of some of the things in the past about Tudor, but the fact is that he’s been spot on lately with the things he’s written. No one needs to go out of their way to write a “hit piece” about our athletics. We suck, our two major sports teams are in major rebuilding mode, and we have the most inept athletic director certainly in this region and most likely around all of Division I. What would anyone have to write positively about, except as the WSJ and Tudor have written now, that our fan base has stayed loyal and given regularly. I don’t mind jumping on a guy for obvious bias, but you need to make sure you give him credit when he writes the other side, too.

  9. wufpup76 09/19/2008 at 9:25 AM #

    As noted by Daily Update, more focus/emphasis should be leveled at big salaried Lee Fowler, AD – not necessarily TOB or Sidney …

    Tudor’s overall message is spot-on, though …

  10. Daily Update 09/19/2008 at 9:38 AM #

    Which one of you wrote this comment on 850theBuzz blog? That is exactly what I have been trying to say. Great, great comment:

      Comment from UNC fan who gets it:

    “To some extent I pity NCSU fans because they clearly want what UNC has but Lee Fowler is more in love with the sound of his own voice coming through the radio than actually doing something about improving NCSU’s standing in the conference.”

      Comment from NC State in response:

    Amen brother.

    Under Fowler’s watch, there is ZERO accountability for results unless we State fans raise holy hell, which only makes us look like an irrational fanbase. If he’d actually hold his coaches to some sort of reasonable performance standards, it wouldn’t get to the point where we have to essentially run a coach off.

    And in those sports that State fans are generally apathetic towards, like soccer, volleyball, etc., you can see what kind of standards Lee holds for them. NONE.

    THF knocked it out of the park: The N.C. State athletics tree, running from the chancellor all the way down to the coaches and players, is chock full of poor leadership, at all levels. The right hand doesn’t seem to know what the left is doing, at times, nor does it seem to care.

    The worst thing that ever happened under Mary Anne Fox’s watch was the hiring of Lee Fowler, and the worst thing that happened to N.C. State was naming James Oblinger as her successor when she left, as he has ZERO desire to change things as they are.

    That’s why I am almost INFURIATED when I read positive pieces about how passionate, loyal and devoted our fanbase is, because our “leaders” don’t deserve us.

  11. BoKnowsNCS71 09/19/2008 at 9:52 AM #

    My money to the WPC is about the same as a contribution to a church. The money goes in the basket based on support. The results are based on faith. Most of the time you see little return on investment for the money. But the money sure builds nice churches. Unless someone finds out LF and company are discovered to be fooling around with the Wolf pups or their money — they have free reign.

  12. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 09/19/2008 at 9:54 AM #

    If you don’t think Tudor is writing a hit piece I’m not sure if you have been keeping track of him for the last 40 years. He prints an article slamming NC State athletics the day before a nationally televised game against a top 20 opponent. There is a large amount of visiting press and I wouldn’t be surprised it the announcers reference the ‘local press’ during the game. No help to recruiting.

    Sure he throws a little sugar on it by tipping his hat to the loyalty of NC State fans. He knows that is what you like to hear and will get some of you to buy into it. Tudor puts on a little smile as he pulls the sword from the sheath.

    This article contained no new information, wasn’t kind to the coaches and made sure to point out that State is no ECU. And by the way drops on on a Friday before a nationally televised game. Hit piece all over it.

  13. Daily Update 09/19/2008 at 9:59 AM #

    If you were going to write a piece highlighting NC State athletics, then what exactly would you say?

    Serious question.

  14. IMFletcherWolf 09/19/2008 at 10:09 AM #

    tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc —

    We’ve actually got some major media members on our side on this issue and you still want to slam them. Tudor knows we are loyal and get nothing in return. What to want him to say? Fire Fowler? That would be a pretty bold statement for any newspaper. He knows some (many) Wolfpackers want more accountability and this article says that.

  15. Ismael 09/19/2008 at 10:13 AM #

    I think Tudor definitely spent way too much time on TOB, which i tried to correct, but one thing he did do that was important was even MENTION Lee Fowlup. That ought to have old-Jed shaking down to those sock supports that executives wear (you know the ones that keep their socks up that go just below the knee) Oh man, im sorry, i just gave everyone a very very bad image on a friday (vomit in mouth)

  16. choppack1 09/19/2008 at 10:40 AM #

    Much like a “lunatic fringer” Tudor gets the big message right – that if ever a fanbase deserved some modicum of success – it’s NC State. Of course, what he gets wrong is the focus of our anger.

    Our fans aren’t as mad as Sidney and TOB as much as they are at Lee Fowler and Oblinger. Sure, you’ll find his defenders, but mention the name “Lee Fowler” around 80% of Wolfpack fans and they’ll roll their eyes.

    IMHO, focusing on TOB, the day after our AD gives ECU bulletin board material puts this almost in a suspicious category. Rather than focusing on TOB – who most State fans won’t put on the hotseat until next year – he has a duty to focus on Lee Fowler.

    You want me to clap for Tudor – write an editorial documenting Lee’s various embarassments – from the 2006 coaching search, to the lunatic fringe remarks, to the “Cougar” remarks, to being the only ACC school to lose a scoly due to APR to the futility of our non-revenue sports. Until I see such an article, I’m suspicious of his motives.

  17. Wulfpack 09/19/2008 at 10:54 AM #

    Tudor flat our nailed it. I am not happy with the state of either the football program or the basketball program. We deserve FAR better. If you asked me the yes or no question if I am happy with TOB or Sid, my answer today is no. That does not mean I do not like them or that I do not think they can or will succeed.

    There is no denying they each came to their respective programs under difficult circumstances. However, I thought that perhaps they could get something done despite of that, lord knows there are many others that do more with less.

    In turn, to this point each has produced sub-standard results. I am beyond blaming all of this on the LF or the administration b/c that will do us absolutely no good at all. It is going to be up to someone else to solve the problem, someone with the gall and the balls to change the culture. I am going to hold out hope that it can be done. If I do not, then what’s the point in caring?

  18. choppack1 09/19/2008 at 11:06 AM #

    wulfpack – I’m not putting TOB in Sid’s category yet. If we have the equivalent of his basketball season this year, I will…but we’re only 3 games into the season and are exactly where 99% of the nation predicted we’d be.

    I think you have to understand that each job is different – and so expectations should be different. In TOBs case, his squad has been so decimated by injuries in his 1st 2 years – and he’s had a fairly extensive record of accomplishment in the college ranks – so he’s getting the benefit of the doubt from me. As for Sid, I will flat out tell you that the product I’ve seen on the court not just for 2007-2008, but for 2006-2007, has me extremely concerned. However, I’m encouraged about how well he’s recruiting, and I’m optimistic about the future for some reason. If I see what I’ve seen the first 2 years this upcoming season, I’m sure my concern will continue.

    Like I said, any article regarding the miserable state of our athletic department should begin and end w/ Lee Fowler and Oblinger.

  19. Daily Update 09/19/2008 at 11:09 AM #

    At this point, it isn’t productive to put pressure on either TOB or Sidney until other changes are made at NC State. That is why I say both coaches should be supported at this point.

  20. WolftownVA81 09/19/2008 at 11:29 AM #

    I’m glad he wrote the article. Any publicity on this front can only help highlight our incompetant AD and the dismal results acheived under his watch. Too bad TOB and Sid get a little on crap them in the process but I’m sure they understand where the fan’s frustration is really focused. Perhaps this will start the media guys digging a little deeper and reporting the sorry state of affairs in the NCSU Atheletic Dept. The first step towards change is recognizing that change is needed. We know this will not come from within so the media is our only hope of raising awareness and pressuring the BOT to act.

  21. statered 09/19/2008 at 11:39 AM #

    You know an expose focused on the mismanagement of the athletics department by Lee would really bring in a lot of readers. Why won’t they do this? It certainly would generate a lot of conversation.

  22. wolfprof 09/19/2008 at 12:11 PM #

    As a relatively new person on SFN, I have certainly come up to speed on all the miseries and missteps attributed to the AD. The data are clear, the facts are laid out carefully, and the poor team records speak for themselves. I have seen no such information on Oblinger, despite his being skewered on numerous posts. I understand that LF reports to Oblinger, and the latter could, but has not, fired the former, but what else inspires the vitriol?

  23. WolftownVA81 09/19/2008 at 12:23 PM #

    ^The fact that the current AD still draws a paycheck from NCSU is enough justification in my book. I just had my annual performance review today in which my performance was measured against clearly laid out objectives (read numbers) over the past year. I exceeded my goals so I not only get to keep my job but I got a modest raise besides. This is pretty standard stuff in the business world and I think our multi-million dollar atheltic department qualifies as a business. Obviously, this scenario is not happening with LF or, the performance standards in place are totally without meaning. In either case, Oblinger should be held accountable for his part in running the NCSU athletics business into the ground. He is the man in charge and is ultimately responsible for the success of all departments.

  24. eas 09/19/2008 at 12:28 PM #

    I decided to way in on the N&O comments section. Here was my 2 cents:

    Truth be told from long term Wolfpack fans and alumni, the real problem is the AD. I have been through all the years of up & down (about 30 yrs now, with the past 20 being the worst) and I must say something must change with the current AD set up. Pack fans are not out to get O’Brian (or Lowe either) because we know it takes time and O’Brian represents what the Pack has needed for years. Fowler has made changes and more screw ups than should be possible and still he continues with the golden pass. Fans are frustrated with feeding money to a program that has leadership problems far beyond the playing fields. Everything from scheduling to traditions has be screwed up and it looks as if that will continue for who knows when. I wish someone would take the time to really look at the core problem of wolfpack athletics before blaming everything on the coaches. Bottom line is O’Brian is the man for the job and he will work it out as long as he has the support from the correct people. Other ACC schools have continued to push tradition but we seem to move further away from it every year. The Pack will always have my support but I wish we could make some other changes rather than coaching changes all the time!

  25. Daily Update 09/19/2008 at 12:36 PM #

    wolfprof: As Fowler is allowed to hang around NC State, the spotlight will continue to move up the chain of command. Many of the people I have talked to have already conceded the fact that Fowler still being here signals that our problems go way above Lee Fowler.

    NC State just completed a capital campaign that raised $1.37 billion.

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