What If Our Athletics Were Graded By State’s Academic Standards? (11am Update)


I’ll make this short and sweet and let you add in your thoughts in the comments:

What if NC State’s athletics were graded and a GPA built using essentially the same standards that each student at NC State faces in their classes?

I think that overall, the Athletics Department’s GPA would hover around a 1.0 and would be on Academic Warning II.  They would probably have to write the dean a letter every semester explaining why they should be re-admitted to school.

I’m pretty busy with work today, but if someone wants to build a GPA for the Athletics Department, please do so and post it, and we’ll add it to the article.  A last place finish would be an F, and first or even second (let’s be generous) would be an A.

Could Lee Fowler’s athletics results earn a “degree”?  I really doubt.  Shout me down if you think I am wrong.

Though none of the following rankings should be much of a surprise to you since we told you in August how “Coach” Fowler’s 9th year in Raleigh was shaping-up, but here are the Directors’ Cup standings as of 1/13/2009 (since we are grading):


4. UNC
5. Wake Forest
9. Maryland
11. UVA
15. FSU
18. Duke
27. BC
63. VT
68. Clemson
91. NC State
93. GT (has a new AD)
94. Miami (has a new AD)

State of North Carolina:

4. UNC
5. Wake
18. Duke
79. UNC-G
87. App State
91. NC State
94. UNC Charlotte

Looks like the NC State Athletics Department is tracking along the exact same lines as last season when we finished the year #56 in the country (the exact ranking the program earned during Lee Fowler’s FIRST season in Raleigh. Must be the fuh-cilities.

NC State finished 53rd of all 66 BCS (major conference) institutions. The Wolfpack bested 13 schools – Iowa State, Vanderbilt (Lee Fowler’s alma mater who does not have an actual Athletics Department), Ole Miss, Boston College, Kansas State, Washington State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Oregon State, South Florida, Mississippi State, Rutgers and Cincinnati.

Related Statistical Links:

(1) Comparison of NC State Athletics Directors (Link Here)

(2) All Sports ACC Comparisons (Link Here)

AD & Department General NC State Administration Non-Revenue Rankings & Lists

48 Responses to What If Our Athletics Were Graded By State’s Academic Standards? (11am Update)

  1. harrisek 01/16/2009 at 10:05 AM #

    Probably should vary by sport. A 4th place finish in ACC basketball is respectable, whereas 4th is not as respectable on a national level in ACC wrestling.

  2. BJD95 01/26/2009 at 10:12 AM #

    That’s a fun way to look at things. I’d expect us to grade out in Chuck Kornegay territory.

  3. YANCSSB 01/26/2009 at 10:33 AM #

    Damn, Alpha’s been FEELING it lately. He’s been on low boil for the last six months or so.

  4. JEOH2 01/26/2009 at 10:38 AM #

    When I was an undergrad (meaning…a month ago haha) if you failed to perform well, it took almost nothing to go to the councilors office and drop your entire semester. In fact it was harder to get a single class’ grade removed from your record then an entire semester…

    I wonder if our Athletics Department would be visiting our councilors for the past couple of years…?

  5. Noah 01/26/2009 at 10:40 AM #

    What fraction of our athletic budget do you think App. State spends?

    Hey, we should hire their AD, huh?

  6. Sam92 01/26/2009 at 10:44 AM #

    but who are we grading?

    if we’re grading the coaches, the performance of programs should in fairness be relative to resources, i have a feeling that a number of our teams have poorer facilities and smaller budgets than other ACC schools, and before we malign coaches, or for that matter, players, we should take into account the resources they have at their disposal

    if we’re grading the AD, we can make facilities and resources more a part of the grade – consider it part of his job to attract money, and if he’s not bringing it in, dock him

  7. SEAT.5.F.2 01/26/2009 at 10:50 AM #


    Football A (put coaches name on AD’s door now for future use)
    Men BB D- (would be worse- No Child Left Behind is a bitch)
    W BB A (personel reasoons- easy A but hard on heart)
    Baseball B+ ( would be an A but honestly Holliday stays?)

    Pre requisite

    Softball B (started strong but has slowed down)
    Tennis C (Avg team)
    Wrestling C+ (Avg team w/students needing to track out
    T & F D
    Sw & D C- WTF happened here?
    Soccer D- Put WTF w/ No Child Left….notes


    X Country A
    Rifle A
    Gymastics B


    Bass Fishing Pass

  8. bradleyb123 01/26/2009 at 10:57 AM #

    We all talk about Lee Fowler a lot, and he really is foul. But seriously, what would it take to get him removed? I mean, if his pizz-poor performance isn’t going to get him removed, what will it take?

    In the NC university system, is there too much power and control at the top that bleeds baby blue? Sometimes I wonder if some closet Carolina fans are the ones pulling the strings at the top at NC State. I’ve wondered this ever since Todd Turner (Carolina graduate) was hired as NC State’s AD several years ago.

    The sad thing is, I think Turner would be better than Fowler!

  9. StateFans 01/26/2009 at 11:17 AM #

    ^ You speak the truth. The ‘fault’ with Lee Fowler and our entire Department’s ineptitude lies with the administrations and leaders that have allowed him to keep his job.

  10. Dr. BadgerPack 01/26/2009 at 11:19 AM #

    Seat- Of course I’m biased, but if football gets an A, I would say baseball has to get one. The rest of your grades are pretty dang spot on.

    As a side note; since baseball has been broached as a subject, the early recruiting class for next year is ranked something like 7th nationally. Simply fantastic. The problem of course is not losing a big chunk of them to the draft. Pretty soon I’ll start cranking up the baseball posts. Afterall, opening day is less than a month away.

  11. wolfonthehill 01/26/2009 at 11:50 AM #

    “i have a feeling that a number of our teams have poorer facilities”

    Are you freaking KIDDING ME?!?!?!

    After building the RBC Center, massively upgrading Carter-Finley, upgrading Doak, building the softball team their own joint, upgrading Reynolds for the women, etc, etc… you’re going to try to spin this as a potential facilities issue?

    So THAT’S how we dominate in cross-country… we have better dirt.

  12. choppack1 01/26/2009 at 11:55 AM #

    It’s a little hard to grade each program – because in essence, the expectations, the history, the coache’s tenure, etc can have a huge impact on the individual season. I can certainly see a “perfect storm” causing a huge dip in the “Director’s Cup” standings for a season.

    At the end of the day, while each sport must be measured – the Director’s Cup provides a good, subjective assessment of where your entire department is going. I did some analysis and my conclusion was that Lee Fowler and Oblinger should thank God that GT is in our conference.

    Anyone who examines our athletic department would be pressed to conclude that it is not meeting expectations – unless you include criterkia like fund-raising, facilities and proper accounting. (We can’t really count academic success as NC State was the ONLY ACC school to get docked a scholy by the APR rules.)

    It’s truly sad to me that Powers That Be continue to allow Fowler to steer this ship on a path that doesn’t appear to lead to anywhere but mediocrity at best, and just downright awful at worst.

    I think that there’s some truth to the argument that “NC State has always trailed it’s brethren in the ACC”. What I don’t understand is retaining an AD who seems to be satisfied w/ that being the ceiling. If leadership doesn’t really matter – then why NOT change???

  13. 66pack 01/26/2009 at 12:02 PM #

    IS sam92 really LEE F ?

  14. SEAT.5.F.2 01/26/2009 at 12:18 PM #

    Dr. ^

    Wanted to give baseball an A based on making it to ACC Final, Super Region and producing more draftees then ever before. Got to have another strong year to give it the boost

    TOB’s high grade is largely due to the fact that his style and substance is exactly the in line with what needed to be done for the program. A large part of making the grade is finding out exactly what the teacher wants, something Carnagie Mellon frowns on.

  15. Dr. BadgerPack 01/26/2009 at 12:20 PM #

    ^Fair enough Seat. At least you’re well reasoned, so I can’t complain too much. You know me though, I have to play the role of “defender of the diamond”. 🙂

  16. highstick 01/26/2009 at 12:30 PM #

    The problem is “at the top” guys and has been for years. We’ve been aiming “too low”! Change it at the top and the rest will fall into place!

  17. Elrod 01/26/2009 at 12:44 PM #

    I think the initial premise is wrong. Quite obviously, NC State athletics is not measured by objective conference terms. Jed uses ‘outcome-based education modeling’ to evaluate the various sports and the overall program. As long as Obie is the one handing out the diplomas, all Jed will continue to do is add honorary degrees to his wall. Unfortunately, it is our wall, too.

  18. Elrod 01/26/2009 at 12:59 PM #

    Boy, that didn’t work. Let’s try again. 🙂

    “I’m pretty busy with work today, but if someone wants to build a GPA for the Athletics Department, please do so and post it, and we’ll add it to the article. A last place finish would be an F, and first or even second (let’s be generous) would be an A.

    Could Lee Fowler’s athletics results earn a “degree”? I really doubt. Shout me down if you think I am wrong.”

    I think the initial premise is not correct. Quite obviously, NC State athletics is not measured in relative conference terms. Jed uses ‘outcome-based education modeling’ to evaluate the various sports and the overall program. As long as Obis is the one handing out the degrees, Jed will continue to add honorary degrees to his wall. Unfortunately, it is our wall, too.

  19. BSIE80 01/26/2009 at 1:12 PM #

    My guess, the metrics utilized to measure success revolve around money, not wins/losses. Therefore, the GPA must be based on meeting money targets.

  20. Clarksa 01/26/2009 at 1:36 PM #

    “Could Lee Fowler’s athletics results earn a “degree”? I really doubt. Shout me down if you think I am wrong.””

    Just remember…

    C’s = Degree

    …it’s how I graduated after partying way to much.

  21. JeremyH 01/26/2009 at 2:01 PM #

    “what would it take to get him removed?”

    sfn has been dubbed by some as being negative, but what can you really say in the face of statistics like these? short answer, you’re looking at it.

    but perhaps you (the site) also need to logically refute the claim that “you ran your coach out of town, now you want the AD to leave? maybe the problem is you(r expectations)!”

    SFN: We are not making this a Sendek thread. But, to put it simply, our point has always been that NC State should aim higher that mediocre/”B-minus” performance – not that it was impossible to do worse. Hell, Les was our coach all four years of my years at State – I know what it’s like to be at the very bottom. Don’t worry about idiots creating “strawman” arguments – no amount of logic will suffice for them.

    Duke and Carolina are have built their problems over many, many years with the best of the best coaching, Dean Smith and Mike K. Even if that type of results are eventually expected, it took many years for these coaches to build their respective programs, to put the schools in the position they are today. So maybe instead of “is Sidney doing a good job now with what he has, enough to be allowed to continue”, rather “is he the right person to place the investment on, i.e. is he growing as a coach, and do we see his ceiling as possibly exceeding that of the previous coach?”. But maybe if his results end up roughly equivalent but considering he is forthcoming with the fans and embraces the importance of carolina and duke games, that is enough to satisfy this lunatic bin of weblog commenters?!

    all i know is we suck as a basketball team, and that’s just very unsatisfiable to many people right now. I once heard a sportscaster say “something is just not right with having a bad team in our nation’s capital” (Redskins). I feel the same way about us. I tuned in at the very end of the Jimmy V era (think Bryant Feggins), and besides our run with Hodge and beating Connecticut, we haven’t had much to cheer about.

  22. WV Wolf 01/26/2009 at 2:10 PM #

    Here’s my quick and dirty. These are grades for this school year as of today based solely on ACC standings and only for sports that have started (or already finished) ACC play. In other words, we haven’t started taking the baseball class yet this year.

    M Basketball – 10 of 12 – D (1 point)
    W Basketball – 11 of 12 – D (1 point)
    M Cross Country – 2 of 12 – A (4 points)
    W Cross Country – 10 of 12 – D (1 point)
    Football – 5 of 12 – B (3 points)
    M Soccer – 8 of 9 – D (1 point)
    W Soccer – 11 of 11 – F (0 points)
    M Swimming – 7 of 10 – C (2 points)
    W Swimming – 4 of 11 – B (3 points)
    Volleyball – 10 of 12 – D (1 point)
    Wrestling – 5 of 6 – D (1 point)

    Total points for 11 sports: 18
    GPA: 1.64

  23. howlie 01/26/2009 at 2:19 PM #

    I love our FB program–how we’re progressing & program-building–but there’s no way [even with all this year’s adversities] that you can give THIS past fall’s performance an ‘A.’
    We were 6-7 for the year [a C- in actual results]… showed great effort, improvement, and consistency… but that doesn’t equal an ‘A.’

    An ‘A’ equals “little room for improvement,” and, “you’re doing about as well as anyone can possibly do”–and I hope a 6-7 record is not our high-water mark ‘success standard.’

  24. choppack1 01/26/2009 at 2:53 PM #

    Howlie – I’d agree. You don’t hire a new executive and expect profits to jump – in all cases…sometimes you do.

    Each sport has it’s own set of challenges, tradition and expectations. However, progress should be made in each sport a scholarship is awarded in. That doesn’t mean that you will always see increasing returns – in sports, you can’t do better than a win….Rather, it means that you look at a large subset of data and assess where each program is at, where it’s been and where it’s going.

    I think Lee has the demeanor which will allow a successful coach to remain here. I just worry about those who are the fence and worry about the impression he gives to coaches when he lashes out at fans instead of going, “You know, it’s less rational to go to these games every weekend than it is to give money and expect good results. It’s been a long time between big time championships for this school – and I understand 100% why they are frustrated.”

  25. Greywolf 01/26/2009 at 3:25 PM #

    Jan 26th, 2009 at 12:02 pm
    “IS sam92 really LEE F”

    Get a gripe. Haven’t you heard? Greywolf is the real Lee F, right fred?

    Let’s give Sam92 a break here. He’s new to the list and doesn’t know that this thread was designed to have a little fun with our AD and given the current state of athletics, we need a little fun.

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