Directors Cup Update – Wolfpack dead last in ACC

A couple of weeks ago we posted somewhat of an ‘open entry’ to allow the community to discuss some of the chatter that is out there regarding Lee Fowler and the NC State Athletics Department. We have a ton to say about that topic and the reaction to the topic and will most definitely re-address the topic in the coming days, but we thought we would stick to a few items that we have been wanting to get on the blog for a while.

The Director’s Cup has released their April 9th standings…and…guess who (AGAIN) sits dead last at the very bottom of all of the programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference?

Current Directors Cup Standings
(2) UNC-CH
(9) Florida State
(13) Virginia
(17) Maryland
(19) Duke
(33) Wake Forest
(44) Virginia Tech
(48) Miami
(50) Boston College
(64) Clemson
(73) Georgia Tech
(78) NC State

This ranking is unfortunately no surprise for those of us that have followed NC State sports under the Lee Fowler era. Unfortunately, NC State is tracking even worse than last year when Fowler’s Athletics Department finished #53 of the 66 BCS institutions, besting only the following major conference institutions: 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.

You should go read this important entry from last year to give yourself some context and knowledge. (I just hope that we can one day get our ‘fuhcilities’ on par with everyone else ahead of us so that we can finally catch-up)

—Lee Fowler Years—-
2008-09 – #78 (current)
2007-08 – #56
2006-07 – #44
2005-06 – #34
2004-05 – #51
2003-04 – #39
2002-03 – #43
2001-02 – #46
2000-01 – #56

—Les Robinson Years—
1999-00 – #40
1998-99 – #63
1997-98 – #43
1996-97 – #57

—Todd Turner Years—
1995-96 – #34
1994-95 – #32
1993-94 – #59

As we stated last year:

NC State finished #56 in the Director’s Cup in “Coach” Lee Fowler’s first year as Athletics Director in 2000-2001 and before he set out on his important ‘seven year facilities plan’ that was proclaimed finished in yesterday’s release of the Athletics Department’s annual report. So, after all of those important facilities that had to be built before we could start holding coaches accountable, the Wolfpack’s program is sitting exactly where it was in Fowler’s first year on the job and worse than the average of State’s finishes under both Les Robinson and Todd Turner’s tenure as ADs at NC State (when our facilities were so bad). (Click here for a detailed comparison of recent ADs at NC State).

For those of you particularly interested in numbers, you will be in heaven with the following links to a special series that we ran last year and hope to update some this year:


  • Part One – Overall ACC Records (Link)
  • Part Two – Improvement (Link)
  • Part Three – Using Lee Fowler’s Standards (Link)
  • Part Four – AD Comparisons (Link)
  • Part Five – ACC Rankings (Link)

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

97 Responses to Directors Cup Update – Wolfpack dead last in ACC

  1. Thompson44 04/14/2009 at 9:51 AM #

    Could someone please give this to the Powers that be, this is just sad. Great Plan Lee you did an outstanding job, now leave……..

    SFN: (1) Since ‘the powers that be’ don’t recognize this on their own or aren’t seeking this information on their own then you start to understand the depth of the problems.

    (2) This performance has been allowed to fester for a DECADE. And Fowler was given an EXTENSION by the Board of Trustees AFTER his botched coaching search. Don’t forget the Chancellor’s recognition for “EXCELLENCE” last year.

    Even if Fowler is yanked from his job today it doesn’t fix the culture and lack of leadership that has created and SUPPORTED this performance for a decade.

  2. Noah 04/14/2009 at 9:52 AM #

    When you go a quarter-century without a strong, visionary leader at the top of your athletic department, you really shouldn’t be surprised to see horrible results.

    Yes, I know. Board of Governors, UNC, conspiracy, N&O, Jimmy V, blah blah blah.

    When Willis Casey stepped down in…what, 1986(?) we had an opportunity to make a bold, innovative choice. Instead, we hired Jim Valvano. Whoops.

    SFN: In hindsight…it was a whoops. But, V did have some traits that helped the department. None more important than his personal relationship with Dick Sheridan that played the primary role in keeping Sheridan in Raleigh through all of his job offers from other schools.

  3. choppack1 04/14/2009 at 10:00 AM #

    Thompson – do you think that the PTBs don’t know?

    I don’t know of any where else in American where you can say, “You won’t be judged until you have the best tools possible to do your job. Then you’ve only got a few years.”

    Clearly, that’s Lee’s philosophy – and those around him have bought into it. If you want to think of something really scary – think about where this athletic department would be w/out the success we’ve had in football the last 10-15 years. While both MOC and CTC ultimately were fired, both of them had enough to victories to keep fans interested and at least give the perception of some potential for our football program. IMHO, this has been the cash cow that’s allowed us to grow.

    Like I’ve said before, I don’t know what people are waiting for. Lee has proven he can move dirt and evidently at the same time balance a budget. He’s proven himself horrible at PR and his most critical hire was an unmitigated disaster.

  4. Packman02 04/14/2009 at 10:02 AM #

    ^ Agreed, Noah…THE definition of insanity, right?…Repeat the same actions but expect different results.

    Actually, the legal definition of insanity is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. More or less the same thing, cause it applies here equally effectively. — Alpha

  5. WTNY 04/14/2009 at 10:03 AM #

    When Willis Casey stepped down in…what, 1986(?) we had an opportunity to make a bold, innovative choice. Instead, we hired Jim Valvano. Whoops.

    I believe we hired Valvano, at least in part, to entice him to stay rather than go elsewhere (UCLA?) — I’ve wondered what NC State would look like today had Valvano left at that time.

  6. TheAliasTroll 04/14/2009 at 10:06 AM #

    yay! we suck again! We suck outloud!

  7. hoop 04/14/2009 at 10:08 AM #

    SFN wrote: “Even if Fowler is yanked from his job today it doesn’t fix the culture and lack of leadership that has created and SUPPORTED this performance for a decade.”

    I agree and it makes me think there is no hope for our athletic department.

  8. LKNpackfan 04/14/2009 at 10:14 AM #

    Don’t worry, they’ll just reset the 3-yr plan. Then, in 2011 when we finish #56 and 10th in the ACC again, they can call it progress.

  9. Wolf Dog 04/14/2009 at 10:17 AM #

    The number is shameful for sure. We should finish first in our state at least given we the largest university in the state. After 6 medicore years and then in the seventh year, you finish dead last the conference. No B ball or football coach would survive that record. Neither should Fowler. He should be judged on record same as those under him

    As far as V. I thought he was a wonderful choice as AD at the time. His popularity at time bought lots of media attention to NCSU. He kept a great football coach and started the plan to upgrade CF etc. He also was a trailblazer of guaranteed contracts for coaches. Of course things went sour and didn’t work out, but I thought he admired the heck out of Casey and continued the AD dept as Casey would have wished. He also kept Yow onboard. Under V we had the best B ball coach we’ve had since Sloan, best WB coach we’ve ever had, and the best football coach we’ve had since Holtz and until hiring TOB. Plus V had the money rolling in from boosters. I don’t see have you can bad mouth him.

  10. newt 04/14/2009 at 10:18 AM #

    I wrote the Chancellor after the excellence award and asked him how in the world he could conclude the performance of our department is excellent.

    At the same time, Oblinger has supported a plan to rebuild frat court and revitalize the Greek system. Improving student life is the tool that would make all our athletics programs better, much more than fuhcilities. So this seems like something.

  11. Noah 04/14/2009 at 10:22 AM #

    If Jim Valvano had wanted to be a great AD, he could have been a great AD. The problem was that he didn’t want that. He wanted to be Jimmy V. He wanted to coach and do commercials and sell cookbooks and go on Cosby and host stupid ESPN blooper shows with Tommy Lasorda and give speeches and about 17 million other things.

    If you could clone Valvano 17 million times and have each of those clones go forth and do ONE thing, you would have greatness 17 million times. But you can’t. So you ended up with greatness watered down to a 1/17,000,000 concentration. That was *always* the root of Valvano’s problem.

  12. TheAliasTroll 04/14/2009 at 10:28 AM #

    Isn’t Fowler’s golf tournament over now? It has been very quiet from what I’ve seen regarding the Fowler rumors. My gut feeling is he’s going to be here to stay 🙁

    “Patience, Luke.” — Obi Wan

  13. choppack1 04/14/2009 at 10:35 AM #

    Noah – I agree w/ you on V. He could have easily done what Dean Smith did at UNC and what Coach K has done at Duke if his only goal in life was to be a basketball coach. And truthfully, that was part of what was special about “V” – his interests were varied – AND he was still a pretty damn good b’ball coach in spite of these other interests.

    Wolf Dog – I don’t buy that we necessarily be No. 1, but I think we should at least be in the middle of the Pack. Part of the problem w/ our athletic department and leadership appears to me to be a mentality that “if you don’t suck, you shouldn’t lose your job.”

    I think this philosophy is pretty obvious in how they’ve approached the facilities issue.

    The soccer team obviously sucks, but they play in a sub-par stadium. Hey, that’s definitely true. But guess what, that stadium isn’t going to turn our stinker of a soccer coach into a great one. At best, we’ll be middle of the pack w/ our current leadership.

    You could see it w/ Sendek and even our women’s basketball team. If there’s any chance you are competent, you are defended around here. If you struggle, well, it’s probably because “no coach could win w/ those fuhcilities.”

  14. DRW 04/14/2009 at 10:37 AM #

    newt: Did you ever get a response back from Oblinger?

  15. coppertop 04/14/2009 at 10:48 AM #

    Even if Fowler is yanked from his job today it doesn’t fix the culture and lack of leadership that has created and SUPPORTED this performance for a decade.

    This worries me more than foul-up

  16. Daily Update 04/14/2009 at 10:55 AM #

    Men’s and women’s tennis aren’t going to make the NCAAs. Baseball doesn’t look like it is going to make it either.

    Maybe we get something for gymnastics?

    Any other sports I am forgetting? Looks like we may be headed to an all-time worst finish.

    Contract extension for Fowler on the way?

  17. CStanley 04/14/2009 at 10:57 AM #

    We’ll never finish first in the state on this list, but we should be ahead of Wake and competing with Duke on a yearly basis.

    If you want to see how a Grade-A, first class athletic program is run, just look at UNC. God I hate them with all my heart, but those sonsabitches know how to win and know what it takes to get it done. And if you ain’t getting it done, more than likely your ass is grass, and they ain’t gonna wait around to watch it grow.

    Our problem is more fundamental in the leadership. We have no athletic visionary, no real care or desire to be the best, and it has trickled down all through the administration at NC State from top to bottom. There are a few who are driven here or there, but not enough to truly make an impact and get things changed. Even if Fowler were shit canned, I’m not sure it would change our fundamental problem (but would be a good start).

  18. Brikyrd83 04/14/2009 at 11:04 AM #

    Question for the group… Now that Sid’s former boss is taking the HC job for the Washington Wizards, do you think there is any chance he would re-join him on the bench?

    I know this is a bit off-topic. Just thought I would throw it out there…

    BJD: Wouldn’t surprise me at all. Not that the timing would be great for us, now that Miller’s off the board.

  19. jbpackfan 04/14/2009 at 11:06 AM #

    So is the Fowler thing dead or not?

    SFN: Not dead at all. Let’s wait a little more…

    Alpha: The pot still simmers.

  20. choppack1 04/14/2009 at 11:11 AM #

    CStanley – I don’t think that Baddour is an excellent AD.

    What I do think that they have in their favor is that they aren’t stupid enough to f- their stuff up.

    For example, a lot of liberal arts university would have canned their male soccer coach when the allegations were made of sexual harassment by former players. UNC didn’t.

    Likewise, UNC didn’t show that it cared when Mack Brown, Bunting, Dean Smith or Butch Davis admitted subpar students. To their credit, they push these guys through the system and make sure they have their degrees.

    It’s definitely a first class organization, but they have some built in advantages that we don’t enjoy. Still, when it comes time to make a change, they move swiftly and they are rarely questioned.

    I don’t know if anyone remembers this, but when MOC was dumped, ESPN somehow knew that he had only been to a bowl game 1 time in the last 5 years. I’m thinking that someone made sure that the media knew this. OTOH, when Sendek LEFT FOR ANOTHER JOB, the media acts like he was fired. The media should be reminded that a) Sendek left on his own accord, b) he enjoyed Top 15 attendance while HC at State, c) his record against NCAA-eligible UNC-Ch teams was 1-17, d) only one other coach in the ACC was a school 10 years and didn’t win an ACC championship, a regular season title OR advance to the elite 8.

    One of life’s lessons appears is that some folks can get away w/ stuff while others can’t. UNC can fire a coach and no one questions the school or their fans – they have a right to expect greatness. OTOH, NC State has no such right, heck, we shouldn’t even expect to compete.

  21. ADVENTUROO 04/14/2009 at 11:15 AM #

    I had found the “Director’s” site before and was LIVID at our poor performance. I have emailed the Chancellor several times…to NO AVAIL.

    I have ALSO been told, by some media members, that there is little doubt that the ADMINISTRATION is CONTENT with our AD and POOR PERFORMANCE.

    This goes BACK to the Valvano years. The General Faculty was MIFFED and JEALOUS at ALL the attention that Jimmy V was getting. When there was ONE little chink in the armor, they ATTACKED with a vengenance. They FIRED Dr. Poulton and then Jimmy V.

    OK…for those NOT familiar…Dr. Monteith actually wanted the BB Team to have a HIGHER Graduation Rate that the general student body. The V man did NOT focus on Academics…and he admitted it. BUT, they burned him at the stake over a few ticket sales and some shoes that were sold by student athletes.

    THEN…the General Faculty had their BEACH HEAD…and they have been ADVANCING ever since. Mary Anne Fox started a small movement…but she left…

    NOW, the SAME folks that were “younger” in the Valvano years are now SENIOR, TENURED Members…and in POWER…

    Will they get rid of an AD who THEY can CONTROL?

    Like Fox News…we report…you DECIDE…

    I am FRUSTRATED…but until the BIG DONORS…and I am NOT in that category…but I do have LTR’s to FB and also 4 Champions Club LTR’s…decide to make a change…ALL OUR HARRANGING WILL BE FOR NAUGHT…

  22. Noah 04/14/2009 at 11:18 AM #

    I have a friend who works for the Michigan athletic department, so I get some inside scoop from time-to-time on their department.

    It’s worth looking at Michigan when Bo Schembeclar was the AD and then look at them once Bill Martin took over.

    THAT is the kind of AD I want at State.

    SFN: Noah, this is an excellent point and comparison. Any chance that you could whip up some kind of quick commentary on this that we could run as any entry on the blog? It would be a fantastic piece!

  23. old13 04/14/2009 at 11:20 AM #

    So what else is new, SFN! Big whoop! (And pathetic!!)

    ADVENTUROO, if enough of us small contributors withhold funds, it will add up.

  24. ADVENTUROO 04/14/2009 at 11:39 AM #


    I was reading the article about Isiah Thomas being hired at FIU…

    If you read the WRAL Article, they reported that the Knick’s fans would chant FIRE ISIAH at the tip-off in MSG…


    Just a THOUGHT!

  25. choppack1 04/14/2009 at 11:46 AM #

    jonny – that’s all good and well, but at least Dickie doesn’t insult Tar heel fans on a semi-regular basis or call in national TV shows to say a coach is NOT on the hot seat, then fire him at the end of the year.

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