We Told You The Truth, As You Can Now See

I don’t hate saying this, but: we told you so.

It’s a simple statement of fact to say so out loud. For over a year, this website and its authors have dutifully reported stories told to us concerning Lee Fowler’s increasingly tenuous hold on his job in confidence — that is, “off-the-record, no names, but here is what’s happening…”

Some of those stories came from high up in the Wolfpack Club, others from within the Athletic Department, and still more from within the Board of Trustees itself.  To a man or woman, those folks were and are folks close to the Lee Fowler situation, people in the room who know what was said, what was not said, what was happening and what was not happening.

We wrote what we could about what we heard, honoring the requests of where the info was coming from to not name sources. Readily recognizing that things constantly change, we were more interested in being honest about what was developing in real time than being right about predicting the future.

As with dozens of other stories through the years that we have broken, analyzed and developed – we never made anything up, we never over-inflated things and we never tried to create a story where there wasn’t one.

If anything, we tried to separate information from possible disinformation, tried to make sure we heard things from at least two independent places before passing it on, and – maybe most importantly – made sure that SFN never became an unwitting PR outlet for political infighting that was going on in the hallowed conference rooms of the University.

In short, and this is important: we told you the truth.

Now that the whole story is coming into the light, the media are reporting that Lee Fowler knew that he was going to be dismissed in March, when interim chancellor Jim Woodward told the Athletic Director that he would not be retained.  This news leaked out back then – not in complete detail, but enough of it to paint a clear picture – and we reported it when we were sure of its veracity.  If you recall, Fowler told ESPN’s Andy Katz that ‘the Internet had fired him seven times’ – while he knew he was losing his job!

For our trouble and diligence, we took a lot of crap from message boards, from radio talk show hosts, from the press and indirectly from Lee Fowler himself.  The normal riposte was “there goes HateFans Nation again, banging their anti-Fowler drum” or some other close derivative, usually followed by some sophomoric insult or two.  I would say that they hurt our feelings, but when you know you are right, your feelings don’t get hurt.

We objectively knew the performance of NC State’s athletics across the board — and documented them time after time for you so you could form your own opinion.  We objectively knew that people with power inside the University actively wanted change — because some of them told us — directly, I might add — exactly that, in their own words.  They wanted better for our beloved school, and they were trying to change the leadership so that could happen.

But, there was one tenant of our blogging that many of our critics never understood — we don’t share because we wish they were true; we share things that we know are true. So, without second thought, we stuck by our guns because the truth cannot be changed or refuted…and now many of our readers are recognizing the work we did.

Many have asked if this website would have a reason to exist once Lee Fowler is gone from NC State.  The short answer is YES.  The long answer is HELL YES! In fact, the site’s highest traffic happens during and after NC State’s biggest wins.

And, we will exist without charging you $100 a year for a “Premium Subscription” only to remain 100% devoid of news, information, analysis and opinion while completely ignoring the #1 topic facing NC State Athletics for years. When will fans who use the internet realize that more often than not, you are what makes a community “Premium”. That is why our message forums have taken off so effortlessly.

That reason: to tell you the truth.

Our author team is comprised of over a dozen individual contributors. So, there is no unanimous, centralized “StateFansNation” position on most topics. We may not always hold opinions with which you agree and we expect and hope that you as our reader would hold different opinions from the person writing a given article.  But you can be sure of one thing: if we say that we have heard something, we have heard something.  If we think that a given coach is doing a good job or a bad job, that’s what we think.  And if you disagree with us, we have always given you an avenue to respond, and not one that’s hidden away in private.  The comments are for all to see, and more often than not, a discussion with a given article’s author(s) would happen when a disagreement broke out.

We firmly believe that the ultimate fairness in any walk of life is truth, and that’s what StatefansNation stands for, period.

Some say that now that Lee Fowler is leaving, this site will lose its raison d’être, its reason for being.  That’s not so.

We’ll be here in the future to talk about NC State’s athletic and academic endeavors, to host a community of passionate fans, and we will be more than happy to report and comment on the good times as well as the bad.  We’d most certainly rather spend our time talking about success rather than failure, but either way, you’re going to the talk in a straight forward, honest manner that does not insult your intelligence or make trade-offs based on word count and MTV-like sound bites.

We’re looking forward to NC State moving forward, to hiring an Athletics Director focused on success, achievement and superior results.  That’s what the school asks each and every one of its undergraduates to focus upon before they are given a degree, and it is reasonable for NC State fans and alumni to demand that from their school’s athletics.  In fact, they should never demand anything less. We never will.

NC State has incredible potential to be a powerhouse in college sports, and perhaps now that potential will begin to be realized.  There’s a lot of work to be done, work by our leaders, work by our teams and, yes, work by our fans too.  Let’s all look forward to a brighter future, one filled with loud cheers and success where ever NC State plays.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

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82 Responses to We Told You The Truth, As You Can Now See

  1. qntmfred 05/05/2010 at 9:38 AM #

    Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back. I’m ready to stop talking about Fowler and move on.

  2. daughtry 05/05/2010 at 9:51 AM #

    I wonder if this post will be deleted?

    SFN was started in November of 2004. There was one month before it started to attack Amato. The next month the attacks began on Sendek. Sendek quit (basically fired by the fans) in spring 2006, at which point the site was able to focus on attacking Amato. When Amato was fired in late 2006, the site immediately began to attack Lee Fowler full force. At some point, Oblinger was brought in as a whipping boy.

    I am not writing to call into question the validity of the arguments made here over the years. But, I do have to wonder if this site can thrive without a new whipping boy. The niche that SFN grew to fill on the internet was the platform for firing rallies.

    Things are looking up for us in the major sports and athletics as a whole. Let’s shift now to working with the coaches! Can’t we fight for more games in Reynolds? Can’t we fight for a larger student section in basketball (its actually smaller than Reynolds was)? Can’t we fight for the student section being closer to the court? Can’t we fight for a replica noise meter to be permanently placed in RBC? Can’t we fight for our stadium to be renamed (or at least the court)? Can’t we fight for an improved academic ranking for the University? Can’t we fight for the revitalization of Hillsborough St.? Can’t we focus on uncovering, documenting, and sharing with the student body what we used to do for cheers back when NC State had good B-Ball teams? Can’t we fight for our RBC banners to be moved so they aren’t hidden by a Canadian flag and hockey banners? Can’t we fight for an NC State sports history museum on campus or between the stadiums? Can’t we fight for Reynolds to be updated?

    Let’s give our staff some time to breathe, and focus on some positive things for a while.

  3. jbpackfan 05/05/2010 at 9:53 AM #

    Statefans… You mad?

  4. Alpha Wolf 05/05/2010 at 10:04 AM #

    Daughtry: we’ll be waiting for your articles on those subjects. Your ideas are all valid, and some have actually been on the list for summertime posting for a while now. Wnat to write them? Hit the contact form and tell us so.

    To be honest, I am scared to death that the powers that be on this site will have to hunt for a new culprit in order to keep driving traffic. Already there are rumblings of 2011 or 2012 firings of Lowe and O’Brien if they don’t have stellar seasons.

    That’s sort of funny, given that the press at large has had Lowe on the hot seat for a year now, and that national sites have posted articles stating that TOB’s “window of opportunity” may be closing soon unless some success is attained.

    As for “the powers that be” – there never has been a conscious attempt to drive site traffic by pursuing a specific agenda. Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me, actually.

    jb: Mad? No. Exonerated from claims of “misinformation” and the like, absolutely.

  5. newt 05/05/2010 at 10:10 AM #

    Fire Statefansnation!

    Seriously – I appreciate the information on this site and think it has done a lot for the self image of State fans – somebody needed to say that we can be great.

  6. CylonWolf 05/05/2010 at 10:12 AM #

    ^^^^Sendek wasnt fired…Id hope most State fans would be aware of that. Also, he left before Amato was fired.

    But yeah, no offense SFN, but sometimes reading articles on here makes me feel like Im watching WRAL, with all the self-promotion going on. “Now heres an update to a story we first brought you on WRALs 11PM News…”; sound familiar?

  7. Alpha Wolf 05/05/2010 at 10:19 AM #

    Cylon, it’s pretty close to running its course. NCSU is moving on, and we will move with it.

    I know that articles about next year’s teams are in their formative stages and will appear sooner rather than later. I know because I am doing it, and I know others are as well.

    Trust me, I would much rather talk about the improvements I saw in the OL at the spring game than job actions, and would much rather talk about Tracy Smith’s exhuberance and self-confidence yesterday than the weak results seen in the past few years.

    I am ready, more than ready, for a new banner in the RBC and another decent bowl appearance in football. I am hopeful of both and think we’ll see them sooner rather than later. For you younger guys, you will know the pure joy of being a State fan the day that they win the ACCT or … crossing fingers … something bigger.

    Really now, anyone here excited for the Red/White hoops contest this fall? I know I am.

  8. jbpackfan 05/05/2010 at 10:22 AM #

    ^I wish it was November right now

  9. Plz2BStateFan 05/05/2010 at 10:23 AM #

    I too, would like to see discussion focus on the college life as well as sports.

    It actually might have to be discussed now that most all the demons have been exercised.

    Construction on campus, student body organizing via facebook, etc etc.

    Maybe this should be regulated to the forums. But I think its pretty obvious that once the noise from this past week settles, this site will be without its major source for traffic until the end of the summer.

    One thing I will say though is that if there is a problem with the university, it is worth discussing, and it can be backed up with facts, I would rather shine the brightest light possible on it than leave it to WRAL, gopack, packinsider, or the N&O to discuss it.

    There is a reason this site gets so much traffic. Its because it doesnt bullshit you.

  10. tobaccordshow 05/05/2010 at 10:26 AM #

    “To be honest, I am scared to death that the powers that be on this site will have to hunt for a new culprit in order to keep driving traffic. Already there are rumblings of 2011 or 2012 firings of Lowe and O’Brien if they don’t have stellar seasons.”

    LOL, really? As a person who has become good friends with the “powers that be” I am the first to testify that this site ain’t paying nobody’s bills. This site doesn’t even pay it’s bills. The server load and the ad revenue barely meet equilibrium.

    So this isn’t a site that has to generate traffic for some chap’s kids to be able to eat that night.

    I mean, take it or leave it. Don’t like it? Go to Wolfpack Hoops or whatever they’re calling themselves now with the shameless homering of everything NC State. Lets go play in the mud AND LIKE IT.

  11. Thinkpack17 05/05/2010 at 10:29 AM #

    I think if you only look at the actual articles posted it’s true, SFN is usually closest to the pin. When an article is posted facts are presented more than opinion and I think the synergy of having multiple authors helps reel some of those opinions in. Now when admins are posting as individuals or in the comment section things get a little more murky…and I’ve learned to take those posts with a grain of salt.

  12. bradleyb123 05/05/2010 at 10:36 AM #

    Yep, credit where it’s due — SFN called it (on Fowler). You guys deserve the proverbial pat on the back!

    I don’t think this place is HateFansNation for calling for someone’s job when it is warranted. What I get tired of is opening an article about Fowler, only to see a ton of comments calling for Sidney Lowe’s dismissal. Others post comments about how we’re NOT going to get CJ Leslie, we’re NOT going to get Lo Brown (or he will NOT qualify), and some even imply that Sidney is doing something shady that will land us on probation. And they don’t post any evidence of that. And even in the face of our best recruiting class in years, if not DECADES, many here still want Sidney gone asap. I’m sorry, but in light of this class, which many believe fills the remaining holes in our lineup, it would be premature at best to get rid of Sidney now.

    That’s the hate I see. It’s not hate to call for Fowler’s job after so many years of zilch. But it seems like hate to not give Sidney a chance with this talent-laden team he has finally assembled for us. We’re supposed to rip the rug out from under him now?

    I’m just glad there is balance. There are just a few of what I would call “haters” here. But there are plenty of others to balance things out.

    Keep up the good work. I don’t always agree with every word, but you DID make the call on Fowler!

  13. old13 05/05/2010 at 10:36 AM #

    It never hurts to have a “devil’s advocate” asking questions and examining various issues, even if things aren’t broken. It helps bring new ideas to the surface, and may expose flaws in other things in a proactive way. I would hope that it would continue even when everything NCSU is “fixed” (is this possible!) in the interest of continued growth and improvement.

    I get the notion from some of his interviews that Dr. Woodson reads this and other NCSU-related sites some. Maybe the new AD will, too. And discussions as I describe above could just give these guys (and others) new ideas to address various issues, personnel-related and otherwise. How is that not constructive?

    Personally, whether I agree or disagree, I enjoy reading this blog and the forums because I get insights that I could never find elsewhere.

  14. highstick 05/05/2010 at 10:40 AM #

    I cannot believe that an AD that thumbed his nose and shot the bird to the entire Wolfpack Nation could garner so much support. Kennel and his 4 buddies must be really mad now with SFN!

    I’ve got a solution. We referred to one certain person as HWSNBN. Let’s now refer to this soon to be former AD as JWSNBN. Jed Who Shall Not Be Named!

    We’re moving on, there are still battles to fight and victories to be won! We’re 3-4 NC’s down in basketball and we need to take advantage of every opportunity. I wasn’t a charter member but this site has been a daily stop for me for a number of years. I’m here for the duration unless somebody kicks me off!

  15. Thinkpack17 05/05/2010 at 10:43 AM #

    “Go to Wolfpack Hoops or whatever they’re calling themselves now with the shameless homering of everything NC State.”

    You act like having sites like that is a bad thing. The only reason it’s hard for us to be Homers is because we never win at anything. When guys are talking about “next year” at a cook out it’s hard to say “Hey, watch out for those State boys.” That’s what happens when you are a fan, you think your team is the best. I visit both sites, different views on the same news…nothing wrong with that.

  16. Khan 05/05/2010 at 10:48 AM #

    It’s fine with tooting your own horn when you’re right….especially when you have been attached and criticized. Give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.

    As for the garbage about SFN only being concerned with finding a new whipping boy, that is rubbish. For those of you who may have missed it, WE HAVEN’T WON A CHAMPIONSHIP AND TRULY BEEN COMPETITIVE IN ANY TOP REVENUE SPORT IN OVER A DECADE. If you’re not helping to achieve excellence then you’re hindering it.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re the chancellor, the AD, or the coach, your job is put the pieces in place to achieve maximum success. If you’re not doing that, then you should come under scrutiny, and rightly so. Anyone who has even a remote shread of intellectual honesty will say that NCSU has not achieved the atheletic success that this university is capable of, over the last 10 years…even longer. That is a problem, and those in charge should be held accountable. That is not wrong in any way, shape, or form.

    There are countless ways that Lee Fowler has failed as an AD. And if the same measure of success that apprently applied to him was applied to most of us who work real-world jobs, we probably would not maintain our employment for very long.

    The bottom line is, if the new administration can build a program that is comptetive and maximizes the potential of this great university, there will be little to criticize, as that potential WILL translate into wins and WILL produce championships and WILL achieve national relevancy. If it fails to build such a program, then it will be criticized, and if it is not, then shame on those who have such low expectations for and so little pride in such a great and storied university.

  17. Alpha Wolf 05/05/2010 at 10:49 AM #

    Winning will cure everything.

    And other sites don’t bother me a bit, save for the ones that are abominations of web design.

  18. one00_proof 05/05/2010 at 11:07 AM #

    Hopefully this means your chart making duties can get a rest for a year or so 🙂

  19. NCStatePride 05/05/2010 at 11:18 AM #

    You guys deserve all kinds of major kudos. The concept that you guys are “hating” on someone because you want to hold them responsible is laughable. I don’t always agree with how hard you are on some people, but then again, more often then not I fully agree with you. You hit the Fowler nail on his little-head-Jed and deserve credit. You guys keep the blogs crisp and professional and allow people to be extremely free and open in the forums. Add fresh insider information on the going-ons at NC State and who could ask for more?

  20. tobaccordshow 05/05/2010 at 11:40 AM #

    “You act like having sites like that is a bad thing. The only reason it’s hard for us to be Homers is because we never win at anything. When guys are talking about “next year” at a cook out it’s hard to say “Hey, watch out for those State boys.” That’s what happens when you are a fan, you think your team is the best. I visit both sites, different views on the same news…nothing wrong with that.”


    I’m the biggest NC State fan there is. I love the Wolfpack. I LOVE THIS TEAM AND THIS SCHOOL.

    However, I don’t let that put a pair of rosy colored glasses on me and act like nothing is different. Because guess what? We used to be relevant. We used to be good. We used to hang banners. When you’ve had that perspective and match that with what we have now, it’s a DAMN SHAME where we are and how far we’ve fallen.

    So excuse me sir while I excuse myself from the mud puddle in search of something better.

  21. Thinkpack17 05/05/2010 at 11:52 AM #

    ^Play in the mud and like it? Uh ok?

    I think I’m missing the point. We used to be good, we haven’t been for sometime…Got it. But how is that PackInsider’s fault? I don’t read any articles over there saying “We are 5-11, and that’s good enough for us.” I don’t recall them giving Fowler an extension.

  22. sautz 05/05/2010 at 11:59 AM #

    I’ve got no problem with woilfpackhoops, I just don’t go there much. I think I’ll appreciate their bright side of life style of writing when we are winning again.
    Anyway, I just went there and right off the bat their big headline is
    “Wolfpack Officially Add Leslie to Top Ranked Recruiting Class”
    Top ranked? Really? I don’t remember us being ranked #1. One of the top, sure, but top ranked? Sounds a little too rosy to me.

  23. pack1910 05/05/2010 at 12:09 PM #

    I have been reading this site for years, but have just now gotten around to registering so I could post a comment. I would like to thank and congratulate all of you for your good work on the Lee Fowler story, as well as on other stories over the years. Not only does your passion for State athletics make this a great site, but you also care about the University as a whole and don’t lose perspective on the fact that it is primarily an academic institution while advocating a proper place for athletics within it.

    This is the best State news and information site out there. It reflects all the best that the university has to offer. Unfortunately, it also reflects the worst sometimes.

    I’m talking about this post and the gloating remarks you posted yesterday. This kind of stuff turns people off. Anyone who has been following your site knows that y’all got it right about this story and ought to respect your journalistic integrity. There’s no need to keep tooting your own horn.

    I think there’s a connection to a broader problem I see with the University as a whole, and I think y’all see it too in a lot of areas. The more a person, a website, a business, or an institution talks about how great it is and feels the need to defend its every action, the less respect it gets. That’s just human nature.

    Is State a better school than Carolina? I think so. But the way to prove that isn’t to constantly harp on the fact; it’s to show it with action. Is StateFans a better news outlet for State news than the mainstream media and other State sites? I think so, but again, the way to prove it is with actions (which you have already done), not with words.

    So many negative things have happened to State over the last 20-30 years that we all have a tendency to get defensive. If the time truly has come when things are looking up for the University–and I think they are, with a new Chancellor, a new AD to come, and things looking up for our athletics and academics both–we need to stop being petulant and start acting like we are all part a great institution. I understand the desire to gloat given all the naysayers, but resisting that temptation is a sign of a true class act.

  24. daughtry 05/05/2010 at 12:39 PM #

    I edited my post. A paragraph was being read in ways I hadn’t intended. I have enjoyed reading SFN through the years, and have only recently gotten tired of the “fire X” articles. At this point though, I am fed up with them. Even though I am happy to see Fowler leave, I just can’t take anymore of these “here’s why you should fire X” pieces. In fact, this is probably the first post I have read in a few months.

    Alpha Wolf – I have tried to write articles for SFN in the past. Nobody ever responded to my emails, so I gave up.

    Now is a critical time for SFN. It can go in one of three very distinct directions… another warpath, positive outlook, or middle-ground waiting for something bad to happen.

  25. WolftownVA81 05/05/2010 at 1:05 PM #

    Love this site. Thanks to all the contributors whether authors or commentors.

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