The Lee Fowler Era: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Part 2 (The Bad)

Now that June 30, 2010 has come and gone, North Carolina State has officially parted ways with its athletic director of the past 10 years, Lee Fowler. The past 10 years have been wrought with many more downs than ups, but we want to take some time to look back at the entire Lee Fowler era. We thought now is a good time to take an overall look at the events that transpired under his leadership. The following events that took place have been grouped into 3 categories: Good, Bad, and Ugly. Earlier, we looked into some of the good events during the past 10 years. Now, let’s look at some of these events that fall into the Bad Category.

One good thing in the Lee Fowler era; Fowler was generally acknowledged within the ACC as the most media-friendly athletic director. However, sometimes this was not the best thing for everyone. Sometimes he would make statements, which were supposed to be harmless, that would turn into something more. Case in point: a rumor that started in early April that Sidney Lowe was going to be fired. In responding to ESPN’s Andy Katz, he talked about his own job status (which we found out later already had been determined) and his house being on the market as much as he talked about Coach Lowe’s job status. Another example of this was when he was upset by a statement made by another ESPN analyst, Mark May, about coach Amato after the Akron loss in 2006. Coach Fowler called May directly to contradict May’s statement that Amato was in trouble. May turned out to be correct.

As much credit as is given to Fowler for the facilities improvements, we must also recall that the Wolfpack Club had to take over many of these projects, taking it more-or-less out of Folwer’s hands. The Wolfpack Club was in charge of the entire Carter-Finley expansion and everything was done in a professional way. However, there was some near-sighted thinking on some of the other facility improvements. For example, Doak Field does not contain any seats that are under cover. Really? No one thought to add some cover over some of the seats? For those families with little kids, this can be a deal breaker. And what is the deal with the big poles blocking part of the field view?

Not much has been made or said about the facilities used by our 2009 national champion platform diver, Kristin Davies. Maybe that is because she had to practice at Duke as NCSU does not have a platform to practice diving.

The SID office/Wolfpack Sports Marketing was another area that was not always a positive reflection of the Wolfpack. In the past year, we have seen not one, not two, but three embarrassing typos that should not have happened. Typos happen to everybody at some point in time, but a typo that is so outrageous that it shows up on Deadspin is not something to be proud of.

Furthermore, it is generally accepted that the SID office is the hardest ACC office for the media to work with. There are several media people who will say this, off the record of course. One popular media member who shares this view is Mark Packer, host of Primetime with the Packman. He has said several times that while he loves coming to Wolfpack football games, he absolutely hates dealing with SID office/Athletic Department. He says that they are by far the hardest group in the ACC to work with.

In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with Inside Wolfpack Sports with Lee Fowler TV show. Although we are unaware of any other athletic director who has his/her own show, it just seemed like this was another way to get his name continually out and about. I gave the show 15 minutes one time. That was more than enough.

Another thing that showed some of his ego was his preference for his employees to call him “Coach.” OK, he was an assistant basketball coach at Memphis State. As a contrast, Ron Wellman, who was the HEAD baseball coach at Northwestern, does not prefer to be called Coach by his employees to our knowledge.

One thing that never got any attention from the mainstream media (for obvious reasons) was a story that was told by a former student-athlete. In a meeting between the team members and Fowler, Fowler was unhappy that the team wanted a coaching change. At the end of the meeting, he asked the whole team, “Who here received scholarship offers to compete in the SEC?”. What does this have to do with anything? It is easy to surmise that he believes the SEC is superior to the ACC and telling a varsity team this was completely unacceptable.

The last part of looking back at his tenure will consist of some of the events that comprised the ugly.

About ruffles31

1996 NC State graduate who is still waiting on his first ACC conference championship in any of the four main revenue sports (football, men's basketball, women's basketball, and baseball) since enrolling. All I want is a ACC Champions t-shirt.

ACC AD & Department Athletics Directors Baseball Chuck Amato Coaches Media NC State NC State Administration Quotes of Note Sidney Lowe

9 Responses to The Lee Fowler Era: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Part 2 (The Bad)

  1. VaWolf82 07/11/2010 at 10:55 PM #

    So I guess his severance package will show up in the “ugly”?

  2. NCStatePride 07/11/2010 at 11:16 PM #

    I’m looking for the mention of calling his own fanbase a ‘lunatic fringe’. I have always wondered who masterminded the new facility construction. The new softball field looks like a professional-grade facility that we tried to cram into some corner of unused land around campus.

  3. StateFans 07/12/2010 at 5:16 AM #

    or the first comment along those lines when he said that the only people who didn’t support Herb Sendek in 2001 was limited to ’50 crazies on the internet’

  4. Plz2BStateFan 07/12/2010 at 8:55 AM #

    Can we get a collection of these articles, or at least a some sort of link we can use that will summarize all the major issues. The Ugly article might end up doing it anyway.

    I only mention this because trying to present this arguement is never easy because its hard to remember everything he did wrong. And to be able to point to references that have factual evidence that prove the point is quite valuable.

    For example, I can just state that the WPC had to take over facility projects because the Athletic Department screwed up the job. But I have no idea if there is any direct evidence that proves this point or if it is all just rumors.

    It is much easier to be taken seriously if you can back everything up.

  5. Sam92 07/12/2010 at 10:36 AM #

    I do like this article, and laying out some of the gaffes is great (and to be archived), but I’m somewhat surprised that the “Bad” didn’t actually mention our teams’ routinely underwhelming performance on the field.

    Lee’s mismanagement was evident in a number of ways, some of which are highlighted in this article, but when i think about the Bad part of Lee’s tenure, the first thing that comes to mind is our teams’ generally lousy win-loss records over the last ten years.

  6. rtpack24 07/12/2010 at 11:35 AM #

    Our SID dept is well known by the media as being hard to deal with. There are also numerous snafus that have happened behind the scenes and not public knowledge. Old “Coach” used to just brush them off as no big deal. It will be interesting to see if Annabelle will survive the change in leadership.

  7. WV Wolf 07/12/2010 at 11:54 AM #

    I’m pretty sure that some of the things you guys are looking for in the “bad” entry will show up in the “ugly” entry.

    It still kills me that under the leadership of Mr. Fah-cilities that our national championship diver had to practice at Dook.

  8. WolftownVA81 07/12/2010 at 12:32 PM #

    All in all a pretty short list. The third installment, ugly, looks like it’s shaping up to be a thesis.

  9. ruffles31 07/12/2010 at 2:48 PM #

    Yes, the ugly installment is by far the longest of the three.

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