Monday, November 11, 2013

By The Numbers

There's been some lively debate on the HoyaTalk board in recent weeks about Georgetown's commitments to football, of which a special column later this season will discuss this in detail. But how does Georgetown fare against other schools?

For FY 2012, here were the football budgets per school in Division I-AA:

1 Montana State University MT $8,777,441
2 Liberty University VA $8,424,492
3 James Madison University VA $6,608,363
4 Old Dominion University VA $5,936,486
5 Fordham University NY $5,742,437
6 The University of Montana MT $5,656,889
7 University of Delaware DE $5,637,071
8 University of Richmond VA $5,563,301
9 Coastal Carolina University SC $5,420,560
10 Furman University SC $5,414,705
11 Villanova University PA $5,331,113
12 The University of Texas at San Antonio TX $5,140,135
13 Samford University AL $5,065,979
14 Colgate University NY $4,655,304
15 College of William and Mary VA $4,502,955
16 Lehigh University PA $4,486,823
17 Texas State University-San Marcos TX $4,400,906
18 Lafayette College PA $4,307,856
19 Presbyterian College SC $4,267,420
20 University of New Hampshire NH $4,064,025
21 Elon University NC $4,059,394
22 Bethune-Cookman University FL $3,950,538
23 Military College of S.C. (The Citadel) SC $3,915,023
24 Stony Brook University NY $3,909,564
25 College of the Holy Cross MA $3,900,385
26 University of Maine ME $3,864,144
27 Appalachian State University NC $3,769,377
28 Towson University MD $3,758,847
29 University of Rhode Island RI $3,736,644
30 Tennessee State University TN $3,698,630
31 North Dakota State University ND $3,663,103
32 Portland State University OR $3,639,220
33 Wofford College SC $3,629,852
34 Jacksonville State University AL $3,496,695
35 Youngstown State University OH $3,434,264
36 Eastern Kentucky University KY $3,386,349
37 Western Carolina University NC $3,372,801
38 University of Northern Iowa IA $3,329,150
39 Illinois State University IL $3,320,123
40 Virginia Military Institute VA $3,277,337
41 University of California-Davis CA $3,273,095
42 Yale University CT $3,269,637
43 Stephen F Austin State University TX $3,269,083
44 Georgia Southern University GA $3,204,295
45 Eastern Washington University WA $3,189,869
46 Indiana State University IN $3,166,886
47 Bucknell University PA $3,143,317
48 California State University-Sacramento CA $3,135,833
49 Lamar University TX $3,110,092
50 The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga TN $3,026,805
51 Southern Illinois University Carbondale IL $3,026,509
52 Cornell University NY $3,015,349
53 South Carolina State University SC $2,976,432
54 Gardner-Webb University NC $2,915,011
55 University of North Dakota ND $2,882,246
56 California Polytechnic-San Luis Obispo CA $2,877,772
57 Florida A&M University FL $2,839,529
58 Northern Arizona University AZ $2,838,620
59 Monmouth University NJ $2,830,733
60 Alabama State University AL $2,822,717
61 Idaho State University ID $2,816,722
62 Delaware State University DE $2,780,689
63 Tennessee Technological University TN $2,770,566
64 University of Northern Colorado CO $2,758,235
65 Eastern Illinois University IL $2,741,908
66 Columbia University  NY $2,724,416
67 Sam Houston State University TX $2,702,057
68 University of South Dakota SD $2,687,140
69 Western Illinois University IL $2,681,347
70 Texas Southern University TX $2,625,065
71 Weber State University UT $2,613,189
72 The University of Tennessee-Martin TN $2,599,061
73 Northwestern State University of Louisiana LA $2,597,012
74 Murray State University KY $2,585,918
75 North Carolina Central University NC $2,585,474
76 Dartmouth College NH $2,533,590
77 Southeastern Louisiana University LA $2,455,666
78 South Dakota State University SD $2,435,000
79 Alabama A & M University AL $2,406,862
80 Charleston Southern University SC $2,397,756
81 Morgan State University MD $2,386,808
82 Missouri State University-Springfield MO $2,364,352
83 University of Central Arkansas AR $2,354,686
84 Norfolk State University VA $2,332,815
85 Harvard University MA $2,327,799
86 Southern Utah University UT $2,280,246
87 Princeton University NJ $2,234,537
88 Bryant University RI $2,232,225
89 North Carolina A & T State University NC $2,223,483
90 Duquesne University PA $2,197,308
91 Howard University DC $2,146,987
92 Southeast Missouri State University MO $2,107,096
93 University of Pennsylvania PA $2,104,207
94 Alcorn State University MS $2,046,026
95 Grambling State University LA $1,985,964
96 Robert Morris University PA $1,976,296
97 Austin Peay State University TN $1,894,229
98 Central Connecticut State University CT $1,890,549
99 Sacred Heart University CT $1,887,505
100 SUNY at Albany NY $1,863,369
101 Prairie View A & M University TX $1,824,275
102 Nicholls State University LA $1,808,339
103 Savannah State University GA $1,775,645
104 Saint Francis University PA $1,773,629
105 Brown University RI $1,729,613
106 University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff AR $1,712,726
107 Georgetown University DC $1,686,269
108 Southern University and A&M College LA $1,554,532
109 Jackson State University MS $1,504,899
110 University of San Diego CA $1,269,465
111 Campbell University NC $1,143,155
112 Jacksonville University FL $1,126,146
113 Mississippi Valley State University MS $1,088,097
114 University of Dayton OH $975,237
115 Morehead State University KY $928,306
116 Valparaiso University IN $879,762
117 Drake University IA $876,039
118 Marist College NY $870,416
119 Davidson College NC $790,295
120 Butler University IN $648,837

That's a low number by any measurement, but let's do some comparison. How does Georgetown rank among Patriot League schools, where five schools rank among the top 25 programs by budget?

5 Fordham University NY $5,742,437
14 Colgate University NY $4,655,304
16 Lehigh University PA $4,486,823
18 Lafayette College PA $4,307,856
25 College of the Holy Cross MA $3,900,385
47 Bucknell University PA $3,143,317
107 Georgetown University DC $1,686,269

Next, how would Georgetown rank among spending in the Ivy League? Better, but still on the bottom looking up:

42 Yale University CT $3,269,637
52 Cornell University NY $3,015,349
66 Columbia University  NY $2,724,416
76 Dartmouth College NH $2,533,590
85 Harvard University MA $2,327,799
87 Princeton University NJ $2,234,537
93 University of Pennsylvania PA $2,104,207
105 Brown University RI $1,729,613
107 Georgetown University DC $1,686,269

And who are Georgetown's peers, financially speaking? A collection of historically black colleges and Pioneer schools.

106 University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff AR $1,712,726
107 Georgetown University DC $1,686,269
108 Southern University and A & M College LA $1,554,532
109 Jackson State University MS $1,504,899
110 University of San Diego CA $1,269,465
111 Campbell University NC $1,143,155
112 Jacksonville University FL $1,126,146
113 Mississippi Valley State University MS $1,088,097
114 University of Dayton OH $975,237
115 Morehead State University KY $928,306
116 Valparaiso University IN $879,762
117 Drake University IA $876,039
118 Marist College NY $870,416
119 Davidson College NC $790,295
120 Butler University IN $648,837

But let's take this same group and add their records to date this season. The numbers shouldn't surprise anyone.

106 University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff SWAC 2-7
107 Georgetown University Patriot 1-8
108 Southern University and A&M College SWAC 6-4
109 Jackson State University SWAC 7-2
110 University of San Diego Pioneer 7-3
111 Campbell University Pioneer 2-8
112 Jacksonville University Pioneer 4-6
113 Mississippi Valley State University SWAC 2-8
114 University of Dayton Pioneer 6-4
115 Morehead State University Pioneer 3-7
116 Valparaiso University Pioneer 1-9
117 Drake University Pioneer 6-4
118 Marist College Pioneer 7-3
119 Davidson College Pioneer 0-10
120 Butler University Pioneer 8-3

If you've come to the conclusion that Georgetown should simply focus on playing black college opponents and underfunded midwestern colleges, you're missing the point. Money doesn't buy championships-- but there is causality between spending and success. It's no guarantee, of course: Columbia is slogging through its worst season in a generation and it outspends Brown by 45 percent. But it's hard to miss the names at the top with what they accomplish, versus those on the bottom. You are what your budget says you are.

For Georgetown, it needs to stop pleading poverty and chart a sustainable course for budget growth in football. The good news is that it's reasonable and realistic. The bad news is it needs to get some more people behind it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 9 Thoughts

Some thoughts following Lafayette’s 45-27 win over Georgetown Saturday.

Saturday’s game in one word? Deflating.

Watching the end of the game was, to me, a feeling not unlike the end of the 2005 season, a 34-7 loss to Colgate that marked Georgetown’s third straight loss and, unknown to everyone at the time, Bob Benson’s final game as Georgetown coach. The 2005 season was known for some big losses (Holy Cross, 48-6, Brown, 34-3, Cornell 57-7), but maybe more importantly, close losses. The Hoyas lost three games by a total of 11 points—a 4-7 record could just as easily been 7-4.What might have been.

Such is not the case in 2013. Since the first week of the season, the Hoyas have not lost a game by less than 18 points, and too many games have been out of reach by halftime, with unseemly margins closed only by late quarter scores. Georgetown trailed Lafayette 35-7 when the reserves went in. Whatever “momentum” was gained with a well planned drive was flushed when Lafayette took the return kickoff largely untouched, up the middle, for 99 yards.

So where’s the outrage? Where’s the voices demanding responsibility? Well, they were probably at home. Saturday’s crowd at unfinished Multi-Sport Field was generously billed at 1,789 but it seems a lot of folks attended as unadorned aluminum bleachers. The losing streak and the lack of any public direction on where this square peg of a Patriot League program is headed has too many fans simply not interested. "Is it November yet?" they ask, and that's not a query about football.

Others ask, if Georgetown is getting thumped by 15-scholarship Patriot teams, what happens when it’s 30 scholarships next year? Then 45? Then 60?

Last week, coach Kevin Kelly spoke up about the elephant in the room, Georgetown’s lack of football scholarships. That no one from The HOYA or the Washington Post or WRC-TV has raised this all season is one thing, but other than The HOYA, who else is asking? Kelly’s comments follow below:

“It’s not my choice, but I am seeing this, it is affecting our recruiting. People, the first question they ask is, Are you giving scholarships? And I have to be honest and say that we’re not. And you’re starting to see in the league this year that some of these scholarship athletes are starting to make an impact on the league right away. In fact, just look at the two quarterbacks from Holy Cross and Lafayette last week. There are two great examples right there. Actually, we’re going to have to make a decision what we’re doing here.”

A follow-up from this weekend from veteran PL writer Paul Reinhard:

“Georgetown lost for the seventh straight week. The administration at the university declined to go along with the rest of the league in instituting merit-based scholarships beginning with the [2013] recruiting class. Things are not going to get any better for the Hoyas [if] there is no change of mind from above. I will not be at all surprised if this is the last season at Georgetown for Coach Kelly. He told us [earlier] in the week that the university had to make a decision about scholarships for the future. I’m afraid that decision has already been made.”

The University is not a place that supports out of turn quotes, especially from coaches. A generation of track coaches never publicly complained when their facilities went away, when coaches were left borrowing vans for a nationally ranked program to train off-hours at Washington & lee HS because that was as good as they could get. In fact, for some number of years there was no public comment about track facilities, save for a frank discussion by Ron Helmer at an athletic awards dinner one year. Helmer was later hired away by Indiana, which could offer him full-sized facilities for both indoor and outdoor track which would dwarf anything imaginable at Georgetown.

John Thompson or Craig Esherick didn’t choose to complain about how bad McDonough Gymnasium was for recruiting, though they well could have, and even now JT III is very measured in what he will say about the ongoing delays with the IAC. Georgetown has a field hockey team that practices at American and plays at College Park because Georgetown never fixed Kehoe Field. As a result, the team is 2-16 and struggles to be of interest to any serious recruit in the sport. Even Kevin Kelly has steered clear of any substantive thoughts on the MSF dilemma, even as Benson made no secret about the mess in his last months as coach—and that was after a delay of 30 or 40 days, not 2,972.

Scholarships are different, however. Parents ask. Recruits ask. Reporters north of the Mason-Dixon line ask. But Georgetown seems to have no good answer on what to say. Yes, there are discussions, I’m convinced of that. But institutionally, it’s not the priority to the University as it is for the coaches, because the University isn’t losing credibility over a 1-8 season. But coaches are.

And consider this: Of the 24 seniors graduating next year, 21 were on the two-deep at some point this season. That’s a lot of gaps to fill, and if the results of the last recruiting class is any trend, the talent gap is going to widen even more in 2014. Kelly and his staff are facing a two pronged problem—the opponents are getting stronger and the replacements are getting weaker.

The last sustained statement from Georgetown on this issue? February 2012.

“Georgetown will continue its membership in the Patriot League in the sport of football and explore all of its options, including our ability to compete as a need-based aid program.  We remain committed to our goal of providing our student athletes with an unparalleled academic experience and an athletically competitive football program.”

Meanwhile, the coaches have to go out and recruit, perhaps with a 1-10 season under its belt, four years removed from 0-11 but more importantly, two years removed from an 8-3 season. They have to tell a parent why Lehigh can offer a $60,000 check but Georgetown can’t. Or tell another parent why Lafayette shows lots of pictures of their stadium and field house but Georgetown can't. Or, just as likely, they have to concede that five, 10, or 20 good prospects who were so interested at Georgetown a year ago will end up going somewhere else and there’s nothing they can do about it.

That’s deflating.