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  1. #21

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    The Director's Cup numbers are fact and available for all to see as opposed to opinion. Not saying everything is perfect or that there are not some things that can and should be done to improve but, this negative reality you speak of is a lot more rooted in opinion than the director's cup numbers support. The Hokie Club numbers, season ticket sales and contributions for the year might all be numbers that support your argument when actually publicly disclosed for this year, however, the evidence to this point appears more anecdotal.
    Quote Originally Posted by NokieHokie View Post
    That's one opinion, there are others, and they are equally as valid...

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2hhoop3 View Post
    The Director's Cup numbers are fact and available for all to see as opposed to opinion. Not saying everything is perfect or that there are not some things that can and should be done to improve but, this negative reality you speak of is a lot more rooted in opinion than the director's cup numbers support. The Hokie Club numbers, season ticket sales and contributions for the year might all be numbers that support your argument when actually publicly disclosed for this year, however, the evidence to this point appears more anecdotal.
    I've thought a lot about this Director's Cup thing over the past month, and what the disconnect is between these factual results and the way the average VT sports fan feels about the state of our athletic program. Because it's a valid point. We are - by this metric - doing better as an all-around program than ever before. For some people it probably feels like that...but for a lot of us it doesn't add up.

    So what is that disconnect? There are two possible answers that might be suggested right up front that have to be addressed first: 1) the fan base is spoiled and 2) the fan base has made up its mind that it doesn't like Weaver and thus is conditioned to ignore successes and focus on failures. I think #1 can be discounted as the fanbase certainly can't be described as spoiled with respect to all-around sports success. But #2 is a valid consideration. People who (admittedly, like me) have come to view Weaver as the human embodiment of fan disappointment may well be inclined to focus on the negative. That has to be acknowledged.

    That said, let me propose another factor. The more I've thought about this, the more it seems that the Director's Cup standings don't align well with the actual real-life experience of being a sports fan. That doesn't mean it's a bad metric, and it doesn't even mean it's not the best metric one should use in evaluating if the AD is doing his or her job well at a given school. It might be perfect for that. Our top 40 finish this year might be a perfect validation of Jim Weaver's successful stewardship of VT athletics.

    But how does the average sports fan appreciate that success? Consider track & field. This year and in recent years, men's T&F in particular has helped our Director's Cup standings. How so? By qualifying for and finishing well in the NCAA finals. And that's great for the program and I think as VT sports fans we can all feel proud of that when we hear about the exploits of the team. But that's the thing...T&F is the kind of sport where you hear about how we did. It's not a sport that the average fan can really follow for a season. It really just boils down to the ACC meet and then the NCAAs. And then even that might be something you could consume as a typical fan if it were televised live (or plausibly live) like the Olympics, for example on an ACC Network. But really all we can do is be aware of when the ACC and/or NCAA events are, come to TSL and refresh the Olympic sports message board periodically, and hope some enterprising T&F nut is live blogging results for us. Having a top 20 T&F program - largely driven by the outrageous success of our weight throwers - is not a satisfying fan experience. It's something to be proud of, but there's no vicarious thrill to be experienced as the success is unfolding.

    What about baseball and softball? Both made it to, essentially, the equivalent of the round of 32 in their respective NCAA tournaments this year. (Something we would all basically kill to have happen again in men's or even women's basketball.) Both teams garnered very useful points for our Director's Cup standings. But the softball team, after an epic early barnstorming trip out west, was something of a disappointment for the majority of the season. We lost to a bunch of mediocre teams in conference play and then went out in the semis of the ACC tourney. After getting back from California, the next interesting thing the team did was push Kentucky to the absolute limit in the NCAA regional. The 9-11 record against ACC teams was just kind of a downer.

    For the baseball team, it was a different story. Competitive throughout the year in a brutally difficult ACC season, locked in a battle to qualify for the conference tourney, and then magic happened: a late push to lock up an ACC tourney spot, the crazy run to the finals of the ACC tourney, and being chosen to host a regional. This is an unqualified success story. But two things are worth noticing: 1) BY FAR the most fan-friendly, exciting part of the season was those 3 wins in the ACC tourney and 2) the season concluded with us immediately losing our head coach. So, it was a great baseball season both in reality and in terms of accruing Director's Cup points. But the thing that jazzed us more than anything was something that doesn't really play into the Director's Cup (our success against traditional ACC powers). And, if you were planning on getting really into VT baseball going forward, now you've got to temper that excitement with the realization that anytime we have modest success on a national level we're probably going to have to immediately hire a new coach. That might be a recipe for periodically racking up 50 Director's Cup points (which I believe is what you earn for a T-17 finish), but it's probably not a recipe for exciting a fan base.

    I think the main thing is this: VT sports fans (like all sports fans) want to be able to follow their teams through the meat of a competitive season. We want to watch them play other good programs and have a reasonable level of success. Especially with the Olympic sports, we want to see our teams do well against UVa, UNC, FSU...traditional all-sports powers in the league. It's great that playing in the ACC rewards even semi-competent programs with an opportunity to make it to NCAA tournaments, and make the occasional surprise run to a Sweet 16 or something like that. But the experience of being a COLLEGE sports fan in particular is usually most enjoyable when your team is doing well in its conference against its regional rivals.

    I think that's where the biggest disconnect probably lies between the documented current success of the program and the way it actually feels to be a VT sports fan right now. Some of the sports we're good at (T&F, wrestling) are hard to follow as a fan for the course of a real season, because seemingly all that matters are the big end-of-year events. (That said, the big comeback in the closing matches of the ACC wrestling tournament might've been the most exciting single day of VT sports for the year. And that was just following via TSL.) And then for the sports that we CAN follow like that, even the ones where we're competent, we just don't seem to be doing much in ACC play during the majority of the season (baseball being something of an exception this year).

    Anyway...that's my treatise on Director's Cup standings vs. sports fan reality. Fwiw, which might be nothing.
    Last edited by Gobbler-100; Fri Jun 28 2013 at 12:54 PM.

  3. #23

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    Should not be any surprise with football success. Maybe some instances with certain basketball basketball games in the past, several seasons and some non-revenue sports. I'm sure this basketball season was no big surprise to those observers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buy These! View Post
    I just can't back your stance up with the numbers...with the possible exception of Men's Basketball, and that coach has not had a chance to prove himself yet. The other programs all appear to be holding steady or on the upswing. Of course, we'd all like them to improve even faster, but that's probably not realistic. Most long-time ACC observers that are not close to VT would tell you they are surprised at VT's success in ACC football, mens basketball, and a number of non-revenue sports in its first 9 seasons in the league. Certainly Miami and BC combined can't hold a candle to what VT has accomplished.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Buy These! View Post
    I just can't back your stance up with the numbers...with the possible exception of Men's Basketball, and that coach has not had a chance to prove himself yet. The other programs all appear to be holding steady or on the upswing. Of course, we'd all like them to improve even faster, but that's probably not realistic. Most long-time ACC observers that are not close to VT would tell you they are surprised at VT's success in ACC football, mens basketball, and a number of non-revenue sports in its first 9 seasons in the league. Certainly Miami and BC combined can't hold a candle to what VT has accomplished.
    I don't get how Men's Basketball is a possible exception. We're coming off a season that can only be described as disastrous and don't have a good foundation for the future. This is the Men's Basketball board and frankly, Jim Weaver has done a terrible job with Men's Basketball. People who care about MBB should be upset with Weaver. I think it's our responsibility as basketball fans to demand excellence from the program. I'm not calling for Weaver's retirement and I'm not saying anything about him as a person, but in this aspect of his job he's failing.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hokie de NC View Post
    I don't get how Men's Basketball is a possible exception. We're coming off a season that can only be described as disastrous and don't have a good foundation for the future. This is the Men's Basketball board and frankly, Jim Weaver has done a terrible job with Men's Basketball. People who care about MBB should be upset with Weaver. I think it's our responsibility as basketball fans to demand excellence from the program. I'm not calling for Weaver's retirement and I'm not saying anything about him as a person, but in this aspect of his job he's failing.
    My thinking: We had basically the same season as the year before...might take more than one to improve. I am concerned, but it is too early to give up on JJ. Besides, we haven't been any good in basketball for 30 years, save for a year or two here and there. That way predates anyone involved.

  6. #26

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    Good post and all valid points I can agree with. In my opinion the disconnect is this, the Director's Cup is a metric that evaluates the athletic program across the all sports spectrum but, the reality and perception of fans is significantly, if not entirely, concentrated in the major revenue sports and to some extent the high profile true "team" sports(baseball, soccer, softball, etc.) as opposed to the "individual" sport packaged as a team sport(wrestling, T&F, tennis, golf, etc.). Football was down this year, the bball programs are charitably described as dumpster fires at present and soccer, softball and baseball have had their moments but need to be consistently better in conference.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gobbler-100 View Post
    I've thought a lot about this Director's Cup thing over the past month, and what the disconnect is between these factual results and the way the average VT sports fan feels about the state of our athletic program. Because it's a valid point. We are - by this metric - doing better as an all-around program than ever before. For some people it probably feels like that...but for a lot of us it doesn't add up.

    So what is that disconnect? There are two possible answers that might be suggested right up front that have to be addressed first: 1) the fan base is spoiled and 2) the fan base has made up its mind that it doesn't like Weaver and thus is conditioned to ignore successes and focus on failures. I think #1 can be discounted as the fanbase certainly can't be described as spoiled with respect to all-around sports success. But #2 is a valid consideration. People who (admittedly, like me) have come to view Weaver as the human embodiment of fan disappointment may well be inclined to focus on the negative. That has to be acknowledged.

    That said, let me propose another factor. The more I've thought about this, the more it seems that the Director's Cup standings don't align well with the actual real-life experience of being a sports fan. That doesn't mean it's a bad metric, and it doesn't even mean it's not the best metric one should use in evaluating if the AD is doing his or her job well at a given school. It might be perfect for that. Our top 40 finish this year might be a perfect validation of Jim Weaver's successful stewardship of VT athletics.

    But how does the average sports fan appreciate that success? Consider track & field. This year and in recent years, men's T&F in particular has helped our Director's Cup standings. How so? By qualifying for and finishing well in the NCAA finals. And that's great for the program and I think as VT sports fans we can all feel proud of that when we hear about the exploits of the team. But that's the thing...T&F is the kind of sport where you hear about how we did. It's not a sport that the average fan can really follow for a season. It really just boils down to the ACC meet and then the NCAAs. And then even that might be something you could consume as a typical fan if it were televised live (or plausibly live) like the Olympics, for example on an ACC Network. But really all we can do is be aware of when the ACC and/or NCAA events are, come to TSL and refresh the Olympic sports message board periodically, and hope some enterprising T&F nut is live blogging results for us. Having a top 20 T&F program - largely driven by the outrageous success of our weight throwers - is not a satisfying fan experience. It's something to be proud of, but there's no vicarious thrill to be experienced as the success is unfolding.

    What about baseball and softball? Both made it to, essentially, the equivalent of the round of 32 in their respective NCAA tournaments this year. (Something we would all basically kill to have happen again in men's or even women's basketball.) Both teams garnered very useful points for our Director's Cup standings. But the softball team, after an epic early barnstorming trip out west, was something of a disappointment for the majority of the season. We lost to a bunch of mediocre teams in conference play and then went out in the semis of the ACC tourney. After getting back from California, the next interesting thing the team did was push Kentucky to the absolute limit in the NCAA regional. The 9-11 record against ACC teams was just kind of a downer.

    For the baseball team, it was a different story. Competitive throughout the year in a brutally difficult ACC season, locked in a battle to qualify for the conference tourney, and then magic happened: a late push to lock up an ACC tourney spot, the crazy run to the finals of the ACC tourney, and being chosen to host a regional. This is an unqualified success story. But two things are worth noticing: 1) BY FAR the most fan-friendly, exciting part of the season was those 3 wins in the ACC tourney and 2) the season concluded with us immediately losing our head coach. So, it was a great baseball season both in reality and in terms of accruing Director's Cup points. But the thing that jazzed us more than anything was something that doesn't really play into the Director's Cup (our success against traditional ACC powers). And, if you were planning on getting really into VT baseball going forward, now you've got to temper that excitement with the realization that anytime we have modest success on a national level we're probably going to have to immediately hire a new coach. That might be a recipe for periodically racking up 50 Director's Cup points (which I believe is what you earn for a T-17 finish), but it's probably not a recipe for exciting a fan base.

    I think the main thing is this: VT sports fans (like all sports fans) want to be able to follow their teams through the meat of a competitive season. We want to watch them play other good programs and have a reasonable level of success. Especially with the Olympic sports, we want to see our teams do well against UVa, UNC, FSU...traditional all-sports powers in the league. It's great that playing in the ACC rewards even semi-competent programs with an opportunity to make it to NCAA tournaments, and make the occasional surprise run to a Sweet 16 or something like that. But the experience of being a COLLEGE sports fan in particular is usually most enjoyable when your team is doing well in its conference against its regional rivals.

    I think that's where the biggest disconnect probably lies between the documented current success of the program and the way it actually feels to be a VT sports fan right now. Some of the sports we're good at (T&F, wrestling) are hard to follow as a fan for the course of a real season, because seemingly all that matters are the big end-of-year events. (That said, the big comeback in the closing matches of the ACC wrestling tournament might've been the most exciting single day of VT sports for the year. And that was just following via TSL.) And then for the sports that we CAN follow like that, even the ones where we're competent, we just don't seem to be doing much in ACC play during the majority of the season (baseball being something of an exception this year).

    Anyway...that's my treatise on Director's Cup standings vs. sports fan reality. Fwiw, which might be nothing.

  7. #27
    Senior Member NCHokie83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cvillehoops13 View Post
    There is a difficulty in posting on the program right now. People don't want to read repeated negativity and there are posters who troll this board whose only goal is to tell knowledgeable posters how wrong they are.

    Many of those same posters are particularly sensitive to criticism of Jim Weaver - a few attacked me during the baseball regional for saying that I didn't think Weaver could keep an attractive coach because of the way he runs the athletic department - sure those folks feel really smart today with the Pete Hughes news.

    The reality is that VT basketball is in a really tough spot and to put a positive spin on it takes almost blind optimism or a serious level of spin. With that said, I don't want to be someone constantly rehashing the same tired points if what has gone wrong and how we got to this point.

    For example I still hear from people all over the country about the fact that JJ was in Bburg for the first love period to attend the spring game and as a result VT didn't have a coach in LA for EYBL while every other ACC was represented. That was a huge deal, but when I brought that to the board it was met with a harsh reaction and more and more defense of Jim Weaver.

    Since that time I've tried to be much more reserved because it is tiring to fight those battles. I put a post on The Sabre that I will edit and bring over here soon with info about some of the VA kids that BT has offered recently but beyond just straight fact reporting it's hard to be all that positive about a lot of things. The reaction and feedback I've received suggests that a vocal portion of this board only wants good news and intense VT spin and that's just not me.

    What's crazy to me is that while I certainly had plenty of criticisms my opinion that Seth Greenberg was doing a commendable job given the obstacles of the VT job and the man that he had to work for was also met with rage.
    When it comes to VT basketball news, you and Rev are the only opinions I truly value.

    You are right that there is a vocal minority on here that want to censor anything and everything that isn't roses and peachy about the Hokies, and its sad. Its sad that this kind of mentality is driving the quality people who actually know what they're talking about away from this site. Over the past year, we have heard the same thing from the true guru's on here. You don't appreciate having to come here and defend your position when you comment every single time you are critical of the Hokies. It gets old, and you end up giving up because it isn't worth it anymore. It truly is sad that things have gotten to this point, and it makes you wonder just how many good minds we truly have lost from this community because of it.

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