Football Schedules, Hoops Attendance, and More

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Football Schedules, Hoops Attendance, and More

Today’s News and Notes update brings a smorgasbord of
info: Pittsburgh will replace Illinois on future VT football schedules, the
Hokies recorded the largest average attendance increase in the NCAA in men’s
basketball, and the NCAA’s updated Academic Progress Report (APR) figures are
mostly good news for Virginia Tech athletics.



Future Football Schedule Update: Pittsburgh Reappears


The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on June 1 that
Pittsburgh has replaced Illinois on Virginia Tech’s football schedule for 2012
and 2013. The Hokies will travel to Pittsburgh for a road contest in 2012, and
the Panthers will visit Lane Stadium in 2013. Virginia Tech will also play
Wisconsin in 2016 and 2017. These updates have been added to TSL’s Future
Schedules page
.



In other scheduling news, it appears that Jim Weaver is
also trying to schedule a neutral site game in Charlotte. This becomes possible
because of the addition of a 12th game to the schedule. The opponent and date
are unknown at this point, but 2006 seems to be a logical guess. Virginia Tech
still has two spots open on their schedule for that year. East Carolina is being
rumored as a possible opponent.

The rumor mill also had Fresno State visiting Lane Stadium
for a one-time deal in 2006, but Weaver denied these reports.





Basketball Attendance Increase Tops in NCAA


The NCAA statistics office announced that Virginia Tech
led the nation in average men’s basketball home attendance increase for the
2004-05 season. The Hokies averaged 9,405 fans per game during their inaugural
season in the ACC. In 2003-04, Seth Greenberg’s first season, Tech averaged
6,342, for an increase of 3,063. Washington finished second with an attendance
increase of 2,110. This is the second year in a row that Tech did well in
attendance increase. In 2003-04, the Hokies ranked 6th
nationally with an increase of 2,131 over 2002-03 (when attendance was 4,211.

The 9,405 fans per game in 2004-05 was also a Cassell
Coliseum record. The closest the Hokies have come to this mark is 1987-88 season
when they averaged 8,768 fans per game. Total attendance for those years was
150,490 in 2004-05 and 122,757 in 1987-88. The Hokies played 16 total home games
in 2004-05, but only 14 in 1987-88. Not coincidentally, Tech went 13-3 at home
in 2004-05, and 13-1 in 1987-88.

However, one thing that you have to consider is how
attendance is taken. The Hokies used the paid attendance method for the
2004-2005 season. While there were only about 3,000-4,000 people per game in
attendance during Tech’s out of conference schedule, the athletic department
counted total tickets sold instead of actual attendance, pushing the figures
much higher than they actually were (example: announced attendance of 8,772 for
the season home opener against Loyola-Maryland). The numbers for the 1987-88
season are more accurate than the 2004-05 numbers, and actual average attendance
may have been (and probably was) higher in 1987-88.

These numbers, as well as many more, can be found in TSL
Mail #167
from March 18th.

We’ve seen how 2004-05 stacked up to past seasons in
attendance. Now let’s take a look and see how they stack up against the rest
of the ACC, the most rabid basketball conference in the country.

2004-05 ACC Basketball Attendance (Sorted by Ave.
Attendance)

School

Venue

Capacity

04-05 Ave.

% Full

UNC

Dean Smith Center

21,572

20,522

95.1%

Maryland

Comcast Center

17,100

16,632

97.3%

NC State

RBC Center

19,722

14,464

73.3%

Wake Forest

Lawrence Joel Coliseum

14,407

13,082

90.8%

Virginia Tech

Cassell Coliseum

9,847

9,405

95.5%

Duke

Cameron Indoor Stadium

9,314

9,314

100.0%

GT

Alexander Mem. Coliseum

9,191

9,191

100.0%

Virginia

University Hall

8,864

7,617

85.9%

Clemson

Littlejohn Coliseum

11,020

6,960

63.2%

FSU

Leon County Civic Center

12,500

6,757

54.1%

Boston College

Silvio O. Conte Forum

8,606

6,440

74.8%

Miami

Convocation Center

7,000

4,626

66.1%

Note: Cassell’s capacity is listed as 10,052 and
9,971 in various places,
but sellout crowds this year were listed as 9,847 fans.

The Hokies fared well against the rest of league in
attendance, just as they did on the court. Virginia Tech finished fifth in the
league in average attendance, trailing only big-time basketball schools such as
UNC, Maryland, NC State and Wake Forest. However, the best way to compare
schools in attendance is by looking at the percentage of seats that are
occupied.

Only two schools had 100% attendance this season: Duke and
Georgia Tech. Following those schools was Maryland at 97.3%. The Hokies come in
right after Maryland, at 95.5%. Tech fans definitely embraced basketball this
year, at least during ACC play.

As noted above, VT uses paid attendance instead of actual
attendance. Not knowing how other ACC schools count their own attendance, it is
difficult to say how accurate the figures given above actually are. But when you
just look at the conference games, if you were in Cassell Coliseum this season
for the games, you know that Tech stacks up well with other ACC schools in
actual attendance. Out of conference games are another story. VT fans still have
some work to do there.

It is also interesting to compare attendance percentages
with where each team finished in ACC play this season.

2004-05 ACC Basketball Standings and Attendance
Comparison

School

Conference Finish

Attendance % Rank

Boston College

T-1st in Big East

8th

Clemson

9th

11th

Duke

3rd

T-1st

Florida State

10th

12th

Georgia Tech

5th

T-1st

Maryland

8th

3rd

Miami

6th

10th

UNC

1st

5h

NC State

7th

9th

Virginia

11th

7th

Virginia Tech

4th

4th

Wake Forest

2nd

6th

Some of the attendance figures don’t match well with the
final ACC standings, but others are highly indicative of the success of each
program. For example, Florida State finished next-to-last in conference play
this year, and have been at the bottom of the ACC for years, and their
attendance reflects that. VT is consistent, ranking 4th in attendance percentage
and 4th in the final ACC standings. Meanwhile, Maryland an Georgia Tech
finished lower in league play than attendance figures would suggest, while Miami finished much higher.

The basketball team has an opportunity to move forward
exactly as the football team did. In years past, fans would flock to Lane
Stadium to see teams like Miami and UVA, but the stadium would be nowhere near a
sellout for the lesser teams on Tech’s schedule. Times have changed, and Lane
is sold out for every game because fans are interested in seeing the Hokies play
no matter who the opponent is. Basketball hasn’t reached that level yet, and
probably never will because of limited student seating, playing bad teams on
weeknights during the out of conference schedule, and scheduling games over
Thanksgiving and Christmas break. But if the Hokies keep winning, attendance
will rise during the November/December stretch.


Hokies’ Adjusted APR Figures Trend Upward

In a News and Notes update on March 4, 2005, we told you
about Virginia Tech’s initial NCAA Academic Progress Report (APR) figures, which
were mostly positive but came in low — under the NCAA threshold of 925 out of
1000 — for a few sports (for the full report, click
here
for an explanation of the APR and a breakdown of how all of VT’s sports
fared).

The NCAA released corrected, updated figures on May 12th,
and the good news is that of the five VT sports with updated APR scores, four of
those sports trended upwards. Only one sport (men’s outdoor track) went down,
and that wasn’t bad news, because their score dropped from a perfect 1000 to a
completely-acceptable 981. Here are the five sports that were updated:

Updated
Academic Progress Report (APR)
Scores for Virginia Tech Athletics
Sport March
APR
Updated
May APR
Change
Men’s Outdoor Track 1000 981 -19
Baseball 888 909 +21
Football 938 944 +6
Men’s Soccer 897 910 +13
Women’s Outdoor Track 958 970 +12
For all of VT’s APR scores
from the March report, click here

While baseball and men’s soccer improved, they are
still below the NCAA line of 925 and may be subject to punishment in the future.
The only other sport in danger of not reaching the 925 level is men’s tennis,
which is far below it at 833.

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