interesting chat with a former player friday night....

TJames

The JSW Level
while I was at Ben Davis High School covering TH South's boys basketball game. I ran into former Sycamore receiver and baseball player Demetrius Dowler. Dowler is an assistant coach on the Giants' top-ranked girls basketball team and he also coaches softball at the school.

As I sat and talked with Demetrius before the varsity game started, I reminded him about the ISU Football Alumni group that we've started and how we wanted him to take part. During our conversation, he related a story to me that sadly I have heard from other former Indiana State players.

He told me that a few years back, when ISU was under other athletic department leadership, he returned for a game at Memorial Stadium. He said that he was down on the sidelines before the game, talking with equipment manager Bob Elson when someone from the athletic department came over and demanded to know who he was and why was he standing on the sidelines.

Demetrius explained what he was doing and the other person stormed off. Later, the athletic director at the time came back and told him that he had to leave the sidelines and sit in the stands. Dowler said that he told the athletic director that he would go to the stands but that game would be the last he would ever attend at ISU. And he hasn't been back since.

I have unfortunately heard similar tales from other former players who came back for games. They were treated rudely and with disrespect. And now we wonder why alums often shun the university or their former teams.

I think it's fair to say, though, that there has been a dramatic attitude shift since Ron Prettyman took over and John Sherman became the contact man for former players. But in trying to get the ISU Football Alumni group off the ground, those are the type of stories I often hear.

Luckily, after my chat with Demetrius Friday night, I think that he is going to join our group and become more active in what we're doing. He still wants to be a part of the ISU football family.

But those are the type of battles that we've been facing in trying to get guys back in the fold. They've been burned in the past by the shortsightedness of former ISU athletic officials. Let's hope that we never go back to that kind of attitude.
 
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IndyTreeFan

The Nicks Level
Supporter
Sadly, that story doesn't surprise me at all. Our former AD and Beanie Cooper are right up there together, IMHO, as ISU Athletics WRECKING BALLS.

We've all got to remember where this department was when RP took over, and how much different it is today. We're still moving in the right direction, even if we've hit a few speed bumps.

Glad you were able to bring Demetrius "back into the fold...":sycamores::sycamores::sycamores:
 

bent20

The Odum Level
That is sad. We should be using alums like Demetrius to recruit talent from the high schools where they work, especially with a traditional football power like Ben Davis.
 

BankShot

The Kleuh Level
That's "light" compared to the management style of Ron Greene...

Did we ever get the Wrestling & Gymnastics Alums "back in the fold?"
 

TJames

The JSW Level
in the fold

fran mccann and roger council, former wrestling and men's gymnastics coaches, are in the fold.

people tend to forget that isu has not been the only ncaa division i school to do away with sports like wrestling and gymnastics over the years. did you know that the insurance costs are more expensive for gymnastics than it is for a sport like football? it's true. probably even worse now than it was when those sports were initially trimmed.

we can whine all we want about those sports being cut. but they werent the only ones. swimming, women's badminton were also cut.

did you know that at one time isu was sponsoring more sports than iu, purdue or notre dame? something like 25 different men's and women's sports.

after 25 years or so, i think we can move on.
 

BankShot

The Kleuh Level
Yet Behind the Arena Equipment Counter...

...when Gray Simons led the Wrestling TEAM to their NATIONAL rankings in the early 70's. Baumgartner was the individual EXCEPTION later that decade.

While 2 coaches MIGHT on the surface "be in the fold," I personally & first hand know numerous athletes that AFTER 25 yrs, still perceive this incident as a fracturing of the Sycamore athletic HEART.

Time will tell whether ISU's '86 economic decision was warranted...and the sand of that hour glass shows less than 3 yrs. remaining.:meditate:

You mention "insurance costs" for wrestling & gymnastics, check this chart out and tell me where football stands?

http://www.fastsports.com/tips/tip12/

*Did you know that IU, Purdue, & ND all had Wrestling squads...and ISU used to kick their asses every year?
Same w/ IU & Purdue Gymnastics...did you ever see DAVE SEAL go against IU's Benny Fernandez in the rings? Two of the best EVER in their NCAA specialty (before all-around became prominent). The crowds in the Arena back THEN outnumbered BOTH basketball and football TODAY- BECAUSE they were WINNERS!
 
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TJames

The JSW Level
i don't disagree....

that those athletes in wrestling and gymnastics still hold a grudge about their respective sports being cut. if i was in their shoes, i probably would be too.

but again, i emphasize that indiana state was not the only school in the country that cut sports like wrestling and gymnastics. as a matter of fact, i remember talking to people from the u.s. wrestling federation when wrestling was cut at isu and they told me that they were worried if they were going to be able to field enough teams to have a ncaa championship in the sport because so many other schools had either already cut wrestling or were about to.

i am not anti-wrestling or anti-gymnastics. i worked with the wrestling program as their media relations guy for a time and helped out with the media relations work when bruce baumgartner was there. fran mccann is a friend. i count several former wrestlers at the school as friends.

i know what kind of crowds were at the arena. i even attended gymnastics meets when kurt thomas was there. the crowds were big, but the arena certainly wasn't filled to capacity. as i remember, one set of main stands were pulled out on the westside.

as a little kid, i attended basketball games at the arena...when danny bush and george pillow played....the place was packed then.

but all that being said, i am not here to argue to merits or gripes about those sports being cut. this is a football area on the website and my thread was started to talk about...yes, football.

feel free to start an area for disgruntled wrestlers and gymnasts. but it's been over 25 years since those sports left the isu scene. and the isu athletic department has had some successes since that time, like men's basketball (the larry bird and michael menser nit/ncaa tournament eras), baseball (numerous ncaa tournament appearances and the college world series in 1986), football (back to back ncaa i-aa playoff appearances), cross country and track (one of the top programs in the midwest).

the reason the athletic department is in the shape it's in right now as more to do with poor management by former athletic department leaders. and as they say, it took than one day to tear the department down and it's gonna take more than one day to build it back up again.
 

SydCamore

The Captain Level
the reason the athletic department is in the shape it's in right now as more to do with poor management by former athletic department leaders. and as they say, it took than one day to tear the department down and it's gonna take more than one day to build it back up again.
You nailed it Tom.

The thing I have noticed since Prettyman took over is that there at least appears to be "hope" for all of our programs. With the previous administration, I never thought that we did anything to improve our chances of competing in the conference.
 

TJames

The JSW Level
bank...i dont mean to be argumentative.....

bank....just wanted to let you know...i dont mean to sound pissy or anything...i value your opinion...

yeah, huntsman's brother was the ad at tennessee while jerry was an assistant athletic director at isu. his brother was also the head track coach there i believe.
 

country123a

The Starter Level
I hope the current staff is working hard to rebuild those relationships. My guess is that they are... It will take a while to fix such things though.
 

ISUCC

The Odum Level
Moderator
that'd be Stan Huntsman I think

bank....just wanted to let you know...i dont mean to sound pissy or anything...i value your opinion...

yeah, huntsman's brother was the ad at tennessee while jerry was an assistant athletic director at isu. his brother was also the head track coach there i believe.
 
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