The Opinion of an Outsider Looking In

MICFAN

The Recruit Level
Just to start off I'm from the north central part of Indiana. My daughter excepted an athletic scholarship to ISU and is currently a freshman here and so far she knows she made the right decision. She was considered an above average but not a blue chip recruit meaning she had offers from major conference schools but was not looked on as being a major contributor. What drew my daughter to ISU was 1. Style of play 2. Her chosen major 3. Community support (attendance usually top 30 in the nation) which translates into big time game atmosphere inside a 10,200 seat arena, and I've learned this is a major factor for the other recruits who have since commited to ISU. This is what keeps the women's basketball program at least competitive. The type of recruits who are looked on as roll players at the BCS level but major contributors at the Mid Major level. Changing the suject to football (sorry for the long winded introduction). My questions are 1. Are we getting the above mentioned level of recruits for our football team. 2. If not what can the program do to attract this level of recruits. What bragging points do we have: our stadium, our attendance, our winning tradition, our film room with theatre seating. IMHO recruiting is roughly 75% of winning, even if we have the other 25% this leaves us well short of what we want for our program. I feel we have two choices one being an extreme change in facilities, mainly new on campus all-purpose stadium(maybe indoor) to reel in better recruits, of course this will require a big chunk of change. Or choice #2 scrap the football program for a non-scholarship program and invest in our other sports program taking them to new heights. I understand what a successful football program can do for a university, so it hurts to the core to suggest scrapping it. Then I look at schools like Xavier, Marquette, and Depaul and say HEY WHY NOT?
 

bent20

The Odum Level
Or choice #2 scrap the football program for a non-scholarship program and invest in our other sports program taking them to new heights. I understand what a successful football program can do for a university, so it hurts to the core to suggest scrapping it. Then I look at schools like Xavier, Marquette, and Depaul and say HEY WHY NOT?
First, many welcomes to your daughter. I'm glad to hear she chose ISU and I hope she enjoys her experience in TH. Indiana State has a beautiful campus in my opinion and many good people. Do you mind telling us who she is or would you rather remain anonymous?

The suggestion I've quoted sounds perfect to me. Drop down to division two or three (heck, I'm not at all sure we could even beat Rose Hulman at this point) and devote most of our athletic budget to men and women's basketball. Yes, we're good in other sports and should give them some cash, too, but let's focus on the big money makers first.

To answer your questions about our football program, we have little to no winning tradition, but picked up some good recruits since Miles took over the program. We won some games in the 80s apparently and were even ranked at one point. I was in grade school at the time. Much like the stories of Bird, Thomas, Baumgartner and our college world series appearance it precedes my memory. Outside of track our school has done little to nothing to make its graduates proud in athletics for a couple of decades now. (And some of our achievements in women's and men's basketball in the past decade.)
 
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IndyTreeFan

The Nicks Level
Supporter
The suggestion I've quoted sounds perfect to me. Drop down to division two or three (heck, I'm not at all sure we could even beat Rose Hulman at this point) and devote most of our athletic budget to men and women's basketball. Yes, we're good in other sports and should give them some cash, too, but let's focus on the big money makers first.
Every year this sounds good, but if you've been around ISU athletics for a long time, you have the experienced realization to know that just because you cut one (or many) sport, even if that money is promised to other sports, that doesn't mean the money will actually go there.

Back in the 80's, under the "leadership" (and I use that term loosely) of AD Beanie Cooper, ISU dropped our two arguably best programs, gymnastics and wrestling (along with a couple of others, I think). Heck, gymnastics was, and is, the only sport in which we've won a Division I National Championship. Our wrestling program produced numerous individual National Champions over the years, including the legendary Bruce Baumgartner. Why did we drop these programs? To devote the money to "...big time basketball and football..." The money never went to those programs, in fact both had their funding cut over the next decade.

So, you can say drop football and put the money into basketball, but as a cynic, I don't think that would actually happen. Too many constituencies would be there with their hands out, and the money would "mysteriously" evaporate...:(
 

BankShot

The Kleuh Level
Tunch Ilkin..

...graduated LONG before '83...

Need to give grain alcohol a break and return to Meth!
 

SycamoreSage

The Captain Level
Welcome, MICFAN

Welcome, MICFAN. You must be one of Deja Mattox's parents (since she best fits the demographic criteria you have outlined in your introductory post). I join others on this forum in welcoming you and your daughter to the Sycamnore family. Deja had a great high school career, which I monitored carefully after she decided to come to ISU, and I look forward to watching her play. I was extremely pleased when she was named to the Indiana All-Star team, a much deserved honor that I was afraid might elude her.

It is hard to say that ISU has maintained a football tradition since its last winning season was 1996. Yet, its history certainly includes highlights. The 1983 and 1984 teams, on which current head football coach Trent Miles played, were ranked (the 1984 team was ranked No. 1 in Division I-AA for much of the year) and advanced to the playoffs. The 1983 team lost at Florida, 17-13, and the 1984 team drubbed Louisville on the road, 44-21. Both were coached by Dennis Raetz, currently Director of Football Development.

While still playing small college football in the Sixties and early Seventies, Coach Jerry Huntsman had some outstanding teams, including one with a 9-1 record. He had only one losing season in seven years. Coach Wally Marks, football captain under the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg, had a great football coaching reputation and several outstanding seasons.

Until 1929, Ball State was Indiana State's eastern Indiana branch campus, a fact many have long forgotten. The two schools had a great football rivalry for many years after the umbilical cord was cut but went in different directions when Ball State joined the Mid-America Conference, a solid football league, while ISU fumbled around, hooking up with a couple of maverick conferences before joining the Missouri Valley Conference, never a football conference but a fine basketball league. ISU has played in the very strong FCS football only Gateway Conference for a number of years. Ths year the name of the league was changed to "The Missouri Valley Football Coference."

Though I am short on details, I think it is fair to say that, before AD Ron Prettyman, football was not treated with much budgetary respect for quite a few years. Prettyman has infused enthusiasm and additional monetary support into the program. Coach Miles has put together a staff with considerable credentials and the current roster is dotted with players with excellent high school backgrounds. With continued administrative support, I think the outlook is positive. We do have an enthusiastic coaching staff and a community very hungry for success.

I look forward to your future posts.
 

SydCamore

The Captain Level
The suggestion I've quoted sounds perfect to me. Drop down to division two or three (heck, I'm not at all sure we could even beat Rose Hulman at this point) and devote most of our athletic budget to men and women's basketball. Yes, we're good in other sports and should give them some cash, too, but let's focus on the big money makers first. )

If ISU drops football, I invite all of you to join me in walking to the President's office and handing him my degree. All that would show is that we are not willing to put in the work to imporiving a program. What does that say about the University? Honestly?

The school's slogan is......."More From Day One".

If you honestly suggest that they drop football, you should also suggest that they change the University slogan to ......"More From Day One..... Unless of course, WE as an administrative staff make some terrible decisions that negatively affect you and show you no support...... THEN......... We will just get rid of you."

I'm not mad at you. I just cringe every time I hear somebody talk about dropping programs.

People always talk about how two of the best athletes in our school's history (Bruce Baumgartner (Wrestling) and Kurt Thomas (Gymnastics)) watched their sports get eliminated after they graduated.

WELL, you might as well add a few more:
Wayne Davis - 2nd round pick in 1985 by the San Diego Chargers. 3-time NCAA All-American Defensive Back.
Vincie Glenn - 2nd round draft pick of the New England Patriots. Played 12 years for the San Diego Chargers. Holds the current NFL record for longest interception return for a TD (103 yards). ISU career interceptions leader (17) 1985 First-Team All-American, First-Team All-MVC. MVC's Defensive Player of the Year. Played in Blue-Gray game and Senior Bowl in 1986. Radio color-analyst for the San Diego Chargers.
Dan Brandenburg - 1996 7th round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills
Jamie Petrowski - 2005 graduate of ISU. Currently under contract with the Tennessee Titans
 

bent20

The Odum Level
It's been four years of losing like this, not one. How long do we let it go on? How long do we remain so mediocre that other teams in our own conference have to go light on us and take the second half off? One more season of that and I'll hand in my degree because the university is clearly too stupid and selfish to make a change that's best for all. Hopefully it doesn't come to that but I get sick of the cheerleaders on this board telling us how they're the better fan because they provide unwavering support to a program that quite frankly needs to start asking itself some very serious and challenging questions.
 

SydCamore

The Captain Level
They have already made changes for the better.

We are what we are because of the previous administration and coaching staff.

They hired a new coach and brought in the #7 recruiting class in the country. What the hell else could they have done?

Anybody who thought we were going to compete this year obviously has no idea how the game of football is played.

If you get off the wagon now, stay off.
 

bent20

The Odum Level
I didn't expect them to compete this year, but I did expect some better performances under a tougher coach. I give Miles credit for his recruiting and the suspensions he's imposed to get players in line. Part of my problem is that I haven't forgiven the university for the failings of the previous administration and coach. I will once they've provided enough support to get this program turned around. If not, those serious changes have to be made.

As for getting off the band wagon, I've survived four seasons of this and a lifetime of mediocre ISU football teams. I was too young to appreciate the success in the mid 80s. If I was going to completely give up on them it would have happened long ago. Let's just remember that being on the band wagon doesn't require blind devotion.
 

SydCamore

The Captain Level
Bent 20: I didn't expect them to compete this year, but I did expect some better performances under a tougher coach. I give Miles credit for his recruiting and the suspensions he's imposed to get players in line. Part of my problem is that I haven't forgiven the university for the failings of the previous administration and coach. I will once they've provided enough support to get this program turned around. If not, those serious changes have to be made.

The majority of my problem is with the previous regime, as you stated. I guess the good thing is that I'm not frustrated with Coach Miles at this point. We are playing sooooooooo many Freshmen and Sophomores, that I don't expect much more than what we're getting. This experience should pay off. Undoubtedly, we will lose some of these guys. That's ok.

What do you think? Since we brought in a class of talented young kids to build the foundation for the future, do you expect the staff to go after JuCo players or transfers now? That makes sense to me.

Like you Bent20, I am too young to remember the succes of the 80s. However, I'm not too young to remember some teams that did win some tough conference games. I remember getting a Win at FBS Eastern Michigan in 2001. I remember beating Southern Illinois 9 straight years. I'm not asking for Conference Championships, I'm asking for competitiveness.
 
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