Thursday, June 12th, 1997

A Few More Thoughts on the AD Hiring Process

I recently received an email from a slightly depressed Hokie Central member who is a little concerned about the future. He said, "This Dave Braine deal has me very upset and discouraged
about Tech's future in athletics. Hopefully, I am overreacting."

I liked my response and thought it would be nice to share it with you. I answered with the following (with apologies to Dr. Torgersen for calling him "Torgey"):

"That's understandable. It's human nature to fear the unknown, and our future athletic director is an unknown.

At this point, we have to place our faith in Pres. Torgersen to make a wise decision and hire the proper person. The downside of that is that Torgersen has never hired an AD for us, so he doesn't have a track record for us to go on (I'm pretty sure it was McComas or Lavery that hired Braine).

Things to fear:

How committed is Torgey to improving athletics and to allocating resources to it? His stance on refusing to raise Braine's salary indicates that he is not willing to sell his soul for athletics. Hopefully, he is a moderate in that area. We already know that he won't favor athletics over academics, now let's hope that he doesn't run athletics into the ground in the name of academics.

Although I don't profess to be a history major where University of Pitt athletics is concerned, I believe that in the late 70's, Pitt hired a school president who made a conscious decision to downgrade and de-emphasize athletics. Look at the result - they went from a national champion in football to a national laughingstock with pathetic, aging facilities. Since then, under new leadership, they have since upgraded some of their facilities, but their present performance on the field proves that it's a long climb back.

An intelligent school president will realize the connection between successful athletics and a successful university. In 1995-1996, Virginia Tech as a whole ran $12 million in the red (on a budget of $400 million+, I think). The University blamed it on a lack of high-paying out-of-state students. In 1995, Tech won the Sugar Bowl and received increased national exposure. Out-of-state applications increased, and although the Admissions Department had indeed increased their marketing of the out-of-state students, they gave some credit for the increase in applications to the exposure the football team brought.

Connect the dots, Torgey. Do the right thing.

Try not to worry. Let's let him hire someone first before we panic or cheer, but I do understand your apprehension. I've got it, too."

Mo' Members, Mo' Members!

If you're thinking about becoming a Hokie Central member, I encourage you to do it soon, for a couple of reasons:

I'm getting ready to go into production on the member merchandise incentives within a week, and although there will be plenty of extra bumper stickers, huggies, and mouse pads for future members, the T-shirts are going to be in short supply. I'm ordering what I need for the current members plus a few extras, and once they're gone, I won't be making another production run until I have enough new members that I can order in sufficient quantities to get a discount. So if you're thinking about becoming a Gold or Platinum member, your best bet to get a T-shirt soon is to become a member before the current allotment runs out. As for you prospective Platinum members, I ship the archives on a quarterly basis. The next print run will be at the end of June, so if you get your membership in before then, you'll get a copy of the archives soon, as well.

I'd like to get most memberships established before football season starts, because it'll get busy then, and I'd rather concentrate on news and game reports than processing memberships.

I have revamped the Membership information page, which I realized was shockingly out of date, and I have added a new page to Hokie Central that previews what the Member Merchandise will look like. Current members and prospective members, be sure to check it out!

A Shameless Plug for the A-10 Hoop Report

One of my shortcomings as a webmaster is my glaring lack of knowledge about Tech's opponents. When you get right down to it, I know a fair amount about Hokie football and basketball, but I know very little about Tech's football and basketball rivals in the Big East and A-10.

I've found a great resource to fix my A-10 problem: The A-10 Hoop Report. The Hoop Report is a new subscription smail-mail newsletter that ships twice a month from December to March and once a month the rest of the year. They sent me some copies of their newsletter, and although it's not flashy and glamorous, it is packed with good, solid, inside information. And they've only been in production for a few months, so I can't help but think that it'll get even better. I recommend it for anyone who wants to keep up on A-10 hoops.

They've also got a new and growing web site that is included in my "College Basketball Links" on my Links page. Check their web site out at The A-10 Hoop Report On-line.


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