Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all the jim-nasium fans. I hope to see you in the Robins Center on the 30th when the Spiders take on the Keydets.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Nice to see the Spiders whoop the alma mater tonight....

Good win guys!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007


Not quite finished with the non-conference portion of the schedule, but thought you might like to see this...

Number of RPI TOP 20 teams in each conference:

4- Atlantic10

3- ACC

2- Big 12, Big East, SEC & Southland

1- Big 10, Conf USA, Pac10, Sunbelt, West Coast

0- America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, CAA, Horizon, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid American, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Sunbelt, SWAC & WAC

I am sure things will change, but a good start to the season for the A10.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Attendance Report

Take a minute and read this comment that one of my loyal blog-readers sent in...

Just curious about our attendance in the first round. I know there were far more than 3200 people there. We all know the numbers are under-reported, but I was a little surprised to hear you say it here as if you really believe there were only 3200 in attendance. So what is the deal with those numbers? How accurate or inaccurate are they? And do we under-report just because of the new stadium coming or what?

I continue to hear this comment and there is just no factual basis for the assertion that we are under-reporting attendance at UR Stadium. The problem is that for years the estimates were so high, the real numbers are difficult to believe.

Here are the facts [again]...

During the regular season, we report the number of tickets that are out. So, if a ticket was bought at full-price, a discount price, or even given away, it is counted...even if the person who had the ticket didn't show up...so...the attendance reported is the maximum possible and the attendance will be lower.

During the playoffs, there are no complimentary tickets [the university purchases the complimentary tickets given to the students]. There is an actual count of tickets purchased, and an accounting filed with the NCAA...so the count is a real number.

This issue is silly enough that I am working on a new promotion for next year...Since so many people think they know what the attendance is and would rather make it up than believe the real number, we are going to have a contest during each game. The lucky winner gets a t-shirt that says..."I picked the attendance at the xxxxx game". He or she will get to come out onto the field, make up whatever they think the attendance is, and we will announce that as the official attendance...Sounds like a plan!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Back From Boone

Back from the mountains of Boone, NC with a few thoughts>>>

1. What a GREAT, GREAT year! Always tough to end on a loss, but President Ayers said it best in the locker room..."We are proud of you!"

2. The Spider football student-athletes, coaches, and support staff accomplishments were something special. EVERYONE who followed the success of the team this year has to be impressed and excited about what is to come!!

3. We played 3 playoff games in 3 very different settings. Our game at App. State was played in front of over 24,000, an FCS [1-AA] record for a non-championship game. Also at Wofford, in front of a 7,000+ in an 8,500 seat stadium there was an exciting atmosphere. Unfortunately, we had only 3,200+ paying customers at UR Stadium for the first round playoff game. I am confident that the new on-campus stadium will change that...but until that venue is ready for play, we need more people buying tickets to come see the Spiders play!! They are certainly deserving of your support and worth changing your schedule to come see play.

Speaking of the new stadium, the process is progressing as expected, with serious discussions on-going with city officials as a part of the approval requirements. There is every reason to expect formal hearings to begin in a few months as planned.

4. Rumors continue to circulate about Coach Clawson and other jobs. The good news is that our coach is attractive to other universities. The bad news is...well, let's not go there.

Rest assured, I understand Coach Clawson's value to the football program and our student-athletes. I am committed to establishing an atmosphere, a relationship, and a compensation package that clearly sends that message to Coach Clawson.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Well...the team is scheduled to take off in a few minutes [8 am]...Hope this charter is a little more timely than our trip to Vanderbilt...and the result of the game is different at well.

In talking with Coach Clawson, it sounds like Wofford is going to be a tough opponent...very sound...very talented group of upperclassmen. Of course, once you are in the quarterfinals of any tournament the competition is going to serious.

Hope to see a lot of you at the pre-game tailgate at the Marriott that starts at 4. If you decide to stay home rather than make the 5.5 hour drive from Richmond [boo!!], be sure to watch the game on TV.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thought you might want to see my recent response to a comment...

It will be interesting to hear Friday night who is selected to host the semi-finals.

However, my bet is that if Eastern Washington wins, they will host since they would have already played games in Louisiana and North Carolina. I think the NCAA committee would not have them play 3 straight away games and travel across country again to either South Carolina or Virginia.

And, if Appy State wins, I think the NCAA Committee may have them hosting because they will be able to put 20,000+ in the stands. Unfortunately, the FCS playoffs are structured so that $$ talks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

And Away We Go

I have received a number of questions about why we are playing at Wofford this Saturday rather than hosting the game at UR Stadium.

Since I served on the FCS [then 1-AA] selection committee for 4 years, and know a couple members of the current committee very well, I can shed a little light on the situation.

Some of the more significant factors that go into selecting the host site are:

a. did the school submit a bid to host the event?
b. is the facility appropriate [i.e., quality of field, stadium, lights]?
c. what is the comparitive strength of the teams?
d. what is the projected revenue?
e. are there significant student-athlete welfare issues [i.e., travel]?

Regarding the site of the Wofford game...I am quite certain that all the issues except "e" were pretty even. The Spiders are ranked higher than Wofford, but both of us are champions of good conferences; the facilties are both appropriate; both teams submitted qualifying bids; projected revenues are probably about the same. However, we are on the short end of the stick when you look at the "student-athlete welfare" issue.

The Spiders hosted a first round game and Wofford had to travel to Montana. I would imagine that is what tipped the scale and caused the committee to select Wofford as the host for this week's game.

And keep this in mind...the Spiders have done pretty well on the road....just ask the Dukes and the Blue Hens.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sorry that its been so long since I have added something to the Jim-nasium...

What a great fb season!!! 9-2 and hosting a first round playoff game Saturday night. And its also nice to be hosting my good friend Mark Sandy. Mark is the AD at Eastern Kentucky and was my second hire here at Richmond. David Walsh, who is now our Deputy AD came with me from NC State and Mark followed shortly thereafter...he was at Miami of Ohio.

Mark and I first met at a basketball camp at Wake Forest University when he was an assistant basketball coach for the Demon Deacons. Soon thereafter, we worked together as assistant basketball coaches at VMI. We remained close friends and it was great that he was a Spider for a few years working on the fund raising side of things.

It will be a great Saturday evening [as long we pummel the Colonels].

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Be sure to check our web page [richmondspiders.com]. There is new information about parking at UR Stadium. At the request of the neighbors, the City of Richmond has placed "resident parking only" signs in the neighborhood around the stadium.

The good news is that there is plenty of parking at the stadium.

See you Saturday afternoon!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Moliva or Noliva Deja Vu

Sorry to report that Gaston has recently had more surgery...this time on his "good foot". It was a pre-emptive strike. From what I understand, there was a "weak spot" in the identical area that he had a problem with last year with his other foot. Hopefully this surgery will correct the problem and he will be back at full speed before the first game.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

West Coast Alumni Swing

Just got back this evening from a trip to visit with alumni in San Francisco and Seattle.

It was great to see the enthusiasm of alum's who are 3,000 miles away and don't get to see the Spiders up close.

Most of the questions focused on our new President and the on-campus stadium. I was glad to be able to report to them that both were moving forward very well.

On a personal note...I had never been to either one of these cities. What GREAT cities! If you have not visited them, you need to.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Where's Jeff & Elise?

I know many jim-nasium readers are Spider Club members and might be interested in how Jeff & Elise Myers are doing.

They live in Chicago and Jeff is working in financial management and Elise is a fund raising consultant. I recently heard from Elise and they are both doing very well...enjoying life in the big city.

For those of you who know Jeff, it will not surprise you to hear that he is living and dying with the Cubbies...I don't know if he will be able to handle it if they make the playoffs. Let's hope its a Tigers [Sean Casey] vs. Cubs World Series.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Imelda Crone

One of the things you learn when you are you spend 7 hours in an airport lobby with the football team is that John Crone owns 175 pairs of athletic shoes.

Friday, August 31, 2007


The team's flight was orignally scheduled to leave at noon...

then 1...

then 2...

then 3:30...

the 5:30...

now is scheduled for 6:30

Oh, the glamor of charter travel....


Heading to Nashville in a few minutes. Should be a good trip. It sounds as if the team is ready for this major test. Vanderbilt is developing into a very strong team and I expect that they will be among the top half of teams in the SEC this year...have to wait and see if that prediction holds true.

No TV for this game, but be sure to catch all the action with Bob, Jasmonn and Matt on ESPN950 or WOLF93.1FM or on your computer.

Sunday I will give you a summary of my observations...including a few words from the locker room after the game.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

This is the first week of classes and things are really getting cranked up. All week Celia and I are hosting teams at the house for Moe's. Tonight, women's soccer and men's basketball stopped by. Last night, we fed women's swimming, women's tennis, and women's basketball. Women's tennis really has an international flair this year, with team members from Mexico, Equador, Hungary, Canada, and Germany.

Today was also the opening All Staff meeting, which featured President Ayers. He spent about 45 minutes exchanging ideas with the athletic department staff. He focused on the question..."What would you like University of Richmond athletics to be known for?". It was a great opportunty for coaches, administrators, and staff to share their thoughts with the new president.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Last night we had our annual Head Coaches' dinner to kick off the year. The last two years we were at Fleming's...this year we tried out the new downtown spot The Black Finn.

It was a very nice event with spouses and a great way to say thank you are the coaches' commitment to the success of our student-athletes and get motivated for the coming year.

Field hockey starts it all off this Saturday morning. Hope to see some of you out at Crenshaw Field for the 11:00 am game.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


If you have not seen the pictures of our new golf practice facility, you should visit our web site and take a look. It is quite a nice addition. We have had great support from many alumni and friends, including PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, a Richmond grad.

But that is not the REAL NEWS!!!! --- Deputy AD Dave Walsh had his first hole-in-one this past weekend at Independence Golf Club. I am sure he was glad that it came on a Sunday rather than on a work day when he would have had to lie about where he was...

Monday, August 20, 2007

MBB Turny Field Set

As has been previously announced, mbb is playing in the Coaches vs. Cancer event November 5 & 6. I am able to report tonight that the Spiders will be playing in Memphis and the three other teams will be Memphis, Maine, and Tennessee-Martin. Memphis could be ranked #1 in the country...should be an interesting event. Our opponent for the first night has not been determined...but expect us to be playing Memphis Tuesday night if we win our first game on Monday.

The Jim-nasium gets a Plug

Oh...what great publicity the jim-nasium received in the Richmond Times Dispatch on Sunday morning. I will do my best to keep semi-regular updates going thru the school year.

One thing I should tell you is that working with President Ayers has been great. I am a member of his "cabinet" that meets weekly and it is quite apparent that he is dedicated to making an impact on the lives of University of Richmond students and the community.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's Soccer Time....

MEN...The men’s soccer team starts practice tomorrow, looking for their fifth Atlantic 10 Tournament berth in the last seven years. Pretty good year last year...the Spiders lost just one conference game. The team returns all but one starter, including the 2006 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year, goalkeeper Eric Sciocchetti. You may want to make it out to the Spiders home opener on Aug. 30...we host Villanova at First Market Stadium. We then head to nationally ranked Virginia on Sept. 2. Good luck to Coach Gettler and the guys as they start their quest for an Atlantic 10 Championship.

WOMEN...The women’s soccer squad gets started early tomorrow morning. They had a tough time last season, but will be more experienced than they have been in the past few years [10 starters returning]. Coach Albright believes the freshmen class will add some size and athleticism.

Good luck to the Spiders as they challenge for the A-10 championship and keep checking RichmondSpiders.com [Notes from the Touchline] for practice updates and pictures.


If you haven't been out to football practice you are missing some great action. For the first time in many years, we have several good-sized wide receivers who really look like great athletes.

We should be in a good position to run Coach's pass-oriented offense. Another reason we are looking so good offensively is the solid line play and a couple very seasoned and very effective running backs. We should score some points!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It is HOT!!!!!

The fb team practiced at 6:45 this morning to try to beat the heat. It may look glamorous on gameday, playing in front of thousands... but it's all work this time of year!!

Hope you have bought your season tickets... our team is going to be fun to watch.

On another topic...Women's basketball just released its non-conference schedule. It looks pretty tough, with games against Georgia, Nortre Dame, Virginia, Maryland. Be sure to check it out on our webpage... richmondspiders.com

Monday, August 6, 2007


Had dinner with the football team last night...a nice BBQ. All members of the team with a 3.0 gpa or higher had ribs, china, silverware, etc. Very nice event to kick-off the season.

Saw a number of the freshmen. Looks like we continue to bring in some good size, and what Coach Clawson tells me, good speed as well.

Practice starts in a few minutes. I am headed out there right now.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Start Up for 2007-08

With the football team getting cranked up tomorrow, its time to kick-off the 2007-08 edition of the Jim-Nasium.

Look for regular entries starting tomorrow. If you get Spider Sports Update daily, you will be notified when I make a new entry. If you do not get the Spider Sports Update, email Bob Black at bblack@richmond.edu and he will add you to the list.

Friday, May 18, 2007


It's been a while since my last update...sorry about that...

Thought you might like to know about a few issues we have been dealing with this Spring...

1. On-Campus Stadium...The good news is that the Board of Trustees has given the go-ahead to do everything necessary to get the project before the Planning Commission and the City Council. That is a very important step forward. As soon as "final drawings" are completed in a few months, we will be able to start the formal governmental approval process. As you probably have heard, that process could take anywhere from 6 months to a year.

Now the not-so-good news...To build the quality of stadium we want, it looks like its going to be more like $25 million rather than $20 million. We will continue to raise funds for the stadium, but this will not slow up the approval process!!

2. Baseball Stadium Enhancements...We continue to solicit funds for improvements to Pitt Field. There is no firm timetable at this time. The on-campus stadium is our #1 priority, but we will continue to solicit funds from those individuals who want to focus on Spider baseball. Good luck to the Spiders in the A10 tournament later this month. And thank you Ronnie for a great career at Richmond.

3. Transfers...We have had a few transfers from our men's and women's basketball teams. This is not something we take lightly. Student retention at Richmond is a high priority. However, it seems to be a national trend for basketball student-athletes to be very quick to make a decision to transfer...whether it's playing time, academics, friendships, closer to family...or whatever, it seems to be a "cost of doing business" these days. And, for those of you who have been around for a few years, you know that we have often benefitted from transfers to the Spiders in the past.

4. A10 Championships...The Spiders won 4 conference championships this year [field hockey, swimming, lacrosse, and women's tennis]. Congratulations to those student-athletes and coaches. I think that makes 31 conference championships in the last 7 years.

5. Men's Basketball Scheduling...Man, it's tougher than ever to put together a great men's basketball schedule. Everybody only wants to play teams they can beat...of course, that makes for some tough scheduling scenarios. We will once again have a representative schedule...scheduling some games that we expect to favored and some that will be a challenge. Although the schedule has not been finalized and formally released, you may like to know that we are playing in an early season tournament at Memphis; hosting Virginia Tech, South Florida, Old Dominion, VMI, and Maryland-Baltimore County; and playing at East Carolina and Marist. There are several other games that have not been finalized that will be added to the schedule. Sorry that I cannot give you the dates of the "finalized games", because some of those dates have not yet been set.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Thought you might like to know what the general A10 basketball scheduling guidelines are:

PURPOSE: Encourage member schools to schedule in such a way as to maximize the opportunity to place multiple teams in the NCAA tournament. Specifically, teams who have realistic at-large expectations should play a schedule that will enhance their RPI to make them attractive as at-large selections. Teams who do not have realistic at-large expectations should schedule to win as many games as possible so as not to be enhance the conference's RPI.

Here is what we are doing...

1. The coaches and athletic directors reach a concensus as to which category each team belongs.

2. For non-conference games, teams with high expectations should not be playing opponents higher than 200 on the RPI. Remember two years ago when GW won a bunch of games, but received an 8 seed because of their non-conference schedule. This rule addresses that issue. Teams with lower expectations should schedule in a manner to maximize wins.

3. For conference games, teams will play everyone once and then play 3 additional games against teams similarly situated.

4. We are not supposed to be "bought"...that is, schedule away games for payment. You lose most of these games!

5. Of course, the commissioner can make exceptions for special circumstances.

Does item 3 mean we are no longer guaranteed to play our two geographic partners, eg GW & Charlotte? [question from reader]

Yes....that's what it does mean. We are tentatively scheduled to play Charlotte, Duquesne, and LaSalle twice next year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

We will host two opportunities for the community to hear a description of the current stadium Concept Study and provide input prior to the formal design of the stadium. These community sessions are scheduled for 7 pm at the Jepson Alumni Center on April 4 and April 10. If you are interested in attending, please go to richmondspiders.com and register. I look forward to seeing many of you at these events.

Monday, March 12, 2007


First, let me congratulate the Virginia schools playing in the NCAA mbb tournament. It's great to have 4 state schools playing.

Here are my quick thoughts about those teams who are either complaining that they ARE NOT in the turny or team who ARE IN the turny and people don't think they should be...Seems like there are 11 schools that fall into these categories...maybe more...

One way of evaluating the teams is to look at how they performed against other teams who are actually in the tournament...

Teams IN, but some wonder why...
Most of the teams selected did fairly well against other teams in the tournament:

Xavier 5-1
Ga. Tech 6-7
Stanford 6-7
Texas Tech 4-5
ODU 2-3
Purdue 5-7
Arkansas 4-6

Teams that are OUT and wonder why....
Syracuse 5-5
Kansas St. 3-6
Drexel 2-5
West Va 2-7

Looks like the team that really has a valid concern is Syracuse.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Basketball Scheduling

I have received a few questions about our basketball scheduling philosophy and the A10 scheduling rules/ guidelines. There will be some decisions made at the athletic directors' meeting at the A10 tournament in March. So...the best thing is probably to wait until after that meeting and I will try to answer scheduling questions and post information from the meeting after the tournament. Thanks for your interest.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Recently I heard a comment that the Spiders don't play enough of the other men's basketball teams in the state. Criticism, when based on reality rather than perception, is often helpful. But in this case, the facts just don't support the criticism.

Here is a list of the Division 1 men's basketball programs in the state of Virginia and the number of other Division 1 in-state Universities they play this year...

1. Richmond- 7 [VT, ODU, VCU, W&M, VMI, Rad, Long]
1. VCU- 7 [Richmond, Long, HU, JMU, W&M, ODU, GMU]
3. ODU- 6 [Richmond, VT, GMU, VCU, W&M, VCU]
3. W&M- 6 [Richmond, Hampton, GMU, VCU, ODU, JMU]
3. Hampton- 6 [VCU, GMU, Norf St., UVa, W&M, Long]
3. GMU- 6 [Hampton, Radford, W&M, VCU, ODU, JMU]
7. JMU- 5 [VMI, ODU, VCU, GMU, W&M]
8. VMI- 4 [Richmond, JMU, Radford, Liberty]
8. Radford- 4 [Richmond, GMU, Liberty, VMI]
10. Liberty- 3 [Richmond, Radford, VMI]
10. UVa- 3 [VT, Hampton, Longwood]
10. VT- 3 [Richmond, UVa, ODU]
13. Norfolk St- 2 [Longwood, Hampton]

As you can see...no school in the state played more in-state opponents than the Spiders!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Man It Was Cold

You may not recognize our women's lacrosse players in this picture, but this is the team preparing for their snorkeling adventure during their recent trip to Australia. You can read about their trip on the team's site on our webpage [richmondspiders.com].

As you may know, our nationally ranked lacrosse team opened their season this afternoon at Longwood. Celia and I made the trip to Farmville and I have two thoughts...

1. Our team is pretty good!!

2. It was COLD!!!!! The high temperature was in the 30's and the wind chill had to be in the teens...great for sitting by the fire at home, but a little chilly to be outside watching a game.

But...it was a great opener to the season...you should get out and watch the team play. Women's lacrosse is much like basketball in its schemes and strategies. We have been in the NCAA turny the last 2 years and should be back again this year

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Baseball Season Starts Tomorrow

Spider baseball starts tomorrow at The Citadel Shootout in Charleston, SC. Head coach Ron Atkins, retiring after this season – his 23rd – was inducted into our Hall of Fame this winter. He’s the school’s all-time winningest coach. Associate Head Coach Mark McQueen will take over as head coach next season. Mark returns as pitching coach this year, a role he had with Coach Atkins from 1989-2000.

The Spiders play The Citadel Bulldogs Friday at 4 p.m. with junior righthander Alex Hale on the mound. He’s a converted catcher who’s become the number one starter.

If the season opener isn’t enough to get your attention, then Saturday’s game against South Carolina will be. The Gamecocks are 3-0 and ranked number one in the nation. Ray Tanner, the South Carolina head coach, is a good friend from my NC State days. AFTER Saturday, I hope he wins a bunch of games this year and we get to play him again in the College World Series. The tournament concludes Sunday when the Spiders play Liberty.

From what I’m hearing, look for talented freshman lefty pitcher Matt Zielinski to make an immediate impact. He’ll probably see the mound at some point this weekend, and might be the starter for the Spiders home opener next Wed. Feb 21 against VMI at Pitt Field.

Offensively, look for big things from junior first baseman Joe Mahoney and seniors Matt McKenna, Andrew Justice and Vince Riggi.

I know baseball fans are getting excited because spring training camps are opening for pitchers and catchers. But for our Spider baseball team, it starts for real this weekend.

Friday, February 2, 2007


I hope you have had a chance to see the 2007 football schedule that was recently posted on our main web site [richmondspiders.com].

As is usually the case, there are a couple of interesting aspects to the schedule that raise questions. I thought I would address some of the more obvious ones:

2/5 UPDATE: Spiderfan asked about the rumors that Vanderbilt was going to play Michigan instead of the Spiders on 9/1. I received a call from Vandy administrators last week assuring me that the rumors were not accurate and that the Commodores will be honoring the contract and play the Spiders, not Michigan.

1. Division 1-A [Bowl Subdivision] game- We are scheduled to play one 1-A game each year thru 2011. We like playing these games for three reasons: a. $$, we do receive a payment that is important to our athletic department revenue; b. our football student-athletes enjoy the challenge; c. it provides an important level of exposure for our fb program. You may be interested to know we have elected to compete against schools that we consider appropriate opponents, like Duke, Virginia and Vanderbilt.

2. Early Away Games- Yes, 4 of our first 5 games are on the road is not the best, but that is the way the schedule fell this year. Obviously, the Vanderbilt game is on the road. We are playing a Patriot League team during the next few years...we played Bucknell at home last year and we are returning the game this year.

3. VMI- We would like to play VMI every year. It is a great, traditional rivalry... especially due to VMI's high concentration of alumni in the Richmond area. We have a contract with VMI thru 2012, but VMI asked not to play us in '07 and '10. If it was up to me, the Richmond-VMI game would be played every year.

If you have additional questions or comments about our 2007 football schedule or other matters, be sure to click on the comments link and let me hear from you.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Spider Legend Retires

Just got home from the Ronnie Atkins retirement dinner. What a great night. A sellout crowd of more than 200 was on hand to wish Ronnie well as he begins his final year as the head Spider baseball coach.

We heard some great "Ronnie stories" from many of his former players, including Sean Casey. And Ronnie closed out the night with a new Ronnie-ism that I am sure will be re-told in future years...

"I want to thank all of my former players who helped make my time at Richmond so speical. I will remember each of you...I might forget your name, but i will remember you."

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I have recently received a few suggestions/questions regarding starting a men's lacrosse team.

The primary argument to start a varsity men's lacrosse team is that it would be a good fit at the University of Richmond. The northeast is a lacrosse hotbed and is where the University recruits a high percentage of the student body. A perfect example is our women's lacrosse team...22 of the 24 members of the team are from the northeast. The admissions office tells me that they believe having a men's lacrosse program would be beneficial in the recruitment of academically strong male students to this campus.

Now, as they say, here is the rest of the story...Usually, when an organization is thinking about "doing more", finances are an issue. That is certainly the case with the prospect of adding a men's lacrosse team. Here are a couple significant financial issues:

1. We are currently one of the very few football playing Division I institutions that is in full compliance with the provisions of Title IX. For us to add men's lacrosse and remain in compliance with Title IX, we would need to either cut a men's sport that had about 30 student-athletes or add about 30 spots for female student-athletes to offset the additional number of males playing lacrosse. Obviously, this can't be done by just adding more student-athletes to each of the women's teams. We would need to add at least one other women's sport. Adding at least two sports would significantly impact the athletic operating budget [i.e., salaries, travel, equipment]

2. Scholarships are also an issue. If we started out with a non-scholarship men's lacrosse team our competitiveness would be questionable. I think very quickly the supporters of the men's lacrosse program would want to add athletic scholarships and be more competitive. To comply with Title IX, we would need to add additional athletic scholarships for our female student-athletes to balance this increase in scholarships for the male student-athletes. At $43,000+ for each scholarship, this becomes very pricey.

At the University of Richmond, the athletic department is expected to operate with a balanced budget. The department does receive an annual subsidy from the University to help us accomplish this. But, we have to work very hard to balance our budget every year. Clearly, there are no athletic funds available to support adding new sports. Adding a men's lacrosse team could only happen if the athletic department dramatically cut the funding of other sports or the University determined that adding a men's lacrosse program was important enough to increase the athletic subsidy.

With all that said, you should know that we regularly review the sports that we field and will continue to review the pro's and cons of adding sports such as men's lacrosse

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Whit Hummel

Sadly, I report that Elizabeth “Whit” Hummel died last night. She had been seriously injured in a fall and died of the complications involved. She was 85 years old.

Together with her daughter Lynne Hummel Kelley (Class of 77) and her granddaughter Elizabeth Kelley, she attended virtually all men’s and women’s basketball games and football games.

No details on funeral arrangements yet.

Monday, January 22, 2007

How Old is This Grandfather?

Just thought I would pass this along this story illustrating how fast our lives are changing…

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandfather about current events. The grandson asked his grandfather what he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just thing in general.

The Grandfather replied, "Well, let me think a minute, I was born before: television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, contact lenses, frisbees and the pill. There were no credit cards, laser beams, or ball-point pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers clothes, and man hadn't yet walked on the moon. There was no computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy. Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, or yogurt, or guys wearing earrings. We listened to the President's speeches on our radios.
Pizza Hut, McDonald's, and instant coffee were unheard of. We had 5&10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents. Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards. You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.

In those days: "grass" was mowed, "coke" was a cold drink, "pot" was something your mother cooked in and, "rock music" was your grandmother's lullaby.
"Aids" were helpers in the Principal's office, "chip" meant a piece of wood, "hardware" was found in a hardware store and "software" wasn't even a word.

I bet you think this must really be an old man…you are in for a shock!

This man would only be 59 years old....

With all the changes we have seen and experienced during our lifetime, it's no wonder that we tend to be impatient...valuing only what is happening right now...unwilling or unable to be patient and appreciate the good things that are to come.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Freshmen Scoring in the A10

Man...that was a tough first half, but the guys kept playing hard and the second half results were much better. Everyone is talking about how young we are. I did some research during the game and thought you would like to know what percentage of each A10 team's scoring is provided by freshmen. These stats do not include today's games...and Fordham's website was not working properly...
% of Team Points Scored by Freshmen:

Richmond 71%

Duquesne 51%

LaSalle 43%

Saint Joseph's 38%

Xavier 15%

George Washington 13%

Rhode Island 13%

Charlotte 12%

UMass 9%

St. Bonaventure 5%

St. Louis 3%

Temple 3%

Dayton 2%

Friday, January 19, 2007

Don't forget that the mbb game at Dayton is on TV Saturday at 2pm on WRIC, Channel 8 and the wbb team plays at home Sunday at noon...it's also televised as a national CSTV game.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Stadium Update

You may want to take a look at the Spiders' primary website richmondspiders.com. I have posted a stadium update there. And for those who are wondering, no...this is not what we expect First Market Stadium to look like. It's a picture of Giants Stadium.
The architects are hard at work. We should have renderings available for the Board of Trustees to review and approve at their March meeting. Then we will be using the renderings to make presentations to the Planning Commission, the City Council, University constituencies, and our neighbors.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Philly Phun for Spiders & Phans

I traveled to Philadelphia to watch our wbb team play Saint Joseph's. The Spider fans came out big-time for this game. I bet we had about 200 people at the game, including a bus of Sarah Williams' family and friends from Wilmington, DE.

Just like in the guys' game the night before, we did not shoot well [27% for the game]. However, we were able to get 24 offensive rebounds...that's a crazy number!!!...;come from 15 down in the second half; and win a double OT thriller. Freshman Katie Holzer had a nice double-double [18/15] in front of about 20 of her fans from her nearby hometown of Newtown Square, PA.

One of the best things about winning in double overtime, is that irritating Hawk had to flap its wings for an additional 30 minutes. Irritating, but certainly admirable...whoever is inside that hawksuit really has to work for his/her money...

Speaking of Philadelphia, I have an A10 athletic directors' meeting Tuesday. One of the interesting issues to be discussed is mbb scheduling and what we should do to continue to focus on earning multiple bids for the conference. I believe the evidence suggests there are two different issues to be considered. For a individual team to get a bid, they to schedule and win big games [i.e., beating Kansas]. But for a conference to be rated highly, the primary focus should be for conference members to win as many games as possible.

For example...Right now, the A10 is 11th out of 32 conferences in the RPI rankings. All ten conferences ranked higher than the A10 have better non-conference winning percentages and all 21 conferences below us have worse non-conference winning percentages. So...as far as conference rankings go...its the old Al Davis theory...JUST WIN BABY. [This paragraph has been re-written. A reader pointed out an error I had made...Thanks!]

Welcome back Rowdies...hope to see you at our next mbb home game Wednesday night.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mo-liva or No-liva???

It looks like Gaston's injury did not respond well after his great game againt Fordham and he may not be able to return to competition this year. However, Daniel McCarthy [Assistant AD/ Compliance] tells me that because Gaston's appearance on the court was during the first half of the season and his injury will probably keep him out the rest of the year, Gaston should be eligible for a medical hardship and be able to play next year...

If that does happen, it will be great to have him for the entire 07-08 year.

Swimming, Screaming, & Stadiuming...all on a Saturday

good luck to the women's swim team...they are at maryland for a meet. i see that caitlin geary broke a school record yesterday... congratulations!

I saw a member of the swim team in the hallway as they were leaving for College Park. She was not all that excited about being back at school...you see, the swim team trains in Siesta Key, Florida during the semester break. I can't really blame her for wishing she was still there...what a beautiful area of the country...but, its back to classes Monday morning...

good win by the wbb team yesterday afternoon in front of a crowd that included about 500 Richmond elementary school students...however, it sounded like there were 500,000 in the building...i am sure the excitement helped our team...

STADIUM UPDATE>>>>The architects were on campus for a couple days last week and we made great progress in defining exactly what the stadium should look like. David Walsh [Deputy AD] and Coach Clawson spent 3 days this past week checking out other stadiums to get some comparisons. We are definitely on track to provide the Board of Trustees with drawings at their March 2 meeting.

Hope to see all of you at the Robins Center tonight.

Friday, January 12, 2007

MBB Win at St. Bonaventure

How about that game Wednesday night against St. Bonaventure. It was a really solid performance... and Gonzo's shot from what looked like behind the bench!!! how BIG was that???

Thanks to Comcast for televising the game. Always great to be able to see the Spiders on TV when they are on the road. Unfortunately, I did not make the trip to Olean, NY>>>> I take that back...the wind chill there was 8 degrees...I was very happy to be at home, sitting in front of the fire watching the Spiders...hope you were too.

I hope to see you Saturday night at 7 when we take on UNC-Charlotte. Should be a good game. Some of the students will be back, but classes don't start until Monday...so the team could use your support...

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