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'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 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. 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 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 the team could use your support...

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