Thursday, December 4, 2008

Post ODU Game

Sorry to report that I am shutting down this blog for a while, maybe for good. I have been somewhat sporadic about posting...and I now know the reason why.

These posts come from me as the University of Richmond athletic director. Therefore, it is difficult, if not impossible, to write about my honest and unfettered opinions...and that's the key to having an interesting blog...being able to post opinions, even if occassionally controversal.

I will use last night's mbb against ODU as an example:

As athletic director, I have to say..."we made a great comeback and fell just short of a good win."

The "honest blogger" would say...[a] we stunk in the first half (except for Gonzo); [b] played great in the second half; and [c] the game was stolen from us at the end.

However, I can't say those things, so "honest blogging" is difficult.

I will continue to look for ways to communicate effectively with our fans...let me know if you have suggestions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

MBB Television

Hope you have had the opportunity to check out of Spider Men's Basketball Broadcast & Ticket Info post on our web site. You can find it right next to my smiling face on the front page of our athletic web site

I am very pleased to report that we will have 13 mbb games televised this year. Six of these games will be national cable broadcasts [3 ESPN and 3 CBS College Sports] and seven will be regional cable broadcasts [5 MASN and 2 Comcast]. Nine of these televised games will be away games.

You can also check out our mbb games via 950AM, WOLF 93.1FM, and internet audio and streaming video at

Friday, October 31, 2008

Men's Basketball Promotions

With basketball season fast approaching, I thought you might want to know a few our new ticket prices and game day enhancements...

> We will have $5 Tickets for every men’s home game...yes they are in the end zone...but they are still good seats...and how can you beat $5!!!

> Mini-Packs- We have two great mini-packs available...Premium seats for only $50 for three games [VCU mini-pack has VCU, St. Joe's & Xavier; the Wake Forest mini-pack features Wake, St; Joe's and Xavier]

> Dollar Night – Tickets, hot dogs, and 16 oz. sodas for the opening home game on November 15 vs. Randolph Macon are only $1 each. Season tickets holders get in free!!

> Ukrop’s 2 for 1 Nights: At the Rice and George Washington games, get two for one tickets in the premium and priority sections by showing your Ukrop’s UVC or First Market Bank Marketshare card

> Times Dispatch Family Four Pack: At the St. Bonaventure and Duquesne games receive four tickets, four sodas and four hotdogs for only $40!

> Quality Half-time entertainment – through-out the year, we will be featuring scheduled acts including Canines in Flight, Bucket Boys, Sem-cycle and Red Panda. Also back this year by popular demand will be the Zooperstars!

> Family Zone – this year on the concourse families can enjoy a kids zone. This area will feature a basketball goal to practice your shot and several interactive signs to see how you measure up to your favorite Spider player.

> Quality On-Court Promotions – new promotional games for Spider fans to participate in during the time-outs and half-time, including sumo suits, human hamster balls and much more! Also new this year is our on-court emcee to liven up our on-court promotions!

> We will have a new "on-the-floor" section for students

> The new "microphone-man" from football will become the "megaphone man" for our men's basketball games

> Professional Mascot – Enjoy great new material by Spidey this year as we have a professional mascot joining our students to perform as Spidey!

We will also continue many of the new items seen in the Robins Center last year including our award winning pep band, player entrance tunnel, inflatable mascots, tee-shirt guns and the Preyground Zone for the UR students.

If you want to learn more about these promotions and get regular updates– check out this link:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Basketball Video

2 big basketball events this week...

FIRST>> Mark Kwolek, Assistant Director of Athletic Public Relations, has produced a great men's basketball video that you can watch on your computer. Check it out on our athletic website....Great work, Mark.

SECOND>> Saturday night at 9, you can participate in Spider Mayhem at the Weinstein gym. See the team workout, enjoy a few contests, and maybe win some prizes.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Football Scheduling Questions

During the last week or so, I have received a few questions regarding football scheduling. Let me take a few minutes to review how football scheduling works for us and address a couple of the issues that have been raised.

1. Conference Games- The conference office schedules all of our conference football games. All 12 of the schools provide the conference office with their (a) Homecoming date [everybody wants a home game]; (b) Family Weekend date [everybody wants a home game]; (c) Fall Break date [nobody wants a home game]; and (d) previously scheduled non-conference games [can't play a conference game on those dates]. The conference office has the difficult task of trying to make 12 schools happy...and to make matters worse, the 36 Homecoming, Family Weekend, and Fall Break dates [12 schools with 3 issues each] are usually bunched into about a one-month period of time.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that sometimes there are problems that can't we worked out. But yes, the conference's goal is for each of the 12 schools to have home games on Homecoming and Family Weekend days and no game of Fall Break.

There is an additional issue that sometimes comes into play. In some situations, the conference schedule is being projected out further than an institution has set its dates for HC, FW and/or FB.

2. Non-Conference Games- We schedule our non-conference games. David Walsh, our Deputy AD, works with the head football coach to develop that schedule. We are currently playing a FBS [1-A] game each year on the road. We have been fortunate to be able to play quality institutions like Virginia, Duke and Vanderbilt. With the two or three remaining FCS [1-AA] games we schedule, our objective is to achieve a balance between competitive games and games that we should win. The A10 is too tough a conference to load up our non-conference schedule with too many ranked FCS opponents.

We also try to achieve a balance between home and away games [i.e., 5 or 6 home games and 5 or 6 away games in years we play 11; and 6-6 on years we play 12]. This year, circumstances caused us to have to play 2 FCS [1-AA] games on the road...the good news is that we won both of them [at Elon and at VMI]. With the availability of our on-campus stadium beginning with the 2010 season, we will be able to consider purchasing "home only" games because with increased ticket sales, we will be able justify the expense of paying certain teams to come to Richmond, without a return game.

I hope this adequately addresses a few of the issues regarding football scheduling.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


The way the fb team played at UMass is the perfect example of the strong character and resiliency of these student-athletes and coaches. Coming off such a heart-breaking game against JMU and then putting in a performance like we saw have to be proud of them.

Today i will be heading over to campus to watch our field hockey [noon], women's soccer [noon] and men's soccer [2:30]. Hope many of you will join me...

And this Saturday morning at 10 we will have a little "construction kickoff" event to keep our stadium momentum going...drop by if you can.

NOTE>> I have been asked by a few people about a some football scheduling issues [i.e., number of home games, fall break]. I will make a blog entry this week about this issue...

Monday, October 13, 2008

JMU Game #2

Another question I heard was about stadium size...What are we going to do about big games like this [i.e., 16,000+ in attendance] when we move to a 9,000 seat stadium?

However, I think the critical question [and the one that was asked several years ago] is this...Does the University of Richmond want to play its home games on campus? The answer then...and the answer now, is a resounding YES.

Once it was decided that we want to play our football games on campus, we had to decide what type of stadium would fit...not only what would fit in the space we have on campus, but what would fit when you look at all the issues...parking, traffic, etc.

We worked with consultants to design a stadium that addressed our critical issues. And, even with the decision to build an 8,700 seat stadium, it took several years to get the necessary approvals.

Here is the bottom line...we need to focus on the positives. We have a great football team, who in 2010 will be playing in probably the best quality FCS stadium in the country...located on our beautiful campus.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

JMU Game

WOW...what a tough loss...great atmosphere, great effort, but didn't close the deal...

Thought I would answer a quick question I heard several times yesterday and today.

JMU would not have been forced to take the ball on their 40-yard line if we had kicked the ball out-of-bounds on the kickoff after our final TD. As you may re-call, the same thing happened to App St during our semi-final game. They had an unsportsmanlike penalty following a TD and kicked off from the 15. They kicked it out-0f-bounds twice. We kept accepting the 5-yard penalty rather than taking the ball on the 40 and Appy ended up kicking off from their 5-yard line.

More to come about the game...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I hope you are as pumped about this Saturday as I am. It looks like we may be in the 15,000 range. Shame on you if you don't get out to UR Stadium to experience a great afternoon of Spider football.

As you probably know, we are opening the gates an hour early to help spread out the traffic. Come early to get a parking spot.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Looking Forward

Man, it was a long drive home Saturday night from Philly. The Villanova game was further reinforcement that we play in a tough fb league and when you don't play well, you are going to get beat...something even Southern Cal experienced this past weekend.

So, its on to VMI...hope many of you are planning on making the trip. Its only a couple hours down the road. And speaking of VMI...continue to keep Jim Reid and his family in your thoughts as he recovers from his by-pass surgery.

You might want to check out our women's soccer team. They are off to a great start and, if they continue to play well, should be legitimate challengers for a conference championship.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Although it's great to have a football team voted #1 in the country after 4 weeks of play, that's not really the important thing...

You probably think I am going to say that what's more important is where we finish...that's too obvious.

When I think about our football program, I believe the really important thing is how far we have come in just a few short years. Coming off a "final four" season and currently ranked #1, everyone agrees that we are one of the best FCS football teams in the country.

Just think, a few years ago we were struggling to have a winning season...

And now...thanks primarily to the support of our Spider fans and the University, we have...

1. attracted two great head football coaches [Dave Clawson and Mike London];

2. increased the assistants' salary pool to permit these head coaches to put together top-flight staffs;

3. funded a full allotment of football scholarships, which enables these coaches to recruit high quality student-athletes;

4. funded and obtained governmental approval to build an on-campus stadium;

5. constructed a new football locker room;

6. enhanced the weight rooms;

7. installed FieldTurf on the football practice facility;

8. hired an academic coordinator who focuses on football student-athletes;

9. increased team travel and recruiting budgets...

The list could go on...but these are some of the things that have helped create a winning attitude on and off the field...

THANK YOU to all the Spider fans who have made gifts to the Spider Club, who have contributed to building the new stadium, who have purchased football season have helped make this happen!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Few Follow-Up Comments

I am pleased with the responses regarding the NCAA issue. Almost everyone I talk with recognizes the importance of adhering to NCAA rules and compliments the way the University responded.

And I am glad that our Fact Sheet has been so well-received. We wanted to make sure that anyone who was interested, could see exactly what happened. We have had over 2,000 hits.

The tough question has been...When you discovered some coaches were violating the text message rule, why didn't you just tell them to stop...why did you report this to the NCAA??

Unfortunately, those are the rules. I would much prefer a system that says exactly that...police yourselves and deal with it on campus. However, that is not the system we live in...the rules specifically state that we must report any NCAA violations of this magnitude.

However, the system is a little screwy. If the NCAA system governed how we deal with traffic issues, you would be required to call the police and tell them..."I want to report that I drove 35 in a 30 zone on my way home, please send me a ticket." ...and, if they thought you didn't call them soon enough, they just might give you another ticket...and...nothing happens to all those people who passed you going 5o and did not report themselves!!

Enough of that, let's start moving forward...

we have sanctioned those who are responsible for the violations...

we are dealing with this matter in an open and honest manner...

we are focusing on the future...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I am sure that you have had the opportunity to review the Fact Sheet that we posted a little more than 24 hours ago. Obviously, we are disappointed that these violations occured...and those who violated the rules were signficantly sanctioned.

However, the other story is that the University has dealt, and will continue to deal, with this issue in an open and straight-forward manner.

I am glad to report that all of the emails and telephone calls to me have been complimentary of the way the University has dealt with this situation. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts regarding this matter.

Monday, September 8, 2008

This & That

1. The first Sportsline show at Outback was a big hit. We had a great crowd and Outback did a wonderful job of getting everyone fed quickly. You may want to join us tomorrow [Tuesday]...and bring a friend or a business guest...

2. The score Saturday [16-0] did not reflect the type of game it was. We were behind by 3 with about 7 minutes to play. If we had made a couple early field goals and the TD was not taken away, the result may have been different...HOWEVER>>> that is not what happened....and i am very proud of the effort and am very optimistic about the rest of the season.

3. I was with President Ayers for much of the game Saturday. It was impressive to see how many UVa fans approached him and wished him and the Spiders well. After the game, Coach Groh made a special effort to track Ed down on the field and tell him what a great decision Richmond made when we hired Mike London.

4. In spite of the really bad weather conditions in the Richmond area, we had a really nice contingent of Spider fans at the game Saturday. That makes 2 weeks in a row the Spider faithful have followed the Elon and then to UVa. I know we will have a great crowd this Saturday for our home opener against the only A10 team to beat us last year.

5. The fall season is in full swing. Visit our website [], check out the schedule of contests for each week and come see the Spiders play...its not just all about football...we have some really wonderful student-athletes competing in a total of 19 sports...check them out.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Lunch at Outback

Tomorrow [Tuesday, September 2], be sure to join Coach London and me for lunch and the Spider Sportsline from noon-1pm at the Outback Steakhouse at 7917 W. Broad St. Coach London and Bob Black will be live on ESPN Radio 950 and

Increased Coverage

Recently I was asked the following question:


The concept of adding a string of radio stations that broadcast games is really a thing of the past. Trying to coordinate scores of radio stations around the state, securing local advertising, clearing time for the games, etc...just does not work and is not an efficient use of resources and time. That format still exists, and perhaps is useful, for major public institutions.

However, the modern trend, which we try to maximize, is for games to be available to our fans and alumni via the internet with both audio and streaming video access. Anyone in the world with a computer can listen to all our football, men's basketball, and women's basketball...and can usually watch the games via streaming video. We also use streaming video to broadcast many of our Olympic sport contests as well.

First FB Game

What a great way to start the "London Era".

We had a couple of buses filled with Spider Club members that added to the 2,000 Spider fans at Elon...second largest crowd ever at their stadium...a little over 10,000. Those who missed the game, should check out the gallery of game shots and video of some of the pre-game festivities hosted by the Spider Club and the Alumni Association.

This was a really big win. Elon was picked by the Southern Conference media and coaches to be the conference's second best team...behind Appy State. We have a long season ahead of us, but as they say..."You don't have to recover from a good start."

I wonder whether we will move up in the national poll? A couple of the teams ahead of us lost, but they were against BCS opponents [Appy at LSU and JMU at Duke]

Congrats also to the women's soccer team...3-0 to start the year.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of Classes

Today is the first day of class…I’m expecting to see many wide-eyed freshman roaming the halls of the Robins Center looking for classrooms.

On another note, last night was a great night for Spider Athletics…our annual Student-Athlete Welcome Picnic was packed and a lot of fun. To kick-off the festivities, President Ayers gave the women’s soccer a pep talk and then led the team through a tunnel of cheering student-athletes into First Market Stadium.

Obviously, this motivated the team…
Women’s Spider Soccer Dominated JMU! We had a great crowd of students at the game…everyone seemed to be having a great time. I hope to see this support continue and build throughout this year.

See you all at the first Football game at Elon this Saturday!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Return from Spain

Jim and and the rest of the Men's basketball staff and team return from Spain this evening. Please join us in wishing them safe travels.

Check out some pictures from the trip on!

-The Athletic Department staff

Monday, August 18, 2008

Greetings from Spain

Here are some of my thoughts from the Spain trip so far:

Its hot, especially with limited air conditioning...

We have some really good guys on this team...

The Spanish really love pork...

Sitges is a great beach town...

Interesting to start dinner at 10 pm...

Nightlife along las ramblas is unique, jugglers, mimes, and assorted con men...

Visited Montsarett this morning!

On another note, the football team plays Elon on August 30...and that will be here before we know it!


New site

I hope you have all had the chance to check out our newly-designed website… Don’t forget to check out the video portion of the site, which includes a welcome message from Dr. Ayers. It’s great to have such strong support from our President.

Hopefully, you had the chance to watch
former Spider Tim Hightower get his first NFL action last night…and watch him score a touchdown! It was certainly a good night for Tim and hopefully the first of many more.

After a week of business on the road, I am ready to travel to Spain with Men's Basketball this Sunday (that is, if I catch my connecting flight…). I’ll post while in Spain…

(original post from August 8th)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Welcome Back

Welcome back to the Jim-nasium. My blog is up and running again after taking some time off this summer. Check back in for regular Sunday evening posts over the coming months. Also, check back on August 7th and visit out our new website! Our staff has been working hard to update the site and have added some great new features! The web address will be the same, but the look will be very different!

If you have not already heard, the On-Campus Stadium project was approved by the city! A big THANK YOU to all who helped make this dream a reality!
Spider Football will be HOME in 2010!

This is a great step for the University of Richmond. I foresee many fun tailgates, enhanced school spirit, and a great place for Spider Football, Track and Field, Lacrosse, and Soccer to dominate!

In other news, next week I am flying off to
with the Men’s Basketball team!! The team will be touring, practicing and playing games during this 12 day trip. My family will be travelling with me…so it looks like I will be relying on my daughter’s ability to speak Spanish to get me by. This is going to be a great experience for the Spiders, and we are really looking forward to an exciting trip. With the help of our athletic public relations staff on the trip, and my brilliant assistant (I had to say something really nice, because she is not making the trip) I hope to post some pictures of the trip while we are away.

I want you all to feel free to contact me with your thoughts at Please note that some feedback I receive may be posted (anonymously) in a later blog entry for all to see.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Future Blogging??

Due to unforseen circumstances, my blogging hit a serious roadblock during the basketball season...

The men's team certainly made great strides in getting back to a position to compete for conference championships and NCAA tournament play. We were 5th in the country in RPI improvement...doubling our overall win total and earning a 4th seed in the tough Atlantic 10.

I am shutting down the blog for the summer and need your advice. Do you think I should continue the blog next season...starting back up in August for the fall season? If so, let me know...and let me know what type of information you would like to see and hear about...

Contact me at to give me your thoughts.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Little Surprised

I have been told that there has been "message board" criticism of my post calling for Spiders fans to band together to support our new football coach. I am somewhat surprised that anyone would criticize a call for all Spiders to support our coach and football program...we do need more support... we do need more people buying tickets...we do need more fans coming to UR Stadium..we do need more people buying Spider Seats in the new stadium...we do need all Spider fans saying great things about our coach, team, and university.

However, if a call for all of us to join together and support the new coach and team creates any negativity, I had better remove the post.



Hope to see all of you at the Dayton game Saturday night...a bunch of good things happening...

1. Playing a nationally-ranked team at home

2. Honoring our new Hall of Fame inductees, including mbb star Curtis Blair

3. Recognizing the football team at half-time

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Hope you were able to read john's article about the A10 in the T-D this morning. Several teams in the league are really having a great year...4 are currently ranked in the top 20 RPI teams in the country...far more than any other conference.

You should also note that A10 teams have 9 wins over top 50 teams and have beaten traditional powers such as Syracuse [twice], Louisville, Pittsburgh, Indiana, Cincinnati, Virginia, Boston College, and Wake Forest.

And what a great day Thursday was...

1. big announcement that the Robins Foundation made a $5 million gift to the stadium...that puts us at about $25 million and concludes our active stadium fund raising....AND

2. big crowd in Robins Center for a win against about our freshmen!!! They are blending in very well with our sophomores, juniors and seniors and really contributing.