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Indiana, we're all for you

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Indiana won today! Go Hoosiers!

Like most Hoosier fans, I've had a love-hate affair with the Indiana football program. I love my alma mater and I whole-heartedly support all their athletic programs, including football, in good years and bad. What I've hated is the apparent lack of support of both the student body and alumni in the past several years, and what looks, to me, as a lack of support by the administration and the athletic department.

While it's frustrating that fans tend to attend games of winning teams, you really can't blame them a lot. Most of today's students were in grade school the last time IU went to a bowl game. They've grown up with IU football teams that have been, shall we say, less than spectacular. And as an alumni myself, I'm not exactly making weekly trips to Bloomington for football games.

But I've been particularly frustrated with the "carousel of coaches," which seems to be the de rigueur these days as sports have become over-funded, over-analyzed and all-around over-inflated. As an alumni that supports my school, I'd much rather see Indiana make an investment in a good, solid coach, then support and back that coach over the long term. Instead, they've seemed eager to drop a coach after only a couple years because of losing seasons.

Now, I'm not stupid. I know losing seasons mean lost revenue for a major university. But I also recognize a sports program is built up over time. Expecting a coach to turn a program around in two or three seasons, and then buying out the rest of his contract is, to me, a waste of money and akin to lost revenue. I'd rather see a coach stay long enough to implement his own recruitment program and build up the team as he sees fit. After all, a coach's first season is played with the previous coach's players. I maintain a coach needs a minimum of five years for existing players to graduate and his own recruits to come into their own.

But then again, I'm not an administrator. I'm not an AD. I'm not a coach. I'm not even particularly athletic. I'm just a fan who'd like to see the best from his team.

Go Hoosiers!