Friday, October 24, 2008

Chat with Jack Summary

On Friday October 24th, Jack Kvancz and the athletic department hosted a gaggle of dedicated Colonials fans from 6-8pm. Jack spent most of the two hours explaining to the 20 odd GW diehards the myriad of challenges GW basketball faces. It was clear from the frank and, at times, frustrated tone of discussion that the AD office has heard and hoped to address a growing chorus of concern. Jack at times appeared reluctant to divulge specifics and often spoke without mentioning schools by name instead alluding to them with nods and winks. The overall message was clear: Jack's hands are tied. It was less clear, other than through the Smith Center Renovation efforts underway, how they plan to creatively loosen them.

Notes after the jump.

I lack a photographic memory. If I have distorted any of the statements from the event or read between too many lines, please comment below.

Scheduling and "Majority Rules" in the A-10

-According to Jack, the the A-10 rules are the major impediment to GW scheduling. Jack stressed how a majority of ADs voted for the 3 tiers. Presumably he was not one of them.
-Jack dislikes the RPI stipulations by tier.
-Jack dislikes that teams can only schedule Home and Homes.
-Now that the A-10 expressly forbids Buy games, the AD cannot accept one-off games against opponents, like UCLA, who would pay GW to visit. As Jack put it, "When I can't get bought, that's a problem."
-BCS teams WILL NOT play at the Smith Center. Thus, Home and Homes are impossible with those types of schools.
-Jack is unsure, other than financially, how the A-10 might punish GW for scheduling teams outside of their tier's RPI range.
-Jack defended the game against Harvard on a number of grounds. Large number of former and potential GW student from Massachusetts, Harvard's academic acumen, number of local DC metro basketball products on the Crimson including Coach Amaker.
-GW keeps its commitments even if other teams don't. USC and Clemson dropped out of Rainbow, GW cannot afford that leisure. Providence may not return the game in DC, but GW will honor the 2&1 agreement with Longwood.
-The AD is on board with scheduling Colonial Athletic teams next season such as Mason, VCU, UNC/W, and ODU and date-matching should become easier next season as current contracts expire.
-Mason sounds like its going to happen. Approximate Jack Quote: "How many CAA teams do you want? 5, 8, 2? I'm with you."
-Jack subtly alluded to trying to schedule a game with the brother of a notable potential presidential spouse but that given A-10 scheduling rules pegged to last years RPI figures, GW would not have been allowed to schedule Oregon State. Makes you wonder who might be in attendance when the Beavers play their first game of the 08-09 season against the Bison off Georgia Ave...

TV & Media Exposure

-GW would have to pay a local station to pay CBS College Sports to play a GW game. Maryland gets paid to have it's games on TV.
-It has become harder and harder to field good teams in the BB&T. Kansas wanted $1M to participate. The BB&T has historically been a clever way to bring a BCS team to DC and then return the game away the following season. As Dom put it, the BB&T usually means 3 games: 2 at the tourney and then a return away game with the previous BB&T opponent. Sounds like another hole to fill next season.
-President Knapp values athletics, and specifically GW basketball, as an important part of the University. First question he was asked by a Washington Post reporter during his first interview. Rough paraphrase: What will it be like to move from a Lacrosse School to a Basketball School? "It will be easier to see the ball."

The Team
-Jack and Dan Rocha and others others reminded fans about the bottom line: GW Student-Athlete stand out Nationally in their academic achievements.
-Universal excitement about Tony Taylor.
-Travis is still a ways away from full health. He's '70%'

Smith Center Renovations
-Dan Rocha, Knapp's man leading the Smith Center renovation fundraising efforts, updated fans on the progress.
-The Board has ponied up for $4 Million of the required $10 Million to match the Kogod and Smith families' generous contributions.
-With a couple million already in hand from the first few months, Rocha and team expect to exceed the necessary $10M by June 30.
-Along they way, they want to continue to encourage donors at all levels who are interested in contributing.

Andrew has written extensively on this Blog about the need for greater transparency within the Athletic Department. This meeting was a good first step, one that allowed Jack, Dom, and others to articulate (vent) their frustration with the constraints of being GW. Now armed with a better understanding of the constraints, the Colonial nation would love to hear more about creative solutions and how they can help realize those goals.

No comments:

You can get college basketball tickets here.