Monday, March 24, 2008

The Monday Morning Wash

If you are a Husky fan this coming week, and the rest of the month, it is going to be absolutely deader than a doormail. Thank goodness the Cougars are still giving us a diversion by knocking the snot out of their first two opponents in the NCAA tournament.

I have seen a lot of Husky off seasons in my time, but I have never seen this amount of silence coming out of Montlake. Take Willingham for instance. We heard from him briefly after he fired his assistants, we heard from him when he hired the new one's, and of course when he announced his 2008 recruiting class. That is about four hours of verbal communication since the first of December. This guy really knows how to promote a 4-9 program when his back is up against the wall.

We all wondered what type of Ty we would see after he narrowly escaped the hangman's noose after the Hawaii game, and what we are seeing is an even more reclusive version. Fan's who have run into him here and there have commented that he has become even more aloof in person. Many believe it is a foregone conclusion that he expects to be gone after next year so he isn't really buying into any meaningful communicative change in 2008.

Bill Fleenor has been posting regularly over on Dawgman about the disconnect, and he has decided to withold football contributions until he see's some meaningful change. He gives examples of how the UW athletic department ignores boosters, and is unappreciative or at least ambilvalent about donor contributions. He gives the example of how proactive the athletic department at WSU has become in making their boosters feel appreciated.

In Kindergarten we all learned how to say Please, and Thank You, for some reason at UW as far as athletics are concerned many boosters including Bill Fleenor keep telling the tale of how this simple courtesy has become forgotten. Send the money, buy the tickets, but don't expect us to thank you, or work to make the experience special like it was in the past. Most importantly don't expect us to make you feel special or wanted.

Word on the street is that interim AD Scott Woodward really get's it, many would be happy to see him take the position on a full time basis, but don't expect him to make major changes in how the department is currently run as an interim AD. His job right now is simply to bridge the gap and keep things running till a new AD is hired. Whoever is hired as the next AD has a lot of work to do and fences to mend once he/she starts the job.


prrbrr said...

johnb, interesting. The few guys I have talked to said TW was much more forthcoming and available. Whatever the case, he needs to be out there putting a much more visible face to the program. If he doesn't and your sources are correct, I think he will not get nor deserve his 5th year. What a hardhead.

prrbrr said...

Oops, sorry, forgot to comment on the please and thank you. My experience over the past 10 years have been hit and miss. Since contributions all go in at same time, I can surmise coaches get notification of my donation at same time. The ones who have been quick to acknowledge and appear genuinely sincere are VBall, Crew, Mens BBall, Swimming and Gymnastics. The next tier is those that acknowledge with a very form letter or very much later. This includes softball, w bball, band and w soccer. BTW, former s ball coach T Wilson was the best at quick recognition and acknowledgement. Band really bugs me, as I was a former bandsmen. Sometimes I get a thank you, other years nothing (same $$ amount). This year I got an 8x10 photo of band and cheer squad, no letter etc just the pic. I am planning on reallocating my $$ much like the UW reallocates seats every 2-3 years, next year will be a reallocation year for me in February when TYEE is due. Anyway, thanks for bringing this subject up.

John Berkowitz said...

I think typically people give because they feel it is a worthwhile cause they are interested in, not because they are looking for something back in return.

I think the point I am trying to make is that when UW takes that giving for granted it is a mistake. If they want the giving to continue, or increase they need to do a better job of reaching out, saying thank you, and making people feel more special, or an integral part of the team.

One of the points Fleenor is trying to make is that it hasn't been that fun, or special lately, and he has felt unappreciated, and taken for granted at times. More, and more donors are feeling that way, and it isn't the type of perception you want out there on the street.

Take the team hotel deal with the football team. Personally it is no big deal for me, I prefer to stay elsewhere out of the commotion so it wasn't an issue for me.

However many people who take trips to follow the team on the road are extremely offended by it. It was part of the historical experience that bonded them together.

It is no small part of the reason that away game attendance by Husky fans has considerably dwindled since Ty has taken over. I notice because the majority of the games I see are on the road.

I think it is extremely bad policy, and a slap in the face of the fans who go to considerable expense to follow the team.

Another pet peave for me is the 5th quarter. Ty doesn't show up because he is not contractually obligated to do so. His assistants don't show up becuase they are not required to do so, and Ty isn't in favor of it. Once again it is bad form no matter what the excuse is, and I certanly don't buy the recruiting excuse. Once again it is a slap in the face to the common fan, and booster.

If you want to turn things around at UW it takes everyone being involved to do that. Distancing fans, and boosters is a terrible decision.

Turner's comment that the boosters don't have the keys to the locker room anymore turned my stomach. That was never the case, and he knew it.

What most boosters want is to have a feel of being part of the culture, they want to be appreciated, they want to know that their support matters.

Don James and Mike Lude understood that. That was Husky football.