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Lafalum

Somebody snap me out of it!!

Why am I getting the feeling that mediocrity maybe our buzzword this fall.
Football had an oh hum scrimmage, women's soccer's scrimmage was equally as uninspired, fh has not shown me anything yet, ….I have not seen men's soccer yet but they are picked seventh. Men's soccer has had scholarships for five years, second year for women's soccer, fh five years…we can't seem to turn the  corner. I know it's early…somebody give me something to hang on to!!

I think I'll drive to the beach and get some sun….after I finish mowing the lawn.
LC Fan

It's Lafayette. We've been mediocre for 50 years and nothing and no one is going to change that. Period!
SixtyEighter

Fifty years is an understatement. Athletics at Lafayette have been mediocre for a hundred years. You can look it up. It's strictly a lightning strikes situation and has been and it's worse now with millions in scholarships. We can't even nave quality teams throughout with scholarships.
Bogus Megapardus

Not buying it.  Mediocre compared to what?  Lafayette's institutional "peers" are schools like F&M, Dickinson, Swarthmore, Gettyburg, Union, RPI, etc.  Any Lafayette team would wipe the floor clean against any team from any of those schools.

Lafayette always has, and continues to, "play up."  You can count on one hand the number of true undergraduate colleges of Lafayette's size, anywhere in the nation and at any level, that can sustain a comparable athletic program.  And you can count on one finger the number with Lafayette's academic rigor and standing.

Lafayette always has been the little college that defied the odds, overachieved and played way over its head - continuously, unabated - for 150 years.  Other small colleges have brushed with the notion in the past - Swarthmore, Gettysburg, Tufts, Williams, Hobart - but none could sustain the effort and all are relegated to Division III.

I want to do better, of course.  But I'm very realistic about Lafayette sports and I'm tremendously proud of the school and its supportive alumni.
Lafalum

I have always thought outside of football and basketball we should make a reasonable effort to be really good at something (soccer, field hockey, lacrosse). The incremental expense would be marginal and the halo effect would be incalculable. But even when we seem to be on our way, we do something to screw it up ( losing a good coach, cut budgets, crazy studies to drop to Div 3 etc).

We should look to our peers in the likes of Bucknell, Colgate, and W and M.
We have long ago passed F and M, Gettyburg, et. al. We do ourselves a disservice calibrating ourselves with them.
LC Fan

F&M, Swarthmore, Hobart, etc. are fine schools but are not athletic peer institutions. Our aspirations are to compete with the Ivies and other Patriot League schools athletically and be considered somewhat competitive academically. Let's face it, even with schollies we have not been up to the challenge. In fact, we struggle with the likes of St Francis, NJIT, Manhattan, and Wagner in all sports. Is that what we expect?
Bogus Megapardus

Lafalum wrote:
I have always thought outside of football and basketball we should make a reasonable effort to be really good at something (soccer, field hockey, lacrosse). The incremental expense would be marginal and the halo effect would be incalculable. But even when we seem to be on our way, we do something to screw it up ( losing a good coach, cut budgets, crazy studies to drop to Div 3 etc).

We should look to our peers in the likes of Bucknell, Colgate, and W and M.
We have long ago passed F and M, Gettyburg, et. al. We do ourselves a disservice calibrating ourselves with them.


Field Hockey - Lafayette has been in the Top 20 recently.  No reason we can't put the foot down on American U. and Metropolitan College on a consistent basis going forward.  This sport is our best hope at a national Elite Eight or even a Final Four appearance.

Men's Lacrosse - There's absolutely no excuse for the ineptitude.  Given Lafayette's long, unbroken lacrosse tradition (we're hardly "newcomers" to the sport), its geographic location, its facilities and its reputation as the kind of school that naturally ought to attract good players . . . well, we have to do much, much better.  Bucknell and Colgate both put us to shame every year.

BTW - William & Mary?  We would crush them in any sport other than football.  No contest.  And in football we're 1-1; hopefully 2-1 after September 20.
bethlehempard

FB MBB and WBB have been mixed at best for this century. Our FB and MBB coaches are huge figures in Lafayette sports history yet both have a winning percentage slightly under 50%. Both have also delivered some big seasons.
WBB is improving.
There have been great moments but not sustained success for awhile. I will always enjoy the games and appreciate our unusual niche in college sports. I know we can't do it every year. I want to see some separation between us in MBB and the likes of Army, Colgate, etc. These schools don't have our basketball heritage.
This is my school and these are my teams. Now and forever.
GO PARDS!
bison137

Bogus Megapardus wrote:


Field Hockey - Lafayette has been in the Top 20 recently.  No reason we can't put the foot down on American U. and Metropolitan College on a consistent basis going forward.  This sport is our best hope at a national Elite Eight or even a Final Four appearance.

Men's Lacrosse - There's absolutely no excuse for the ineptitude.  Given Lafayette's long, unbroken lacrosse tradition (we're hardly "newcomers" to the sport), its geographic location, its facilities and its reputation as the kind of school that naturally ought to attract good players . . . well, we have to do much, much better.  Bucknell and Colgate both put us to shame every year.

BTW - William & Mary?  We would crush them in any sport other than football.  No contest.  And in football we're 1-1; hopefully 2-1 after September 20.



Agree on FH, but I have to disagree about William & Mary.  Not sure if you are serious, but they are pretty good in a lot of sports.    Clearly better than LC in baseball, men's soccer, women's soccer, cross country (M & W), swimming, golf, and likely some others.   Combining a lot of scholarship money with relatively low in-state tuition and good academics helps them recruit reasonably well in a lot of the second-tier sports.
SixtyEighter

My point is that we are not competitive in most sports . A good team is the result of having lightning strike rather than having "good" programs that go on being good year after year regardless of who is coaching. Look how many bad years we had in football until Bill Russo arrived. Ken Bunn , Neal Putnam etc. Intersperse Harry Gamble. When a competent coach arrived the team surged- When Ken Bunn was on the job it sagged.There was no continuity. Bill Russo took Neal Putnam's players and made them champs. Neal Putnam took Harry Gamble's players and made them mediocre.
Now we have scholarships but we are not moving up -we remain in our same relative position . The jury is out on football for this season .An argument could be made that our wins last year over Fordham , Lehigh , and Bucknell were against back up QB's. We lost to Colgate when their QB came back from several weeks off due to injury to torch us for 28 first half points.
    The Bucknell men's basketball program didn't lose a step when Flannery retired and Dave Clawson arrived. Lehigh football is another example- they have been steadily good for a long time. Up and down to them is not 2-9 but 6-5 or 5-6 at worst. Our women's basketball is another example - a good season is 500.That program was dead and buried and seems impossible to resurrection. After who knows how many years of scholarships  the players are better due to scholarships but 500 was the result because the other teams  also improved. Nolan had 4 years of her players and could only get to 500.
    In short there is something wrong at Lafayette we on the outside looking in do not have access to. All the money devoted to athletics for scholarships and facilities has not had any effect on W/L bottom line.
Lafalum

SixtyEighter wrote:
My point is that we are not competitive in most sports . A good team is the result of having lightning strike rather than having "good" programs that go on being good year after year regardless of who is coaching. Look how many bad years we had in football until Bill Russo arrived. Ken Bunn , Neal Putnam etc. Intersperse Harry Gamble. When a competent coach arrived the team surged- When Ken Bunn was on the job it sagged.There was no continuity. Bill Russo took Neal Putnam's players and made them champs. Neal Putnam took Harry Gamble's players and made them mediocre.
Now we have scholarships but we are not moving up -we remain in our same relative position . The jury is out on football for this season .An argument could be made that our wins last year over Fordham , Lehigh , and Bucknell were against back up QB's. We lost to Colgate when their QB came back from several weeks off due to injury to torch us for 28 first half points.
    The Bucknell men's basketball program didn't lose a step when Flannery retired and Dave Clawson arrived. Lehigh football is another example- they have been steadily good for a long time. Up and down to them is not 2-9 but 6-5 or 5-6 at worst. Our women's basketball is another example - a good season is 500.That program was dead and buried and seems impossible to resurrection. After who knows how many years of scholarships  the players are better due to scholarships but 500 was the result because the other teams  also improved. Nolan had 4 years of her players and could only get to 500.
    In short there is something wrong at Lafayette we on the outside looking in do not have access to. All the money devoted to athletics for scholarships and facilities has not had any effect on W/L bottom line.


QED
Andy

Yup. Case in point: WBB hasn't been .500 in league play since 1998.  1998!!!
bethlehempard

Coach Russo did take Coach Putnam's players but let's not forget that he also got six transfers who could play right away when Nova dropped D1 football.
It all made for a great afternoon at Taylor Stadium.
Among Coach Putnam's players were Joe Skladany and Roger Shepko and Steve Biale and Jack Gatehouse and Frank Novak, stars by any standard.
Putnam also led Lafayette to its last win over Rutgers in 1971.
After his final loss to Lehigh he was distraught.
Beating Lehigh in 1981 shocked us. Maybe with 10 minutes left, it hit us: we can WIN this one.
Putnam never beat Colgate but there was a 7-7 tie in 1979.
Lafalum

SixtyEighter wrote:

    In short there is something wrong at Lafayette we on the outside looking in do not have access to. All the money devoted to athletics for scholarships and facilities has not had any effect on W/L bottom line.


The difference is in the academe once hired and attaining tenure status no one is ever held accountable. The firing of our women's BBALL coach was a radical departure. She WAS fired for her record and shocked some of the insiders according to some people I have talked to. I just wonder, when evaluations are done at the end of the year how much weight wins and losses are given, especially in the minor sports. We are asking alumni to give a lot more money than ten years ago. My email mailbox and snail mail box hardly goes a week without some solicitation from some sport. The college has also responded with scholarships and support for facilities as well. There must be accountability by the staff at some point or that support will not be sustainable. Same should be true on the academic and administrative side.

We are about to launch a major campaign and as in any charity accountability is a key factor in attracting donors. Byerly seems to get the message, given at least the halt on the relentless attack on fraternities ( now that Zete has been suspended but we shall now see if Chi Phi will come back). Somehow demanding excellence in all aspects of Lafayette College is not of line for donors to ask for.
carney2

Bogus Megapardus wrote:
Not buying it.  Mediocre compared to what?  Lafayette's institutional "peers" are schools like F&M, Dickinson, Swarthmore, Gettyburg, Union, RPI, etc.  Any Lafayette team would wipe the floor clean against any team from any of those schools.

Lafayette always has, and continues to, "play up."  You can count on one hand the number of true undergraduate colleges of Lafayette's size, anywhere in the nation and at any level, that can sustain a comparable athletic program.  And you can count on one finger the number with Lafayette's academic rigor and standing.

Lafayette always has been the little college that defied the odds, overachieved and played way over its head - continuously, unabated - for 150 years.  Other small colleges have brushed with the notion in the past - Swarthmore, Gettysburg, Tufts, Williams, Hobart - but none could sustain the effort and all are relegated to Division III.

I want to do better, of course.  But I'm very realistic about Lafayette sports and I'm tremendously proud of the school and its supportive alumni.


An apologist!  I always suspected we had a mole - one of Danny Weiss's boys - on this board.  I think he's been identified.  Perhaps we can hold a lynching at halftime of the Robert Morris game?  That should do well to livening what promises to be a dull evening.
Bogus Megapardus

carney2 wrote:
An apologist!


Hardly.  I don't compare Lafayette sports to Gettysburg, F&M, etc.  I compare Lafayette sports (I think rationally) to OOC schools like Villanova, Wofford and Richmond, to the other PL schools and to the Ivy teams that we see regularly in most sports.  We should be able to compete on an even basis with each of them.

What I won't do is suggest that we're Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt or Northwestern, that we could be, that we ought to try to be, or that we ever will be.  I don't imagine the athletes who come to Lafayette have that expectation either.  In the same vein the Ivy schools (in contrast to Lafayette) have the resources to compete at any desired level - including the level of Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt or Northwestern (or perhaps at a NESCAC level if that's what they want).  Ivy deliberately tempers its pace.  But . . . when Ivy begins to tire of scheduling Marist and Davidson in football, they'll have to "pivot" back to the PL and to the traditional northeastern CAA (Maine, UNH, Villanova, URI, Richmond, W&M).  Harvard, Yale, Penn and Princeton can do this with the flip of a switch if they want to, and the others (save Columbia) wouldn't lag behind for long.  Either that or they all throw up their arms and become NESCAC II.

Nor do I think there's much basis for comparison between Lafayette and the bottomless morass of state-run "directional" FCS schools.  We're placed in the same subdivision merely for the NCAA's convenience rather than by any institutional choice.  But the bottom line is that we have to compete with them in order to see success in the FCS playoffs . . . if, indeed, success in the FCS playoffs actually is a high-ordinal Lafayette program goal.



EDIT - I just checked this out of curiosity.  Ivy could not play a completely insular (i.e., NESCAC-style) "Ivy-only" schedule even if it wanted to.  NCAA Division I By-Law 20.9.6.3 requires each FCS institution to schedule a minimum of nine "intercollegiate contests" each season with "more than 50 percent of its football games against Football Bowl Subdivision or Football Championship Subdivision members."

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schoo...sc_non_event/ncaa-manual.pdf#p357



Bogus Megapardus

Also just out of curiosity (and because this issue often comes up in the context of Ivy financial aid) I just re-read the current Division I financial aid requirements.

*   *   *   *   *   *

20.9.3 - Financial Aid Requirements.

20.9.3.1 - Maximum Limitations. A member of Division I shall not make an award of financial aid (for which the recipient’s athletics ability is considered in any degree) in excess of the number permitted by the provisions of the bylaws governing Division I financial aid awards limitations (see Bylaw 15.5).

20.9.3.2 - Minimum Awards. A member of Division I shall provide institutional financial assistance that equals one of the following:

(a) A minimum of 50 percent of the maximum allowable grants in 14 sports, at least seven of which must be women’s sports. If an institution uses indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and cross country to meet the financial aid criterion, it must award the equivalent of at least 80 percent of the full grants for men and 80 percent of the full grants for women in those sports. If the institution counts two of those three sports to meet the financial aid criterion, it must award the equivalent of at least 70 percent of the full grants for men and 70 percent of the full grants for women. If the institution counts indoor and outdoor track and field as one sport, it must award the equivalent of at least 50 percent of the full grants for men and 50 percent of the full grants for women;

(b) Financial aid representing a minimum aggregate expenditure of $1,394,580 in 2013-14 (with at least $697,290 in women’s sports) and $1,419,682 in 2014-15 (with at least $709,841 in women’s sports) exclusive of grants in football and men’s and women’s basketball, provided the aggregate grant value is not less than the equivalent of 38 full grants, with at least 19 full grants for women. The Administration Cabinet shall adjust the minimum aggregate figure annually to reflect inflation, based on changes in average national tuition charges for regionally accredited institutions. The Administration Cabinet shall announce the revised figure in the fall each year for the following academic year. If the institution does not sponsor men’s or women’s basketball, the minimum aggregate expenditure must be $920,707 in 2013-14 and $937,280 in 2014-15 for the gender without the basketball program, but in no case fewer than the equivalent of 29 full grants for that gender;

(c) A minimum of the equivalent of 50 full grants (at least 25 full grants in women’s sports), exclusive of grants awarded in football and men’s and women’s basketball. If the member institution does not provide men’s or women’s basketball, it shall sponsor a minimum of 35 full grants in the sports program for the gender without the basketball program; or

(d) A minimum of one-half of the required grants or aggregate expenditures cited in (a), (b) or (c) above, for institutions that depend on exceptional amounts of federal assistance to meet students’ financial needs. This provision shall be applicable to an institution in a given year if the average per-student allotment of Pell Grant dollars for undergraduates reported to the U.S. Department of Education the previous September is more than one standard deviation above the mean for all reporting Division I member institutions that year. If an institution does not qualify under this provision after having been able to do so the previous year, the institution may continue to use this alternative for one year and shall not be required to meet the provisions of (a), (b) or (c) above until the following year. This provision shall be applicable only to institutions that were members of Division I on September 1, 1990.

20.9.3.2.1 - Aid Counted Toward Minimum Requirements. All institutional financial aid (including aid that is exempted from an equivalency computation per Bylaw 15.5.3.2.2) awarded by the member institution to a counter (per Bylaw 15.5.1) shall be used to meet the appropriate minimum.

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schoo...sc_non_event/ncaa-manual.pdf#p357



Bogus Megapardus

Here are the "academic honor" exceptions to the financial aid limitations, which would apply to just about any student enrolled at an Ivy institution:

*   *   *   *   *   *

15.5.3.2.2 - Exceptions.

15.5.3.2.2.1 - Academic Honor Awards - Based on High School Record. Academic honor awards that are part of an institution’s normal arrangements for academic scholarships, based solely on the recipient’s high school record and awarded independently of athletics interests and in amounts consistent with the pattern of all such awards made by institutions, are exempt from an institution’s equivalency computation, provided the recipient was ranked in the upper 10 percent of the high school graduating class or achieved a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.500 (based on a maximum of 4.000) or a minimum ACT sum score of 105 or a minimum SAT score of 1200 (critical reading and math).

15.5.3.2.2.1.1 - Additional Requirements. The following additional requirements shall be met:

(a) The awards may include additional, nonacademic criteria (e.g., interviews, essays, need analysis), provided the additional criteria are not based on athletics ability, participation or interests, and the awards are consistent with the pattern of all such awards provided to all students;

(b) No quota of awards shall be designated for student-athletes;

(c) Athletics participation shall not be required before or after collegiate enrollment;

(d) No athletics department staff member shall be involved in designating the recipients of such awards;

(e) Any additional criteria shall not include athletics ability, participation or interests; and

(f) There must be on file in the office of the director of athletics certification by the financial aid director or the chair of the financial aid committee that such awards are part of the institution’s normal arrangements for academic scholarships, awarded independently of athletics ability, participation and interests, and in amounts consistent with the pattern of all such awards made by the institution.

15.5.3.2.2.1.2 - Renewals. The renewal of an academic honor award (per Bylaw 15.5.3.2.2.1) may be exempted from an institution’s equivalency computation regardless of whether the recipient qualified for exemption in his or her initial academic year enrollment, provided:

(a) The recipient achieves a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.000 (based on a maximum of 4.000) at the certifying institution; and

(b) The recipient meets all NCAA, conference and institutional progress-toward-degree requirements.

15.5.3.2.2.2 - Academic Honor Awards - Transfer Students. Academic honor awards that are part of an institution’s normal arrangements for academic scholarships, either based solely on the recipient’s cumulative academic record from all collegiate institutions previously attended or based on the recipient’s high school record and cumulative academic record from all collegiate institutions previously attended, awarded independently of athletics interests and in amounts consistent with the pattern of all such awards made by the institution, may be exempted from a team’s equivalency computation, provided the recipient achieved a cumulative transferable grade-point average of at least 3.000 (based on a maximum of 4.000).

15.5.3.2.2.2.1 - Calculation of Grade-Point Average. Grades earned in all courses that are normally transferable to an institution shall be considered in determining the grade-point average for meeting this exception, regardless of the grade earned or whether such grade makes the course unacceptable for transferable-degree credit.

15.5.3.2.2.2.2 - Renewals. The renewal of an academic honor award (per Bylaw 15.5.3.2.2.2) may be exempted from an institution’s equivalency computation, provided:

(a) The recipient achieves a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.000 (based on a maximum of 4.000) at the certifying institution; and

(b) The recipient meets all NCAA, conference and institutional progress-toward-degree requirements.

15.5.3.2.2.3 - Institutional Academic Scholarships. Institutional academic scholarships that are part of an institution’s normal arrangements for academic scholarships, based solely on the recipient’s academic record at the certifying institution, awarded independently of athletics interests and in amounts consistent with the pattern of all such awards made by the institution, are exempt from an institution’s equivalency computation, provided the recipient has completed at least one academic year of full-time enrollment at the certifying institution and has achieved a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.000 (on a 4.000 scale) at the certifying institution.

15.5.3.2.3 - Cancellation of Athletically Related Aid. If a student-athlete is dismissed from or voluntarily withdraws from a team and his or her athletically related financial aid is canceled (see Bylaws 15.3.2.3 and 15.3.4.2) during an academic term, all other countable financial aid the student-athlete receives during the remainder of the term is countable toward the student-athlete’s equivalency for the academic year; however, the institution is not required to count other countable financial aid toward the student-athlete’s equivalency during any remaining terms of the academic year. If a student-athlete is dismissed from or voluntarily withdraws from a team and his or her athletically related financial aid is canceled at the end of an academic term, the institution is not required to count other countable financial aid toward the student-athlete’s equivalency during any remaining terms of the academic year.

*   *   *   *   *   *

One thing is certain - no Division I school can claim that it does not provide athletically-related financial aid.  All Division I schools (including Ivy) are required to provide a minimum level of athletic financial aid. And Ivy can "exempt" just about anyone from the maximum aid limitations.

I really can't decipher how the PL schools got away with it as long they did, to tell you the truth.

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schoo...sc_non_event/ncaa-manual.pdf#p215



NewXbo

Carney, your turn. Try to make it brief, I have to run out for beer.
flyfisher

Bogus, have To disagree on a couple of points. As much as I wish we could compete day in day out in football with the CAA,  we are not there. I spent the last 4 years every weekend at CAA games. We are not close yet. We do not have the speed, period. I wish we could and this is something to aspire to but we are not there yet.

Some of these Schools are small. Richmond has just under 3k students. Furman has around 2400. Look at Wofford. They have 1400 students. And all 3 play some combination of LSU, Ohio state, n c state, virginia, Nebraska and others in football as well as the tough CAA and Socon. And all 3 have excellent academics.

As to Lafayette, I can't figure out the athletic culture. Facilities on average are good. A Wealthy alumni base that supports the school. Our enrollment is small but that does not hold other schools back. Sometimes it appears we don't hold our leadership accountable. Or maybe we do but the goals are set so low it's hard to fail. There was one semester lat year that we did not have a single team with a
winning record. I find that odd. Yet our AD won a national award as best AD in the country. Don't get me wrong, in the big picture I think he does a good job. And I like the coaches that I have met but just seems odd we have so much mediocrity. The school seems to have so much potential to me.
ed65

Fly: I suspect you are preaching to the choir on this board.  As many of us have said before, getting this message through to the board and the Admin. is clearly part of the process for getting something done.  If the success in selling tickets for the 100th game doesn't strike a chord with the powers that be, I don't know what else will.
flyfisher

I don't know the school, the history, the previous battles or the administration like any of you guys. But I have thought about this for sometime and maybe the administration is getting exactly what they want out of the athletic programs.

Maybe winning isn't the number one priority. The overall environment of the school is about well rounded in everything. From the Education, social aspect, diversity in every aspect. Even the engineering students take a strong does of liberal arts classes. Liberal being the key word.

Maybe the athletic program is meant to follow this model. Sportsmanship, academic strength, leadership off the field and in the community, and finally, competitive on the field. All of those characteristics are very important. I want and expect all that out of my son as well. After all the athletes are a reflection of the college. However you can achieve all that while also winning. One aspect doesn't have to suffer at the expense of another.

Just my thoughts.
ed65

The losing culture is tough on the athletes: maybe even more than us alums.

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