Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sterk Alerts WSU Nation

Jim Sterk ran a chat today at, and as one might expect, the majority of the time he was on the defensive in regards to moving the Apple Cup to Qwest.

Give it a read here:

But there was a nugget here that might open some eyes. When asked about the PAC-10 and where we are right now, Sterk laid it on the line:

"I'd like to point out that in the 1960's WSU membership in the conference was at stake and only a close vote saved the school from being ousted from the conference. The Pac-10 is one of the most prestigous conferences in the country and allows the WSU athletics program and the university's academic programs to be on the same field and classrooms as Stanford, UC-Berkeley, USC, etc. The athletic program at WSU is the only way this membership is achieved. Our annual budget is currently $14 million BELOW the next lowest member in the conference. If we do not take action to create revenue and level this playing field, we may be at some point in the future be facing ANOTHER VOTE. I will do everything that I can on my watch to prevent such an action. This is why I am pushing Phase III of the renovation and a considering the Apple Cup move."

Scare tactics.....or something else entirely? When you are in the basement, and are so far down there that 9th place is another $14 million away? Not to over-react, but Jim, when you put it that way?? Sign the damn deal already and move the AC to Qwest!


PuyallupCoug said...

The most disturbing information is that UNLIKE MOST OTHER UNIVERSITIES, WSU prohibits the Athletic Department from pro-actively reaching out to potential donors. Unless you have donated, bought season tickets, or reached out to the AD yourself expressing interest in donating, they cannot contact you asking for donations.

NO WONDER we're behind on donations. That rule needs to change.

Soze said...

The way WSU generally represents itself (administratively, not sportingly), we definitely belong in the WAC.

kaddy said...

I've been told that isn't the case anymore, regarding sharing alumni contact info. It used to be that way, however.

calebcherry said...

The past few days I've been trying to formulate what I REALLY think about the potential for our sacred rivalry game with the men-in-purple.
For the record I can't claim to be a life long Coug. At least not one of the Crimson variety. Being born in Provo, UT (home of the blue and white Cougars), raised primarily in Kirkland, WA (with a short stint in Huntington Beach) I have no family ties to any Washington Universities... but have followed a path similar to Mr. McBoob.
That said, from the moment I visited Pullman before officially moving to the 509, I have become fully invested in WSU athletics... and everything else.
Since I've been a student at WSU we've never lost the Apple Cup. You're welcome.
But in all seriousness, after taking a sports management class last year, it was an eye opener to see how far away from the other schools we were in terms of money and resources. To hear my professor say something to the effect of "I would not be surprised if our membership in the Pacific 10 conference is questioned in the coming years. IF... things don't change. FAST."
I didn't believe it. I chose to forget about it until just hearing about Sterk's comments from today.

In regards to the Apple Cup for the coming years: To those concerned about the history of WSU football... I'd rather keep our Cougs playing football in the Pac10 instead potentially (say 8 years from now) having the Apple Cup be a non-conference game for UW and ourselves... IF the puppies decide to schedule it.

It sure doesn't seem like it when we hold our memories and dreams so close to our face, but the Apple Cup in Quest can only help our athletics dept.
By no means do I think we're "on the verge" but I believe in CPW that our program can make the turn around with hard work. When we're back to flirting with top 25 votes... Pac10 membership won't be an issue. The temporary move helps us achieve these goals.
now and forever..... GO COUGS!

PuyallupCoug said...

Kaddy - This newly posted article from Cougfan quotes Sterk as saying that it is still the case that our own AD cannot pro-actively contact alumni who have not previously donated etc.

It's pretty sad really and I hope that rule is reversed. Just look what Oregon State did in their "raising reser" campaign. If our AD were allowed to pro-actively reach out to all alumni, we'd be in much better shape.

sedihawk said...

Good stuff Caleb. I have been in denial as well, even with the numbers. But to hear Sterk reitirate it today is a pretty deep tremor.

What I want to know is the criteria for staying IN the PAC-10. I know pretty much every BCS conference has changed in the last 10+ years, but they realigned or in the ACC's case, bought schools like BC, etc. But nobody has been asked to leave a BCS conference have they?

Is it tickets sold? Gate revenue? Number of seats in the stadium? An overall score based on the revenue for all sports? Is it the record you turn in on the field, or is it all about the money off it?? We do know Sterk has made Phase III a requirement for staying in the conference, but is that the only thing that can make us or break us?

Max said...

I would rather play at qwest for 6 years, finish our stadium, and stay in the Pac 10 then to become independent and maybe only be able to be a mountain-west team.

Longball said...

I believe Temple got dismissed from the Big East. Does anyone know if this was their idea, or the behest of the Big East conference?

PuyallupCoug said...

I believe Temple was a football only member of the Big East and because of a lack of fan support, the other members voted to kick them out.

sedihawk said...

Good call Shane. A check of "the google" shows Temple was booted for what appears to be a "failure to be competitive" or something. Maybe it is different among the conferences?

Let's just get phase III done and see what happens.

calebcherry said...

Sedihawk: It seems to me that if Sterk's top priority is Phase III in connection to Pac10 membership, that its gotta be a dollar i$$ue.
Those seats are hardly going to make a dent in increasing our overall attendance level.

To wins and losses.... every conference has to have a last place... or last couple places. The difference here is that the BC$ is still pretty new in the grand picture, so maybe we're waiting for a conference to say "win or leave." Historically speaking... what does a BCS conference do to when Mississippi St, Northwestern, Indiana, Duke, etc... Unless I'm missing something... the only way kicking 'losing' schools out will work is to put all of the good schools into two conferences... or the regional conferences just get smaller.

Longball: the only information 3 min on the internet could provide me came from the BigEast's listing on wikipedia where they say that Temple (a football only member) couldn't produce high enough attendance numbers. I believe their home field for the time spent in the BigEast was Veteran's Stadium. Obviously there was room for more butts in seats than regular low 30K fans.
I have to wonder here if being a football only school was part of their leaving and not JUST having around 30,000 show up to their games.

Longball said...

Whatever the reason, Temple was brutal bad at football when they got booted. Like WSU circa 2008 bad. Oh wait.. Crap!!!

kaddy said...

Holy F-ing sh*t...I thought that rule had been changed. We have to do whatever it takes to level the playing field with the other P10 schools. Floyd seems to get it with regards to athletics...I guess he's a good start.

Thanks for the info, Puyallup. I'll ask Sterk what we have to do to initiate this kind of change when he's here in Vancouver on 6/5.

ATLCoug said...

While I don't feel getting booted out of the PAC 10 is an EMPTY threat, it would take a lot of stuff to happen. It is not like we are going to be the PAC 9. But I could see them adding 3 teams and dropping one to become a super conference in the next 10 years. I like to think we have some time to correct.

Jake_cougs said...

ATL you are correct that they would not turn our conference into the Pac 9, they would instead add another team in our place. For example, teams like Utah, BYU and Boise St have been trying to get into our conference for years. Especially with these teams large fan followings, I think it puts us in a position of danger. We all have to realistically look at this situation and know that the best decision Sterk could make is to move this game out of Pullman.