Sunday, January 18, 2015

Crawford's Sports Biz 5 minutes, 59 seconds, for January 18th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford--- COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management--- on twitter @kcsportsmgmt @crawssportsbiz @wchoops

Note: Today marks the debut of Crawford's Sports Biz 5 minutes, 59 seconds, which will come out each Sunday and is guaranteed to read for everyone under 6 minutes. Of course Monday-Saturday, you can read Crawford's Sports Biz 59 Seconds, guaranteed to read in 59 seconds or less. We also each day will write a separate golf blog right here, so thanks for reading, it is greatly appreciated.

Football Playoff Championship----It took a long time, but no doubt the Playoff Football Championship game was a huge success and great for college football.  Not only was the game the most watched program ever on ESPN with 33 million viewers, but the game's TV audience was up 33 percent from the BCS championship game of last year.

So why not, why not go to 8 teams right now and stop with that for several years to come. The NCAA basketball tournament has been watered down considerably by going to 68 teams, as live audience and TV ratings show, but football obviously would succeed greatly with 8 teams and move it right now, no one is getting younger.

Even more important, under the BCS system, both Ohio State and Oregon would not have played for the championship.

Rice---- When you think of collegiate athletics, respectfully Rice's name does not enter your brain. But just to show how much their is a facilities race in college sports, Rice announced last week plans to build immediately a $31.5 million, 60,000 square foot athletic performance center, right next to their football stadium. It will house medical care, meeting rooms and weight rooms for all student/athletes.

Portland State---- Tomorrow, Monday, January 20th a new beginning will take place at Portland State University in my hometown of Portland, Oregon as Mark Rountree begins his tenure as the Vikings new athletic director.

Although nothing official has been announced, it would appear that the David Hersh experiment at Portland State is over. Hersh and part of his staff have not been seen at any Portland State basketball games in the last two weeks, important since he was very prominent in the Stott Center for a year plus.

There will be for sure some piling on, but credit does need to go to Hersh for trying to move the needle at Portland State with his zany, but sometimes entertaining promotions and his free food for all in attendance in the Stott Center.

In fairness, he did not put more butts in the seats, which really needs to happen at Portland State for all their paid athletic events.

Personally, I have been around the basketball side for  a long time at Portland State. I have met Mr. Rountree once, a brief conversation, but he is an impressive guy, who no question cares about moving the needle forward at Portland State and will work his tail off to do that.

What I do not want him to do is totally take a look at wins/losses at Portland State, but instead hire good people and manage to keep the good people who are there in place, of which Portland State has many. It was my pleasure last night to meet the new football coach Bruce Barnum, who is beloved on campus by everyone and you can see why.

It is not an easy fix at Portland State for any sport, but a good start would be average 10,000 fans for every football game and to sellout the Stott Center each night for both men's and women's basketball (a 1,500 seat arena should be sold out every single game, end of story.)

I might also add, the Vikings need to take a look at ticket prices and their marketing budget. Some ticket prices are way too high, I never advocate giving the tickets away, but having a solid price point will do wonders. As well, marketing budgets in general are woefully under funded in collegiate sports.

Cuts--- Speaking of cuts or non-cuts, it certainly appears there is a growing trend in college sports to cut out the sports that do not make money, or fail to have a revenue stream.

Best example lately was Alambama-Birmingham cutting out football, the first upper tier football program to be eliminated in college athletics in 20 years. Other schools are cutting cross country, golf, tennis and some like North Carolina-Wilmington cutting ttack and field for both men and women.

This trend is bound to continue, but on the bright side it probably will help D-3 and NAIA sports programs, which many schools seem to be adding sports, rather than detracting.

more of Gregory's blogs----

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