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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:50 am 
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While we are discussing Winnebagos on Wednesdays...

Tulane decided to stick with Division I, and even after Katrina, remained committed to big-time athletics, although it would have been easy to change course in the face of a crisis. Cowen seems to regret the decision. “I still have considerable ambivalence about Tulane’s athletics program,” he wrote. “To this day I second-guess myself about the final decision.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/gra ... e59d75f67a


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:55 am 
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2018/05/11/scott-cowen-led-tulane-through-the-aftermath-of-hurricane-katrina-now-he-has-ideas-on-how-to-fix-higher-education/?utm_term=.17e59d75f67a

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:57 am 
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Thanks for fixing the link!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:04 pm 
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Well there it is.

If you had any doubt why we were struggled under his presidency to achieve any gains in athletics, you now know the reason, he doesn't like athletics at all. The biggest issue athletics faced for his 15 years or so was disinterested leadership from the top and intentional under investment. Thankfully, the Trustee level finally wrested control back a few years ago and Fitts is great.

It always seemed like Cowen was never going to let anyone make more money than him, and he always had to be the big focus of the school, not some football coach or basketball coach. His decision making was always suspect, for example he manged to peess off lots of alums eliminating the Engineering School, just at the time Engineers were making record salaries out of school and were in high demand. Why we let him change A&S, Newcomb and Engineering is beyond me.

Now we have quotes like that in national newspapers, and I think it was on nola.com too, what purpose does it serve anyway?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:11 pm 
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They state, "Tulane was running annual deficits of $7 million to $10 million in sports." Was this before or after outside funding(TV contracts, donations ETC) and just after the gate or after entire revenue? Was every sport in a deficit?

In either case to say 'college sports are draining funds' and not bring up the impact Title IX has on that always burns me. I wonder if the bemoaning cost athletics is his book even touches that fundamental point.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:16 pm 
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Poseidon wrote:
They state, "Tulane was running annual deficits of $7 million to $10 million in sports." Was this before or after outside funding(TV contracts, donations ETC) and just after the gate or after entire revenue? Was every sport in a deficit?

In either case to say 'college sports are draining funds' and not bring up the impact Title IX has on that always burns me. I wonder if the bemoaning cost athletics is his book even touches that fundamental point.

You can also make the numbers say what you want. $50k per 85 football players, 11 baseball players, and 24 basketball players is [scribbling furiously on napkin] $6 million. Are you counting that as a negative? They don't actually cost you that much (if anything).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:17 pm 
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It is absolutely amazing we not only survived the review and Katrina, but actually improved our conference situation and got football back on campus during his "ambivalent" watch. The internal struggle (as typical with Tulane) is what kept us from achieving real success.

The biggest mistake after defeating the review in 2003 was not going for his removal.

He says he's second guessing himself today but the fact of the mater is he lost and never could accept it. His quote reflects that attitude - and his continued passive aggressive undermining of athletics today.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:18 pm 
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So the guy who left a 10MM structural deficit and alienated the alumni is the go to guy to fix education?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:22 pm 
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windywave wrote:
So the guy who left a 10MM structural deficit and alienated the alumni is the go to guy to fix education?

We'd be a bastion of New England-centered liberal arts education with no sports teams if he had his way.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:22 pm 
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perfect example of "we have met the enemy and he is us"

purposeful underfunding, benign neglect, lack of vision or institutional history........its all there writ large.

the good news is we survived and now, with better leadership, have a chance to prosper.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:30 pm 
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Cowen is such an interesting combination of egomania and confusion that I don’t think anyone here can say for sure “what he would have done” or “what he wanted to do.” But what he says here while he still has a connection to the school wakes me up. If we can’t cut his last ties to the school at once we have to be wary lest his utterances give hope to the anti-athletics crowd and we have to be prepared to fight the battle again when it’s time to replace Fitts. No more Scott Cowens in type or by connection.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:07 pm 
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long green wrote:
Cowen is such an interesting combination of egomania and confusion that I don’t think anyone here can say for sure “what he would have done” or “what he wanted to do.” But what he says here while he still has a connection to the school wakes me up. If we can’t cut his last ties to the school at once we have to be wary lest his utterances give hope to the anti-athletics crowd and we have to be prepared to fight the battle again when it’s time to replace Fitts. No more Scott Cowens in type or by connection.


Spot on.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:33 pm 
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Last edited by Poseidon on Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:33 pm 
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long green wrote:
Cowen is such an interesting combination of egomania and confusion that I don’t think anyone here can say for sure “what he would have done” or “what he wanted to do.” But what he says here while he still has a connection to the school wakes me up. If we can’t cut his last ties to the school at once we have to be wary lest his utterances give hope to the anti-athletics crowd and we have to be prepared to fight the battle again when it’s time to replace Fitts. No more Scott Cowens in type or by connection.


Image

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:33 pm 
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Last edited by Poseidon on Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:49 pm 
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My God, that article makes me sick to my stomach.

I ought to keep a copy of the book handy in case I ever swallow poison and find I'm out of ipecac.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:16 pm 
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I despise when administrators talk about losing money in a college athletic program. I'll save the discussion on how the allocation of expenses shall we say can be manipulated for another day with my fellow CPA's.

There are so many other benefits of having an athletic program that are very difficult to quantify in terms of dollars and cents. I'll use me as an example. I donate to more than just the athletic department, but I would have less ties to Tulane if we didn't have athletics and would be less likely to donate to the Business School. The quality of applicants would take a hit as well. I looked at some good schools that didn't have D-1 athletics or football at all in the case of Emory but one factor in choosing Tulane was not being able to bear the thought of not going to a football game on a Saturday or not caring about wins and losses. The last time I was able to go to a football game I stopped at the bookstore and spent a few hundred dollars on Tulane gear for me and my kids not to mention the coffee and food I bought on campus.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:30 pm 
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Compare the national profiles of Tulane and TCU since 2001 and then tell me athletics doesn't matter to the university as a whole.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:00 pm 
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LawGreenie wrote:
Compare the national profiles of Tulane and TCU since 2001 and then tell me athletics doesn't matter to the university as a whole.

And Vandy. Didn't they receive $40M as their share from the SEC in 2017 ?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:27 am 
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Poseidon wrote:
They state, "Tulane was running annual deficits of $7 million to $10 million in sports." Was this before or after outside funding(TV contracts, donations ETC) and just after the gate or after entire revenue? Was every sport in a deficit?

In either case to say 'college sports are draining funds' and not bring up the impact Title IX has on that always burns me. I wonder if the bemoaning cost athletics is his book even touches that fundamental point.

It wasn't an accident that the Universities of Georgia/Oklahoma proceeded with their lawsuit against the NCAA as Title IX was being enforced for intercollegiate athletics. The "dead weight" of the non-rev (female), athletic programs drove the issue which ultimately cleaved college football into the "haves" & "have-nots".
I would love to see a ledger for actual out-of-pocket expenses vs. revenues.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:35 am 
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wave97 wrote:
Poseidon wrote:
They state, "Tulane was running annual deficits of $7 million to $10 million in sports." Was this before or after outside funding(TV contracts, donations ETC) and just after the gate or after entire revenue? Was every sport in a deficit?

In either case to say 'college sports are draining funds' and not bring up the impact Title IX has on that always burns me. I wonder if the bemoaning cost athletics is his book even touches that fundamental point.

It wasn't an accident that the Universities of Georgia/Oklahoma proceeded with their lawsuit against the NCAA as Title IX was being enforced for intercollegiate athletics. The "dead weight" of the non-rev (female), athletic programs drove the issue which ultimately cleaved college football into the "haves" & "have-nots".
I would love to see a ledger for actual out-of-pocket expenses vs. revenues.


Interesting...care to elaborate?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:12 am 
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The early tell on SC even before/without the review was that Athletics was the only major University activity that he accepted mediocrity from. If you look at every other area of the University, if it underperformed without hesitation he replaced the managers in charge and/or took other direct action to improve it. When he found he did not have the political stroke to kill it through the review, he simply neglected it.

What changed? When he discovered that P5 status mattered to admitted students (especially male) who were not enrolling instead choosing schools he viewed as less prestigious than Tulane including most B1G and SEC schools especially, he did something about it like investing in Hertz, Yulman, Big East, etc. He (and others) also saw that after a decade plus there was a direct correlation between P5 status and schools like ND and USC passing Tulane in USNWR rankings.

He recognized that he had to actively address the lack of P5 brand that was damaging Tulane. Fitts and the Board get it now but only after a long period where obviously Tulane should have been doing something in meantime.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:24 am 
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What gets me is how he thought he could come in from the outside and remake the University into what he thought it should be instead of making what it always was better.

Tulane has always been a major research University, not some small liberal arts college.

But then again, he named an "Institute" after himself while he was at the school, so it's not that surprising.

We squandered the realignment decade in athletics by his ineptitude. I still think his not hiring of RR was intentional because he didn't want FB to be bigger than him or the coach to make more money than he did.

FWIW I heard Fitts hired a new CFO and he's done a great job reducing expenses to the point where the school is running surpluses.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:29 am 
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He wouldn’t have had to worry about Rodriguez being there very long & RR probably would not have made huge money in his first and almost certainly last Tulane contract.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:36 am 
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Apparently Bowden and RR may have had same rep(s)/advisor(s). Let's just say that doesn't help number two candidate's status when number one candidate has already rejected the job offer (or in this case contract extension.)

Not saying this was a deciding factor, just an influencer that didn't help RR.


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