Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Charlotte 49ers athletics director Judy Rose said she has been surprised with the number of Forty-Niner Seat Licenses (FSLs) reserved since the Sept. 18 recommendation by the school’s chancellor, Dr. Philip Dubois, to add a football program by the 2013 season.
“I thought the first 1,000 would be a good marker to gauge as we got started. Each day that we passed that mark since the announcement has been even more impressive,” Rose said. “It seemed to slow down a little bit at the end of last week, but when we were given an updated number at our meeting (Monday) morning, we had passed 2,500.”
Rose said plans are to begin an official marketing campaign to sell the remaining FSLs almost immediately should the school’s board of trustees approve Dubois’ plan in November. Those who have reserved FSLs would be contacted about the plan for payment. Dubois’ recommendation called for the sale of 5,000 FSLs at $1,000 apiece within six months of the board’s final approval. As of the close of business Monday, 2,558 have been reserved.
Less than two weeks since the announcement, Rose said she has fielded calls from people who have expressed an interest in the coaching position, although she doesn’t believe a coach would be hired until 2010 or 2011.
And what does the chancellor think?
“The chancellor is pleasantly surprised by the FSL count thus far,” Rose said.
- Former Charlotte men's soccer star Jon Busch was recently named the top candidate for Major League Soccer's "goalkeeper of the year" award by the Web site MLSnet.com. In picking Busch No. 1, the site said, "Jon Busch has been the backbone of the league's best defense, posting a sub-1.00 goals-against average and 10 shutouts in 25 matches for a top-flight Chicago Fire side." Busch played three seasons for the 49ers (1994-96), leading them to the 1996 NCAA Men's College Cup, where they lost in the national semifinals. He was named a first-team all-America selection in 1996.
- Charlotte senior Alan Parks and junior Rob Lyerly were both named top prospects following the conclusion of their respective summer baseball league action this season. Both were named top prospects by Perfect Game Crosschecker's Web site, pgcrosschecker.com, and Lyerly was also named a top prospect by baseballamerica.com. Lyerly wont the Northwoods League batting title, with a .342 average and was listed as the No. 5 prospect in the league by Baseball America and the 15th-best prospect on the Perfect Game Crosschecker list. Parks, an outfielder, was listed the No. 16 prospect from the Atlantic Collegiate League by Perfect Game Crosschecker. He batted .275 and started 34 games for the Hampton Whalers.
- Charlotte will host the Nike Championship Basketball Clinic Friday-Sunday. The clinic, geared toward basketball coaches at every level, features some of the nation's top men's and women's basketball coaches. Among coaches expected to participate are 49ers coach Bobby Lutz, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Bob Huggins of West Virginia, Dino Gaudio of Wake Forest, five-time NCAA women's champion coach Geno Auriemma of Connecticut. Sessions will cover instruction in a variety of areas, including "Plays for your Players," "Trapping Defenses," "Player Development," and "One-on-one Competition to Enhance Practice."
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Former Charlotte 49ers women's soccer star Lindsey Ozimek (2004-07) is one of nine finalists for the 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year award. The award recognizes outstanding female student-athletes who have excelled academically and athletically in addition to demonstrating strong community service and leadership.
The original list of 130 female student-athletes was recently paired to 30 and then nine. Ozimek is the only Division I soccer player remaining. The NCAA Committee of Women's Athletics will choose the winner and it will be announced at a banquet in Indianapolis on Oct. 19.
Ozimek, the 2007 Atlantic 10 midfielder of the year, led the league in assists last season (13) and was named all-conference for the third consecutive year. She led Charlotte to the A-10 regular and conference tournament titles and ended her career with a school-history 43 assists.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Another football update:
As of the close of business Tuesday, the 49ers have reserved over 1,900 Forty-Niner Seat Licenses (FSL's). At this time no money is being accepted by the 49ers ticket office, pending final approval of the plan in November by the UNC Charlotte board of trustees.
49ers men’s soccer senior defender Ryan Swaim was named to College Soccer News' national team of the week for his performance against Winthrop and UAB over the weekend. Swaim led a 49ers backline which recorded shutouts in Charlotte wins over Winthrop and Alabama-Birmingham. The wins gave the 49ers the Charlotte/Nike Invitational title - their third tournament title this season. Charlotte
- Charlotte women's soccer freshman forward Oni Bernard was named co-rookie of the week by the Atlantic 10 Conference for her two-goal performance in the 49ers' 6-0 win over Francis Marion. She scored her first goal just 27 seconds into the game.
Friday, September 19, 2008
According to John George at the Charlotte 49ers ticket office, as of noon Friday information has been taken from 199 individuals requesting 596 Forty-Niner Seat Licenses. George said calls and emails continue to come in and the number continues to rise.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Post them here. We'll answer as many as we can.
What are the current plans for a stadium? An expansion of the track and field or a brand new football stadium?
The recommendation by Chancellor Philip Dubois includes building a $45.3 million, on-campus stadium with 12,000 seats, expandable to 20,000. Under his plan, alumni and friends of the university would need to buy 5,000 permanent seat licences at $1,000 each, and there would need to be an additional $10-15 million in corporate and sponsor donations. That leaves about $25 million unaccounted for, and it's unclear how that gap would be bridged.
Is 2013 the earliest we could have a team? Or is 2012 a possibility?
Some of the savings in Dubois' recommendation are predicated upon the 2013 start date, which is what he suggests. With a November vote and a six-month campaign to sell the Forty-Niner Seat Licences, 2012 would be a difficult, if not impossible, goal to meet. It's more likely that the start date would be pushed back than pushed forward.
Why a 12,000 seat stadium expandable to 20,000 if the plan is to have more than 35,000 students in the near future? Plus the large number of alumni living in the greater charlotte area. Seems a little small to me.
That size is typical of FCS, formerly Division I-AA, stadiums. Appalachian State, the three-time defending national champion in the division, plays in Kidd Brewer Stadium, which seats about 20,000 seats, with more seating on a hill. Their attendance last season averaged just over 24,000. The stadium could be built out to 15,000 to begin with for about $6-7 million more, but UNC Charlotte isn't counting on getting any more money than the $45.3 million.
With the Chancellor's recommendation of $200 rather than $300 student fee increase over 5 years is there any UNC system approval required for us to move forward?
In terms of an exception to the fee increase limit, no. The Board of Governors would have final say, but would likely defer to what the chancellor and Board of Trustees recommend.
What conferences might be a good fit considering we would be 1-AA for a while? Southern?
It's unclear, but Dubois' recommendation suggested a conference that would create regionnal rivalries. Southern Conference officials have said in the past they would not be interested in a short-term relationship with any school.
On the PSLs, define non-transferable. Does he mean that once you bought them they're your's til your dead? You can't sell them later like you can with Panther PSL's?
It's unclear, but the recommendation said non-transferable. That suggests they could not be resold. But this is a point of contenting and may be changed by the time the trustees approve the Dubois plan and the PSLs are offered for sale, assuming all that happens.
Am I guaranteed a specific seat, or will my priority points still count?
Unlike the Panthers PSLs, these don't guarantee you a specific seat in the stadium. They get you into the stadium. From there, where you sit will be determined by the points system (based on how much you give to the university, etc.), just like they are in Halton Arena.
Will their be a payment plan?
The recommendation included a comment about the need for one. No details are set. The Panthers had plans through the banks in Charlotte when PSLs for Bank of America Stadium were sold to the public. But there will almost certainly be a payment plan. Athletics director Judy Rose said it may be something like paying a quarter of the money up front, the rest over time. For instance, if you bought two PSLs at $1,000 each, you'd pay $500 (one-quarter of $2,000) up front, to show you were serious.
So do we play the first couple of years in up-fitted Transamerica field with a separate 12,000 stadium being built elsewhere on campus? I couldn't tell from his statement but looks that way in the facility plan. If so, does the PSL apply to Transamerica field?
It's unlikely play would begin before the on-campus facility is built. The cost of upfitting would significantly to the cost of starting the program. It's not out of the question, however, that either Memorial Stadium or Transamerica Field could be upfitted if the money for a new stadium can't be raised and the program goes forward anyway.
How can I donate?
Call the 49er Club at 704-687-4950. PSLs, however, will not be available until the board approves the recommendation (or modifies it) in November. They don't want to assume the trustees will say "yes."
What about the PSLs? Is there a way to get my name on the list?
Call the Athletic Foundation at 704-687-4950 and speak with anyone, or you can email Mike Hummer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They are not yet taking money, pending the BOT's approval of the recommendation, but expect that they will be $1,000 per seat. When you call or email, let them know:
1) Your pledge / commitment for purchasing FSL's - how many seats would you like?
2) What payment plan you would prefer (1 year, 2 years, etc.)
3) Include your name, email, phone number.
Do you feel that this donation goal was Chancellor DuBois' effort to avoid being the bad guy and saying no to the program? This seems like a big goal in these economic times.
His recommendation, a yes-if recommendation, clearly puts the burden on those who say they want football to pay for it.
What happens to the PSL money if the $5 million goal isn't reached and football is ditched? Refunds or put it towards existing sports?
Undetermined, and won't be until the PSL contracts are finalized after the November vote. But it' s probably unlikely the school would try to keep money earmarked for a football stadium if that stadium is never built.
Any idea if 5,000 is a set number or just a minimum. Would they sell the full 12,000 in NSLs if the demand was there?
The 5,000 is a minimum. They'll sell all they can, though, and the stadium could expand to accommodate more seat licenses.
Did I read right that there won't be a Marching Band right away? Won't that take away a lot of the luster of College Football? Or does he mean that we won't form one until closer to 2013?
Dubois' recommendation included delaying a marching band for three or four years beyond the launch of the football program, unless funds become available.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Before and during UNC Charlotte’s pep rally in support of the university’s adding football, Observer reporter Stan Olson talked to a number of students and faculty on campus. Some planned to attend the rally; some didn’t. Some of what they said follows:
“I’d like football; I’m not too happy with the current situation. It would bring more publicity and more prestige, probably. Because the sport represents a lot.”--BOB KORONGY, sophomore.
“First of all, I think there are a couple flaws with (football backers’) arguments. They want football at UNCC. The argument against it is that it’s going to cost more money for us as students. And their retort is, ‘oh, don’t worry, it’s only going to be put into place in 2012. You’ll already be graduated.’ So why should we have any say in it at all, it should be the people who are coming in who should be the rallyers for the football team.”--BEN ANDERSEN, senior.
“I’m suspicious. I think for an institution that’s growing, it’s probably a good thing. I’m just not confident about the timing. It’ll raise fees. UNC Charlotte’s up-and-coming, but we’re still going to compete on those Saturday afternoons with Virginia Tech on TV. And it’s a little bit of a paradox, because we’ve graduated tens of thousands of students, many of whom live in the greater Charlotte metropolitan region, and if I could be convinced that we’re going to capitalize on that pool of interest, then it could be eight exciting Saturdays for the university. But it’s an expensive adventure and it will put pressure on other fund-raising activities. There is limited resources; these programs are funded by non-state dollars…I’ll be convinced the university is ready for football when the home basketball games are sold out.”—PROFESSOR ANDREW HARVER, chair of the Public Health Science Dept.
“I think we need it. I guess it will boost morale around here. There’s just a basketball team. We’re UNC Charlotte but we’ve only got a basketball team. Talking to other students, I think we all would like a football team.”—PERRY DIXON, junior
“I’m here for a football team, so I’m here for the rally. (She’s wearing an N.C. State cap). I know, but it’s raining; I have to have a hat on. My brother bought it for me; he’s at State. He’s got a football team. We want to be able to cheer for a football team; we’re big enough. My brother pays the same as I do (in school expenses) right now and they have a football team.”—DANIELLE BEADLE, sophomore
“I guess I’d be concerned with how much of a hike in fees there would be. Coming from an academic standpoint, it would be nice if there was the same kind of rally for some kind of academic program. I guess that’s my selfish view, being a graduate student. I don’t want to come off sounding anti-athletic; I love athletics. I guess I would be worried about the amount of money it would take to get something like that going.”—ANDY MATTHEWS, graduate student
“We have a very loyal fan base who are going to be out here rain or shine, no matter. I’m very proud to see our fan base. And (with football) it’s still going to be cheaper to attend Charlotte than almost every other school in the system even after the fee increase. And you know what? The money thing can’t be out-weighed by the intangible benefits, giving students a more complete college experience, tying us to alumni and the community, and retaining students after they graduate.”—JOB FICKETT, sophomore and a rally organizer.
“I think it’s the right thing to do; it’s been a long time and I’m hoping they go ahead and approve it on Thursday. I think the rally will help; I think the chancellor’s probably made up his mind by now, but I think it helps with the board and probably the general public to see that we’re really serious about football. I think it really needed to be done back when they looked at it before, which was 2000, 2001. That was probably the right time. We probably could be in the Big East (Conference) right now if that would have happened then.”—TODD GRADEN, class of ’93.
“I’m for it 100 percent. This would be great to unite the alumni. I’m excited about it as an alum and an employee. I haven’t talked to anyone who was passionately against it, but many who are passionately for it. If there are scores of alumni out there that are anti-football, I haven’t talked to any of them.”—NICK McENTIRE, class of ’00, Charlotte alumni office employee.
The Charlotte 49ers are losing an integral member of their athletics department and a particularly important member of the school's men's basketball program.
Preston Greene, head strength and conditioning coach the past six seasons, is resigning effective Friday to take a similar position at Stanford, athletics director Judy Rose announced Tuesday.
Greene, a 1999 graduate of Clemson, received his master's degree from Minnesota in 2000. He was an assistant strength coach at Arizona for two years before joining the 49ers. While at Charlotte, the department's strength and conditioning program has seen dramatic improvements.
Greene is a protege of Canadian strength training coach Charles Poliquin, who has trained many world class athletes, including Olympic Gold medal sprinter Donovan Bailey, the NFL's David Boston, and the NHL's Chris Pronger, among others.
Rose said a search for Greene's replacement will begin immediately.
- Jim Utter
Monday, September 15, 2008
A couple items regarding the Charlotte 49ers:
-- Amtrak and the 49ers' athletic department have partnered to provide a post-game fireworks display following the Sept. 27 men's soccer game between Charlotte and Elon at Transamerica Field. The game begins at 7 p.m. and the fireworks will start immediately following the game. Tickets for the game is $5 and available in advance by calling the 49ers ticket office at (704) 687-4949.
-- Two days after leading her team to victory at the Bojangles Invitational, Amanda Goetschius has been named this week’s Atlantic 10 cross country performer of the week. Goestschius, who was named all-conference last season, beat the 90-person field by 13 seconds Saturday and was the only runner to run under 19 minutes.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
The Charlotte 49ers’ men’s basketball team gained a player Friday and unexpectedly lost one.
Early in the day the team received a commitment from West Rowan High’s K.J. Sherrill, ranked among the top high school seniors in North Carolina.
Sherrill, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward who averaged more than 19 points a game last season, picked the 49ers over Auburn, UNC Wilmington, East Carolina and Winthrop, said West Rowan coach Mike Gurley. Sherrill made an unofficial visit to Charlotte’s campus on Aug. 25.
Late Friday afternoon, the 49ers announced junior point guard Michael Gerrity had decided to leave the team, citing personal reasons, but would complete the semester before transferring to another school.
Gerrity’s decision comes on the heels of the 49ers’ three-game tour of Canada during which Charlotte went 3-0 and junior point guard DiJuan Harris started each game.
“I’m very surprised and disappointed with Mike’s decision,” said Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz. “However, I have to respect what he and his family have decided is best for him. I hope that things turn out the way he wants them to.”
Sherrill, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward who averaged more than 19 points a game last season, picked the 49ers over
“It came down to the fact that right in his backyard K.J. had a great university and a super basketball coach in Bobby Lutz who runs a great program,” said Gurley.
“While he was looking at other schools, I think K.J.’s approach was more of a ‘How do they compare to
Gurley said Sherrill plans to sign a letter of intent during the early signing period in November and also expects to make several appearances during the season to watch 49ers games.
“Coach Lutz likes players who can score the ball,” Gurley said. “K.J. is athletic and bouncy and he’s very aggressive and can score the ball. I think he will be a great compliment to their program.”
Sherrill was named second-team All-Observer as a junior and first-team all-Piedmont. He was recently named by basketball recruiting analyst David Telep as a “breakout player.” He is a cousin of Scooter Sherrill, a former West Rowan star who played college basketball at
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Lots of soccer accolades Tuesday for the Charlotte 49ers:
-- The men's soccer team, following convincing wins over Davidson and College of Charleston this past weekend, entered the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll at No. 24. This is the team's first national ranking since the 49ers were No. 19 in the same poll in September 1998. Charlotte is also currently ranked No. 1 in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region poll.
-- Charlotte sophomore forward Andres Cuero was named the Atlantic 10 men's soccer player of the week following his performance last weekend in the adidas Classic at Davidson. He scored a goal in Charlotte's 5-1 win over Davidson and had two more in the 49ers' 5-3 victory over College of Charleston. Cuero leads the 49ers with three goals and eight points.
-- The 49ers' women's team swept the A-10 awards this week with sophomore forward Whitney Weinraub named player of the week and freshman forward Jonna Handra named co-rookie of the week.
Weinraub recorded the school's ninth-ever hat trick with three goals in Charlotte's 8-0 win over Tennessee Tech last Sunday. She is the first player since 2002 to score three goals in a game. Handra scored her first two career foals, including the game-winner, in the 49ers' 3-2 come-from-behind win over UNC Wilmington last week.
The Charlotte 49ers wrapped up their preseason men’s basketball trip through Canada on Monday with a 109-55 victory against Sheridan College.
In going 3-0, the 49ers averaged 106.7 points per game and averaged a 49-point margin of victory. Monday, Charlotte led 58-19 at halftime against a team which lost this weekend by 15 points to East Tennessee State and by 19 to Penn State.
Junior shooting guard Ian Andersen led the way for Charlotte with 18 points. Center Phil Jones had 15 points and 10 rebounds and freshman Javarris Barnett finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
In all 10 of the 11 Charlotte players who saw action scored, with six hitting double figures.
“I was real happy with the first half. Our defense was excellent and we shared the ball very well,” coach Bobby Lutz said. “I was also very pleased with the way we mixed up our defenses.”
In all, Lutz said he was pleased with the trip.
“We used a lot of lineup and everybody got significant playing time. We saw some things that we will work on and get better,” Lutz said. “This team is fun to watch and I am excited about the upcoming season.”