Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Share your thoughts on Alumni football meeting

I'd like people to share their thoughts on last night's Alumni House meeting about the football initiative. Here's one, please post yours in the comments section or e-mail them to me at jutter@charlotteobserver.com.

From Ron Dibble of Belmont (Class of 1996):

"I do think that the process last night was helpful. It showed me that this is not a cause that only the young alumni care about. Looking at those who attended this is clearly a subject that all alumni see as something important to the future of the university. It also pleased me that the feeling in the meeting was very pro-football. I really get the feeling at these meetings (I went to some of the committee meetings this summer) are about digging up potential obstacles now so that when we do make the push we do it with our eyes open and prepared for the challenge with out any surprises. I was prepared last night to hear some negative thoughts around football, but surprisingly heard none. It seemed everyone there knew that football will be a challenge and it will take support from many areas to make it happen, but that we all understand how important this is for the school.
"At the end of the evening they asked that each one of us record our thoughts about football on a card that the committee would read at a later time. I really felt this was an excellent way of taking the pulse of your core group of alumni. They also mentioned that the format we used would be used for 2 more meetings, one with students and the other with faculty. I am anxious to see how those play out.
"I may be off base here, but barring something crazy happening I truly believe that seeing the Niners on a football field is no longer a foolish dream."

From Kenny Houck in Pineville, a Charlotte Football Initiative Member and former candidate for N.H. House district No. 107 in 2004:

"I was impressed by the more elder, more established Alumni showing up, & being so supportive. I'm glad to know it's not just us youngsters out there. We even picked up a bandwagoner of a guy I knew in college who thought football had no chance at Charlotte, who is now on board since the school announced a Study Committee. The meeting made it seem like the school & Athletic Dept. are really serious about getting us football so we don't get left behind at the next conference realignment like we were this time with the A-10 after getting run out of Conference USA for not having football."


From Bill Dye, Unionville in Union County:

"I really enjoyed the meeting and appreciated the chance to a tleast 'be involved' in this process which I feel is absolutely critical in the development of this university. I was very impressed with Mac Everett (as I expected I would be) and left feeling VERY positive about the committee's work to this point. I hope that the meeting was helpful to the committee. It appeared to me that it was obvious that the VAST majority of alumni are strongly in favor of starting a football program at UNC Charlotte and feel it is exactly what the school needs to help it connect with it's alumni, the city of Charlotte and the region.

"The results of these "connections" would be multi-faceted, but most importantly (it is believed) would be increased giving from alumni and friends of the university, as well as additional opportunities to partner with many more of the local corporations through sponsorships and naming rights(especially the ones with UNC Charlotte alumni in leadership positions--BofA and Lowes, etc.). These relationships would help to promote the school/teams and put them more into the public eye in the city/region. All of these factors would benefit the university, the alumni, the city and the region."


Kevin Harward of Cornelius:
"I thought it was a very positive experience. I thought the attendance was good. They even had to bring in more tables once the meeting started. It was great to be on campus talking about Charlotte 49er Football with some of the leaders of the sports community in Charlotte. They broke us up into groups and we had discussions on Level of Competition, Funding Sources, Facilities, and Other Considerations. All of our thoughts were recorded and will be compiled and presented to the Feasibility Committee. I walked away feeling very positive about adding football at Charlotte and glad that our thoughts were heard. This is honestly the most excited I have been about my alma mater since I graduated."

More to come.


Anonymous said...

I will have to admit. I have questioned the support of our Alumni in recent years. I have attended every basketball game since my freshman year at the University and I am now a senior. It always seemed to me that our alumni's are only supportive when we win the games. If we were losing and the students tried to rally the crowd all the alumni seemed to do was sit there. It makes me feel really good that there was such a big turn out for this and changes my viewpoint on how much support the alumni really have for our teams.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me about alumni support? Granted both alumni and student support of our school needs to improve, but I'm not sure what you have been looking at. Even last year when attendance was down overall, we still averaged over 6,000 per game. This begs the question, how many of those were students vs. alumni/general public. I'm guessing there were NEVER more than 2500 students at any one game last year, even though 4500 are saved for them(yes,I was at them all--like every year since Halton opened in 1996 and for years before, at our other arenas across town). So, if 2500 students WERE at every game, that leaves ~3500+ at the game that are NOT students. Now, who should be complaining about who?

Anonymous said...

I get where you are coming from about attendance. I am not arguing attendance. I am arguing the fact that the people at the games getting more involved and cheering for our team seem to be the students.I don't care if the alumni section out numbered us 4 to 1, we still were louder and were on our feet for the entire game. Can you tell me when you have seen the entire alumni section standing during a game in the past four seasons? I know student turnout is low. We as a student body are trying to change that. My concern is that if they are alumni, then they should be cheering and on their feet as much as the students. I hope that this year changes. All I want to see is more alumni getting loud and cheering when the team is struggling so that the team gets pumped. They are used to the students getting loud, but wouldn't it be awesome if the entire arena was so loud that you couldn't hear the person beside you at each game.

Anonymous said...

I know there were times last year that most people on the "non-student" side (not all "alumni", necesarily) were standing and cheering (though there were fewer times than most years). If you want to go back 4 years though, then yes there were MANY times I can recall this. How bout the last 3-4 games (all sellouts) of the 2004-5 season? If alumni stood and were as loud as the student section all the time, we'd be the only college arena in the country to do so. Students by nature should be rowdier, shouldn't they? And by the way, there have been lots of games in years past (C-USA days especially) where you could not hear the person next to you!You younger guys need to remember that our program didn't just start 4 years ago! Also, the team's performance will always have an impact on how loud/packed the arena is. It does everywhere else, we're not any different.