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Date Posted: Fri, April 26 2019, 4:16:15
Author: Golden Griffin Basketball
Subject: From the Athletic Department

Canisius Basketball Season Ticket Holders and Blue & Gold Fund Members,

I hope this note finds you well and enjoying the spring here in Buffalo. I want to provide a few updates to you, as the end of the spring semester is quickly approaching with graduation just over three weeks away.

Our coaching staff is in the midst of the April recruiting period and very involved with both evaluations and campus visits. The staff recently signed one incoming freshman, Jacco Fritz – a 6-foot-10 forward from Tiel, Netherlands, who comes to Canisius following a postgraduate year at DME Academy in Florida. Kevin Bleeker ‘15, MS ‘16 connected with Jacco through the Dutch basketball program, and Kevin’s experience at Canisius was helpful to our staff in signing Jacco.

Head coach Reggie Witherspoon and his staff are busy working through the spring recruiting period, and the program has hosted a number of recruits on campus for official visits over the last few weeks, with a number of additional visits lined up in the near future. Per NCAA rules, schools are not permitted to comment on unsigned prospects, but once all paperwork is completed, official announcements will be made online and through the men’s basketball program’s social media channels. We expect the staff to sign four or five new players for the 2019-20 season.

As we move forward into the summer months on campus, I also want to share that the athletic department and the men’s basketball team continue to evaluate how things operate in and around our program. One of the things we are reviewing is the annual “End of the Season” banquet. As you are aware, the program has hosted a postseason banquet at an off-site facility for many years. After looking at the timing of the event, the support and attendance numbers of these banquets over the last 10 years, it has been determined that we would be best-suited to provide our fans with a “Preseason Tip-Off” function in the fall. We believe this event, which will feature a guest speaker, will be a positive change and help build the excitement for the upcoming season.

We will update you with more specific details about the “Preseason Tip-Off” event once those are finalized.

Thank you again for your continued support of our program. Season ticket information, for the 2019-20 season, should be available in June.

Go Griffs!

Bill Maher
Director of Athletics

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[> Re: From the Athletic Department -- BfloGriff, Fri, April 26 2019, 10:52:26

Why one or the other; why not both? Why not more? The Cage Club planned events for fans of the Griffs and for the team and coaches. Since the Parrotta purge and the Barron and now Witherspoon eras the coaching staff and fans, especially alumni and students, have become more and more estranged IMO. Does Parrotas'"Coaches Circle" still exist? If so, what does it do besides write checks? It's good to hear that the coaching staff is trying to find players. Why do they need the added burden of planning social events, even if it's only one? I think you would be well advised to reinstate the Cage Club as the vital organization instituted by Nick Macarchuck when Father Demske recognized the value of D1 basketball to Canisius, saved the program from extinction and Nick was brought in from Providence College to coach. "Those were the days my friend...".

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[> [> Re: From the Athletic Department -- The Coaches Circle exists, Sat, April 27 2019, 4:23:51

Be grateful for its existence it provides a significant amount of financial resources for the basketball program. I’m all for bringing back the Cage Club, start the process. I’m not sure the current coaching staff would know how to successfully partner with it.

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[> [> [> Re: From the Athletic Department -- BfloGriff, Sat, April 27 2019, 6:33:05

It's good to know it exists. It would be good if it received some publicity and credit. As to starting the process for the return of the Cage Club a committee of about six volunteers or so would be a good place to start. It should include a couple of students and recent alumni/ae as well as former members. BfloGriff is game. Anyone else? Make your selves known.

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[> [> Re: From the Athletic Department -- Griffiti, Sat, April 27 2019, 8:29:30

Bill's message is a pathetic attempt to justify Reggie's lack of leadership and wholesale contempt for alums who care about the future of our program. Not to mention his refusal to honor the achievements of our only remaining quality player, Malik Johnson. Small wonder why our coaches cannot sign a single decent player for next season

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[> Re: From the Athletic Department -- Dave, Fri, April 26 2019, 11:33:53

Thank you for sharing this. Is it common practice for the Maher/Athletic Department to send out letters like this to season ticket holders?

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[> [> Re: From the Athletic Department -- alum, Sat, April 27 2019, 4:54:50

The Maher comments are the first that I can remember from an AD regarding plans for a specific team with a coach in place. That said, I think it was good for the AD to step in at this point. And I'm happy to hear that the athletic department is going to try a pre-season banquet this fall.

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[> Re: From the Athletic Department -- The Message is Clear, Sun, April 28 2019, 7:12:16

If you bother to read between the lines.

By having a preseason party, it will prevent anyone from bitching about this season and everything that is wrong with the program. It would be seen as bad form and everyone can just be “rah, rah, rah” for the new year.

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