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Date Posted: Tue, May 07 2019, 4:31:05
Author: Counterpoints...
Subject: Re: Maybe we should do something like this first
In reply to: MGE 's message, "Maybe we should do something like this first" on Sun, May 05 2019, 12:28:44

It pains me to defend Ensor, but:
-The cycle of coaches changed and there are more younger, inexperienced coaches. Meaning the programs themselves are in transitions.

-In a period of conference raiding, the MAAC made net gains: lost one member who didn't think they fit the conference anyway (Loyola hated being in the MAAC). Gained two schools who aggressively want to be compete and improve. Those two schools have great budgets, great facilities, and frankly promising coaches. It's a win for the MAAC.

-The MAAC pays its refs well, and despite what people may think of the officiating, it's better than a lot of other mid-major conferences.

-ESPN3 partnerships have helped some of the MAAC members with recruiting future sportscasters and sports journalists. As those students become professionals, it's going to help exposure for the MAAC for decades.

-Finally, where else would Canisius or NU go? A-10 is too expensive, NEC is too far east, Horizon is too far west and not a good peer fit, American East isn't a good peer fit. There's no existing conference that works. You would have to create one with Siena, Fordham, a few Patriot League/NEC schools, Detroit-Mercy, Duquesne, Robert Morris, etc. and good luck with that.

Where the MAAC could improve, and I know some of these things are being considered:
-Pool money and best practices for schools to develop kids' clubs and programs to turn graduating student fans into engaged alumni.

-Drastically change the conference tournament: first round and quarters on-campus, semis and finals at rotating sites (Nassau, Boardwalk Hall, TUC, KBC, Webster Bank, Prudential, Sun Center in Trenton, Mohegan Sun, Westchester, Turning Stone, the specific sites matter less than the idea of moving them; perhaps the highest remaining seed chooses, etc.)

-Figure out TV and streaming - use the ESPN 3 and on-campus partnerships to stream everything that isn't televised; find a regional or national deal to get 1-2 games on weekly. Perhaps work with ESPN 3 to give MAAC season ticket holders, donors, etc. free ESPN 3.

-Partner with other mid-major conferences on a shared media/advertising plan to compete for media dollars in aggregate with larger schools/conferences.

-Add a 12th member to balance the schedule and use them to expand the footprint - Robert Morris, Mount St. Mary's, St. Francis PA, Bryant, Merrimack, maybe Duquense or LaSalle.

-Rework the RPI restrictions in men's basketball. it was a great idea in theory but worked out disastrously this year.

-Come up with an international strategy to get games and/or teams in Canada, Europe, Asia.

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[> [> [> Re: Maybe we should do something like this first -- Robert Morris makes sense, Tue, May 07 2019, 17:01:21

Duquesne and LaSalle would never leave the A10 they’re the Canisius & Niagara of their conference.

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[> [> [> [> Re: Maybe we should do something like this first -- LaSalle Might..., Wed, May 08 2019, 5:23:33

LaSalle is having some serious financial challenges. They might not be able to afford the A-10 anymore.

With that said, I agree that Bobby Mo makes the most sense: nice to pick up Pittsburgh in the MAAC footprint for recruiting and media, they're building a fantastic arena (https://www.rmu.edu/athletics/upmc-events-center), their enrollment is consistently solid, and they show a desire to elevate themselves.

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