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Men's Soccer - Program Support


Titansoccer8
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I wanted to seek guidance/advice and even support from ORU people on how we can improve the athletic department's and school's support of the Men's soccer program...

I understand that soccer is not the money sport, but I question why soccer receives such little support from ORU?  When I was playing, the only thing we received from the school were uniforms...everything else we had to purchase with our own money...things like warm-ups, shoes, practice gear, sweatshirts, etc. 

I honestly was surprised to learn that the current program is experiencing the same lack of support.  Seems like there is definitely an opportunity for the Athletic Department to share the love with these fine young student athletes, that are without a doubt positive contributors to the ORU community.  In this age of college sports, it is unacceptable in my opinion to have some/many student-athletes purchase most of their gear, while others receive everything but the kitchen sink for free.

It's time to make all student athletes proud and feel true support and commitment from the athletic department and school.

Now is the time for things such as these to be addressed.

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I couldn't agree more.  The soccer program is as deserving of University support as any of the other sports.

I don't know if you're aware of this, Titansoccer8, but one of the VERY NEXT PROJECTS that Mike Carter is working on, concurrent with raising funds for a new basketball scoreboard, is a $600,000 renovation of the soccer field.  I wish I could tell you all the things that are planned - maybe someone else will have a more complete list - but I believe they are planning to put in a press box, permanent seating and a new scoreboard.  Probably other things as well. 

So I don't think they're TRYING to short change anyone, there are just VERY LIMITED funds to go around, and the needs are almost limitless.  Virtually every facility needs upgrading to keep us competitive with other area and regional programs - for instance, the facade on J.L. Johnson Stadium is literally falling off - in big chunks.  Unimpressive to visiting recruits and visiting teams.  That's just one of many such needs that Mike is trying to balance against the short stack of cash he has to work with. 

I can't really address whatever issues there have been in the past, or even whatever problems that there are now - but I do know that Mike Carter, regardless of how it may feel or appear when you're on the receiving end, is working tirelessly to see to it that ALL programs have the chance to succeed and excel.

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I think you'll see a change in many things for the soccer program, as well as every other 'minor' sport. As well as many positive changes in the ENTIRE university, now that the 'leadership' has changed. It may not be overnight, but it will come.

I know it's kinda taboo to talk about, but let's be real.....the University may not have existed in a few years, had not the changes 'occurred'.

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thanks for the feedback...

I am aware of the planned improvements, however, to my knowledge, there are strings attached...i.e., improvements will not start unless "we" raise a certain amount of money (hundreds of thousands).  It just feels as though the soccer alumni are being asked to shoulder too much of the burden...

Although everyone would agree that the facilities need improvement, this isn't my immediate concern...although it sure would be nice to have facilities that are on-par or better than others in the conference.  My main concern has to deal with incidentals such as warm up suits, sweatshirts, t-shirts, practice gear, shoes, etc.  I'm willing to bet that the basketball team and baseball team have several sets of warmups, practice gear, shoes, etc.  I just think its a shame that soccer alumni are being asked to donate money so that the current players can be provided with these incidentals (if we don't provide the funding or sponsorship, then they don't receive anything...and that is a shame).  I had to buy my own sweatshirts and sweats at ORU, heck, we even designed them ourselves and worked with a local t-shirt screening company to print them...and then we sold them to students as well...this might have been acceptable in 1989 or 1990, but it sure isn't acceptable in 2008. 

Money is tight, I get that and can appreciate that...and honestly, there are a lot of other higher-priority needs ahead of soccer or the athletic department for that matter.  But I feel like now is the best time to start voicing concern on behalf of the soccer alumni.  I guess my recommendation would be to better manage our funds and demonstrate more discretionary spending.  I mean, is it worth the school's expense to pay for redshirts on the basketball team to travel to the NCAA tourney in Denver?  Or did they have to pay their own way?

I also know that basketball and baseball may have separate/incremental sponsorship deals with Nike or Easton...why can't we negotiate sponsorship deals that benefit all sports?  I thought we were a Nike school...if so, then why does the men's soccer team have Adidas uniforms?

I know I'm throwing a lot out there that may not be of concern, I'm just becoming more frustrated by the lack of formal recognition of soccer by the athletic department.  And if the athletic department really recognizes and respects soccer, then please tell me why there are NO men's or women's soccer players in ORU's Hall of Fame?  Trust me on this one...there are several dozen players that are worthy of such distinction and honor.

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You bring up some very good points, Titansoccer8.  I have no first-hand knowledge of these things so I can't really address them. 

Why not go to the top for answers?  Send an email to Mike Carter and express to him your concerns.  The WORST he could do is not answer - but if you express yourself in a positive, constructive way, as you have on the board here, he most likely would respond. 

I think it would be good for him to know your concerns, and perhaps some of these issues ARE being addressed, just nobody on the board knows about it.

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I think I will try and reach out to Mike or Ralph...

I wanted to socialize on the board first because many of you guys are closer to the university than I am and may have some good insight...I was also hoping that I could get some insight from Mike or someone in the athletic department.

And Voice---Tony Winters is indeed a legend on and off the field.  Without a doubt one the toughest guys you'll ever meet...and not too mention he is an extremely intelligent person.

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I'm sure Mike would love to hear from you, TS8 (and I mean that seriously).  It will take some funding to get the things that you're interested in.  Soccer is a non-revenue sport, so the funding has to come from outside sources.  $600K on improvements to the field and amenities is a great start (and kudos to the athletic department for making the effort to spend the money on soccer), but you should be prepared to put your money where your mouth is when starting your dialog with Mike or Ralph.  It doesn't have to be your money, but it can be the money of those you know and influence.

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Bogus...

good points...and before I approach Mike or Ralph, I need to weed out the chaffe from the wheat so to speak...I'm sitting 800 miles from Tulsa and I have a hard time telling the difference between truth and lies.  And I have to apologize upfront if my tone is negative or heated...I'm just tired of the other sports at ORU getting stepped on.

I understand your point about "put your money where your mouth is", the only problem is I don't like it.  I get it when it comes to major expansion, but not for the basic essentials.  Soccer may be a non-revenue sport (and it doesn't have to be), but in my opinion, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be awarded some of the same basics that the revenue generating sports are getting...

Revenue generating or not, do you think its acceptable to ask alumni to donate $150 to sponsor 1 player with the following items (stadium jacket, rain jacket & pants, warm up suit, long-sleeve fleece, 2 polo shirts with ORU soccer logo, 2 t-shirts, backpack, beanie and scarf)?  In my opinion, the school should find the money to purchase these items for every soccer player so that they can proudly represent the program and school...

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thanks for the feedback...

I am aware of the planned improvements, however, to my knowledge, there are strings attached...i.e., improvements will not start unless "we" raise a certain amount of money (hundreds of thousands).  It just feels as though the soccer alumni are being asked to shoulder too much of the burden...

Although everyone would agree that the facilities need improvement, this isn't my immediate concern...although it sure would be nice to have facilities that are on-par or better than others in the conference.  My main concern has to deal with incidentals such as warm up suits, sweatshirts, t-shirts, practice gear, shoes, etc.  I'm willing to bet that the basketball team and baseball team have several sets of warmups, practice gear, shoes, etc.  I just think its a shame that soccer alumni are being asked to donate money so that the current players can be provided with these incidentals (if we don't provide the funding or sponsorship, then they don't receive anything...and that is a shame).  I had to buy my own sweatshirts and sweats at ORU, heck, we even designed them ourselves and worked with a local t-shirt screening company to print them...and then we sold them to students as well...this might have been acceptable in 1989 or 1990, but it sure isn't acceptable in 2008. 

Trust me... the soccer athletes are getting cool gear these days.  ORU is fully committed to all 16 programs.  We supply the full amount of scholarships the NCAA allows for every sport we offer.  That's big time when it comes to low/mid major programs.

We are now working on improving our soccer facility.  It's an ongoing campaign that we need help with now.  Presentations have been made to businesses and foundations, but we need to prove that the project is important to the university by having gifts from alumni and friends.

Yes, to an extent ORU athletics is dependent on everyone to help with the general fund.  It's just a bit ridiculous to think that the current student-athletes are going without uniforms, warm-ups, etc. because we are sending walk-ons to the NCAA Tournament.  The money brought in to the conference from the NCAA Tournament more than covers the expenses of the team to Denver or West Lafayette.

I can't go into specifics, but we should see improvements to ORU athletics since the Board of Trustees has started an Athletic Committee chaired by Scott Cordray (a Champions Club member, local businessman/doctor, alum).  We are getting great participation, and things are looking great for the future.

I suggest that if any of you ever have questions concerning the commitment of the administration to the athletic programs, that you contact our athletic director through e-mail or by mailing him a letter. 

The reason why soccer is getting attention since it is a non-revenue generating sport is because it is so visible from the 81st & Delaware intersection.  To some people it might be the only view they get of ORU on their daily commute.  The current look will not impress the general public.  An improved look will send a message that ORU is heading in the right direction.  You can even contact me if you know of any possibilities of raising money for the project.

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I think we all want our student-athletes to have the tools they need to compete - and the appropriate gear/clothing to represent ORU. It should be noted that the revenue sports (basketball and baseball) generate a lot of their funds through ticket receipts, but they also do a lot of their own fundraising and sponsorships. These coaches work hard to provide for their athetes; I think that this is what provides those programs with the funds/resources to have them items you outlined. These programs (especially baseball) also get support from former athletes/alums.

The facts of life are that the Tier 1 programs (basketball, baseball, volleyball and women's tennis?) are going to get better funding and support. The other programs need to be creative and more assertive in going after alternative means of funding. It can be done.

I think the athletic department (Mike Carter) is to be commended for targeting an upgrade in the soccer field. The soccer program will also benefit from the indoor practice facility that is scheduled to begin construction when the City of Tulsa finishes work on the Fred Creek expansion.

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TS8,

I understand you don't live in the area, so it's unfair for me to think you have a full understanding of the current status of our soccer program.  I'm going to assume you are getting partial truth stories.  Are we funded as well at a BCS soccer program?  We might be, but I doubt it.  The best thing ORU alums could do is help increase the recruiting budget so we can recruit more players.  We probably hurt the most in that area.

I just had to jump in on this topic, because the athletic department does everything possible to provide whatever is needed to our student-athletes.

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Mike,

Thanks for jumping in...

And my comments about redshirt basketball players accompanying the team to Denver and its relationship to soccer players not receiving gear was not to be taken as a direct correlation, but rather to point out that with a tight budget, proper support of all programs should be made before such additional expenses are incurred (not knowing if they even were)...my point is more about fiscal responsibility and the management of discretionary spending so that upgrades can be made where needed...I'm not saying that this doesn't exist, but from the outside looking in, it does appear that improvements can be made.

The one thing that I do ask is this...if the players are receiving the gear that you claim, then why am I, as a soccer alumni being asked to donate money so that 1 player can receive the stated gear?  And this request is coming from a very reliable source that is trying to establish a formal Soccer Booster Club.

You make some interesting points about the soccer field potentially being the only view that the general public may see of the campus...never thought of that one.

Regarding recruiting...(which I don't necessarily see as being the biggest problem for men's or women's soccer) One way to supplement the recruiting budget is to utilize the ever-growing alumni base (within the bounds of NCAA compliance of course).  One major problem here...that I hate to mention is the current coach of the men's team.  There is an apparent and what I believe to be a sincere lack of respect between the current coach and alumni...with this unfortunate situation, it is almost impossible to expect the alumni to contribute.

And one other thing that I think needs to change...the fact that there are NO soccer players in the Athletic Hall of Fame.

One last question...can you give me a ballpark figure on what we as alumni should aim to raise before the school makes more of a commitment?  I've heard approximately $250K...which is a tremendous amount of money for a small group of alumni to raise...

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The facts of life are that the Tier 1 programs (basketball, baseball, volleyball and women's tennis?) are going to get better funding and support.

In the "in case you want to know" category: The fourth Tier 1 sport is women's golf instead of tennis...

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Yeah Minyard, what's the deal? How can (you) the marketing guy be raking in a 6 figure income and get flown around the country on "recruiting" visits, meanwhile the soccer players don't even have a shirt on their back?

Your personal expense account is larger than the ENTIRE yearly soccer budget!

We DEMAND answers, NOW!!!

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Yeah Minyard, what's the deal? How can (you) the marketing guy be raking in a 6 figure income and get flown around the country on "recruiting" visits, meanwhile the soccer players don't even have a shirt on their back?

Your personal expense account is larger than the ENTIRE yearly soccer budget!

We DEMAND answers, NOW!!!

Wow!!  Is Mike making a six-figure income??  :-o

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TS8... I just sent you a PM answering some of your questions.  Anyone else wanting to discuss things that are on this thread can send me a PM, e-mail me at mminyard@oru.edu or call me at 918-495-7213.

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Yeah Minyard, what's the deal? How can (you) the marketing guy be raking in a 6 figure income and get flown around the country on "recruiting" visits, meanwhile the soccer players don't even have a shirt on their back?

Your personal expense account is larger than the ENTIRE yearly soccer budget!

We DEMAND answers, NOW!!!

Knucklehead...  :lol:

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Minyard makes over $100K...wow!..... :-D

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Minyard makes over $100K...wow!..... :-D

I need to contact HR because apparently that paycheck is posting in someone else's bank account!!!

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