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Posted on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Budget shortfalls put more pressure on Eastern Michigan athletic department

By Pete Bigelow


The Eastern Michigan football team draws an average of 6,400 fans to home football games. Eastern uses $150,00 from a contract with Pepsi to purchase tickets from itself to meet NCAA attendance standards.

Angela J. Cesere |

On the day that Eastern Michigan University fired its basketball coach earlier this year, one of the school’s regents, Jim Stapleton, scolded athletic department officials for the decision.

Not necessarily because he thought coach Charles Ramsey had done a stellar job - in six years, Ramsey compiled a 68-118 record. But Stapleton believed the $176,416 it cost to buy out the remaining year of Ramsey’s contract was an expense the cash-strapped school could not afford.

The decision showed “a stunning lack of sensitivity to where we find ourselves fiscally as an institution,” Stapleton said at the time.

Today, the extent of Eastern Michigan’s precarious financial position will be made clear. With an $11.4 million cut in state appropriations looming, regents will vote on the school’s annual budget. Combined with a possible $12 million increase in expenses, EMU could face a $23.4 million shortfall.

The vote comes amid contentious labor relations. EMU president Susan Martin anticipates layoffs for as many as 70 employees and recently asked five campus unions to forgo raises to help narrow the budget gap. They rejected that request, in part because union officials say the university should first cut a “heavily subsidized athletic department.”

A review of the Eastern Michigan athletic department’s finances, using data the school disclosed to the federal government under the Equity in Athletics Data Act and public records requests, showed:

  • The athletic department reported $19.8 million in revenues in 2009. Of that amount, $14.9 million came from direct institutional support and $1.6 million came from student fees.
  • That $16.5 million represents 83.4 percent of the school’s athletic budget, the highest percentage of direct institutional support any athletic department received among the Mid-American Conference’s 13 member institutions.
  • Athletes make up 2.5 percent of EMU’s overall student body, but receive more than 20 percent of the university’s financial aid budget. The athletes’ share amounts to approximately $6.7 million.
  • NCAA rules stipulate a school must average 15,000 fans per home football game to remain in Division I. Eastern Michigan, which averaged 6,401 fans per home game in 2010, uses $150,000 from a distribution contract with Pepsi to purchase tickets from itself at a rate of $3 apiece to remain NCAA compliant.

Administrators said athletics will not be spared in the upcoming cuts, some of which will be apparent Tuesday. But new basketball coach Rob Murphy will receive a $210,000 base salary in his five-year contract - a $42,584 increase over Ramsey’s annual pay. They also said Eastern Michigan will not cut any of the 21 sports offered, the highest number of varsity programs of any MAC school.

To the school’s top officials, the $19.5 million the athletic department annually spends is the cost of doing business. They see Division I athletics and the 21 sports as points of pride, vital cogs for campus life that attracts students and rallying points for alumni throughout Southeast Michigan.


President Susan Martin on Eastern Michigan athletics: "I believe we are on the rise here."

Angela J. Cesere |

One day, they believe those costs will pay off, not just in terms of on-field success in the so-called revenue-generating sports of football and men’s basketball, but they will reap financial awards from increased enrollment and fund-raising efforts.

“I believe we are on the rise here,” Martin said. “I think you’re seeing a turnaround in our programs, our legendary greats are coming back to campus to support us, and we’re generating excitement and attention for Eastern.”

But many members of the faculty, including union leaders, do not see athletic expenses as an investment in the future so much as an albatross on the present. They fear cuts will come first to academic programs, and believe the pursuit of big-time college athletics is a wayward path for a university that’s branded itself with the slogan: “Eastern Michigan University: Education First.”

“I enjoy the games, but remember, we’re at our core an academic institution,” said Howard Bunsis, a professor of accounting and a leader of EMU’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors. “I don’t believe the decisions being made are putting academics first.”

Definining expectations

Most athletic departments lose money. In 2008, an NCAA report showed just 25 of the 120 athletic programs that participate in the Football Bowl Subdivision were profitable without aid of institutional support. In 2009, the number of profitable athletic departments sagged to 14 of 120.

Eastern Michigan was not among them.

“I don’t think at the mid-major level, we should ever expect to be profitable,” said Stapleton, who despite his opposition to Ramsey’s firing, counts himself among supporters of a strong Division I-A athletic department. “That’s just not reality.”

Over the past five years, the athletic department has become further reliant on the university for funding. In 2005, 72.8 percent of its revenue came from direct institutional support. In 2009, institutional support counted for 83.4 percent, the most in the MAC.


Eastern Michigan athletic director Derrick Gragg: "We’re trying to do the right things to build successful programs."

Angela J. Cesere |

By comparison, the University of Buffalo ranked second-highest with 75.9 percent of its revenue received from institutional support. Toledo’s athletic department ranked lowest in the conference, drawing 46.3 percent of its revenues from university coffers.

In a written response to questions about the institutional support, EMU officials said the percentage is acceptable because they believe in an investment in football and men’s basketball, and once those programs become more competitive, that figure will “drop considerably.”

“We’re trying to do the right things to build successful programs,” said athletic director Derrick Gragg.

There’s perhaps no bigger example of that commitment - and no bigger symbol of the divisiveness on campus between faculty and administrators - than a $3.9 million indoor practice facility that opened in June 2010.

Gragg says the building puts the football team on competitive footing with its peers, believes it played a role in the successes of the EMU baseball and softball teams this past spring and counts it as bridge for community involvement in Ypsilanti. Faculty leaders said the new facility was unneeded, and were miffed when regents approved its funding amid a round of knotted negotiations.

This spring, when it became apparent that Gov. Rick Snyder would cut EMU’s state appropriations by as much as 15 percent, union leader Susan Moeller said the university proposed $5 million in overall personnel cuts and $850,000 in athletic department cuts.

In response, the faculty senate passed a resolution that called for, among other things, a $3 million cut in athletic department spending and the elimination of a $1 million general fund subsidy for the Convocation Center, the venue at which the Eagles’ men’s and women’s basketball teams.

“What’s going on here is an athletic program funded by the core academic mission,” Bunsis said. “I know their argument is that athletics are part of the fabric of the university, but if you are in tough budgetary times, is it really appropriate to lay people off who have direct contact with students when there’s not much support for our athletic department?”

The drive to retain Division I-A status

On Feb. 21, 2006, Gragg’s first day as Eastern Michigan’s athletic director, he remembers administrators giving him a list of 12 departmental goals. He distinctly remembers No. 6.

“Basically, I was brought on to help fortify Division I-A status,” he said.

Five years later, that remains as vexing a challenge as ever. Eastern Michigan’s Division I-A status is not in danger, but the NCAA requires its FBS schools to average 15,000 fans per football game, and not fall below that figure more than once per decade.

If not for a distribution contract with Pepsi that bridges the gap between actual attendance and that requirement, Eastern would be nowhere close. In 2009, the football team averaged 5,016 fans per game, according to NCAA data, the worst figure of the 120 FBS schools. The second-worst figure belonged to Florida International, which averaged 10,204 fans per game.

Attendance at Eastern Michigan increased to 6,401 per game during the 2010 season, but that did not translate into a gain in ticket revenues.

On the contrary, after generating $292,606 in department-wide ticket sales in 2008-09, the figure plunged to $133,664 in 2009-10. Both years, the ticket sales were the lowest in the conference. Kent State generated the second-lowest amount of ticket sales: $407,000 in 2008-2009, and $594,000 in 2009-10.

“We should be generating more revenue than we are,” Martin said.

In terms of football attendance, the saving grace is the Pepsi contract. As part of a $2.3 million distribution contract, the university directs Pepsi to spend $150,000 per year to purchase football tickets. NCAA rules stipulate that such arrangements count toward attendance requirements, so long as the tickets are billed at a rate of one-third the cost of the highest-priced ticket.

At Eastern Michigan, the most expensive tickets are $9 a piece, so Pepsi’s contract purchases 50,000 tickets at $3 per ticket, according to Mike Malach, EMU’s associate athletic director.

Three other sponsorship agreements on smaller scales account for more ticket sales, Malach said. Together, the agreements added 55,000 tickets sold to the 2010 totals, jumping Eastern’s average from 6,401 fans per game to 17,492 - compliant, by NCAA standards.

“I think it’s pretty unique to have a soda company buying tickets for sporting events,” Bunsis said. “It’s a clear diversion of money that would otherwise go right to the core mission of the university.”

EMU officials say the Pepsi contract’s athletic clause helps preserve the desired distinction of Division I sports, and officials note the tickets are distributed to high schools and other organizations that bring a “positive community ripple effect,” they wrote. Still, they would like to see actual attendance and ticket revenues increase.

There’s one big obstacle: interest in the football program.

The football team has never finished a season ranked in a major poll. In the early 1980s, the school suffered a 27-game losing streak. The Eagles haven’t been to a bowl game since 1987, when they defeated San Jose State in the California Bowl. In the past two years, they have gone 2-20 under coach Ron English.

“What we need to do is get football right,” Stapleton said. “When we do, I think a lot of the discussion and debate about what we’ve done things this way will go away.”

The football effect
With one week remaining in the 2008 football season, Eastern Michigan fired football coach Jeff Genyk. In his five years, the team never won more than four games and never finished higher than third in the MAC’s West Division. The search for his replacement was widely viewed as a chance for the Eagles to land a big-name coach who would lend credibility to the school’s push for a more prominent athletic program.

“We needed to hire a top-flight coach who could attract recruits and has the experience and expertise to build a program,” school officials wrote in a thorough, five-page written response. “This is the first time in history that EMU has properly invested in football to enable the program to succeed.”

In 2006, the football team’s operating expenses were $3,994,482. Genyk’s base salary at the end of his tenure in 2008 was just more than $180,000. English, a former defensive coordinator at Louisville and Michigan, received $275,000 during the first year of his contract, and despite an 0-11 record his first year and a 2-9 mark his second, he received a $28,350 raise on Jan. 1, 2011 that had been built into his contract.

As a whole, the university spent $5,037,556 on the football team in fiscal year 2009-10, according to the EADA data. Entering the third year of English’s tenure EMU officials believe they are about to start reaping benefits of their investment.

“We believe football will start to show the investment this year in the five-year plan,” Stapleton said. “And that’s knowing it wasn’t going to be a quick fix. We’re confident that enrollment, and the things that come with it, will follow. Meanwhile, our other sports are doing well, We’re proud of that, and believe athletics makes Eastern a big-time school.”

They see future rewards as part of what’s been called the “football effect,” although it applies to men’s basketball success as well. The crux of their belief is that on-field success translates into fiscal gains across the university, in areas ranging from ticket sales, enrollment figures and alumni donations.

After a Cinderella run to the NCAA Final Four in 2006, freshman applications at George Mason University increased 22 percent. At tiny Butler University in Indiana, transfer applications rose 61 percent following the school’s first NCAA finals appearance in 2010, according to school officials.

In April, a study published in the Journal of Sports Economics found that the size of the freshmen classes at eight California state universities increased 0.051 percent per each football victory in the previous year.

Numerous other studies on the effect of football and men’s basketball reach contradictory findings, concluding the impact is small and short-lived. At Eastern Michigan, critics would say either way, the conclusions are irrelevant.

Over the past decade, EMU’s overall enrollment has largely stayed the same. In 2000, the combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment was 23,561. In 2010, it was 23,503.

As the football team’s win total fluctuated from two victories in 2008 to zero in 2009 and two in 2010, the university’s enrollment figures inched upward, from 21,926 in ‘08 to 22,859 in ‘09 to 2010’s total of 23,503.

“Our football team rarely wins and enrollment has been going up,” Moeller said. “Our students don’t really come here for the sports teams. … I think they come here for Eastern’s reputation, our programs and our faculty.”

Athletics part of an ongoing debate

Squabbling over expenditures beyond the core academic mission are one of the focus of the current debate heading into Tuesday’s regents meeting. Pull the lens back, and there’s a broader battle being waged.

The questions are: Why do students currently choose to attend Eastern Michigan? Why will they choose the school in the future? What makes Eastern Michigan an attractive option?

Critics say athletics are a small or nonexistent portion of the decision-making process, especially for prospective Eastern students. Of the school’s 23,503 students, 12,762 are undergraduate students. About 4,000 live in on-campus dorms.

“A lot of our students are older and non-traditional, and a third of our students are transfers,” Moeller said. “They are not looking for the traditional four-year college experience.”

She continued. “This is a commuter university, and most students live around here. They never go to the football games. There’s no correlation between winning and enrollment, so I really don’t understand that investment there.”

A commuter university. It’s a stigma that Eastern Michigan administrators would like to move beyond. Athletics is one way they’d like to enhance the community on campus.

“It’s about creating an environment that people view as positive, and we’re working on so many different levels to do that,” said Walter Kraft, EMU’s vice president of communications.

Should the fiscal downturn dim that ambition?

“The faculty is entitled to ask those tough questions and know exactly where every dollar is spent and why,” Stapleton said. “I want them to know we are serious about hearing their input and our commitment to listening is genuine.

"But this board is committed to Division I athletics, and at the end of the day, how we manage those concerns is at the discretion of the president and board.”

Pete Bigelow recently left to work at Changing Gears. He can be reached at and followed on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.

Former staff reporter David Jesse did some of the original reporting on this article.



Fri, Jul 1, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

Geez, I didnt know that Eastern even had a football team.

Kevin S. Devine

Thu, Jun 30, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

To Likearock: Plenty of great EMU sports coverage in The Eastern Echo (available on news stands all over campus and all around Ypsi) and online at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 4:19 p.m. gives no legiimate media coverage to EMU Athletics then you publish this? Really? I'll bet that you put as much time in to the &quot;report&quot; that you did in to the entire year at EMU. Maybe if there were a legitimate newspaper in the area that provided real covereage then more fans would be interested and more people would come to games. Winning will help but there are a lot of other things working against EMU.

2X EMU Alum

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

The only things &quot;on the rise&quot; are the salaries of coaches of what are supposed to be revenue-generating sports. Fans on the west side of the state stood in line last November and paid more than $3 for a ticket to watch two high schools play each other in the MHSAA Division 2 Regional Finals. Actual attendance at this game far surpassed the actual attendance at any EMU game. If I'm not mistaken there were no Jeeps or Mac laptops or tuition vouchers given away in attempts to draw a crowd. I agree with Cash - drop football. Both Oakland University and University of Detroit Mercy have found their niche by focusing on basketball. What kind of metrics are being used to measure the success of EMU's athletic teams - mainly the ones that are supposed to generate revenue? It's clearly not based on actual attendance. The student body and community at large have spoken by their lack of support and attendance at athletic events - despite all of the marketing gimmicks. President Martin and the Board of Regents, why aren't you listening? I forgot, you have nice cozy suites with catered meals from which to watch, or not, your EMU Eagles. Lastly, shame on the NCAA for not holding schools more accountable for their actions.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 6:39 p.m.

What does the university do with the tickets it buys from itself? By the way, thank you Pepsi. The number has to be near 10,000 tickets. I would hope EMU has some marketing people that are capable enough to figure out a away to funnel the tickets to statewide youth organizations. Before Bo and UM packed the football stadium they sold $2 tickets. Sure seems like a great way to get young people in the place and develop a following. Oh, it would also help to win some games.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

The tickets bought by Pepsi were given away to local schools. See <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> for details.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 6:33 p.m.

It is not only in the interest of EMU to have a winning football program. Could you imagine the economic effect that would have on Ypsi? I suggest the administrators stop acting like &quot;Michigan's little brother,&quot; and go hire an up and coming coach. I would choose someone, who has been dominating in d2 or d3 divisions. It worked for Central Michigan, and Ohio State. Heck, give Jim Tressel a call! He's not doing anything these days. LOL. Let's bring a program builder to EMU, and light up town, while were at it!


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 6:09 p.m.

To spring board off the &quot;elephant in the room&quot; comment: I am EMU Alum, and just bought season tickets for the first time. Went to a game last year (Army) for the first time in almost ten years and had a great time. Season tickets for my wife and I costs less than attending a single UofM game. Been to plenty of those, but the only one I'm going to this year is the Eastern game. IMO the &quot;Big House&quot; experience is over-rated. 114,000 people stuffed into a stadium designed for 80k gets old pretty fast. Paying $70 a ticket to watch a lousy team gets old even faster. Hopefully EMU can turn it around this year, if not I'll get to watch a lousy team at a tenth of the cost and ten times the leg room as the lousy team down the road. And FYI, 6,000 Eagles still cheer louder than 100,000 wolverines.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 6:43 p.m.



Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

I'm curious, do you own any UofM gear?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

I've always figured that EMU's biggest problem athletically was being in proximity to the major athletic program that is UofM. In the picture above, I don't see many fans in attendance sporting any Eastern gear, but I'm willing to bet they all have something maize and blue in their waredrobes. It's tough to build a successful athletic program when the majority of your fanbase is more dedicated to the team down the street. Bring back the Hurons!

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

to add to tater's &quot;&quot;elephant in the room&quot; in Ann Arbor,' comment I have a theory that UoM's presence might negatively impact football recruiting . As my theory goes if your a decent MAC level player would you rather play where your team is the &quot;biggest thing in town&quot; or play where your dwarfed by the biggest stadium in the country 5 miles away? I don't know that there is anything to that theory but I wonder.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

EMU is a tough place to coach. &quot;Downtown&quot; Ypsi is a cesspool, so that makes recruiting difficult. Attendence is abysmal. The best thing that can be said about the fanbase is that EMU has some of the most loyal football fans in the country: all 5,000 of them. Even in the Charlie Batch years, they could barely get 20,000 to a game. What's sad is that going to EMU games is a lot of fun, and still a bargain compared to major college football, but they still can't get enough fans to help finance an athletic department. The next time EMU puts a decent product on the field, it would be helpful if people actually decided to go to the games. They are obviously affected by the &quot;elephant in the room&quot; in Ann Arbor, but even if both games are on the same day, a &quot;day-night doubleheader&quot; is pretty fun for those who can handle two &quot;game-day experiences&quot; in one day. The atmosphere is more like a big high school game, and the seats are great. Think of having one of the 20,000 best seats in the Big House; that's how good your seats are. If you haven't gone to at least one EMU game, you should.

joe golder

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

I agree with you Tater. If you haven't went to at least one EMU home game you should. I have been to one in the past 38yrs. I personally would go downtown Ypsi and check out the great bars, eateries, and very unique, individual shops. Downtown Ypsi is very family friendly. Take a closer look.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

debling@ In essence your calling for the end to college athletics. If only 14-25 programs make money then under your criteria the rest go away. That leaves only a couple dozen money makers left. But they make money in large part from TV revenue for football and men's basketball. But if there are only 20 some teams left in American college sports TV isn't going to pay out what they used to. Then with TV money slashed those left no longer turn a profit either, so away they go.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:28 p.m.

The primary purpose of athletic departments is to generate revenue to offset tuition of undergraduate candidates. The success of an athletic department should be measured solely by how much it can reduce tuition per student. If the athletic department is net costing the University money (student fees, scholarships, subsidies) it has not business in a public University and should be closed down immediately.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

The article states that only 14 out of 120 D1 generate enough revenue to do the things you're describing. Does that mean only 14 college football programs should exist? Of those 14, none of them use that revenue to reduce tuition, fees, etc.

joe golder

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

If they scrub athletics from the university, how much will enrollment drop. What happens to the huge investment in facilities?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

That's not the primary purpose of an athletic department. In an ideal world, college sports exist to build community and increase the school's visibility. I don't see why an athletic department should be expected to make money, any more than a theater department or music department should (particularly at schools with no corresponding majors). The problem is how much money the athletic department loses. A Division II program would require fewer scholarships, fewer coaches, and fewer resources, while still carrying with it the intangible benefits of intercollegiate athletics. Anyone who doesn't think students will come out to support a strong D-II team should go to a Grand Valley football game. Just make sure you buy your tickets in advance, because they tend to sell out.


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

While the reasons EMU struggles in hoops and football is a bit complex, I think it starts with the decision makers ... This is about the decisions that have been made (coaches) for football and basketball. Poor coaching selections have led to more than a decade of apathy for football and the same for mens hoops. EMU continues to select coaches from major programs that are assistants and have no head coaching experience; essentially making them learn on the job. EMU is just too big for on the job training for football and basketball. The football teams plays U-M, Penn State, Ohio State, MSU, and others - all joking aside about the record - this is BIG TIME football. The experiment to hire young sexy coaches from big schools has failed miserably and we have passed on opportunities to get experienced coaching who know how to build programs ...why do we continue to follow a format that is clearly not working? Why is this obvious to everyone who follows EMU sports - but not the AD?

Jay Goodman

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

I am amazed by the last sentence from Regent Stapleton--&quot;We are going to spend money on athletics and not on the core academic mission of education and there is not a thing you can do about it!&quot; Maybe the Governor will step in and start holding the BOR accountable for their irresponsible fiscal management of the university! Really, people, in a time of crisis you cut unnecessary services!--Athletics are not necessary to the education of the students!


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

Look to the incredible success of Oakland University. They are a suburban commuter school....soon to include a medical school as well. They do still have an athletic department. However, they do not field a football team. They concentrate on their Their basketball team has been extremely successful. I think this would be an excellent model for EMU. They are picking up some great &quot;finds&quot; for next year's basketball team. And they have hired an excellent coach. Just as academically EMU should concentrate on being an educator of educators.....stick with what you are really GOOD at....they should do that for athletics as well. They were a success at basketball in the past. They can do it again. Throw in the towel on football. And good luck convincing a certain board member of that.

joe golder

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

How did you change your reply? That's so EMUish!


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

Joe, Um Joe, actually Oakland has over 19,000 students.....close to same size as EMU and soon to surpass I'm guessing.! Ever been there? They have a great campus. They are Summit League Champions in basketball.....Division I and have sent over 2 dozen players to the pros. Their medical school is in affiliation with William Beaumont and opens this fall. Pretty incredible for a school in existence only about 50 years!

joe golder

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 7:10 p.m.

Makes smart decisions?? Ok! sure. Respecting the community got them a medical center... sure isn't the Mac! Maybe a smaller college like Oakland University


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Joe, I think so. But Oakland does very well not being in the MAC. That is a school that makes smart decisions and have been rewarded for it. They are also respectful of the community around them. I think doing the right thing got them a great new medical school.

joe golder

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

Cash..Does EMU need football to remain in mac?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

Maybe if they move the the stadium to the other side of Carpenter Road?


Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

There is no stigma to being a commuter university, unless you think all successful universities have to look like U of M. The EMU Regents need to move past their mid-20th century ideal of what a university should look like and embrace what makes us appeal to today's students.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

I agree.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

My family has a relatively rich history with EMU. I spent my freshmen year there many years ago. I have a brother and two daughters who graduated from EMU. My father taught there and chaired the Geography department in the 60's. My ex-wife, the mother of my children graduated from there as well. So I have a fondness for the Hurons..errr....Eagles. But maybe its long past time to reevaluate the roll of athletics there. Academics and athletics are NOT synonymous. An academic institution can function without a competitive athletic department.

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

I don't know the answers to your questions Joe. But they are well taken and worth consideration.

joe golder

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

Do you know how many students go there on athletic scholarship? Do student athlete's friends follow them here?

Carl Ebach

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

Win HOME GAMES! and they will come. The trouble is not winning home games for the most part. No one wants to go to a game to watch the home team lose. Winning the home games is the key fans can be somewhat forgiving for losing on the road but to lose in front of the home base is just plan disgusting!

joe golder

Tue, Jun 21, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

Carl! Do you think EMU being a mostly commuter college has any affect on attendance?