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TOPIC: President Gempesaw Torch Interview

President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294680

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President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294684

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Talk and excuses are cheap. If Mullin needs help from the athletic department why doesn't Mr. President hire a competent AD?

"Gempesaw admitted that he wishes SJU won all of their games, but he was adamant that Mullin “cannot do it alone.”

“He needs help from his coaching staff, the athletic department,” he said. “Coach Mullin needs help from the student body and alumni to cheer for our team so that our home games — either here at Carnesecca or Madison Square Garden — are sold out.”
All characters and events depicted in this post are entirely fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. 

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President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294686

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Class of 72 wrote: Talk and excuses are cheap. If Mullin needs help from the athletic department why doesn't Mr. President hire a competent AD?

"Gempesaw admitted that he wishes SJU won all of their games, but he was adamant that Mullin “cannot do it alone.”

“He needs help from his coaching staff, the athletic department,” he said. “Coach Mullin needs help from the student body and alumni to cheer for our team so that our home games — either here at Carnesecca or Madison Square Garden — are sold out.”


Hey Bobby that's not how it works...you have to win first and then they will come. Only the diehards will go to games vs. cupcakes during terrible seasons. Attendance is also affected greatly by who the opponent is. Thus great attendance for Nova and Duke even when we sucked. Then we go and schedule like a MAAC team and he wants games sold out? Get Texas/Maryland/Michigan to MSG and get 10k+ automatically regardless of record. I am glad to hear that he thinks Mullin needs help though, because many of us realize this too. Let's hope Mullin's confidence pays off.

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President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294698

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We have a loyal band of student fans that maybe number 300-400. They have been great.
However even given the current roster, if we could (and we should) attract 1500-2000 students to CA games every game would be sold out, and a raucous CA could result in a big home court advantage. CA should be the place to be on campus game nights but has not been even during lavin's tenure of mostly competitive teams.

Nationally, the average giving rate of alumni is 15%. At sju it is 6%, meaning just one in sixteen alumni donate to the school, meaning the AVERAGE school has 2.5 times the alumni support of sju. How anyone could expect that alumni dont do their part until the team wins is beyond me. I understand that is the way pro sports fandom works, but I would also remind you that when we played Creighton a few years back on their home court in the midst of long losing streak of theirs (9 games or so) our team walked into a loud sold out arena of 17000 fans. Make all the excuses you want, but other alumni support their school much better than we do ours.

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President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294704

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Beast of the East wrote: We have a loyal band of student fans that maybe number 300-400. They have been great.
However even given the current roster, if we could (and we should) attract 1500-2000 students to CA games every game would be sold out, and a raucous CA could result in a big home court advantage. CA should be the place to be on campus game nights but has not been even during lavin's tenure of mostly competitive teams.

Nationally, the average giving rate of alumni is 15%. At sju it is 6%, meaning just one in sixteen alumni donate to the school, meaning the AVERAGE school has 2.5 times the alumni support of sju. How anyone could expect that alumni dont do their part until the team wins is beyond me. I understand that is the way pro sports fandom works, but I would also remind you that when we played Creighton a few years back on their home court in the midst of long losing streak of theirs (9 games or so) our team walked into a loud sold out arena of 17000 fans. Make all the excuses you want, but other alumni support their school much better than we do ours.


How much has the program really invested in the fan experience? Again, I'll still go no matter what because I'm a diehard, but sitting on bleachers without seatbacks puts a lot of stress on your back. There should be way more seatbacks. That's just fan experience 101 basics. Concessions are about what you would find at a Little League baseball game and that's not an exaggeration. You can't drink at games in CA which is not the case at most other arenas in our conference. The air feels like it's set to 75 degrees and it can become a sauna. The addition of the big screens and new SJ logos that light up were very nice improvements and the court looks much better than it did, although they could've incorporated the skyline and I figured that was going to be obvious. But that's just me being picky...still came out nice IMO. It would be nice to get some bus routes picking fans up from park and rides in Nassau and Western Suffolk. Have one bus get fans off the park and ride in Farmingdale and have one bus get fans off a park and ride somewhere near Hicksville. This way parking is not an issue and fans can get dropped off at their cars and already be very close to home out of the city limits.

Maybe it's been thrown around and maybe there wouldn't be enough of a demand, but I think it would be interesting to try. Finally, you have to look at the giveaways...other than the bobbleheads every once in a blue moon, the giveaways have not been impressive compared to other schools. All you have to do is design a semi-cool t-shirt/jersey and ensure you give them out at the end of the game so people stay. They should also be allowing fans to move down after halftime...no sense in someone sitting up on Mount Everest when there are tons of empty seats near the court. This is especially strict at MSG where security treats SJ fans like we are criminals. I've seen grown men get yelled at by security with an 8 yr old son just trying to move down a few rows from their seats. They also don't allow anything fun in the Garden, meanwhile at other venues they encourage creativity from fans.

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Last edit: by Mike Zaun.

President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294706

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Money!
Things cost money and SJU is notoriously cheap when it comes to things however it becomes reckless with its spending elsewhere (hello coaching staff & perks)

Those bobbleheads all pretty much has sponsors on them. They likely wouldnt be producing 7-10k bobbleheads at $4 each without a sponsor footing most if not all the bill.

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President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294707

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THis guy is clueless. Same with Oliva
The following user(s) said Thank You: Chris7

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President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294708

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Mike Zaun wrote:

Beast of the East wrote: We have a loyal band of student fans that maybe number 300-400. They have been great.
However even given the current roster, if we could (and we should) attract 1500-2000 students to CA games every game would be sold out, and a raucous CA could result in a big home court advantage. CA should be the place to be on campus game nights but has not been even during lavin's tenure of mostly competitive teams.

Nationally, the average giving rate of alumni is 15%. At sju it is 6%, meaning just one in sixteen alumni donate to the school, meaning the AVERAGE school has 2.5 times the alumni support of sju. How anyone could expect that alumni dont do their part until the team wins is beyond me. I understand that is the way pro sports fandom works, but I would also remind you that when we played Creighton a few years back on their home court in the midst of long losing streak of theirs (9 games or so) our team walked into a loud sold out arena of 17000 fans. Make all the excuses you want, but other alumni support their school much better than we do ours.


How much has the program really invested in the fan experience? Again, I'll still go no matter what because I'm a diehard, but sitting on bleachers without seatbacks puts a lot of stress on your back. There should be way more seatbacks. That's just fan experience 101 basics. Concessions are about what you would find at a Little League baseball game and that's not an exaggeration. You can't drink at games in CA which is not the case at most other arenas in our conference. The air feels like it's set to 75 degrees and it can become a sauna. The addition of the big screens and new SJ logos that light up were very nice improvements and the court looks much better than it did, although they could've incorporated the skyline and I figured that was going to be obvious. But that's just me being picky...still came out nice IMO. It would be nice to get some bus routes picking fans up from park and rides in Nassau and Western Suffolk. Have one bus get fans off the park and ride in Farmingdale and have one bus get fans off a park and ride somewhere near Hicksville. This way parking is not an issue and fans can get dropped off at their cars and already be very close to home out of the city limits.

Maybe it's been thrown around and maybe there wouldn't be enough of a demand, but I think it would be interesting to try. Finally, you have to look at the giveaways...other than the bobbleheads every once in a blue moon, the giveaways have not been impressive compared to other schools. All you have to do is design a semi-cool t-shirt/jersey and ensure you give them out at the end of the game so people stay. They should also be allowing fans to move down after halftime...no sense in someone sitting up on Mount Everest when there are tons of empty seats near the court. This is especially strict at MSG where security treats SJ fans like we are criminals. I've seen grown men get yelled at by security with an 8 yr old son just trying to move down a few rows from their seats. They also don't allow anything fun in the Garden, meanwhile at other venues they encourage creativity from fans.


Noone would take a bus, parking is free and available on campus for games and they don't serve booze so driving home is not a problem. Also you can't let people move down, you have people who pay/donate a lot of money to sit in a premium location. You can't risk losing their business by devaluing their seats and letting anyone sit there.

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President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294712

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A comment on donations overall, not so much to the athletic program. Someone that I do volunteer work with works for a company whose purpose is to generate donations. They mine data, probably make the annoying calls people get, and whatever. One night last year I was driving them home from a meeting we had attended and we passed the SJU campus on Union Turnpike. Unsolicited I got the following comment - "What a mess over there. We just added them to the accepted client list again. We obviously couldn't be associated with them for a while."

Of course those comments were related to how Harrington approached finances, and I bring it up as it only makes sense that the school has a harder time than most generating donations. Time and no further money scandals should help. Given all that is going on having a laymen is a positive as well.

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President Gempesaw Torch Interview 2 months 5 days ago #294713

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Moose wrote: Money!
Things cost money and SJU is notoriously cheap when it comes to things however it becomes reckless with its spending elsewhere (hello coaching staff & perks)

Those bobbleheads all pretty much has sponsors on them. They likely wouldnt be producing 7-10k bobbleheads at $4 each without a sponsor footing most if not all the bill.


Moose, as we know, it really wasn't until the Lavin hire that SJU invested some serious money in the basketball coaching staff in an effort to restore the program. I would say, though others would not agree, that Lavin immediately and significantly was able to attract a higher level of talent than we had in years, and after year 2's roster was painfully thin, we were competitive (not good enough though) the rest of his tenure. So the investment in coaching is relatively a new thing.

St. John's has had to reverse a culture of over 100 years of offering very low cost private school tuition by watching closely every penny and paying low salaries to faculty and administrators. Our buildings are a mish mosh of colors and styles because when they built St. Al's gray brick was cheapest, yellow when Marillac was built, etc. Many of my professors spoke thickly accented English, perhaps were paid lower than counterparts at other area schools.

In essence, our school has had to be "cheap" because our alumni are "cheap". So few support the school financially that it's an embarrassment. When they have free events (and there are a few that are great), alumni show up. When they charge even a small amount, they stay home. Some alumni even feel that they don't have to give because their own tuition is their lifetime donation, or that their basketball tickets are a donation. Bottom line - if our endowment was $2 billion, and annual giving was much higher, there would be more money to spend.

I would say that Bobby G. spends money where he believes it will enhance the quality of the school. Top notch administrators and faculty - yes! Raises for long term employees that should have left long ago and aren't as productive as they believe they are - no. Seatbacks on bleacher seats - probably not unless alumni are willing to finance that (see above).

If we didn't invest in coaches at market rates in our marquis sport, people would complain. Bobby G., at the urging of the board of trustees (who were the catalysts to remove FH after transgressions) has invested in Mullin and for the moment satisfied with the progress. Should the program sputter as many here are wary of, I'm confident he will not continue to invest in Mullin, and I believe Chris knows that.

I'd like seatbacks, and have had opportunities to move, but I also love the band of fans from the Rockaways who are mostly family and span the ages for 5 to maybe 65. One hesitation on seatbacks is that they take up more space and would reduce capacity. A $10 folding seatback that college football fans tote with them (I know ACC football team Boston College is a stadium entirely of bleachers will remedy sore backs. It won't stop complaining though, and that's a little troubling.

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