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George Mason would need to spend more to compete in Atlantic 10

George Mason Basketball: George Mason would need to spend more to compete in Atlantic 10

Monday, May 07, 2012

George Mason would need to spend more to compete in Atlantic 10

Some fans might know this and some might not. But as whole the Atlantic 10 conference members spend more on men's basketball than CAA members. The Richmond Times-Dispatch compared the CAA and A10's men's basketball expenses using data from the 2010-2011 season. Going by those numbers only La Salle, Charlotte (leaving for C-USA in 2013) and St. Bonaventure spent less on men's basketball than George Mason ($2,435,191).

Here is breakdown of each conference's top four schools in terms of expenses on men's basketball:

1. VCU $3,221,519
2. George Mason $2,435,191
3. Old Dominion $2,417,397
4. Drexel $2,166,954


1. Richmond $4,056,940
2. Xavier $3,929,624
3. Dayton $3,810,320
4. George Washington $3,480,829
Keep in mind that VCU probably spent a lot more in 2011-2012, since these numbers are before their run to the Final Four. This could very well be in the underlining factor of whether George Mason seriously considers a move. They would most likely have to spend around a $1 million more on men's basketball to help stay competitive in a conference that now also has Butler.

Would Mason be willing to commit more to the basketball program? Fans have complained that much hasn't been down to build off the program's run in 2006, especially when they notice what VCU is doing to build their national profile. Would the school say these added expenses are worth it to be in a more competitive conference, with a better overall profile and more at-large bids to the NCAA tournament? That could be the main question here.

[via Richmond Times-Dispatch]


Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

If the A-10 actually invites Mason, I am sure Mason will say yes. But the invitation has to happen first.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

I'd be curious as to what a typical breakdown of costs looks like for a basketball program.  In a way it's hard to figure how increased spending necessarily correlates to increased success, but I trust that it does.  I guess it has more of a long term impact: higher salaries = better coaching = better players = better recruits.  Better facilities and better administration = more attractive program for players and fans alike.  Better marketing = more fans in the seats = more money to put into the program.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

Obviously no direct correlation to wins, but money spent on recruiting and facilities becomes a big deal when you move up in competition. 

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Dontblockme said...

This cracks me up. Say goodbye to ever having a football program. The A-10 costs more money leaving the school with less money to suport a football program. In addition the A-10 wont pressure us to have a football team like the CAA dose.

Moving to the A-10 is a great basketball move. But not a good move for the whole University

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Collin Agee said...

This article discusses the additional costs of joining the A-10.  What's the projection for additional revenue?

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Airgold10 said...

We aren't going to get a football team, it's not worth the cost. It's a waste of money as a young university to try to build a stadium and then make the move from FCS to Division I and then compete for bowl games. We have other things we need to take care of.

Unless your willing to make a nice seven figure donation to start the capital campaign for a football team, please be quiet. I hate seeing posts about "we have no football team" (especially on a basketball blog) when we don't have all the endowment of a university that has a large alumni base and a higher rate of giving by alumni.

Regarding the move to the A-10, I think the cost differential is worth it and the board of trustees will move in that direction as well, if we get an invite as nicely pointed out by another poster. We got burned by not offering Larranaga more money after VCU's F4 run, but I can see how the Board thought it was not justified because the package was so generous in 2006. He even got 100k bonus for "being a great spokesman for the University". I don't think they want to feel the repercussions again for being too stingy.

A little more investment to move for to the A-10, due to the increased exposure, would lead to more quality applicants, a lower acceptance rate, a greater yield of students coming to Mason, and a higher alumni donation. There are all factors that increase Mason's national ranking in magazines like US News, which the end goal of the University as whole.

Just my opinion, other thoughts would be appreciated. Also, has anybody started a petition encouraging the move to the A-10, with justified facts, that can be sent to the Board? It's fun discussing it here but it would be more efficient if many more people's voices can be heard and presented to the decision makers of our great university!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous LetsRollNoles said...

The fact is it takes money to make money. Yes your going to spend money joining a better conference, but your going to be setting yourself up to sell a better product by playing better competition etc. 

This program has become stagnate since 2006. Old facilities, old marketing, and not being proactive in selling ourselves. The CAA isn't a long term conference whether we decide to stay or not. The sunbelt at this point looks like they will eventually overtake the conference in quality teams. The CAA can't boost quality competition or academics over the A-10, or over many other mid-major conferences at this point.

To say moving to the A-10 overall wouldn't help the school is a joke. The A-10 has more financial sustanability and academic prestige then the dwindling CAA. Even ODU was more proactive then us in make a great move in going to the C-USA. We need to make a move, either to the A-10 or somewhere else. The CAA is a dead end.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

Excellent point. Making the NCAA tournament more regularly would certainly justify the added expense in my opinion. Also, the A10 is up for a new TV deal, and if that goes well it could be a lot more TV exposure and boost to the national profile. All these things help put fans in the stands and bring in more revenue for the program.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous StopWearingPurple said...

Agree 100% on the football.  Don't want it, don't need it.  Also, due to title nine it will wipe out the other mens sports (hello "club sport").

I hope you are right about them committing the dollars to the basketball program.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Christopher Hirsch said...

 ODU isn't in the C-USA yet,  but its a possibility.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

Yeah, well it's an odd thing to say a conference is a dead end when it has put 2 teams in the final 4, has certainly elevated itself greatly in the hoops world, and garnered a new tv deal.  The way other conferences have started cherry-picking our teams -- it almost seems like a divide and conquer scheme against the CAA (if i were a conspiracy theorist).  As much as football is not in the works for Mason, it seems like football is what has driven a wedge down the conference.  GSU is gone because of football, and ODU may follow suit at least in part for the same reason.  Seen that way, it makes sense for Mason and VCU to jump to the A10 where hoops is king. 

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

I disagree with the anti-football people... I am a season ticket holding b'ball fan... football would be great for the student body, campus life, alumni, Northern Virginia residents, etc.  All I ever hear is why we can't have football... I never hear from a visionary leader who can sell an idea to one of the richest communities in the U.S.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous BP said...

the CAA isn't quite a dead end conference just yet. It did have a pretty bad year though. You can argue that Drexel got snubbed by the NCAA tourney commitee, but let's face it they had a terrible SOS.  Overall, besides VCU, no one in the CAA actually played any REAL teams. The CAA will continue to get no love if they continue to schedule games against such weak ooponents. ODU is 100% considering this move because of football, just like GSU did. Losing them both means losing two programs that finished in the top 6 last year. And if GMU and VCU make the jump then certainly this conference is dead, leaving Drexel to dominate for the next few years until the conference falls apart or merges with someone else. 

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Dontblockme said...

cut them. Who cares about golf, tennis, track, wrestling. Only sports that matter are basketball and FOOTBALL.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

If VCU goes to the Atlantic 10 and we just sit here in the CAA as it falls apart, plan on the alumni support that we do have to disintegrate.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Dsndsn said...

Having attended W&M for Law in the mid-eighties school after Mason, I got to see the impact of football on a school. W&M had a top ranked football program, but the student body was never overly enthused. Several factor weigh against starting a football program at Mason.....the high facility costs, forcing an immediate substsubstantial capital outlay for facilities, the competition for the entertainment dollar in No.Va, and frankly,  and the grossly inadequate road system around the existing stadium complex of Rt. 123. I have been to games in Williamsburg, and seen the facilities at both ODU (Foreman Field) and Normal and Industrial School for Women in Harrisonburg, all of which it would cost Mason millions of dollars to duplicate. Anybody have a few extra million dollars laying around that they could spare?....Anybody?...Everyone don't talk at once.....Nobody? ...I didn't think so.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous HardHead said...

This is a no-brainer.  GMU must leave the CAA ASAP because if VCU leaves and GMU doesn't you can rest assure GMU basketball program will never be able to recover.  It's time to leave the CAA and compete in a conference(A-10) that will give GMU basketball program the face-lift that it needs.  What the HELL is the board of directors thinking about?  This is a no-brainer....PERIOD

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Hampton Roads Mason Fan said...

It is a no brainer, until the Big East strips the A-10 and you are in a conference without any real rivals and it looks a lot less desirable then it did when you joined.   I forgot we need to jump ship because VCU and ODU are leaving?  Really, I have not seen them announce anything.  Is it better to be a big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond?  GMU is not even dominating in the CAA … how do you think the outstanding fan base will respond once we start getting beat in the A-10?  Also, we don’t even travel that well in Virginia.  I attend the games in Norfolk and Williamsburg and there are only a handful of Mason fans at the games.  Be careful for what you wish for, you just might get the A-10.  We should be starting rumors on who wants to join the CAA, not looking to depart it.   

12:59 PM  
Anonymous CutThem?!?! said...

 Bet you won't walk into the wrestling room and say that during a practice... 

Seriously how stupid are you?  Cut clearly have never put on a uniform in anything...  Do you know how much work it takes to compete in d1 athletics no matter the sport?  Track just won their third straight conference title; two wrestlers qualified for NCAA's, and your response, cut them nobody cares....  Seriously kid, fuck you.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Dear Hampton, i think most of us are trying to avoid the worst case scenario, which would be being left behind to rot in the CAA. Yes, i said rot because VCU and ODU are 66% of this conference, us being the other 34%. Our regular season schedule would be a sleeper, our record of 16-2, 17-1 in conference would be laughed at, the only interesting part of our season would be the CAA tournament. Our reward for winning this tournament would be plaing a 1 or 2 seed first round every year. It wouldn't take long for our program to gell into the rest of the conference and we would rot in low-major basketball. 

1:30 PM  
Anonymous PiMpJoOsE said...

Anyone care to notice that The Bonnies got the A10 autobid this year?  WHen was the last time that the CAA school with the smallest budget got into the tourney?

1:45 PM  
Anonymous LetsRollNoles said...

Well the Bonnies also had one of the most talented teams in the league with a top 15 NBA draft prospect soooo whats your point..

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Second wealthiest county in the US, after Loudoun County, technically.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

I agree with you, but we don't need to use profanity.  We are all mature, educated adults who are intelligent enough to make arguments without stooping to using foul language.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Maybe Ryan knows, and I'm just posing a question, but...

Regarding our spending of money, after the Final Four the GMU out of state applications went up 40%,  admission inquiries went up 350% and fundraising went up 52%.  Also we received $677,474,659 in free media. 

With that in mind...
How much has our basketball budget increased since our FF?
How much has the VCU basketball budget increased since theirs?


4:48 PM  
Anonymous PiMpJoOsE said...

As you astutely noted, talent wins games in the A-10.  Don't get me wrong, money helps your cause, but it isn't the deciding factor.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Rmjank said...

If all these deals in the works collapse, it wouldn't be a bad thing.  I happen to think the CAA brand has been just fine of late.  Yeah, last year was a down year, but what's it say about us that we only had an autobid and the mayor of Snubville (Drexel)?  In previous years, no one would have batted an eye if we only had the autobid.  Heck, in previous years, the pundits would have a hissie-fit whenever we gained an at large bid!
Here's an interesting take on the situation:

Even beyond the top 3 schools there is buildup of the basketball programs (note: the conspicuous absence of GMU, other than getting the minor scoreboard, in the detailing of moneys being poured into programs).

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Dontblockme said...

 I wrestled in high school. Varsity since sophomore year. also played football. Wrestling team was states champs but did not for the school. Football was 2-8 and brought it way more attention.

and your point about the track program- go around campus and ask random people what they know about the track team, and they will say "nothing".

how much money did they bring to our university. When is the last time you heard a kid say I want to go to GMU to cheer on the Track team. But everyday you here prospected students say hell no to GMU they dont even have a football team.

5:12 PM  

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