Since none of us want to have to re-watch any of that terrible showing last week, I'd like to open up some discussions about a couple of topics that have been swirling around. Also, first I wanted to thank every single one of you for continuing to come to the Ralphie Report even while we're suffering through some painful times with the football team.
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- Facilities Upgrades. Remember when it was announced that the big facilities project would be announced in September? Well, there's still a few weeks left, and that Parade of Buffs event still seems like it might be the place to make some kind of announcement. It seems pretty obvious to me (and I would bet, to many others), that investing in facilities in athletics leads to some pretty instant gratification in terms of recruiting and team performance. We have our own examples to point to with the basketball and volleyball programs and the practice facilities. We all know about men's basketball, but the Women's team also pulled in an impressive class of freshmen last year and has improved steadily under Linda Lappe, Liz Kritza pulled in an absolutely stellar recruiting class this past offseason and finally looks to have the volleyball program on the right track and both golf teams have seen some pretty good years recently that coincide with the new home course and the building of the indoor shortgame and heated driving range there. I firmly believe that the best way to get our football program back on track would be to announce and begin work on the facilities upgrades (indoor facility which would also serve the track & field teams, weight room expansion, Balch Fieldhouse renovation, Dal Ward expansion, press box renovation, etc...) that we truly need. The other big benefit of this would be that if we find ourselves looking to attract a new coaching staff, these facilities projects would go a long way towards showing that the University is committed to the FB program and that we want to be competing for championships again, and that we still want to attract top recruits. What are your thoughts on this?
- The volleyball team already has 10 victories, a number it hasn't achieved in any of the last few seasons, and it is only just now going into conference play. The Pac-12 is probably the best in the nation at women's volleyball, but we once were pretty good ourselves. How excited (or even aware) are you about our ladies volleyball prospects?
- I decided last minute that I didn't want to make the drive up to Fresno on Saturday, and clearly it was the right choice. But I have a friend I haven't seen in a long time in Tucson and some other friends who are planning on heading down there for the UofA game in November. Do I make the trip, even if I know that the game is going to be rough? That is now my only chance to see the Buffs this season, and while they've been unwatchable at times, I still like to catch one game each year. So, do I just make my plans regardless of how the team is doing?
- And finally, the Basketball Excellence Fund. For those of you who don't know anything about it yet, we can now donate money to the athletic department that is specifically going to be spent on basketball (which may be a good way for us to speak out against the performance of the football team). I don't have anything specific I want you to discuss about this one, but how likely are you to put your money into the BBall Excellence Fund vs. just giving it to the AD?
Thanks, everyone. I hope we can have some good discussions about these topics without having to remind ourselves too much about how painful Saturday was...