FanPost

SI's Seth Davis questions Steve Alford over reaction re: tenure at Iowa


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/seth_davis/02/22/Hoops.Mailbag/index.html?sct=cb_t11_a0

Davis pretty much called this guy a coward for criticizing Alford and told him he needed to look at where Iowa's program was before and after Alford. He then conveniently forgot to include any past data about Iowa basketball. I decided to enlighten him:

Seth – Frankly, it doesn’t take a whole lot of guts to rip one of your emailers from the safety of your office at SI if you’re not going to provide all of the relevant facts from his argument. If you are going to challenge his assessment of Steve Alford’s performance at Iowa based on looking at “Iowa's record before and after Alford coached there” , you should probably consider at least mentioning Alford’s predecessors or any of the teams' records prior to his arrival.
While Iowa was not a powerhouse program by any stretch of the imagination, they competed in the NCAA tournament 15 times in 20 years under Tom Davis, George Raveling, and Lute Olson. So no, at Iowa, 3 tournament appearances in 8 years is not impressive. Not to mention, the 2 Big Ten titles Alford toutes were tournament titles, not regular season titles, as aside from 2006 when they finished 2nd in the league, Iowa never finished higher than 4th in the Big Ten while he was head coach.
More so than the record, though, was the damage Alford inflicted on the image of the Iowa basketball program. Alford was not popular in Iowa City even from the very beginning of his tenure in 1999 and was notorious for flaunting his status as a “celebrity” in Iowa City establishments, often questioning fans' intelligence for not being able to recite accomplishments from his player bio at Indiana. (I have first hand knowledge of one of these very incidents) He lost further popularity in 2002 when he failed to dismiss Pierre Pierce from the team after an alleged sexual assault, and 3 years later, while Pierce was still with the team, Pierce allegedly choked a girl and threatened her with a knife. Both incidents were PR nightmares for the University and questions arose whether Alford was a “winning at all costs” type of coach, despite not winning all that frequently. The fan interest in the program has never been the same. Iowa ranked in the top 25 nationally in attendance every year from 1978 through 2006 and averaged a sellout seven seasons during that span. From 1983 through 2002, Iowa averaged more than 15,000 tickets sold per game 13 seasons.
In the 2005 fiscal year, Iowa’s men’s basketball program generated $4.03 million in ticket sales. By 2010, Iowa’s men’s basketball program earned just $1.9 million in ticket revenue, a 53 percent decrease over the six-year span. True, Todd Lickliter was the coach in 2010 and his lack of success had a lot to do with the continued fall in attendance, but it was under Alford that the fans started to leave.
So here’s a thought: next time you try to make a guy look like a jackass, try to at least do your homework as a journalist before publishing.

http://thegazette.com/2011/02/03/iowa-basketball-attendance-and-ticket-sales-rebound-after-all-time-lows/
http://www.hawkeyesports.com/sports/m-baskbl/stats/072204aaa.html
http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/tournament/history/_/team1/6244

Unless otherwise expressly indicated by BHGP editors, this FanPost is strictly the viewpoint of the author and is not endorsed by BHGP in any way.

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