UD joining the AAC:
At first, I totally rejected the idea of moving to the AAC. I mean weíve already seen this movie once before with breakup of the Big East. There will always be conflicts when decision makers are more worried about football than they are about their basketball programs. On its face, the idea of moving to a football driven league doesnít make much sense for UD. With that said, there is a case that should be made for making the move.
The landscape of college athletics is in constant flux. You have to be flexible enough to make strategic moves when necessary. All schools/ programs need to be of the mindset that they are looking out for numero uno.
I realize that the AAC is an unstable conference with the best schools chomping at the bit to make the jump up to a Power 5 conference. Letís be real clear here. Outside of the SEC and Big Ten, every conference in the country is unstable. The reality is that the Big 12 could collapse tomorrow if and when Texas decides to leave. Without Texas the Big 12 crumbles. Even the ACC is vulnerable to having its best programs plucked by the SEC and Big Ten. Most likely both the Big Ten and the SEC will eventually go shopping in the ACC to expand their own footprints. There is no loyalty in college. Itís all about getting yours and chasing that almighty dollar. (ie Creighton, Xavier
, Butler to the Big East & Wichita State to the AAC)
That is why UD should consider the AAC. There is no question that UDís profile in basketball would benefit from being on the same court with Cincinnati, Memephis, Houston and UConn. It also wouldnít hurt to separate ourselves from playing in high school gyms like LaSalle
and St. Bonnie. Perception is reality and when you see those gyms on TV it screams mid-major. Thatís the perception that UD is fighting all the time. Playing the likes of UConn and UC would certainly improve our national image and exposure, not to mention getting us better TV exposure and revenue.
Itís a gamble. Iíll grant you that. How long will the AAC last in its current form? I donít know but the risk might be worth the gamble. We could always go back to the A-10 or move into a modified MVC with Witchita State, VCU and St. Louis. There will always be options for a program like UD with our fan base and facilities. At the end of the day, I think UD would land on its feet.
It might just be a chance UD has to take because if you can have some success on the court in a more high profile conference you might just make yourself more attractive to a conference like the Big East.
Facility/ UD Arena Improvements:
I eagerly await the announcement of the plans to renovate UD Arena. It sounds like they will finally address the concourse issues which I believe is the number one problem at the arena. Other areas that I hope will be addressed with the renovation:
ē Wifi Service
ē Air Conditioning
ē A spirit wear/ souvenir shop
ē A UD athletics museum similar to what OSU has at Value City Arena
Other facilities that should be a priority:
Finish Baujan Field:
Can we finish the plans for Baujan Field already? Iím talking about building the permit grandstand with concessions and bathrooms on the south side of the field. I think we could build something similar to what Louisville has and it would be a huge recruiting advantage for the Flyers.
Indoor Practice Field/Indoor Track Facility:
I also think UD needs an indoor practice facility. Iím hoping for something like the bubble that UC has just constructed. Almost every sport at UD would benefit from such an indoor facility.(men and womenís soccer, track and XC, football, softball, baseball).
Almost every DI school in Ohio already has an indoor practice facility. (BGSU, Miami, UC, Youngstown State, Ohio U, OSU, Toledo, Kent, Akron, even Massillon High School) First of all it would give UD a huge recruiting advantage in the PFL. It would also help soccer, baseball, softball and track keep up with area schools we are trying to recruit against.
Fix the Website:
I believe UD already has some of the best facilities overall in the area but you would never know it by looking at the Dayton Flyer website. They have no pictures of our basketball practice facility, our new soccer practice facility, our new weight lifting facility, our new basketball locker rooms, the new football locker rooms, or the outdoor grass practice football field and track. There are also no pictures of the academic facilities specifically for our athletes. The pictures that are on the website do a poor job of showing off Spectrum Field and Baujan Field etc.
We have great facilities! Can't we do a better job of showing them off and selling them to the public and future recruits?