December 1, 2023

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Monthly bill Haisten: ‘This tire is flat,’ Rick Dickson claims of TU’s promoting/attendance disaster | Basketball

For College of Tulsa athletic director Rick Dickson, there are worries (like fundraising) and there are challenges (like the last-area overall performance of the Golden Hurricane basketball program, in addition the worst home-match attendance for TU basketball considering the fact that before Nolan Richardson was employed in 1980).

When you do overhear Hurricane basketball chat close to town, it normally facilities on no matter whether TU is about to make a coaching alter after eight seasons with Frank Haith.

Dickson experienced a ton to say in the course of a Saturday interview, but wouldn’t say considerably about his basketball coaching predicament: “I hardly ever have and by no means will address (a coach’s status) until finally issues are accomplished.”

Tied with South Florida for final location in the American Athletic Conference, Tulsa is 9-19 in general, 7-8 in dwelling online games, 3-14 in league engage in and on the brink of what would be the program’s initially 20-loss season considering that 2004-05.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, TU closes the common period by web hosting UCF. If the Hurricane stumbles, the TU plan would be doomed to a shedding property record for the to start with time since 1976-77 and for only the second time in 60 decades.

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With 136, Haith is 1 victory shy of tying for Clarence Iba at No. 2 on TU’s job wins listing. The chief continues to be Doug Wojcik, who in 2005-12 had 140 wins. Haith’s 2019-20 squad was 1 of three teams that shared the AAC common-season title.

A previous TU athlete and the university’s athletic director in 1990-94, Dickson paused his retirement and returned to his alma mater in September 2020 as the interim successor to Derrick Gragg. Eventually, the “interim” label was dropped as Dickson agreed to a a few-12 months deal that expires through the summer of 2024.

Associated to COVID-19, there were being attendance constraints and rampant abnormalities for the duration of Dickson’s run by the 2020-21 TU sports calendar. In 2021-22, he’s gotten a clearer seem at TU’s marketing and advertising failures (my words, not his) and attendance disaster (in 2021, a 16,077 football ordinary at 30,000-seat Chapman Stadium and a recent 2,866 basketball normal at the 8,355-seat Reynolds Middle).

In 1991, Dickson recalled, “we took 23,000 Tulsa people today to the (Flexibility Bowl) in Anaheim, California. To a second-tier bowl. Imagine about that. We don’t get 23,000 for a home recreation now.”

Dickson did not mince phrases when talking about TU’s marketing problems.

“This tire is flat,” he explained right before heading to a Saturday fundraising appointment in downtown Tulsa. “We’ve bought to do a deep dive on almost everything — on our full video game-day expertise.

“The practical experience has to be improved, and it will be. That is the dedication I’ve produced.”

This is the essence of a promoting failure: In an e mail, a Tulsa World reader defined that he and his wife are TU graduates and for various decades have been soccer time-ticket holders. Not the moment, the reader added, experienced he or his spouse been contacted by the college pertaining to basketball tickets. Unbelievable.

I forwarded that information and facts to Dickson, who contacted the pair, invited them to a basketball match and sat with them at the Reynolds Center. By their conclude of their time with Dickson, the few indicated they would come to be Golden Hurricane Club users and ended up dedicated to buying time tickets for football and basketball.

If Dickson’s frequent perception and Client Relations 101 acumen could be utilized to all aspects of athletics advertising, TU would rating sizeable gains.

Although Oral Roberts College has 3 acres of no cost parking on the Mabee Centre property, Dickson is mindful of the persistent complaints about the deficiency of TU parking in the vicinity of Chapman Stadium and the Reynolds Center. Also, 11th Road can be a hard and darkish crossing for pedestrians who park south of the campus.

Prior to TU hosted Wichita Point out for basketball last 7 days, Dickson had a very simple but brilliant notion: “Let’s change on the stadium lights. Lo and behold, that full area was lighted up. It is not the very long-term option. We’ve received to get the town to insert one more stoplight or a crosswalk.”

The prolonged-phrase option would be the design of a four-tiered parking framework straight away east of the Reynolds Centre.

“That would be suitable,” Dickson said. “That becoming said, my time and tenure now is a lot more about the fast — more of the triage manner.

“We’ve bought a really major (on-campus parking) capacity, if it is out there. The difficulty is, we never make it accessible. Very long phrase — would a (parking garage) be the option? Absolutely, but I’m not going to be close to very long-term. I’m trying to figure out how to make it perform with what we have now.”

Soon after Oklahoma Point out won the 2011 Significant 12 football title, the university had a 2012 freshman class of 4,280 — the largest in university record.

Throughout the 2000 soccer time, as the Sooners ended up 13- national champions, athletic director Joe Castiglione was the driving power guiding OU’s greatest fundraising campaign ever.

Following the Golden Eagles’ Sweet Sixteen surge past year, ORU expert a 133% raise in enrollment applications. A big donation permitted ORU to break ground on the construction of the 10,000-sq.-foot Mike Carter Athletic Center, which must be open up for business enterprise in about a 12 months.

At the Mabee Heart this time, college student attendance was at its best level due to the fact the ’70s. ORU athletic director Tim Johnson states strong university student attendance resulted from a six-12 months advertising and marketing campaign.

For most game titles at the Reynolds Centre this period, the university student portion was sparsely populated.

Dickson now is at the 8-month mark of a doing the job romantic relationship with Brad Carson, TU’s new president. How does Carson charge as a president who acknowledges the value of productive athletics?

“Whatever the best score is — four stars or five stars — Brad Carson would get that rating,” Dickson reported. “He is familiar with the value of what we’re seeking to do for the college.”

Prior to rolling downtown for his fundraising presentation, Dickson closed with this information that pertained to TU’s promoting and energy: “I just know we can be improved than what we have been. When we have peaked in athletics in this article, we were engaged with this city. I was part of it. I have viewed it.”