On Nov. 26, I produced an article on the low attendance figures for Kent State men's basketball games despite the team's strong start to the 2013-14 campaign, which created quite a stir -- and, more importantly, some excellent dialogue.
At the end of that story I asked for feedback from Golden Flashes supporters, and received excellent responses from several faithful backers of KSU hoops, who took advantage of the opportunity by passing on their complaints and suggestions.
Then last week I was asked to join Kent State Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen, Deputy Athletic Director Devin Crosby and Senior Associate Athletic Director/Executive Director for Athletic Advancement Matthew Geis for a meeting to discuss the issues vented by those fans I communicated with -- along with some opinions and suggestions from yours truly, who has covered KSU athletics for over seven years.
That meeting lasted for nearly two hours, and is actually ongoing as we're still communicating with each other about several different topics.
I am now in the process of gathering the wealth of the information that has been generated by these discussions, and will have an in-depth story on attendance issues leading into Kent State's next men's basketball home game against Cleveland State on Dec. 28.
One move Nielsen hopes will spark some positive changes is the creation of a "Fan Advisory Board" consisting of KSU students and fans and Kent community members, who will meet with athletics administrators periodically to discuss issues surrounding the athletic programs -- including attendance. Nielsen has asked me to pass on names of people who are interested in joining the 'Fan Advisory Board," and has promised that at least one person recommended by the Record-Courier will receive a spot on the board.
If you are interested in joining the "Fan Advisory Board," email your name and contact information to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone who has opinions or suggestions about attendance issues for KSU athletic events can also pass those on to me at that email address. I promise that your views will be heard.
TRACK AND FIELD
Junior Jackie Leppelmeier has been named Mid-American Conference Female Scholar Athlete of the Week.
Leppelmeier posted top marks for the conference in both the weight throw and shot put at the Golden Flash Gala on Dec. 7. She won the weight throw by almost 11 feet with a toss of 67-1.25, which was ranked fourth in the nation for the first weekend of competition. She added a runner-up throw in the shot put of 48-10.25 that was the best among collegiate competitors at the meet.
A junior exercise science major, Leppelmeier maintains a 3.87 cumulative GPA.