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Kent State Sports Report: Low attendance at KSU events addressed following scribe's article

By Allen Moff | Staff writer Published: December 16, 2013 4:00 AM
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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.

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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 amoff@recordpub.com. 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.


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.

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anneby Dec 27, 2013 12:57 PM

Allen, I appreciate your undertaking very much. I only wish that the athletic dept had initiated this a few years ago. I believe that the PSL buyers have been abandoned. We were told by Matt Geis that these funds would be used to implement the the needed improvements to the MAC Center, and the building of a much needed practice court.

The reality is that we have two video screens, average at best, that we're put in the first year of the program. Nothing since. Not even fixing broken chairs. Some are so bad it hurts to sit in them. Sharp edges from split plastic, arms that have been broken off. These should not be expensive or time consuming fixes, but rather general maintenance.

i have the feeling that they take us for granted, and have forgotten the promises made. We are not KSU alums, but have embraced the team over the last 15 years. It is time for the Athletic Dept to embrace the loyal, and financially supportive fans, not just to get more money, but to ensure that promises are kept.

anonymous Dec 18, 2013 5:43 PM

Well the problem is finding a place to park where you won’t be ticketed. **** you cannot even visit your kids in the dorm without putting money in a dam parking meter. I guess they have to pay the President, oops, I mean the CEO, since CEO’s make more money than presidents, his huge salary.  We the tax payer should get some benefit from KSU being locate here. I know of some Universities that open their Library to the local citizens; however at KSU it would cost you more to park than to buy the dam book.

AuroraAlert Dec 16, 2013 7:15 AM

We have been front row, center court, basketball season ticket holders for more than thirty-five years. Over that period we have rarely observed consistent attendance from the student body nor from the season ticket holders. Not sure what it takes to put the butt's of these two important stakeholders into their respective seats. We, am including ourselves as we too are stakeholders, may have an important opportunity at this moment. Dr. John Franklin is the new Director of Athletic Bands at KSU; one should note that Dr. Franklin previously held the same position at Duke, an institution of some basketball notoriety. We have witness his impact on the Flasher Brass this season. I would suggest it most important and beneficial to include Dr. Franklin as a member of the committee being formed. He most likely would bring insights and experiences difficult to garner otherwise. Thank you for raising this important and problematic topic and also for desiring to be part of the solution.

Go Flashes!

Rob & Cathi Eberly


(330) 562-9626