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Monthly bill Haisten: ‘This tire is flat,’ Rick Dickson states of TU’s advertising/attendance crisis | Basketball

For College of Tulsa athletic director Rick Dickson, there are issues (like fundraising) and there are complications (like the previous-spot overall performance of the Golden Hurricane basketball plan, as well as the worst home-video game attendance for TU basketball due to the fact just before Nolan Richardson was hired in 1980).

When you do overhear Hurricane basketball communicate all around city, it typically centers on whether TU is about to make a coaching adjust soon after eight seasons with Frank Haith.

Dickson experienced a whole lot to say through a Saturday job interview, but would not say significantly about his basketball coaching predicament: “I under no circumstances have and hardly ever will tackle (a coach’s status) until factors are completed.”

Tied with South Florida for last put in the American Athletic Conference, Tulsa is 9-19 all round, 7-8 in property game titles, 3-14 in league play and on the brink of what would be the program’s first 20-loss period considering that 2004-05.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, TU closes the typical season by internet hosting UCF. If the Hurricane stumbles, the TU plan would be doomed to a shedding household document for the first time considering that 1976-77 and for only the 2nd time in 60 a long time.

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With 136, Haith is just one victory shy of tying for Clarence Iba at No. 2 on TU’s profession wins listing. The leader remains Doug Wojcik, who in 2005-12 experienced 140 wins. Haith’s 2019-20 squad was just one of three groups that shared the AAC regular-period title.

A former 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. Finally, the “interim” label was dropped as Dickson agreed to a a few-year agreement that expires through the summertime of 2024.

Similar to COVID-19, there ended up attendance limits and rampant abnormalities through Dickson’s run as a result of the 2020-21 TU sports activities calendar. In 2021-22, he’s gotten a clearer glimpse at TU’s marketing and advertising failures (my words, not his) and attendance disaster (in 2021, a 16,077 soccer average at 30,000-seat Chapman Stadium and a existing 2,866 basketball typical at the 8,355-seat Reynolds Center).

In 1991, Dickson recalled, “we took 23,000 Tulsa individuals to the (Independence Bowl) in Anaheim, California. To a 2nd-tier bowl. Think about that. We don’t get 23,000 for a house activity now.”

Dickson did not mince phrases when discussing TU’s marketing concerns.

“This tire is flat,” he stated prior to heading to a Saturday fundraising appointment in downtown Tulsa. “We’ve got to do a deep dive on everything — on our full match-day practical experience.

“The experience has to be much better, and it will be. That’s the dedication I’ve designed.”

This is the essence of a internet marketing failure: In an email, a Tulsa Entire world reader explained that he and his wife are TU graduates and for numerous several years have been football time-ticket holders. Not at the time, the reader added, experienced he or his spouse been contacted by the college relating to basketball tickets. Unbelievable.

I forwarded that info to Dickson, who contacted the pair, invited them to a basketball game and sat with them at the Reynolds Heart. By their finish of their time with Dickson, the few indicated they would grow to be Golden Hurricane Club associates and were committed to paying for period tickets for soccer and basketball.

If Dickson’s frequent sense and Purchaser Relations 101 acumen could be utilized to all sides of athletics promoting, TU would rating major gains.

Whilst Oral Roberts College has a few acres of totally free parking on the Mabee Centre residence, Dickson is informed of the persistent problems about the deficiency of TU parking close to Chapman Stadium and the Reynolds Center. Also, 11th Avenue can be a hard and dark crossing for pedestrians who park south of the campus.

In advance of TU hosted Wichita Point out for basketball very last 7 days, Dickson had a straightforward but brilliant notion: “Let’s transform on the stadium lights. Lo and behold, that complete region was lighted up. It is not the very long-time period solution. We’ve got to get the city to include a different stoplight or a crosswalk.”

The extensive-time period answer would be the development of a four-tiered parking composition quickly east of the Reynolds Centre.

“That would be ideal,” Dickson claimed. “That becoming mentioned, my time and tenure now is more about the immediate — more of the triage mode.

“We’ve got a very considerable (on-campus parking) capability, if it’s out there. The trouble is, we never make it accessible. Long expression — would a (parking garage) be the resolution? Definitely, but I’m not going to be all over very long-time period. I’m hoping to determine out how to make it operate with what we have now.”

Right after Oklahoma State received the 2011 Big 12 soccer title, the college had a 2012 freshman class of 4,280 — the major in college history.

All through the 2000 soccer period, as the Sooners ended up 13- nationwide champions, athletic director Joe Castiglione was the driving power behind OU’s finest fundraising campaign ever.

Following the Golden Eagles’ Sweet Sixteen surge previous yr, ORU seasoned a 133% increase in enrollment programs. A important donation authorized ORU to break floor on the building of the 10,000-sq.-foot Mike Carter Athletic Heart, which must be open for company in about a 12 months.

At the Mabee Middle this time, scholar attendance was at its best stage because the ’70s. ORU athletic director Tim Johnson suggests robust scholar attendance resulted from a 6-year advertising and marketing campaign.

For most online games at the Reynolds Heart this year, the student segment was sparsely populated.

Dickson now is at the 8-thirty day period mark of a doing work connection with Brad Carson, TU’s new president. How does Carson amount as a president who acknowledges the value of thriving athletics?

“Whatever the best rating is — four stars or 5 stars — Brad Carson would get that score,” Dickson said. “He appreciates the value of what we’re making an attempt to do for the university.”

Prior to rolling downtown for his fundraising presentation, Dickson shut with this message that pertained to TU’s marketing and energy: “I just know we can be far better than what we have been. When we’ve peaked in athletics listed here, we were engaged with this town. I was component of it. I’ve witnessed it.”