Thank you Steve Lappas

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UMass87
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Thank you Steve Lappas

Post by UMass87 » Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:32 am

Thanks for trying to make UMass basketball a winning program again. You have recruited a solid core of basketball players. Unfortunately, you have been unable to coach your UMass teams sufficently well to generate the kind of enthusiasm that leads to fans in the seats. I fear that you have misunderstood the way college basketball has changed in the past fifteen years. College basketball is a big business and in business you are measured by the revenu and profits you generate. In this regard, you have failed to succeed at UMass.

You may be tempted to lay the blame for your lack of success at the feet of the fans - particularly those, like me, who have been very critical of you. You are wrong to do so. Your financial compensation is a reflection of the new reality of college basketball. College basketball is a business. College basketball is about making money, College basketball, particularly at financially starved institutions like UMass, is expected to genrate excess revenue to subsidize other sports. This is a reality I do not like but it is reality. Your tenure at UMass has been an abject failure in that regard. Attendance has been nearly halved, the number of games available on television to fans and alumni far from UMass has been similarly impacted. You have not delivered what you have been well compensated to deliver - revenue.

If your interest is in coaching to develop and perfect a "system" then you are probably better off going to a University that has no tradition of winning and that has the financial support to weather three or more consecutive losing seasons. Alternatively, you can accept less compensation and coach at a level that is not yet big business - high school. In any case, you seem to have grossly underestimated the situation here at UMass. UMass has chosen to compete in the big business of college basketball and to tie the viability of its other sports to the success of the basketball program. We, the fans and alumni, did not ask for this - we have been told that this is the way it needs to be.

The way the players you inherited were treated is testament that you were in full agreement with the treatment of college basketball as a big business. Whether they asked to leave UMass or were asked to leave UMass, there can be no debate that most of the players you inherited were not allowed to feel a part of your plans for UMass basketball. Rather than tailor your style to those players, you chose to try and find other players who would better fit your "system". The problem with this approach is that it puts winning and your career above the education of the student-athlete. This is, in effect, buying into the idea that the fundemental idea of college basketball is to win. So, you bought into the idea but you never delivered the wins.

As a fan of UMass basketball, I am grateful for the great bunch of kids yoyu have brought to UMass. I believe with proper instruction they will be competetive with the best in the conference. I, like many, can not understand how they could have been so uncompetetive with the bottom teams in the conference.

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DEM
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Post by DEM » Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:25 am

I agree with those sentiments for the most part. I think Steve Lappas is a good person, and I think the rest of his staff are good people too. He also brought in some great talent, but the bottom line is he just couldn't get it done. I'm thankful for the effort put in, because I do believe that he worked hard and truly wanted to see the team succeed. It's never a nice thing to see a good person fired (albeit with a large compensation), but as 87 mentioned, that's part of the business and it has to be done. Whatever Steve Lappas ends up doing after this year, I wish him the best.

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Post by VoxPop » Sat Mar 13, 2004 10:51 am

Has it been confirmed that Lappas will be bought out of his contract? If so I think its a bad decision by McCutcheon that when coupled with the coach brown FUBAR sets a very poor precedent for the University. Has it been revealed what the source of the buyout funds is?

87 this is a typically assinine statement from you. First of all 87 - College Basketball has been a big business well before 1989 as you pathetically suggest. You really need to read some history and get a clue, those kinds of ill informed statements severely undercut any credibility you might have.

Secondly, Lappas has never blamed the fans for anything as you fraudulently suggest. Moreover - Nobody thinks d1 college ball is primarily about educating athletes - if that were the case - there woud not be athletic scholarships, there would only academic scholarships. Please tell us all how Lamb pugh and Jenkins came to UMass for the academics and that basketball was a mere afterthought.

Lappas did the right thing by bringing in the most talented group of young players we have had at UMass in over 5 years. The result of this is that UMass is a team to be reckoned with in the future. Regardless of who the head coach is, with Freeman, Vigs, Lee, Maxwell, Bowers, Chadwick, Lasme, Carrier, Lamoreaux, Big Deli and AA anchoring UMASS will be substantially improved next year thanks in large part to the work of Coach Lappas and his staff.

Shall we presume then that 87 that if Lappas is retained then you will cease your lappas hating campaign and fully support the program, the coach and the administration?
Last edited by VoxPop on Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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UMass1863
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Post by UMass1863 » Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:36 am

87 very eloquently expressed how I feel.

Lets not forget that in addition to his salary his summer BB camp/program alone generates a tremendous amount of revenue.

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VoxPop
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Post by VoxPop » Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:19 pm

For what it is worth - the rumor mill is reporting that Lappas is getting 1 more year and that all the players and recruits have been notified. If that is the case, or if that is not the case - CAN WE ALL AGREE TO ACCEPT THE DECISION AND MOVE ON SUPPORTING THE COACH THE PROGRAM THE PLAYERS AND THE ADMINISTRATION???? :shock:

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Post by Pipp33 » Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:55 pm

Agree with mostly everything -- except for when someone says "the rest of his staff seems like good people." John Leonard is one of the biggest horse's asses in the business. He was an a-hole at Villanova, and an a-hole at Manhattan -- where 2/3 of his staff quit on him mid-season and where he alienated the entire school's administration. He's an ego-maniac jerk who has fallen flat on his face.

Anyway, I do feel bad for Lappas. 10 years ago he had a good thing going at Nova and now he appears to be on his way out of the business.

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Post by VoxPop » Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:58 pm

well apparently not - they have informed the players that he is not going anywhere.

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fbiman
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Post by fbiman » Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:59 pm

VoxPop wrote:For what it is worth - the rumor mill is reporting that Lappas is getting 1 more year and that all the players and recruits have been notified. If that is the case, or if that is not the case - CAN WE ALL AGREE TO ACCEPT THE DECISION AND MOVE ON SUPPORTING THE COACH THE PROGRAM THE PLAYERS AND THE ADMINISTRATION???? :shock:
Nope,

I will not support this program if Lappas is the coach,especially if he is retained simply for financial reasons.

This goes above and beyond dollars and cents. This shows me that UMass has limited interest in improving the basketball program.

Lappas has proved time and time again that he is a mediocre, if not outright bad coach. And I, for one, am not going to renew my season tickets if he is given another chance. I will throw them in the Charles.

Call me a bad fan if you like, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Please say it ain't so!
That's not an MP, that's a YP. Not My Problem, Your Problem.

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VoxPop
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Post by VoxPop » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:06 pm

Lets cut the theatrics: If you are a UMass fan then as soon as Freeman, Bowers, AA Carrier and Company are ripping up the A10 next season you will be screaming your lungs out supporting UMass regardless of who the coach is. I know that I will be right there with you. UMass is loaded with good young ballers with more on the way into the program.

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fbiman
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Post by fbiman » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:46 pm

I'll tell you what VP.

If UMass "tears up" the A10 next year, I will have no problem posting on this forum that I was wrong. And you can quote me on that, and throw it in my face if I fail to do so.

However, based on the first three years of the Lappas era, Lappas' record speaks for itself. You can talk all you want about the youth and inexperience of this team, but youth and inexperience don't account for Lappas' sucking at being a coach.
That's not an MP, that's a YP. Not My Problem, Your Problem.

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Post by vanmeter » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:51 pm

I have heard that Lappas is getting 1 more year with a considerable adjustment in his contract.
I have given a considerable amount of money to the athletic fund, especially over the past two years. If Lappas is retained I will, after paying a commitment I gave, never give another penny to this university again. It is bad enough that the University will never go 1A in football, but retaining someone strictly (and I mean strictly) over the money is symptamatic of the small time way this school is run.
Calipari, put this school on the athletic map, and terrible decisions by Marcum and now, apparently, McCutcheon are consistent with the small time atmosphere that pervades this athletic department and university administration.

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VoxPop
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Post by VoxPop » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:59 pm

I have given money to the university for 10 yrs. I use a corporate sponsorted match that doubles my contribution. I would not dream of not supporting the university over 1 coaching personnel decision that i disagreed with. i disagreed with bruiser leaving but i remained supportive. i think Lappas should be required to live up to his contract and not be given a golden parachute. It sounds like they have agreed to essentially a novation: tear up the old contract - do a 1 yr w/options =- an incentive laden deal. If so that sounds like considerable concessions occurred on both sides with both sides agreeing that immediate improvement next year is the expectation - no ifs ands or buts. [/i]

MrMiagi

Post by MrMiagi » Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:15 pm

Vox,

It's not like there's anyone out there with immediate UMASS ties that will absolutely come in next year and the savior.

This isn't Villanova from a few years back where Jay Wright was the hottest mid-major coach in the country, had a 10 popularity rating in the city of New York, was an assistant at Villanova for a number of years before following the most successful coach in Nova's history to UNLV, and always stated that the Nova job was his dream job. Nova has a lot of influential($$$$$) alumni in NYC, and they basically forced the school to get Jay before Jay went to another program(Rutgers, Tennessee).

That guys isn't waiting on UMASS's doorstep, so why eat up all that money to fire a coach after THREE years, when his most successful freshman class by far will be back the following year with experienced role players(Lee, Chadwick, Viggiano) and a Senior pg. There will be a group of first year players in the fold for the first time that won't be counted on to carry the team. Every fresman class so far was expected to come in and save the program. Nova's NUMBER TWO ranked class in the country from a few years ago is only NOW coming into their own. You need to have some patience.

If Lappas can't get to the postseason next year, I've been saying since day 1 he should be let go. This is however the first year where there aren't MAJOR MAJOR questions going into the next season, and every starter next year will be a RETURNING Starter.

I really hope the press conference on Monday is to give LAP an extra year while at the same time stating to the public that the team needs to get to the postseason next year for Lappas to remain.

Has a school ever fired a coach after 3 years when in the third year the coach had the rookie of the year and a first team all rookie team member? I would bet my life that HAS NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER HAPPENED.

Maybe UMASS will be the first. It just shows where college athletics are now and where they are headed. Everyone forgets that everyone else is trying to.

MrMiagi

Post by MrMiagi » Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:28 pm

If Lappas is retained I will, after paying a commitment I gave, never give another penny to this university again. It is bad enough that the University will never go 1A in football, but retaining someone strictly (and I mean strictly) over the money is symptamatic of the small time way this school is run.


Vanmeter,

The fact that you would cut the school off is an indictment of the world of college athletics today. Go onto any college forum on the interent belonging to a program that didn't make the NCAA's this year or go to a Bowl game, and all the fans are saying the same exact things.

Before a coach got 5 years, then it's 4, then it's 3...

Everyone is trying. Every school is trying. Tons of programs will always have to be on the outside looking in no matter who is coaching or who the players are.

If EVERY PROGRAM in AMERICA LANDED THE BEST COACH AND BEST PLAYERS AVAILABLE EVERY SINGLE YEAR, there would still be WAY more unhappy programs than happy programs.

How can you deny that this program isn't headed in the right direction. Please please explain how Lappas had the success he had at Nova if he's so cluless? Please explain.

F the NCAA's too. You didn't see the games. Those losses had more to do with the players than anything. My favorite basketball player ever is Kerry Kittles and he failed to show in the NCAA's. I admit it. A few guys didn't.

If the NCAA's were the truest indicator, than why has Calipari with all the millions he's taken from Memphis yet to win an NCAA game there? I forget who they played last year in the first round as A FAVORITE, but they got murdered. They lost in the first round of their conference tournament this year to a team led by a LAPPAS RECRUIT that got pummelled yesterday by Cinci.

To cut off your school like that because they want to keep a coach for a 4th year is an idictment on you, not your school. They are keeping a coach for a 4th year that has best group of first year players that UMASS had had in how long? Heaven forbid.

I've seen the way fans already bailed on Wright after this year, you'll bail on the next coach just the same.

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Orange Julius
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Post by Orange Julius » Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:50 pm

VoxPop wrote: It sounds like they have agreed to essentially a novation: tear up the old contract - do a 1 yr w/options =- an incentive laden deal.
If this happens then you are really screwing with recruiting. We need a point guard in this next class and it'll be tough to get a quality one if the recruits see that he's there only on a yearly basis.

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