Numbers in favor of Snyder

Published 11:07 pm Saturday, November 28, 2009

One of my twin daughters got an “A” instead of an “A+” on her English paper last week. My dog got into some garbage and had it all over the kitchen floor. My car has a crack in the windshield and needs replaced.

Well, there’s only one way to solve all these problems. You guessed it. We have to fire Mark Snyder as Marshall’s football coach.

I read a story last week detailing some figures — I’ll not use the word “facts” in this instance since it doesn’t really apply — about the Marshall season ticket sales being down and how attendance is lagging and the only recourse is to fire Snyder.

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There is truth in the fact the athletic department is about $2 million in the red, but Marshall may get half of that back with a bowl appearance, something that can’t be guaranteed when making out the budget.

Marshall’s season ticket sales were down, but that was to be expected as well. Season ticket sales across the nation were down 15 percent this season. Marshall was down almost seven percent, more than half below the national average.

Major college programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Southern Cal always have sellouts. It’s the mid-majors that take the biggest hit when the economy is hurting and experts actually predicted Marshall’s numbers to be down 10 percent.

While the story tried to say Snyder’s tenure at Marshall is bankrupting the athletic department, in actuality it has been the opposite.

Of the 10 largest season attendance in school history, five of those seasons have come with Snyder as the head coach. Imagine that. He has half of the 10 largest season attendances.

And while the numbers were down this year due to the economy and high unemployment, next year is being projected as possibly the largest ever.

West Virginia comes to Marshall and that should not only create more season ticket sales with Herd fans, but WVU fans will buy season tickets just to guarantee themselves a seat for the game.

Also, Marshall plays at Ohio State next year and fans with season tickets will have the opportunity to purchase a ticket to that game because of the allotment the school receives.

One of the problems with attendance also looms with the opposing schools. Conference USA fans do not travel to Huntington. Marshall switched from the Mid-American Conference to C-USA for the increased TV revenue and exposure.

C-USA is a more difficult league from top to bottom than the MAC, but MAC fans traveled better due to the close proximity. Athletic director Mike Hamrick is trying to fix that problem by scheduling future games with schools like Bowling Green, Ohio University and Louisville.

Ohio will often bring as many as 4,500 fans and Louisville isn’t that far of a drive.

To make things even better, Marshall is a relatively young team and should have a better season next year with a little good luck.

The vendetta to oust Snyder has gone from absurd to embarrassing to laughable. One would almost think that the negative information was coming from an insider who has a personal gain in the situation if Snyder were fired.

But that couldn’t be true. I mean, there aren’t any facts to back it up.


—— Sinatra ——

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.