Keith Dambrot had just signed a five-year contract extension. His team had a shot to take a top-25 team to overtime.
Yet he was clearly upset after the game. Why? The attendance.
Terry Pluto talks about the problem in his column today. Dambrot suggests giving tickets to every kid in the city. It sounds like a terrific idea to me.
Something the former athletic department understood was making an investment in the fans, even if it means suffering in the short run. They paid to take 9,000 fans to the Motor City Bowl. Did that make economic sense? Of course not. But it had to play a part in Akron meeting the NCAA's requirement of averaging 15,000 fans at the Rubber Bowl this season.
UA certainly should not forget the suburbs. Growing up in Stow, I never heard much about Akron sports, except reading the occasional Pluto column. Here's what you do... Pick a high school or two each home game, excluding Kent State and OU. Provide each student with a ticket voucher he or she can redeem at the gate.
It's worth a shot. To see the endzones so empty last night was depressing. Also, what's the deal with the AK-Rowdies? By bringing a total of about 50, they are not making a case to keep the seats behind each hoop.