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University of Akron Zips blog

More on McClain

By mrasor Published: March 23, 2007

Football


Bill Morgan, media relations guy for the Canton Legends who also works for UA, gave me the scoop of what the American Indoor Football Association entails.


He said the field at the Canton Civic Center is 50 yards long by 28.5 yards wide. Jon McClain might have problems kicking because -- get this -- he must avoid banging a field goal attempt off the overhanging scoreboard and lighting support bars.


I am truly fascinated by this league, and I plan to attend a game in the coming weeks to check in on McClain.


Track


The Zips will head to the Wake Forest Open this weekend to kick off the outdoor track season.


For those of you who are confused about how track works (like I was), there is an indoor season during the winter and outdoor season during the spring.


You may wonder what's the difference. Well, weather plays a huge factor for MAC teams. Coach Dennis Mitchell told me his troops possibly could hold an advantage in inclement weather.


I'll go on the record to say I think the men will finally break through and win their first MAC title. The women should be able to repeat as well.


  • I think I ticked off Mitchell with my comments about secondary sports the other day. He disputed some of my statistics in an e-mail.

  • He had one good point, however. Although his track teams combine to lose more than $900,000, his 90 athletes, many of whom are not on scholarship, bring in a lot of tuition dollars. Assuming no athlete is on scholarship and each one lives in the dorms (both of which are an egregious stretch), these athletes conceivably could bring in $2 million a year.

  • I'd say it's close to $1 million, which would indirectly allow the track team to break even.

  • To my knowledge, no other team can say that.

  • Mitchell, understandably, was upset that I implied his sport has no value to campus. Although I already responded to him personally, I'll clarify that for the rest of you...

  • There are 24,000 students at the University of Akron. Go out and ask 1,000 of them where the track team is traveling this weekend. I'm telling you from first-hand experience that this commuter campus simply does not know or care.

  • Is that a problem? In some ways. My central argument, however, is that the track team affects very few of those 24,000 students -- probably around 90 to be exact. To waste hundreds of thousands of public dollars for that minimal impact is careless, in my humble opinion. I don't mean to pick on track. You can substitute volleyball, women's soccer, golf and even baseball.

  • Of course, Mitchell is right in saying track supports itself, so that doesn't apply to his team.
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