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University of Akron Zips blog

The Kelly Kennedy question answered

By mrasor Published: March 6, 2006

Women's basketball

Here is tomorrow's Rasor's Edge...

Not that anyone noticed, but the women's basketball season ended for Akron this weekend.

Ball State blew them out in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The team's overall record was 5-23 and 1-14 in the MAC.

The Zips were among the nation's worst in several categories. They had more turnovers than all but 37 of the 324 NCAA Division I teams. They scored less than all but 12. They were in the bottom 30 in rebounding and scoring margin.

Bad season, huh? If you didn't know better, you would think the Zips were rebuilding, perhaps starting five freshmen. That wasn't the case.

Since the program's inception in 1974, the Zips have built a dynasty of miserable failures. Coach Kelly Kennedy has amassed a winning percentage of .143 in her four years at Akron, winning two, seven, three and now five games.

Earlier in the year, billboards featured women's basketball players with the "Fear the Roo" message.

Fear the Roo? I fear the traffic jams on Route 8 from laughter-related accidents.

Yet, I am writing this column to say athletic director Mack Rhoades should retain Kennedy for next season.

The main reason: Kennedy still has a year left on her original five-year contract that pays her nearly $100,000 per season.

Akron averaged 294 fans at home games this season. Do some quick math and you'll realize how wasteful it would be to pay Kennedy to sit at home for the fifth year of her contract when attendance revenue barely reaches one-tenth of her salary.

This month, the university finally relieved itself from paying former football coach Lee Owens, who was fired three years ago and still paid a six-figure salary for the duration of his contract.

The second reason to keep Kennedy is that the team actually has some potential.

The MAC named forward Niki McCoy to its All-Freshman Team Monday. She averaged 11.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this year. Another freshman, forward Allison Schoff, also played some solid minutes.

Next year's incoming class is supposed to be just as good. If Kennedy's Zips can come close to reaching .500 next season, it would definitely be a good sign.

Here is another reason to allow Kennedy another year to resurrect the program: Akron still has not extended the contracts for football coach J.D. Brookhart and men's basketball coach Keith Dambrot.

Until these miracle workers are locked up through my future son's graduation in 2020, I will not be able to sleep at night.

Be sure to pick up the Buchtelite on Thursday when I will give my 26 reasons why Dambrot's Zips will win the MAC Tournament.


Here is a Buchtelite feature about Kurt Davidson, the Zips first baseman and leading slugger.

Men's basketball

After his stunning 22-point performance on Saturday, Darryl Peterson was the Buchtelite's Zips Athlete of the Week. Peterson talks about dealing with limited playing time.

Also, Western Michigan beat Eastern Michigan tonight by five. That sets up a Broncos/Zips matchup on Thursday at 2 p.m. I bought my tickets. Have you?

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