March 26, 2017 - KG, 5th Ward Wildcat and Doc Podcast "Thoughts about UH Basketball"

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Sadly, this is accurate…Big year for UH basketball coming up. Schools like Xavier & Gonzaga have full support by their schools. Unlike in Houston, where most of the support & funds go to the football program. Those schools mentioned before don’t have a football program to compete, so not having P5 money doesn’t affect them as much.

TSU has been in a pretty good run as well.

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I think their point that the entire administration, coaching staff, students, and alumni have to be behind the program is a valid one and that it’s not just about working hard, but committing to it.

This is why I think the fingers are pointed incorrectly at CKS, the staff, and the players; that area is committed fully and the reason we’ve gotten as far as we have. Same could be said when Penders was here. But the other areas are lacking. Admin is getting buildings built, but what about the marketing budget or outreach to the community? Where’s the push to get the students involved like they did with football? I think it’s sad that CKS has to march around campus with a pep band to try and rouse up student support; why is no one else in the department doing that? Why aren’t the home games being treated as events? Why isn’t there a student organization created to try to lead chants at games or create traditions? Who’s holding the schedule maker accountable? Why aren’t we celebrating our rich basketball history more often and doing more with our distinguished alumni? That last game at Hofheinz had a ton of members come back, why aren’t we tapping into those guys more to drum up support? Look at what the Rockets are doing with their 50th anniversary season, we could be doing that almost every game for about 3-4 straight seasons.

I have the same issues with almost every sport we have at UH; there needs to be more action besides just tweets and facilities. We have a T&F program led by 4 Olympians that’s ranked and has a rich history, but the most that you hear about it is when they stand on the field or court and get honored during a timeout. Swimming won conference for the first time and hosts the conference meet and you barely hear anything other than via twitter. Softball has one of the best facilities in the nation and a scrappy young team that’s doing pretty good, but what do you hear about them? Women’s basketball was a disaster, but Coach Hughey is somehow recruiting Top 100 players to a team that draws in the hundreds. Where’s the push to get fans to games so he can recruit at an even higher level. Soccer just hired the brother of a Former US national team captain; are we going to advertise that better? Baseball may be our best program on campus, and it finally got a coach’s show, but why isn’t JD writing an article every game or at least every series; who’s connecting with the Chronicle on that? Who’s trying to schedule these coaches on local radio shows? You’re telling me that we can’t get Carl Lewis or Leroy Burrell on a radio or TV segment consistently? It’s Houston, there’s a demand.

And then there’s community outreach. Herman did a good job of going to high schools and talking to coaches in the offseason; are we doing that in every other sport? Why aren’t we publicizing that more? Why can’t we get a mobile community van going around the city visiting high schools monthly? Why don’t we have info booths at any big event in the city to include all pro sports events? Why aren’t we advertising at all pro sports events or seeing if they’d be willing to do a college sports update between innings, quarters, etc? Why aren’t we hosting high school tournaments at our facilities (I know we do for baseball) or trying to tap into community efforts like Hoopingforluv and hosting that at UH? Why arent we pushing for a Houston area basketball tournament like they have in Cincy; bring in Rice, TSU, HBU, Lamar, A&M, SHSU, etc for both the women and men? Same for volleyball (they sort of do it), soccer, baseball (again, getting better as we have the 3 game series with Rice and SHSU), T&F, softball, etc and then advertise the hell out of it? Make it a community event and make it free to all local high school athletes.

Why aren’t we tapping into Channel 8 more? Why don’t we have a daily evening Cougar news segment on there hosted by the Valenti School?

I know it’s not the best, but why not push the Daily Cougar out there more to alums as an alternative to the Chronicle? We get Cougar Pride letters all the time that could easily tell people to read the Daily Cougar Daily. Why isn’t Cougar Pride sending out emails daily informing us all of the latest in Cougar athletics; takes me like an hour-2 hours to pull info daily, pretty sure they can do the same?

I know budget is tight and staffing isn’t great, but I know that they have department folks lurking on boards; why not reach out to some of the more prolific posters to ask for help with advertising. I know of one person that emailed the department and they gave him a ton of material to help advertise; they need to be more proactive and reach out to their most active voices online and in the community? A lot of us are willing to do it for free.

And then it goes back to the Chronicle. As bad as their coverage of us is, they are still the biggest source of news in Houston. We have to push to get more coverage. I’m grateful for JD, but he being the only one covering us is ridiculous. The Statesman has 4 reporters covering the Longhorns, and that doesn’t include Bohls or Golden who basically cover the Longhorns as well. There should be an article or section listing the latest athletic scores/schedule in the Chronicle daily when it comes to UH. Who’s our outreach there? Can we get Tillman on that?

Just needs to be more in the way of getting the word out. UH is a silent giant, but it needs to push more to get out in front.

Back when we had our really good football and hoops teams in the '60s and '70s media coverage was not a problem. We were creating the news and the papers and radio stations were talking about our Coogs.
In a city that has more than one major University, we must put the pedal to the metal to get attention. Next year is a huge year for us in football and hoops, We gave got to step up and compete if we expect fans and media to step up. But it is the same thing everywhere else, including UT, A&M and others. Last year was a huge kick in the rear for our football program…getting turned down by the Big 12, then losing our coach after a very disappointing season of rumors.
This is the biggest reason everyone should be really supporting the Coogs this year, especially for our new coach.
Basketball, if folks will have patience, is going to improve as will our conference…the big question will our support continue to improve?

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