SDSU Aztec Football About to get Cut?

Received this email from President Weber at SDSU.  Apparently a response from a sports editorial in the Union Tribune:

Alumni and Friends of San Diego State:

On Sunday, December 28, the Union-Tribune published an extended commentary by its sports writer, Mark Zeigler, arguing that, “It’s time to drop football at San Diego State.”  Let me begin by saying that Mr. Zeigler is certainly entitled to his opinion as is, of course, the U-T entitled to publish it.  I wondered, however, if the U-T were interested in providing equal space for a response by someone whose opinion actually has a bearing on the continuation of football at SDSU.  They were not.  Hence the following.  Please share it with friends and others whom you believe might be interested.

I came to San Diego State to participate in the continued building of a great university, not to dismantle one.  Intercollegiate athletics is part of the excellence of SDSU.  So, too, is our outstanding record of research (the number one small research university in the country — with over $130 million in grants and contracts last year), and our engagement with the San Diego community (the Sweetwater Compact for Success, the City Heights Education Collaborative, our public health initiatives, our service to area business and industry through programs such as Hospitality and Tourism, or Construction Engineering Management, or Regulatory Affairs).  Not to mention the popularity of our campus (number two in undergraduate applications nationwide), our improved SAT’s, GPA’s, graduation rates, etc.

Since the U-T has seen fit to disseminate Mr. Zeigler’s opinion and thereby arm every university that is recruiting against San Diego State, I need to say clearly (again) that Div I-A football will be part of San Diego State as long as I serve as its president (which will be for another two and a half years or until our faculty, our Chancellor, or our Board of Trustees sees fit to send me on my way).  Moreover, it is highly unlikely that my successor, whomever he or she may be, will be of a different opinion.  For better or worse, intercollegiate athletics is an important way in which the caring of SDSU faculty and staff and the hard work of our students can be made visible. I wish we lived in a world where more people understood and cared as much about the excellence of our library, or of our Biology department, or of the good work of colleagues in Student Affairs.  We do not. That is why San Diego State needs to build an intercollegiate athletics program that reflects the overall excellence of our university and of the men and women who make it up.

While, as I said, Mr. Zeigler is entitled to his opinion he is not entitled to make misstatements.   Let me cite a few:

  • SDSU “…has watched attendance and donor contributions steadily decline.”
    In point of fact, donor contributions to the university have steadily risen, from approximately $18 million in 1996 to $71 million last year.  In fact, SDSU has raised over twice as much money in the past 12 years as it did in the prior 100. (We recently took a look at the relationship between those who contributed to athletics from 2001- 2007 and their support for non-athletic programs at SDSU.  We found that the 1,489 who had contributed $20.5 million to athletics contributed an additional $56.8 million to SDSU in general.)

  • “… the cash-strapped city refuses to continue losing hundreds of thousands of dollars hosting Aztec games.” San Diego State has met every financial obligation spelled out in our lease with the city. As we negotiate a new lease, SDSU seeks an agreement that will be mutually beneficial to both parties.

  • “On Dec. 3, [Weber] unilaterally imposed [an additional athletic fee.]”
    Not so. After a campus wide, “alternative consultation” in which a majority of the students expressing an opinion endorsed the fee, [61% in favor, 39% opposed] the fee was then unanimously recommended by the thirteen member Campus Fee Advisory Committee (including a majority of students who are appointed by Associated Students and two faculty appointed by the University Senate).

  • “This is your football team, as a taxpayer… You should have a say whether to keep tossing it a life preserver.”
    That is true, but the implication is erroneous.  In 1997, in response to the additional cost of the CalNOW gender equity agreement, I requested from our University Senate, and they approved, an additional $2 million to cover those (in my view proper) costs.  In return, I agreed that, “no additional general fund allocation other than usual salary increases would be given to athletics.”  We have honored that agreement.

  • “A $2.455 million profit.  Fantasy.”
    The revenue generated from the conference and the NCAA is directly related to our football program, and marketing and fundraising monies have a direct correlation as well. If we assign to football its proportionate share of university allocated funds, and its reasonable share of generated revenues, such as conference revenues and corporate sponsorship revenues, football had $2.455 million funds in excess of expenditures in Fiscal Year 2005/06, and similar results for other years.

Ideas, even misstated, poorly researched ones, have consequences; so, I will say it once again, Div. I-A football will continue at San Diego State.  Just as we do with the rest of our university, we will strive to make it better.  I believe we have made a major step in that direction with the hiring of head coach Brady Hoke and what is already shaping up to be a first rate coaching staff.  While Mr. Zeigler’s opinions will be shared with prospective recruits across the southwest, we will not subscribe to his negativism.  There are many who, like Mr. Zeigler, want our city, our university and our football program to settle for second best.  My colleagues and I are not interested in that path.

Sincerely,

Stephen L. Weber
SDSU President

Some Sweet Rides

Good news – the shipping guy called me today, and he’s in Huntington Beach and will dropping off my new tires around 5:30 today!  That means tomorrow, I’ll be fitting my new 3″ White Walls on the Cheif.  Evan sold his ’51 Plymouth today too, and the guy didn’t want the exhaust, so for $100 I have a brand new set of side pipes that I’ll be throwing on too.  Hoping to get it over to SDRC tomorrow morning since I have the next 5 days off, and see if those guys can mount the tires and the pipes, oh and I’m getting a set of crossbar hub caps to run on there.  Its going to be a sick ride once its done!

Here are some pics that my buddy Efren took at his friends shop up in the Bay Area.  These guys know how to build cars.  That is a sick ’59 Galaxie Starliner (Convertible Hardtop!)  – extremely rare.  Check it:

EDIT:

Was just in PB for lunch with Myron and Johnny, and came across this white roadster. Added it to the gallery!  BADASS!

Some New SD Blogger Friends

I was digging through my traffic stats this morning (Thank God for Stumbleupon, tons of people are finding my blog through a couple old posts that were pretty heavily stumbled, and it seems that some people stick around to see what I have to say), and noticed a bit of traffic coming from www.StartUpSD.net.  They have an SD Bloggers section that shows a feed of latest posts from SD Blogs, and mine shows up on there quite a bit.  I didn’t even know I was listed on there – so thanks guys!  I have a feeling this is coming from the same people that run the SD Bloggers site.  They do events and stuff, but I am yet to attend one.  Maybe its because I don’t really consider myself a hard-core blogger.  This site has always really been just a place to store my bullshit, although I always have cool ideas for things I’d like to do with it, I’m lucky if I can just keep it updated regularly!

Anyway, back on topic.  I was looking through their feed of recent SD blogger posts, and found a few other local blogs that seem pretty cool.  I have been running my blog for over 2 years now, but really don’t think I have any regular readers, let alone anyone who comments.  My traffic is good, but sporadic and coming from all over the place, so I  don’t think anyone really finds much relevance to my postings here, but its really not my goal to do anything with this site other than write some stupid shit.

Regardless, I added all these other SD blogs to my google reader, so maybe if you are someone in SD – you can check these out and find some other interesting local blogs like I just discovered.  Maybe even they will read mine!  Maybe… :)

And maybe a few current events:

Got home from the 909 last night, and had a bit of time to finally get stuff settled around the house. Evan and I picked up a Crafstman toolbox from Sears – $269 for the 3 piece set. Finally we’ll be able to keep shit organized.  Seems like whenever we tear apart a car or something we lose at least 5 tools.  Now we have a place to keep all the stuff.

Christmas was awesome, spent a lot of time with my family and grandparents out from OK.  Dani came up for a couple days, we did a bit of snowboarding, went to dinner, watched some movies.  It was great.  I’m taking on weds and fri, and have thurs off already, so will enjoy another good 5 day weekend, hoping to get up to big bear on friday for some really good boarding.  Other than that, my real goal is to get the Star Chief pieced back together by the end of the weekend.  Hoping those new white walls I bought will get here soon so SDRC can get them mounted and I can cruise this bitch in style!

Hope you had a great holiday!  I’m out.