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An email to the TU staff & DanePound. VBall/Soccer

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Mr. Farkas,


I hope you take this note as a suggestion, rather than my bashing of what I consider a fine paper. As a member of the Capital District community since my walking on the UALBANY campus in 1992, I have been an avid reader of the TU. Now, unfortunately, I am in Boston due to my law school commitments. My morning always starts off with a cup of Dunkin Donuts and the TU online.


Recently I have been thoroughly disturbed by the lack of paper coverage of all the colleges in the area, particularly UAlbany. As a former employee at Albany Academy, serving as an SID for Mr. Sacco, I found it rather easy to get a high school story in the TU. As a former Albany Firebirds employee, we also found it easy to get a feature article for the 'Birds. It seems, however, the opposite is true for our local DI universities.


The Capital region is blessed with TWO DI universities, something most small cities (such as Albany) would kill for. For both Siena and Albany to thrive, little kids need to open that morning paper and be smacked in the face with UA and SIENA info. The reason Albany is a pro-sports killer is simply a lack of identity. The same could be said for Siena's aging fan base and UA's lack of fan support. When children grow up reading about UA and Siena they will identify with those teams and help create a fan base. The interest is there; see the 11000 fans who showed up for the budding hoop rivalry.


The precipitating event for this email cannot be pointed to because it has been 12 years in the making. This morning's paper, however, was the boil point. I go online and read about Siena and Time Warner' contract for TV coverage for Volleyball and Hoop. I think that is excellant. What I think stinks is the fact that not one on-line byte of information was devoted to UA's Volleyball team. In fact, very little has been written of this team. Last night UA beat Syracuse, their third Big East victory, second in a week. The ladies are now 11-5, losing to three tough Mid-West squads and #15 Arizona. How on earth could you people ignore this! This is akin to the Baseball and Softball squads which had been neglected until the bandwagon was already in motion. The Lady Danes have the potential to go to the NCAA Tourney.


Further proof of the lack of college coverage comes with the UA Men's Soccer Team. These guys are 5-1-1, knocking off some pretty good squads. Buona Condoul is fifth in the nation in goals against, yet there has yet to be anything but a "Weekly Award" winner blurb on the kid. Again, they knocked off Syracuse. Victories by UA/Siena teams against "named" opponents will be the catalyst for kids to be come future Danes/Saint followers.


We live in a sports town yet a very good paper seemingly has placed local gems off to the side. I know cost is always an issue, however working with colleges all across the country I have always read the local paper. Without fail, all DI schools (including the little guys) had a one to two page section devoted to local college sports....EVERYDAY. There are enough stories for you guys to print, interesting ones to boot. Help build a fan base at UA and Siena! Think about a kid in Saratoga who grows up a Saint or Dane fan and chooses to stay put in the Capital District instead of going to Iona or George Washington. A local paper which constantly writes about the local teams can have an effect on that kid, keeping them home because they consider our local schools to be BIG TIME. To be big time you need good athletics and good coverage. Siena has some great programs. UA, hands down the best local overall sports (Lax, Softball, Football, Baseball, Soccer, Volleyball, Women's hoop, Track and Field, X-Country, and Golf all challenging (or just challenged) for NCAA bids and conference titles...in what Four years of DI?) With $100mm in future facility upgrades and a 12-20k seat football stadium on the way UA is becoming more "big time" than the Tri-City ValleyCats or the failing A2 team that receive more coverage than UA or Siena.


Thank you so much....from an avid reader and ardent supporter of UA sports. I will apologize, in advance, if the Volleyball article was in the hardcopy addition (but can you put it online?)


BTW, a fun little story can be found by interviewing DanePound, creater of the Bigpurplefans.com site. He has singlehandedly created a new fan base for UA with the creative use of his computer! He was cc'd on this email as I know consider him a "publisher" of local sports.


Warmest Regards,


XXXXX (sorry gang, have to remain anonymous for a bit!)

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Dane 96, I have felt the same for more years than I care to remember, though I think there may have been more coverage of UA sports in the Times Union and the long defunct Knickerbocker News (evening paper) in the 60s than there is now.


I just returned from Milwaukee where the local paper there ran six pages of coverage of the Wisconsin/PennState game in their Sunday edition. There was at least one full page of articles on UWisconsin athletics each of the 5 days that I was in Milwaukee, and UWisconsin is 50 miles away in Madison. Granted, UAlbany is not in the Big 10 but the TU could provide more than a cursory article or two per week as it does now. Besides, UA lax would knock the spikes off the UW lax squad.

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The TU is more concerned with pandering to the 500 or so fans who care about the Conquest and Rats than the thousands who would read about college sports.


Just wait until the CBA or ABA come to play hoops at the armory; I guarantee that there is a full spread feature about Convict Coyne and his merry band of downtown degenerates.


I know that some of the TU reporters read this site; and I know they will see this thread. Unfortunately, this all starts at the top - the management of the TU doesn't care about college sports because they wish they could be in a pro sports town. But they're not. The best way to get the TU to change is to ... stop subscribing. Hit 'em where it hurts.

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