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Van De Velde left tainted Tech legacy


Harry

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Not long after Dooley’s 2010 departure Van De Velde was presented keys to the kingdom and he set about making his mark. Tech athletic directors, like ADs at most non-AQ, BCS schools, must pick their poison being as adept at raising funds as they are at managing a budget.

Van De Velde’s vast experience at his Big 12 stops perhaps prepared him for not always being the most popular guy on campus. When you’re in control of the purse springs with limited resources, you can’t make everyone happy.

Perhaps the need for money is why Van De Velde was criticized for putting so much effort into football and men’s basketball, the sports most likely to generate big revenue, while appearing to ignore lower profile sports.

Most athletic directors come with at least one gift and Van De Velde’s biggest was ferreting the right coach. Whether they just fell in his lap, or he was savvy enough to deliver what was needed, Sonny Dykes and Mike White were the right hires at the right time for those two programs. The jury remains out on his two additional hires in football coach Skip Holtz and softball coach Mark Montgomery, although both seem solid in the early going.

Van De Velde raised millions of dollars, enhanced facilities, upgraded ticket operations and reveled in the 71 percent graduation rate of student-athletes under his watch. He did it within the confines of a budget that would make most AQ athletic directors cringe.

But Bruce Van De Velde’s tenure at Tech will forever be remembered for one fateful day in December when the Bulldog football team discovered there would be no postseason bowl game despite a 9-3 record. Although the decision to put an Independence Bowl offer on hold, while waiting on one from the Liberty Bowl, didn’t happen in a vacuum, the brunt of fan and media criticism fell squarely on his shoulders.

Read more: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20130701/SPORTS0203/307010011/Van-De-Velde-left-tainted-Tech-legacy

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But Bruce Van De Velde’s tenure at Tech will forever be remembered for one fateful day in December when the Bulldog football team discovered there would be no postseason bowl game despite a 9-3 record. Although the decision to put an Independence Bowl offer on hold, while waiting on one from the Liberty Bowl, didn't happen in a vacuum, the brunt of fan and media criticism fell squarely on his shoulders.

Read more: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20130701/SPORTS0203/307010011/Van-De-Velde-left-tainted-Tech-legacy

I'm really curious to know who was also involved in the decision to put the Independence bowl on hold. If boosters were involved and the Athletic Directors caved then I see where he deserves some of the blame but La Tech really should have let their football team show on the field whether or not they actually are better than La-Monroe. Hopefully La Tech learned that you never pass on a bowl invitashuuuuun.

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I'm really curious to know who was also involved in the decision to put the Independence bowl on hold. If boosters were involved and the Athletic Directors caved then I see where he deserves some of the blame but La Tech really should have let their football team show on the field whether or not they actually are better than La-Monroe. Hopefully La Tech learned that you never pass on a bowl invitashuuuuun.

Obviously Van De Velde could have done a better job managing the bowl situation, but I never really blamed him for it. What really happened is that the Indy Bowl tried to play social engineers by matching up La Tech and ULM, then got their feelings hurt, and then decided to screw over Tech.

We already played a home game in Shreveport against Texas A&M a couple months before in addition to 4 Indy Bowls in the past. In 2008 we actually turned down an invitation to the Texas Bowl to play in the local Indy Bowl. After thumping ULM 8 consecutive games, we left the juco back in the 20th century. We have always been and will always be superior to the juco in every way. We don't need to prove anything. The Independence Bowl in Shreveport against ULM would not have been a reward for Tech. We wanted something better. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day bowls were realistic probabilities.

The Indy Bowl tried to force us into accepting an early invitation to play ULM when there were much better options potentially available to us in the Liberty Bowl or a trade to the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Van De Velde supposedly had assurances from the Liberty Bowl that they would select or trade Tech. Van De Velde asked the Indy Bowl to wait to see how everything unfolds after the final Saturday's games were played. He told the Indy Bowl there was no need to rush because they would essentially have their pick of whatever teams were left over. The Indy Bowl director got her feelings hurt so they invited Ohio early out of spite for Tech. Sun Belt leftover vs. MAC leftover was their worst case scenario, and it would have been no worse had they waited like the majority of the other bowls.

Then after everything played out on Saturday and the BCS rankings were revealed on Sunday, NIU leap frogged into the BCS bumping Oklahoma out of the BCS. That sent a chain reaction that left Iowa State available for an at-large bid, and then the Liberty Bowl selected ISU. The only other at-large spot was in the Military Bowl which had already selected #21 San Jose State from the WAC.

It ended up backfiring on the Indy Bowl as they hosted the worst Indy Bowl in history. The Indy Bowl is now on life support as a hotel tax bill to save the bowl never made it out of committee in the state legislature.

La Tech will be just fine. Van De Velde took the brunt of the criticism, but he was pretty much in a lose-lose situation. I'm not sure what I would have done differently if I were in Van De Velde's shoes at the time. Hindsight is 20/20. But people believe whatever they want to believe even if it's not true.

Edited by Dawg06
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It seems La. Tech fans think a lot more of La. Tech football than the rest of the college football playing world.

Usually, when you call someone a "JUCO" and hurl other insults, you are actually involved in a series with them, not afraid to play them (which was the national perception of La. Tech's sub of ULM and the Independence Bowl).

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Obviously Van De Velde could have done a better job managing the bowl situation, but I never really blamed him for it. What really happened is that the Indy Bowl tried to play social engineers by matching up La Tech and ULM, then got their feelings hurt, and then decided to screw over Tech.

We already played a home game in Shreveport against Texas A&M a couple months before in addition to 4 Indy Bowls in the past. In 2008 we actually turned down an invitation to the Texas Bowl to play in the local Indy Bowl. After thumping ULM 8 consecutive games, we left the juco back in the 20th century. We have always been and will always be superior to the juco in every way. We don't need to prove anything. The Independence Bowl in Shreveport against ULM would not have been a reward for Tech. We wanted something better. New Year's Eve and New Year's Day bowls were realistic probabilities.

The Indy Bowl tried to force us into accepting an early invitation to play ULM when there were much better options potentially available to us in the Liberty Bowl or a trade to the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Van De Velde supposedly had assurances from the Liberty Bowl that they would select or trade Tech. Van De Velde asked the Indy Bowl to wait to see how everything unfolds after the final Saturday's games were played. He told the Indy Bowl there was no need to rush because they would essentially have their pick of whatever teams were left over. The Indy Bowl director got her feelings hurt so they invited Ohio early out of spite for Tech. Sun Belt leftover vs. MAC leftover was their worst case scenario, and it would have been no worse had they waited like the majority of the other bowls.

Then after everything played out on Saturday and the BCS rankings were revealed on Sunday, NIU leap frogged into the BCS bumping Oklahoma out of the BCS. That sent a chain reaction that left Iowa State available for an at-large bid, and then the Liberty Bowl selected ISU. The only other at-large spot was in the Military Bowl which had already selected #21 San Jose State from the WAC.

It ended up backfiring on the Indy Bowl as they hosted the worst Indy Bowl in history. The Indy Bowl is now on life support as a hotel tax bill to save the bowl never made it out of committee in the state legislature.

La Tech will be just fine. Van De Velde took the brunt of the criticism, but he was pretty much in a lose-lose situation. I'm not sure what I would have done differently if I were in Van De Velde's shoes at the time. Hindsight is 20/20. But people believe whatever they want to believe even if it's not true.

You could saved yourself a lot of typing (and us a lot of time) by saying "we THINK we were better than ULM last season, tried to put on our big girl panties, and it bit us in the ass".

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It seems La. Tech fans think a lot more of La. Tech football than the rest of the college football playing world.

Usually, when you call someone a "JUCO" and hurl other insults, you are actually involved in a series with them, not afraid to play them (which was the national perception of La. Tech's sub of ULM and the Independence Bowl).

ULM was created as Ouachita Parish Junior College and later renamed Northeast Junior College of LSU. Thus, the Juco nickname.

We've also played them 43 times in football and hold a 30-13 record over them. We aren't afraid to play anybody. We don't play them because we have nothing to gain from playing them, and we can get better opponents from outside our own market. ULM also has to balance their budget with up to 3 money games per year with a guaranteed FCS home game. We'd love to play them in all other sports, but their AD got their feelings hurt because we won't schedule them in football.

The perception of the bowl fiasco is what it is (and probably the main reason why BVDV was forced to resign), but many members of the media told the story they wanted to tell without even interviewing anyone.

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The part of this whole equation that I don't understand is why the Indy Bowl wanted a ULM-LaTech matchup in the first place? Two schools within close enough driving distance that hotel rooms would not be filled seems like the opposite of what most bowls are after. I guess they thought attendance at the actual bowl game would be high enough sell more tickets---but a bowl that doesn't generate money for the local hotels and restaurants (and in Shreveport's case---casinos) seems like a waste of time. What am I missing here?

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The part of this whole equation that I don't understand is why the Indy Bowl wanted a ULM-LaTech matchup in the first place? Two schools within close enough driving distance that hotel rooms would not be filled seems like the opposite of what most bowls are after. I guess they thought attendance at the actual bowl game would be high enough sell more tickets---but a bowl that doesn't generate money for the local hotels and restaurants (and in Shreveport's case---casinos) seems like a waste of time. What am I missing here?

It's because they didn't have any better options, and the bowl game is struggling financially. The hotels rooms don't really help the Indy Bowl's bottom line. They were going to get last pick, and they didn't want it to appear that way.

Essentially in the end after all the primary and secondary tie-ins were filled, the only at-large spots were in the Liberty Bowl, Military Bowl, and Indy Bowl. The Military Bowl had selected #21 SJSU a week earlier, a WAC opponent that La Tech played in our last game of the regular season. That left 1 spot in the Military Bowl for a MAC team. The Liberty Bowl had an at-large Iowa State team fall into their laps to face the C-USA champion. And then that leaves the 2 open spots in Shreveport.

Their only other options besides La Tech and ULM were Middle Tennessee and Bowling Green. Neither Middle Tennessee nor Bowling Green were going to sell many hotel rooms either. The Indy Bowl is used to an SEC team anchoring the bowl. Had the Indy Bowl waited, their worst cause scenario would have been ULM vs. 8-4 Bowling Green. That's no different from ULM vs. 8-4 Ohio.

The Indy Bowl filled in with MAC teams twice before with Miami (OH) and NIU, and neither brought more than 2,000 fans. The last two La Tech Indy Bowls had attendances of 48,325 vs. Maryland and 41,567 vs. Northern Illinois. The La Tech home game at Indy Stadium against Texas A&M earlier in the season had an attendance of 40,453. The Indy Bowl is run by LSU people who thought that La Tech vs. ULM would surely sell out the Indy Bowl. Instead, they got ULM vs. Ohio with an official turnstile attendance of 19,204. After the bowl game, the Indy Bowl went to the state legislature asking for a hotel tax to save the bowl, but their bill never made it out of committee.

Edited by Dawg06
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It's interesting that the Liberty was the focus given when Iowa State came available that Karl Benson delayed his flight out of Memphis to beg and plead with the bowl to stick with the handshake deal he had for the bowl to take the winner of Arkansas State vs. MTSU.

The I-Bowl was playing good old American politics. Two in-state teams getting the highlight at a time when they were trying to get a tax passed. Per a good friend and member of the committee, Tech had told the bowl they would accept if ULM were not invited and it pissed off the bowl committee. Tech was given an acceptance deadline with no promises on ULM. Time came and went with no answer so they invited ULM and then extended a second offer to Tech with a new deadline and that came and went with no response. At that point their sponsor demanded they take Ohio and be done with it because Steinbrecher of the MAC told them if he didn't get a committment soon he was locking Ohio into Detroit leaving only 6-6 Central Michigan available. They were pinned in with their choices being ULM vs. MTSU in a rematch or ULM vs. Central Michigan at that point.

Rumor was that late Saturday night GoDaddy was balking at taking MTSU after the Jonesboro blood bath and was looking to take Tech.

Edited by Arkstfan
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It's interesting that the Liberty was the focus given when Iowa State came available that Karl Benson delayed his flight out of Memphis to beg and plead with the bowl to stick with the handshake deal he had for the bowl to take the winner of Arkansas State vs. MTSU.

The I-Bowl was playing good old American politics. Two in-state teams getting the highlight at a time when they were trying to get a tax passed. Per a good friend and member of the committee, Tech had told the bowl they would accept if ULM were not invited and it pissed off the bowl committee. Tech was given an acceptance deadline with no promises on ULM. Time came and went with no answer so they invited ULM and then extended a second offer to Tech with a new deadline and that came and went with no response. At that point their sponsor demanded they take Ohio and be done with it because Steinbrecher of the MAC told them if he didn't get a committment soon he was locking Ohio into Detroit leaving only 6-6 Central Michigan available. They were pinned in with their choices being ULM vs. MTSU in a rematch or ULM vs. Central Michigan at that point.

Rumor was that late Saturday night GoDaddy was balking at taking MTSU after the Jonesboro blood bath and was looking to take Tech.

BVDV and Jeff Hurd supposedly had a handshake deal with Steve Ehrhart, too. Everything I've heard about him is that he is a slime ball.

"Sources" on the Indy Bowl committee were anonymously telling the local media that the Indy Bowl had to jump on Ohio early so they didn't get stuck with a 6-6 team, which would have been Central Michigan.

But what they weren't saying is that there was always going to be another option. If the Indy Bowl was left with the very last picks, there would have been four options: ULM, Middle Tennessee, Central Michigan, and one of La Tech/Iowa State/Bowling Green. There was always going to be another option besides 6-6 CMU and a rematch with MTSU.

La Tech would have accepted the Indy Bowl invitation to play ULM if our admin knew it was our last and only postseason option. But the Indy Bowl refused to let Tech see if they could land a better bowl game. By the time our admin realized the Liberty/Heart of Dallas deal fell through, the Indy Bowl had already extended invitations to ULM and Ohio. At that time, BVDV asked the Indy Bowl for an invitation, but they said it was too late.

And I honestly don't believe it was the the sponsor made those demands because the CEO of AdvoCare is a La Tech alumnus.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but to me it seems like all of it was unfairly placed on Van De Velde. The WAC had no leverage with only one tie-in in its last ever season. And it's a shame the real story isn't being told.

Edited by Dawg06
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It's because they didn't have any better options, and the bowl game is struggling financially. The hotels rooms don't really help the Indy Bowl's bottom line. They were going to get last pick, and they didn't want it to appear that way.

Essentially in the end after all the primary and secondary tie-ins were filled, the only at-large spots were in the Liberty Bowl, Military Bowl, and Indy Bowl. The Military Bowl had selected #21 SJSU a week earlier, a WAC opponent that La Tech played in our last game of the regular season. That left 1 spot in the Military Bowl for a MAC team. The Liberty Bowl had an at-large Iowa State team fall into their laps to face the C-USA champion. And then that leaves the 2 open spots in Shreveport.

Their only other options besides La Tech and ULM were Middle Tennessee and Bowling Green. Neither Middle Tennessee nor Bowling Green were going to sell many hotel rooms either. The Indy Bowl is used to an SEC team anchoring the bowl. Had the Indy Bowl waited, their worst cause scenario would have been ULM vs. 8-4 Bowling Green. That's no different from ULM vs. 8-4 Ohio.

The Indy Bowl filled in with MAC teams twice before with Miami (OH) and NIU, and neither brought more than 2,000 fans. The last two La Tech Indy Bowls had attendances of 48,325 vs. Maryland and 41,567 vs. Northern Illinois. The La Tech home game at Indy Stadium against Texas A&M earlier in the season had an attendance of 40,453. The Indy Bowl is run by LSU people who thought that La Tech vs. ULM would surely sell out the Indy Bowl. Instead, they got ULM vs. Ohio with an official turnstile attendance of 19,204. After the bowl game, the Indy Bowl went to the state legislature asking for a hotel tax to save the bowl, but their bill never made it out of committee.

So what you are saying is that La. Tech may have single handedly taken down the Independence bowl?

From a fan that hopes his team manages to win 6 games and would love an invite to the Indy bowl, thanks. Thanks a lot.

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So what you are saying is that La. Tech may have single handedly taken down the Independence bowl?

From a fan that hopes his team manages to win 6 games and would love an invite to the Indy bowl, thanks. Thanks a lot.

Lol. No. La Tech is not the Indy Bowl's problem. The Indy Bowl has only their own mismanagement to blame.

The Indy Bowl has been grossly mismanaged for years and years.

La Tech saved the Indy Bowl in 2008. They had no title sponsor. Neither the SEC nor the Big 12 could fill their contracted tie-ins. La Tech had an invitation to play Rice in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium. Dooley turned down the Texas Bowl to play in the local bowl. Attendance was 42K (about 32K Tech fans, 8K locals, 2K NIU fans).

In addition to the 2008 season without a title sponsor. The Indy Bowl couldn't land a title sponsor in 2004 or 2005. They they finally signed on with Petro Sun as a title sponsor, but then Petro Sun went bankrupt and couldn't make their sponsorship payments to the Indy Bowl. The City of Shreveport ended up having to bail them out with taxpayer money under the table that was eventually discovered. That makes 4 years in the last decade without a title sponsor. You might be hard pressed to find a single bowl without a title sponsor this last decade, much less four years without one.

Because they didn't have a title sponsor in the last round of negotiations, they lost the SEC and Big 12 who had been tied in with them for over a decade.

On top of that, the Indy Bowl doesn't give you the full bowl experience. For their entertainment, they take the players to the bowling alley. They don't partner with the casinos to bring in shows or anything. They don't offer anything for fans like other bowls do.

Just a couple months ago, the Indy Bowl goes before a committee in the state legislature, and they basically got laughed at. Their Indy Bowl hotel tax got pulled for lack of support, and then they tried it again. Missy Setters was totally unprepared. She had no letters of support from local businesses, hotels, or civic leaders. Nothing. Never mentioned the economic impact. Just that Mack Brown (who's never been to the I-Bowl) said that Big 12 teams enjoyed coming to the I-Bowl. She also pleaded that they needed the tax to stay in business. The leadership is really bad.

Then add in that Shreveport-Bossier refuses to support anything local. Every minor league football, basketball, baseball, and hockey team in Shreveport-Bossier (even the successful teams) has either folded or moved. The Indy Bowl is the last thing that Shreveport has, and it may only be alive for the life of this next and possibly final contract. If they can't land an SEC team most years, it will likely die. It's not run by ESPN or the local tourism bureau.

And if the Indy Bowl dies, there will be plenty of other bowls for the Mean Green if you become bowl eligible.

Edited by Dawg06
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Still the point is, after an 8 year bowl draught, you won't find any sympathy from this fan base, no matter what happened behind the scenes. Again, welcome to the site, but REALLY want to beat your asses this year. ;)

I'm not looking for sympathy. Just trying to tell a more accurate version of the story.

Hope many of y'all make the trip to Ruston this year for football. I know we are basketball travel partners so we will get to play each other home and away this year.

Looking forward to the rivalry. Cheers.

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Lol. No. La Tech is not the Indy Bowl's problem. The Indy Bowl has only their own mismanagement to blame.

The Indy Bowl has been grossly mismanaged for years and years.

La Tech saved the Indy Bowl in 2008. They had no title sponsor. Neither the SEC nor the Big 12 could fill their contracted tie-ins. La Tech had an invitation to play Rice in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium. Dooley turned down the Texas Bowl to play in the local bowl. Attendance was 42K (about 32K Tech fans, 8K locals, 2K NIU fans).

In addition to the 2008 season without a title sponsor. The Indy Bowl couldn't land a title sponsor in 2004 or 2005. They they finally signed on with Petro Sun as a title sponsor, but then Petro Sun went bankrupt and couldn't make their sponsorship payments to the Indy Bowl. The City of Shreveport ended up having to bail them out with taxpayer money under the table that was eventually discovered. That makes 4 years in the last decade without a title sponsor. You might be hard pressed to find a single bowl without a title sponsor this last decade, much less four years without one.

Because they didn't have a title sponsor in the last round of negotiations, they lost the SEC and Big 12 who had been tied in with them for over a decade.

On top of that, the Indy Bowl doesn't give you the full bowl experience. For their entertainment, they take the players to the bowling alley. They don't partner with the casinos to bring in shows or anything. They don't offer anything for fans like other bowls do.

Just a couple months ago, the Indy Bowl goes before a committee in the state legislature, and they basically got laughed at. Their Indy Bowl hotel tax got pulled for lack of support, and then they tried it again. Missy Setters was totally unprepared. She had no letters of support from local businesses, hotels, or civic leaders. Nothing. Never mentioned the economic impact. Just that Mack Brown (who's never been to the I-Bowl) said that Big 12 teams enjoyed coming to the I-Bowl. She also pleaded that they needed the tax to stay in business. The leadership is really bad.

Then add in that Shreveport-Bossier refuses to support anything local. Every minor league football, basketball, baseball, and hockey team in Shreveport-Bossier (even the successful teams) has either folded or moved. The Indy Bowl is the last thing that Shreveport has, and it may only be alive for the life of this next and possibly final contract. If they can't land an SEC team most years, it will likely die. It's not run by ESPN or the local tourism bureau.

And if the Indy Bowl dies, there will be plenty of other bowls for the Mean Green if you become bowl eligible.

Interesting information Dawg06. Thanks for sharing it with us,

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If refusing to play ULM in a bowl is all that is tainting Van De Velde's legacy he should apply for SMU. If he got to refuse to play North Texas in a bowl he'd get a lifetime contract.

That's not how it went down. Go back and read what ArkStFan and I posted. BVDV would have accepted the Indy Bowl invite against ULM if it was our last option. The problem was that after the Liberty/Heart of Dallas deal didn't work out, the Indy Bowl had already invited ULM and Ohio.

And it's not just the bowl fiasco that's tainting his legacy. He announced a football facility project over 3 years ago that still hasn't broken ground.

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That's not how it went down. Go back and read what ArkStFan and I posted. BVDV would have accepted the Indy Bowl invite against ULM if it was our last option. The problem was that after the Liberty/Heart of Dallas deal didn't work out, the Indy Bowl had already invited ULM and Ohio.

And it's not just the bowl fiasco that's tainting his legacy. He announced a football facility project over 3 years ago that still hasn't broken ground.

I think the issue is that BVDV decided to hold his cards versus calling the deck and the aftermath indicates that he didn't call all of his bets with the Davidsons et al.

This is an honest response... I do appreciate you helping us to understand what went down I really do. This is just one mans opinion.

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I think the issue is that BVDV decided to hold his cards versus calling the deck and the aftermath indicates that he didn't call all of his bets with the Davidsons et al.

This is an honest response... I do appreciate you helping us to understand what went down I really do. This is just one mans opinion.

I think the Davisons et al knew exactly what was going on and supported BVDV. (BTW we have another donor who gave $1 million for our new turf, and he said that if ULM ever set foot on it that he would roll it up and take it home.) I think the real problem was that BVDV had no leverage with the WAC in its final season and only one bowl tie-in in Boise, and the MAC commish did have leverage with the Indy Bowl by threatening to send them 6-6 Central Michigan. Then Ehrhart of the Liberty Bowl played Benson and Hurd/BVDV like fools. BVDV told Missy Setters that any team the Indy Bowl wanted would still be left for them on Sunday after all the other bowls made their picks. All of this hurt her feelings, and she caved to the pressure from Steinbrecher.

If the donors or university president really faulted BVDV for not getting us into a bowl game, I think BVDV would have been fired immediately. The president launched an investigation, and nothing ever came of it. I don't think he was forced to resign because of the bowl mess. The result of the bowl fiasco was that BVDV's reputation was ruined with all the rumors and speculation that went viral. Our end zone project is probably 2 years behind schedule. He completely lost the support of our fan base. We have a new president who just started this week. I think he saw that we needed a fresh start, and he wanted to bring in his guy from the start.

Edited by Dawg06
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I think the Davisons et al knew exactly what was going on and supported BVDV. (BTW we have another donor who gave $1 million for our new turf, and he said that if ULM ever set foot on it that he would roll it up and take it home.) I think the real problem was that BVDV had no leverage with the WAC in its final season and only one bowl tie-in in Boise, and the MAC commish did have leverage with the Indy Bowl by threatening to send them 6-6 Central Michigan. Then Ehrhart of the Liberty Bowl played Benson and Hurd/BVDV like fools. BVDV told Missy Setters that any team the Indy Bowl wanted would still be left for them on Sunday after all the other bowls made their picks. All of this hurt her feelings, and she caved to the pressure from Steinbrecher.

If the donors or university president really faulted BVDV for not getting us into a bowl game, I think BVDV would have been fired immediately. The president launched an investigation, and nothing ever came of it. I don't think he was forced to resign because of the bowl mess. The result of the bowl fiasco was that BVDV's reputation was ruined with all the rumors and speculation that went viral. Our end zone project is probably 2 years behind schedule. He completely lost the support of our fan base. We have a new president who just started this week. I think he saw that we needed a fresh start, and he wanted to bring in his guy from the start.

Fair enough. My understanding is that the Davidson's have been a big supporter of Tech for quite some time. And can I say that's a very good thing. I know first hand they have been in Tech's corner. So if you are saying they were on board that means a lot. I want to beat Tech probably more than any other team on our schedule next season, but I also respect the hell out of the program and admire what they have been able to accomplish. GMG

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Fair enough. My understanding is that the Davidson's have been a big supporter of Tech for quite some time. And can I say that's a very good thing. I know first hand they have been in Tech's corner. So if you are saying they were on board that means a lot. I want to beat Tech probably more than any other team on our schedule next season, but I also respect the hell out of the program and admire what they have been able to accomplish. GMG

I think Tech fans are most excited about playing Southern Miss, Rice, and North Texas. We look forward to playing y'all. And from what I understand, UNT will travel the band to Ruston. That will make for a great atmosphere.

I realize a lot of people hate La Tech because they think we are arrogant. That's fair I guess, but I call it pride. We are really just a small school in a small town with big aspirations. It's that attitude that got us into C-USA. The separation agenda started back in 1971 when La Tech (and USL) killed the Gulf States Conference despite the political pressure to keep the conference together. La Tech and USL left for the Southland seeking a conference with a more national platform. Then McNeese State and NLU later caught up to us in the Southland. Then we were kicked down to DI-AA due to our attendance while USL got to remain I-A. La Tech worked hard to get it back up and increase the stadium capacity to move back up to I-A. Gov. Edwin Edwards put pressure on us to stay in I-AA and told our president that we would fail if we moved up and face political ramifications. Our president did not cave, and then came the American South which later merged with the Sun Belt with football either independent or in the Big West. Thirty years after the separation campaign began, we were invited to the WAC with Rice, SMU, and Tulsa without any of the regional Louisiana schools, and we were told we would fail again and told we couldn't afford the travel. And now here we are in C-USA while all the other former Gulf States schools and regional schools (ULL, ULM, UNO, McNeese, NWST, SELA, Nicholls) are still in the Sun Belt or Southland. Our "arrogance" and taking risks have been the biggest driving forces behind our success. That's why I don't really have a problem with not going to a bowl last season. We were being true to who we are.

Edited by Dawg06
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I think Tech fans are most excited about playing Southern Miss, Rice, and North Texas. We look forward to playing y'all. And from what I understand, UNT will travel the band to Ruston. That will make for a great atmosphere.

I realize a lot of people hate La Tech because they think we are arrogant. That's fair I guess, but I call it pride. But we are really just a small school in a small town with big aspirations. It's that attitude that got us into C-USA. The separation agenda started back in 1971 when La Tech (and USL) killed the Gulf States Conference despite the political pressure to stay in the conference. La Tech and USL left for the Southland seeking a conference with a more national platform. Then McNeese State and NLU later caught up to us in the Southland. Then we were kicked down to DI-AA due to our attendance. La Tech worked hard to get it back up and increase the stadium capacity. Gov. Edwin Edwards put pressure on us to stay in I-AA and told our president that we would fail if we moved up and face political ramifications. Our president did not cave, and then came the American South which later merged with the Sun Belt. Thirty years after the separation campaign began, we were invited to the WAC with Rice, SMU, and Tulsa. And now here we are in C-USA will all the other former Gulf States schools (ULL, ULM, McNeese, NWST, SELA, Nicholls) still in the Sun Belt or Southland. Our "arrogance" and taking risks have been the biggest driving forces behind our success. That's why I don't really have a problem with not going to a bowl last season. We were being true to who we are.

I agree as most of us here do. We hate La. Tech for their perceived arrogant ways yet in the same breath we respect the hell out of them for making the most of their resources. They hold their head high,,,as many here aspire to. I TRULY believe the Tech rivalry could me more intense than any one we have in Texas...we are very similar in many ways...I am proud to be in a conference with Tech.

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