Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Brown Factor

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As tough as Brown will be as a final opponent, (and final chance to avoid the first 0-10 season at CU since 1987), Columbia's recent history against the Bears has been encouraging, as long as the game is played on Kraft Field.

In 2007, Columbia went 1-9 and 0-7 in the Ivies. But the Lions played perhaps their best game overall against a rising Brown team at Wien Stadium. The 30-22 loss came after a furious comeback by Columbia fell just short.

In 2009, the Lions played their best game in many years as they beat the high-flying Bears 28-14. That was the game where then-freshman QB Sean Brackett ran for 171 yards and threw for 151 more.

Going a little further back, the 1998 game at Wien Stadium was another surprising game as Brown came in with a super high powered offense and a chance to win the Ivy title.

But the game turned into a defensive battle that the Bears won 10-3 after a late fourth down pass by CU was intercepted in the end zone.

In all three games, Columbia came in as a prohibitive underdog.

Senior Tributes (continued)

David Chao

Chao has been one of the hardest workers on this Lions team the last four years. The Illinois product has some of the best fundamentals of any running back we've seen in a long while. Definitely has some fans who read this site who would have loved to see him get more carries or start a game or two.

Owen Fraser

Lion fans are hoping he decides to take a fifth year, but even if he doesn't, Fraser has been a major contributor as long as he's been on the field. Of course his best year was his freshman season when he was named a 2nd Team All Ivy. Incredibly fast for a defensive lineman, one can only imagine what kind of impact Fraser would have had if he had not been injured in that fateful 2009 season opener at Fordham.

Chris Groth

The Michigan native Groth made his biggest impact in his sophomore year of 2009, but he was good enough to get decent playing time as a freshman as well. He has continued to be that "big body" the team desperately needs on the D-line.

Ryan Haslett

It's been especially gratifying to see this DB/LB from New Jersey finally get some real varsity playing time this season. It's been even better seeing him get 16 tackles, one of them for a loss. If ever there was proof that patience is a virtue, Haslett is it. I think Ryan will be one of those graduates we hear a lot from in the future.

Bob Hauschildt

The co-captian Hauschildt has excelled in the classroom and on the field for four years. When healthy, he and Jeff Adams created a wall on that left side of the O-line to make their mutual home state of Illinois proud! Considered by many to be the smartest player on the team. (Psst... Morgan Stanley: hire this guy NOW!)


At Wed Nov 16, 02:09:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Graduating senior, Bob Hauschildt, and junior quarterback, Sean Brackett, are the logical choices to serve as the student members of any football coach search committee that might be organized

At Wed Nov 16, 02:49:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect there really shouldn't be a search committee and having players part of the process is a mistake. The AD (like her or not) should be the only one conducting a search. She can definitely take input from others (Kraft, Campbell, etc.), but, it really needs to be her decision. I can't think of any major school that looks for coaches by a committee or with the athletes choosing. That is the Ad’s job period. Stanford, Michigan, Minnesota, Tulsa, West Virginia and so on. I am pretty sure none of those new coaches were chosen by “committee”.

I think this committee stuff is wishful thinking and not realistic. It is definitely unprofessional. If it does happen it just makes the school look like a Mickey Mouse entity which I am sure the money people don’t want.

I am guessing if they are smart you will not hear much if anything until a new coach is hired. That is the sign of a professional organization.

At Wed Nov 16, 09:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If indeed CU will retain Norries, then everyone should be advised (Norries, Staff, Alums) immediately. We just need time to plan protests accordingly.

At Wed Nov 16, 11:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marcellus Wiley on Millionaire Matchmaker/Bravo

At Wed Nov 16, 09:46:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing no one is addressing, if the coaches do stay, expect many kids to quit. we already lose so many to quitting every year (6 freshmen last year) and when the players lose all trust in their coaches, more are bound to quit

At Wed Nov 16, 10:02:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the admininstration knew how many will quit then maybe they will get serious about finding a well known coach, with credentials! What a shame that these kids are basting their decision on whether or not the current staff stays or goes. If they stay, recruiting is going to be"SLIM PICKENS"!

At Wed Nov 16, 10:04:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed... if they keep Norries it's a giant "F. YOU!" from Dianne and Bill to ALL the players and the fans.

At Wed Nov 16, 10:24:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Memo to the Columbia ath dept: stop trying to please yourselves, your cronie, and politically correct morons. We the donors to athletics and the people who actually buy the tickets and come to the games, and the players who actually work their butts off to play here and go to classes, want Norries and Vinnie OUT! Do it right away. Don't even THINK you'll get away without a very terrible backlash if you even try to retain these guys.

At Wed Nov 16, 10:49:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Leon L. said...

In the past, selection has been by committee with the AD chairing ex officio. They reduce the poolmto a handful, and conduct interviews, then make a decision. That doesn't mean this structure would be used currently, however.

6:46, I hate to say it but your post is an exemplar of some of the ignorance about the football program and Wilson that has been exhibited here. In fact, attrition is at an all time low for CU's football team. It has been a major problem for decades, and one of Wilson's first initiatives was to address it. He solved the problem, so well in fact that the roster has exceeded the number the NCAA allows a school to take to preseason camp., and the program has had several successive years of full JV schedules for the first time since freshman football ended. Don't deny the man credit where it's his due.
I don't know how much of the anticipation of attrition here is personal projection and how much may actually occur after this season, a tough one for players and coaches alike. We'll have to wait to see about that.
And to the others, let's not be childish. If Wilson is retained, it won't be an "f*** you" to anyone. It would be a sign that some people with real expertise in football and sports administration believe this season was an aberration and recognize the significant change under Wilson from doormat to fairly consistent competitiveness within the league, despite this year's losses. That's a necessary step on the path to consistent winning. Think about the basketball program. Jones revived it after the Hill debacle, but he couldn't get beyond competitiveness. Therefore he was forced out.
The question with NW is whether he can take that next step at CU. If he's is back, the seat will be very hot and and he will have to show that this season is not indicative of where he and the prpgram are. That will require wins next year for his contract to be renewed. Protests under the circumstances would just undermine next year's team.

Then again, the university could find this season is not an aberration, and instead indicative of a sustained problem. I would hope that decision will be based on fact and conjecture. Then Wilson will be gone. Or he may decide himself to go in to greener pastures. We'll know shortly.

Remember, part of the problem with losing cultures is reacting counterproductively to adversity because of past, repeated experience, the " here we go again" syndrome. It affects players and can affect coaches, and the pathology ihas been on display on the field this season and on this board. Let's hope the administration is unaffected and will make a good, rational decision about how to proceed, whichever way it goes.

At Wed Nov 16, 11:04:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Leon L. said...

From today's Spec:

Athletics bans marching band from football finale
By Trevor Cohen | Nov 16 02:11 am ET
The Columbia marching band crossed the line with its parody of "Roar, Lion, Roar" after the football team's loss at Cornell. As a result, the band is banned from Saturday's game versus Brown.

At Wed Nov 16, 11:20:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this talk about quitting is dubious. Coach Wilson has one of the best player retention rates in the Ivy league: 24 Seniors in 2011/2012, 26 seniors in 2010/2011 and 26 seniors in 2009/2010.

My son was a multiple year starter for Coach Wilson. The inside opinion of the players and their parents was that the players liked Coach Wilson and felt that Coach Marino was a cancer on the program. Marino's flaws are too many to discuss here(spirit killing attitude, negativity, and play calling ability top the list).

I believe that Caoch Wilson's decision to keep Coach Marino cost CU at least 3 wins per year in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

If Coach Wilson is allowed to stay, it must be conditioned upon the firing of Coach Marino. Based upon my knowledge of the program and the powers that be, my guess is that Coach Wilson will be given another year sans Marino.

At Wed Nov 16, 11:38:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, blaming it all on Marino is naïve. Norries is the HEAD coach! Believe me, he KNOWS and has always known what Marino has done. This is Norries' responsibility. And I don't think Norries will stay without Marino. I mean, if he hasn't dumped him by now, when will he?

On attrition, I think everyone here has mostly given Norries his due on that BUT there have been some high profile losses like tight end Chris Mooney, freshman defensive tackle Michael Pogue, who quit on day one, wide receiver Christian Daniel also quit on day one. And it will definitely get worse if Norries stays.

At Thu Nov 17, 12:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think you can blame the coach for a player quitting on day one. Using football (or any sport) to help you through the admissions process is unfortunately common in the League. Understanding that you are going to have to work hard and be committed every day must be too much for some to handle. To paraphrase one of the listed players for's only Ivy league football. We thought it would be like intramurals.
That is NOT the player we want wearing the Columbia uniform

At Thu Nov 17, 12:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The coach DOES have to be blamed for poorly vetting a recruit who is not going to last even a day.

At Thu Nov 17, 12:24:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Leon, 8:04 post,thankyou that is music to me ears (pun intended). I have always thought the band was a disrespecrful bunch.Not watching their antics on saturday will not bother me a bit.Hopefully they will change some of this craziness,take some pride in the fact that they are on the field representing one of the best schools in the country, and clean up their act!

I would also like to address the NW issue, my son who is presently on the team and who really wants to continue playing, has lost respect for all but 2 of the coaches. The DC and the OC are not the 2 coaches of whom I speak. He as well as many of the players do not want to play for either of them.NW has got to know how these kids feel, and he as head coach should have seen this coming and acted accordingly. Please don't tell me that he is oblivious to what goes on and how the moral has changed on this team.I don't mean him any disrespect, but he has lost the confidence and respect of his players because of the situation.

At Thu Nov 17, 12:30:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 8:20 poster: I quote "spirit killing attitude" you couldn't have summed it up better. But not because of V. Marino only.

At Thu Nov 17, 01:03:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NW is 1-13 in games decided by a touchdown or less since 2008. What's so frustrating about football is that NW improved the program but didn't win many games. Even this year, we've lost five of nine by single digit points, and we were tied or ahead at halftime of several games. This team isn't as talented as '09 or '10, but it's a 3-7 or 2-8 team, not an 0-10team.

I believe NW must go -- he cannot recruit off of 0-10 in his sixth year and I imagine he knows that. But I'd also say that if the guy had just won a couple of close games -- Yale in 09, homecoming last year, Penn and Fordham this year, he'd have job security.

At Thu Nov 17, 01:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Leon L. said...

A bit of context from the Hartford Courant:

"[Norres] Wilson was part of Randy Edsall's first UConn staff in 1999, working with the offensive line. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2002. In his second season, the Huskies averaged 477.5 yards a game, eighth in the nation. He was offered the head coaching job at UMass after the 2003 season."

NW turned down the UMass job largely out of loyalty to his players, and HC jobs are aways hard to come by, especially for black assistant coaches. So loyalty is important to him (and may be why he stayed with Bell so long in the Dartmouth game - a senior who deserved a chance). We'll see what happens with Marino. Remember, sometimes you learn alot from professors you don't like. Can be the same with coaches. But I'd be surprised if NW stays without some coaching changes.

At Thu Nov 17, 01:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A further point on NW: we've led at halftime once this year, were tied four times and were behind by three points twice. So 7 of 9 games were close at the half. The fact that they couldn't put a single opponent away tells this longtime fan that something is wrong with the game coaching. When CU went 0-10 in the 1980s, most games were over at halftime and it was obviously a talent problem. We're not 0-10 this year because of talent.

At Thu Nov 17, 04:02:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is also a player on this team. Respect for the coaches is the real issue not necessarily the losses. Obviously that is a factor as well. I don't know what has happened over these past 6 NW years but there comes a point where enough is enough. These are all bright boys. They didn't come here to be mentally beaten down 6 days a week. Their futures are too bright. Don't be assuming that the attrition rate will remain as it's been. The younger players have had it. Maybe there was a senior allegiance for those that started with NW but these youger boys have seen the worst. If NW really doesn't realize what has happened between the boys and the assistant coaches than he is blind or just choses to ignore it. It's really hard to hear how unhappy your son is day and day out. They are studying their butts off, we are working our butts off to keep them there. Why would I push for another year of the same? Much will weigh on this decision but nothing more than who the administration decides he will have to report to next year. This is not about liking NW or not. This is about what's right for the program. We need a leader but someone that is also an advocate for these boys. Someone that comes in with eyes wide open and can see the big picture. I think 6 years has been enough time to figure that out.

At Thu Nov 17, 05:04:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Leon L. said...

Thanks for posting, parents. Am I wrong ion understanding that the primary issue is with certain assistants, and not directly with NW himself? Or is there something he's doing that is independent of his staff choices and the results this year?
Do you think a change in OC would satisfy the affected players? Is there an issue as serious with the DC or other coaches?
And, finally, can you give us any details about the issues with the coaches without revealing identifying info about your sons or violating confidences?
It must be terribly rough on the players to go through an 0-9. Each one is at CU because he is accomplished and has shown himself to have been a winner. The same is true for the coaches. If all of them were not feeling angry, frustrated and demoralized about the season, then we'd have an even bigger problem. Winners hate to lose.
Thanks so much for posting. We're all curious and concerned about what is happening on the ground here, and we all want to make it right.

At Thu Nov 17, 05:17:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These complaints about Marino and other assistants are nothing new, what is new is that the team is 0-9 and people think MW might be fired. So parents are PUBLICLY voicing concerns that have always been there.

Prior to this year, most parents have held their opinions to themselves because they didn't want to hurt their son's football program and the team's recruiting. Also, Jake would not publish such inside complaints for the same reasons. Jake has been hearing these same complaints for six years. NW might go, so it's let it all hang out time.

Truth is, if the team was 6-3, you wouldn't be hearing about any of this inside stuff even though the same problems have been there all along and would still be there.

Despite all this behind the scenes drama, the retention rate has been excellent every year. Even with all the crap, my son loved playing CU fooball, his teammates and his position coach.

Wilson dramatically increased the talent level of the team especially in 2008,2009 and 2010. Those were teams with 8-2 or 7-3 talent. A few bad breaks, a bad OC and a policy of wearing the players out in pracice made those teams fall short. Coach Wilson has a few blind spots that have held the program back: Coach Marino, over practicing (dead legs and injuries) and no strenght in the strenght & conditioning program. If you fix those problems, the team will start winning big and all the other drama will subside.

Is Coach Wilson capable of doing these things? I don't know, but I wouldn't bet against him being given one more year to try.

At Thu Nov 17, 05:31:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with NW Leon, is that he has let all of these complaints that we are expressing continue.He has SEEN and HEARD first hand what goes on at practice. Please look back on many of the posts from parents, what their sons have expressed. How practices are run,pretty much how their sons cannot wait for the season to be over. Please re-read all those posts, you will get your answer. NW has witnessed it all and let it continue.The head DC coach is no picnic either.

At Thu Nov 17, 02:54:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To say the player will walk away from the team if WIson remain is nuts. To lost six freshmen at this level is nothing new. Some just can't take it some for Playing time some just don't want to really play. Mooney didn't want to play, Chances are Wilson will be replaced but to put the reason it snowed last month in New York let's keep it real.

At Thu Nov 17, 08:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Bill Flick '87 said...

So many thoughts after reading this:

A, I believe we had about 50 freshman players when I arrived in 1983 and I would guess that about 5 kids quit before the end of the first week.

My senior year I believe we showed up at camp with 10 seniors, give or take. Now that is attrition.

B. The losing is what makes the coaches yelling and berating harder. I doubt many players love Bagnoli, and I bet there are more than a few kids every year who say they are getting screwed by him and his staff and they aren't getting the chance to play. But they respect him and sound foolish complaining too much because he has a winning program.... Obviously things are different when you are looking at a losing program but the stuff a lot of the parents complain about are more indicative of college level football than anything else.

C. Leon, you make great points and you are level headed about this whole situation, I respect nearly everything you have posted the past few weeks. Thank you

D. To the parents who are beginning to open up more about the what is going on, thank you. I have heard that the kids largely like Norries but have issues with the coordinators also.

E. For all we know the decision has already been made but if it hasn't, no school is going to fire a coach solely because a bunch of the players threaten to quit. Diane needs to determine if Norries' competence to be the head coach is still there. I think I agree that if Norries remains loyal to his coordinators he should go because that would show he is unable to make the right decision.

F. I agree that putting players on a selection committee is questionable. Among other things, doesn't that compromise both those individuals and the coach who gets hired moving forward?

G. Blaming the coach for poorly vetting a recruits' intentions is ludicrous. EVERY Ivy program deals with attrition freshman year and beyond.

H. The parka episode still bugs me, what incompetence! I don't know who is to blame but based on my experience I would blame lack of school support for that. or instance, the only CU gear they issued to us in the 80's were grey cotton shorts and CU blue cotton t shirts - and nothing had a logo on it. We had no sweats, we had no jackets, hats, parkas, etc. Every other Ivy had all that stuff. I remember playing Princeton and Penn and seeing they had their logo on their footballs but we did not.

H. The state of the program, win-less this year or not, is much much better than it was 25 years ago. Regardless if he stays or not, Norries has gotten this program much further along than anyone before him. We are closer to being a contender now than we ever were. We seem so much more like a real program today.

I. If Norries is out, the next coach might surprise very quickly. If Norries gets another year, he might surprise us, too.


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