Weekend sports roundup: Home cookin’ for Ohio Volleyball and Football

There really is no place like home.

After a slow start to their respective seasons, Ohio Volleyball and Football found success at their home venues over the weekend.

Volleyball: Lake leads Ohio to back-to-back sweeps

Ohio Volleyball coach Deane Webb had seen his squad struggle through the first month of the season. The Bobcats lost eight of 12 games, but returned to form when they opened conference play on Friday.

Playing in front of their home crowd at the Convocation Center — a venue where they went 11-3 last season — the Bobcats swept the Akron Zips in straight sets on Friday night.

Photo: Ohio Athletics
Photo: Ohio Athletics

It was Ohio’s 12th straight victory over Akron.

With not much time to celebrate, Ohio kept the peddle down on the next night when the Buffalo Bulls came to town. Led by Ali Lake’s 13 kills, the Bobcats once again won in straight sets, 3-0.

Now in his third season as head coach, Webb has a conference record of 31-3.

What’s next?

Ohio (6-8, 2-0) takes to the road next weekend with matchups against Miami (OH) and Bowling Green.

Football: Cats cruise to first home win of 2016

Ohio Football returned to their Hocking Home on Saturday for the first time since their season-opening overtime loss to Texas State.

After battling no. 14 Tennessee to a nine-point loss in Knoxville one week earlier, Ohio put together their best game of the season in a 37-21 win over Gardner-Webb.

Ohio quarterbacks Greg Windham and Quinton Maxwell combined for 310 passing yards, three touchdowns and an overall passer rating of 91.9.

No matter who was slinging the pigskin on Saturday, wide receiver Sebastian Smith found himself making big plays.

Smith hauled in a pair of 17-yard scores; the first capped off Ohio’s 75-yard opening drive that gave them a 7-0 lead. The Bobcats jumped out to a 14-point lead later in the half when Smith beat his man for a second score.

Ohio managed just 2.9 yards per carry last week against Tennessee. On Saturday, however, the running game picked up with the Bobcats churning out 207 yards on 45 attempts. Bo Hardy, a safety-turned-running back, led Ohio’s ground attack with 65 yards on 15 carries and a one-yard scoring plunge that put the Bobcats up, 37-14, in the third quarter.

Around the MAC

  • Virginia 49, Central Michigan 35
  • Cincinnati 27, Miami (OH) 20
  • Western Illinois 28, Northern Illinois 23
  • Appalachian State 45, Akron 31
  • Ball State 31, Florida Atlantic 27
  • Buffalo 23, Army 20 (OT)
  • Western Michigan 49, Georgia Southern 31
  • Memphis 77, Bowling Green 3

What’s next?

Ohio (2-2) sits atop the MAC East in a tie with Akron. The Bobcats head to Oxford to take on rival Miami (OH) next Saturday at Fred C. Yager Stadium.

The Bobcats have won three straight against the Redhawks, including a 31-point victory in Athens last season.

NFL: Not kind to Ohio University students

The majority of students at Ohio University are fans of the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The three closest professional football teams did not give Ohio University students much to cheer about over the weekend.

Cincinnati lost at home to Denver, Cleveland fell in overtime to Miami, and the Steelers were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles.

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend in OU athletics: Winning and losing, standing up and cheering

It was a tragic week for sports fans this weekend with the loss of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and golf legend Arnold Palmer. But at least for Ohio Bobcats fans, they had some reasons to stand up and cheer.

Football 

Ohio defeated Gardner-Webb, 37-21. 

Volleyball: 

Ohio swept both Akron and Buffalo this weekend. 

  • Ohio kicked off their conference schedule with great serving, including 13 aces. (WOUB) 
  • Ohio also honored last season’s championship team by unveiling their championship banner

Soccer: 

Ohio lost to Toledo, 2-1. 

 

Peden Stadium is old, crumbling and my favorite place on campus.

Peden Stadium is not the prettiest site on campus by any means.

Aesthetically, it’s underwhelming. Inside, it’s quite barren. And on the outside, it’s literally falling apart.

With all of it’s apparent faults, Peden is still my favorite place on campus. But, let me explain why.

There’s no better welcome to OU than seeing Peden Stadium from Route 50.

It is about a six-hour drive for me from my hometown of Baltimore to Athens. The road trip is long and boring. The drive through West Virginia takes up about three-quarters of my trip and it’s scenery isn’t very visually pleasing.

But, when I make that turn onto Richland Avenue and see ‘OHIO UNIVERSITY’ plastered on the side of Peden, it makes it all worth it.

With its brick facade foreshadowing the rest of Athens architecture, Peden is a sneak peak of how beautiful Athens and OU really is.

How could you not fall in love with the first building you saw at Ohio?

Saturday afternoons at the Peden are the best.

Ohio’s football will never be national champions. They are historically a below-average program and only as of late have become contenders in their conference.

2Unlike that fancy schmancy program in Columbus, we’ll not regularly on ESPN, we’re not regular national title contenders and we won’t pack 100,000 fans inside of our stadiums on Saturday afternoons.

But, spending a Saturday at Peden is one of the best uses of your time at Ohio.

Weather in Athens is usually incredible, so getting outside and watching some college football on a sunny afternoon is a great past time for all students at OU.

Peden is a tradition like none other.

If you come from a long line of Bobcats, it’s likely your great grandparents, your grandparents and your parents all visited Peden during their four (or five) years in Athens.

Built in 1929, Peden is one of the oldest college football stadiums in the nation.

Though it certainly has shown its age, Peden still has the charm that’s kept it operating for over 87 years. Sure, it may not be high-tech, but you have to feel a little bit of nostalgia knowing that generations of Bobcats have sat in your same exact seat.

I know I feel a piece of OU history when I sit in Peden, and I hope it stays that way for another 87 years.

A Field of Dreams: Peden Stadium

When I first came to Ohio University in 2008, I was just taking a weekend trip with my family to visit my parent’s alma mater for the first time. The brick roads, the smell of the Burrito Buggy, the exhausting hills, the trees. Everything in Athens to me was picture perfect.

But then I stepped foot inside a football stadium, but this was not just a football field with some bleachers. This football stadium had a spirit like I have never seen at any sporting venue. There was a hill that stretched behind one of the endzones, there was a view of the rolling hills just over the Hocking River, but there also was history written since 1929 stored inside every brick.

My first trip to OU in 2008 included my first trip to Peden Stadium.
My first trip to OU in 2008 included my first trip to Peden Stadium.

This was Peden Stadium.

I stepped foot on the field (though I was not supposed to), and felt a chill down my spine. If that chill was the spirit of Athens hitting me like a ton of bricks or just a cool breeze I will never know. But I realized at that moment that I too will become a Bobcat, just like my parents were 20 years earlier.

This may be considered the moment when I realized that I would become a Bobcat,
This may be considered the moment when I realized that I would become a Bobcat.

Fast forward five years, and it was my first week on campus as a student at Ohio University. I was overwhelmed by all the activity on campus, and I had a hard time becoming friends with my roommate. I decided to go to a football game with my learning community to celebrate my first week surviving college. Was it awkward? At first, yes, but as the night went on I bonded with my new friends about football, art, Billy Joel, Stephen Colbert and Big Mamma’s. By the end of the night, we all decided to go to games on a weekly basis and maybe hang out a time or two at James Hall.

 

This was during my first OU football game, where I met most of my best friends that I've kept at OU.
This was during my first OU football game, where I met most of my best friends that I’ve kept at OU.

Today, two of those guys are my roommates in our apartment on Court Street, and a few others from that night are still some of my best friends.

I still go to games on a weekly basis, even if it means sitting in freezing temperatures just to get a two-second cameo on ESPN. I have sang the national anthem with the Singing Men of Ohio on homecoming, and watched my friends play with the Marching 110. Every week in the fall is a new chance to make another memory at Peden Stadium.

I don’t love Peden because our football team plays well enough to go to a bowl game or because the Marching 110 is the most exciting band in the land when they play halftime (which is true). I love Peden because I felt that chill almost eight years ago to join OU, and because I met some people that would change my life all inside the brick walls of Peden Stadium.

Once I graduate from OU, I hope I can go back on the field and feel that chill one more time.

A breakdown of OU athletic spending

In a day and age where student loan debt has risen substantially, it’s important to know what your thousands of dollars are going towards in the university.

Dr. Steve Hays, an associate professor in the Classics & World Religions department here at OU, conducted research for a committee in faculty senate during the 2014-2015 school year. With a diverse set of opinions on the subject of athletic spending, they were given a task to bring pros and cons to the table. Hays took it upon himself to publish the findings on his own website, which is a breakdown of OU athletic spending.

In the chart below, the first column shows how much money Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) generates on its own. The second column is OU generated money that goes to ICA.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 6.34.11 PM

A portion of the general fee every student pays (approx. $628 per semester) in their tuition is for ICA Operations, which equaled $9.3 million. The indirect costs and scholarships are not in the general fee, but the university’s General Fund, which is tuition and state support of instruction revenue. To maintain the facilities that the athletics department uses (i.e. custodial services, facilities management, utilities, etc.) it is calculated that it cost the university $3.7 million over the period of a year. ICA does not make enough money to run its program, so $20.3 million of the $25 million in the span of a year comes directly from tuition and state sponsored funding. ICA’s $4.7 million revenue comes from ticket sales, NCAA payments, sponsorships, etc.

So what’s this all about? Why spend so much money with no profit? https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/7909367630/in/photolist-d3Vzrq-f3wdtB-f3LnGN-f3wdCF-f3wdM8-f3Lq27-f3w8ZF-f3LqEs-f3w984-f3LqVj-f3w9zz-f3LkJq-f3wbAe-d3Vzcu-f3w4nB-f3w4fe-JkwBD-f3whLt-f3LuFw-f3whp2-f3w8Uz-f3LuRW-f3wgq4-f3Ljky-f3wi1e-f3w7wp-f3Lkjf-f3LuAN-f3w4zB-f3LkuL-f3LgpA-f3w9vp-f3Lke5-f3wcoZ-f3w8Dx-f3LjJs-oz4jPe-oziJgY-ohR7me-oxiEgQ-ohQgLS-ohQGes-oxikBf-oziHcU-oB5VCR-ohQArr-ozimJQ-oz4J8P-dByeL2-6DS9N7

The overall cost of the athletics program is 3% of the university’s budget. The budget in 2015 was $709.2 million.

OU athletics helps with advertising the university. When an OU football game is shown on ESPN, it is a way for the audience to become more acquainted with the university. Ultimately helping with grabbing potential future students.

Donors and alumni are a key element of fundraising. Athletics is also said to be a key element of fundraising. The discussion on this position is controversial, since the athletic donations from alumni and others are included in the $4.7 million revenue that ICA obtained in the 2014-2015 school year. Read more here for the various pros and cons discussion.

The ICA scholarships give students the chance to attend a university that due to financial reasons, they might not be able to attend without. The chart below breaks down scholarships for the school, athletic and non-athletic. Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 7.00.14 PM

There is a discussion on this topic as well. An average of almost $19,000 for each athletic scholarship is given to 357 students. An average of $3300 is given to 8,908 non-athletic students.

This has been a hot topic since the spending and focus has shifted more towards athletics, a New York Times article  gives a glimpse of what campuses around the country have been doing. The American Institutes for Research did an important study in 2013 comparing academic spending to athletic spending at universities.

Check out the OU Dialogue website to become more educated on the topic of university spending.

What do yOU think? Are OU sports worth the money we are giving them?