Adams column on Lady Vol accessibility

#1

lvocd

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#1
Why Kellie Harper should make Lady Vols basketball more accessible

It's easy to agree with him on this. The "no fans/media allowed at Lady Vol practice" policy was another bad idea from Hart. The open practice policy had been one of the best things about being a faraway Lady Vol fan who might be passing through Knoxville during the season. Just swing by the office and see if it's okay if you can quietly observe. Of course, the seating situation is not the same at Pratt as it is at TBA, but there's still room to set up a few folding chairs for a few guests if they wanted to accommodate some.
 
#2

Smallvol#1

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#2
Why Kellie Harper should make Lady Vols basketball more accessible

It's easy to agree with him on this. The "no fans/media allowed at Lady Vol practice" policy was another bad idea from Hart. The open practice policy had been one of the best things about being a faraway Lady Vol fan who might be passing through Knoxville during the season. Just swing by the office and see if it's okay if you can quietly observe. Of course, the seating situation is not the same at Pratt as it is at TBA, but there's still room to set up a few folding chairs for a few guests if they wanted to accommodate some.

hart did a lot to hurt the LVs; my personal opinion is it was done intentionally. Removing all possible player/coach/fan interaction did not help Holly either. If you can meet Holly, listen to her, get to know her....not saying any of that would have helped her situation, but it could have lessened the vitriol we hear again and again, and which serves no positive purpose. They can tell in seconds who holds season tickets, donates, etc., so I’m not saying just throw practices wide open to the general public, but there are times (not all practices) which could be opened, control the maximum number allowed to watch, that sort of thing. And if you don’t behave, you get banned (how long would gule last @T_Vol376? Would he be on good behavior? Wifey and MIL might have to chaperone 😍.). But I think ties (controlled) between players and fans are nice. Now that said, with NCAA rules, insurance, etc., it just might not be possible anymore. But it was nice when they did it.🍊
 
#4
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#4
As an old timer I frequently watched practice (quietly) usually in conversation with Dan Flesor (who now writes for Chattanoogan.com). We talked recruiting and progress of players and as the article stated this fan was included in many conversations with PHS. And I learned, then and now, that many recruiting decisions were made by one of the parents. It is telling when I realize how those young women have aged since that time. For those of you in many younger generations than myself, I am honored at the enjoyment the LVs have provided me. My fame was in the annual pictures in each LV basketball media document as I was a active cheerer who just happened to sit directly behind the bench. To be factual the picture was of PHS and players - I was just a stand-in. I am honored at the enjoyment the LVs have provided me as a fan.
 
#5

Smallvol#1

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#5
As an old timer I frequently watched practice (quietly) usually in conversation with Dan Flesor (who now writes for Chattanoogan.com). We talked recruiting and progress of players and as the article stated this fan was included in many conversations with PHS. And I learned, then and now, that many recruiting decisions were made by one of the parents. It is telling when I realize how those young women have aged since that time. For those of you in many younger generations than myself, I am honored at the enjoyment the LVs have provided me. My fame was in the annual pictures in each LV basketball media document as I was a active cheerer who just happened to sit directly behind the bench. To be factual the picture was of PHS and players - I was just a stand-in. I am honored at the enjoyment the LVs have provided me as a fan.
Did you know Hugh and Louise, Clyde and Margaret, Grady and Bettye?
 
#6

savannahfan

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#6
As an old timer I frequently watched practice (quietly) usually in conversation with Dan Flesor (who now writes for Chattanoogan.com). We talked recruiting and progress of players and as the article stated this fan was included in many conversations with PHS. And I learned, then and now, that many recruiting decisions were made by one of the parents. It is telling when I realize how those young women have aged since that time. For those of you in many younger generations than myself, I am honored at the enjoyment the LVs have provided me. My fame was in the annual pictures in each LV basketball media document as I was a active cheerer who just happened to sit directly behind the bench. To be factual the picture was of PHS and players - I was just a stand-in. I am honored at the enjoyment the LVs have provided me as a fan.
Stillvf
I wonder how you have felt over the last few years? Frustration is not what I am looking for. I'm sure that has been there. But more in-depth reactions are what I am asking about. I"m sure you can provide insight objectivity without "knee jerk" commentary. Would love to read a summary from someone as close to the program us you have obviously been.
 
#8

CincyLadyVol

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#8
Why Kellie Harper should make Lady Vols basketball more accessible

It's easy to agree with him on this. The "no fans/media allowed at Lady Vol practice" policy was another bad idea from Hart. The open practice policy had been one of the best things about being a faraway Lady Vol fan who might be passing through Knoxville during the season. Just swing by the office and see if it's okay if you can quietly observe. Of course, the seating situation is not the same at Pratt as it is at TBA, but there's still room to set up a few folding chairs for a few guests if they wanted to accommodate some.

This is a good topic to bring up. Eventually, the older generation of Lady Vols fans will be gone and the program needs new ones to keep the fanbase going.

I do hope Kellie has plans to interact more with the folks in the stands. I also hope the atmosphere at the games loosens up and becomes friendlier.

One of the reasons I stopped going to the games was the strict and rigid way administration and arena security treated fans after Pat stepped down, especially when the logo issue was in full swing.

I had someone come and sit in the seat next to me at one of the games and accuse me of videotaping the action. Not even close to being true and I was highly offended. I hope things like that are no longer going on!

I
 
#9

Spook1

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#9
If they did open up practices for some I would still keep John Adam's away from them.
John Adams has never been a "true" Tennessee promoter. He is noted for waiting until some is down, them kicks them strongly. Why the News Sentinel keeps this "jerk" is not understandable. If enough UT supporters that are big time advertisers in the NS would ban together and refused to advertise until Adams was sent elsewhere, it could be done. It is a disgrace that he is termed Sports Editor in the position held by the greats like Tom Siler and Marvin West.
 
#10

madtownvol

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#10
This is a good topic to bring up. Eventually, the older generation of Lady Vols fans will be gone and the program needs new ones to keep the fanbase going.

I do hope Kellie has plans to interact more with the folks in the stands. I also hope the atmosphere at the games loosens up and becomes friendlier.

One of the reasons I stopped going to the games was the strict and rigid way administration and arena security treated fans after Pat stepped down, especially when the logo issue was in full swing.

I had someone come and sit in the seat next to me at one of the games and accuse me of videotaping the action. Not even close to being true and I was highly offended. I hope things like that are no longer going on!

I
Some of these problems may be due to UTAD policies that coach KJH can't tackle per se. But, I am confident that she knows how to engage a fan base and promote the program in a manner like Dawn Staley who has made women's b-ball a big draw at USC.

It seemed like Holly was more of an introvert who was most comfortable being out of the limelight (which is not a great trait for a HC who is also a marketer of the program). You can tell that Kellie embraces that role.

I expect the LVs to become much more fan friendly under KJH.
 
#11

FlyFishnVol

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#11
Why Kellie Harper should make Lady Vols basketball more accessible

It's easy to agree with him on this. The "no fans/media allowed at Lady Vol practice" policy was another bad idea from Hart. The open practice policy had been one of the best things about being a faraway Lady Vol fan who might be passing through Knoxville during the season. Just swing by the office and see if it's okay if you can quietly observe. Of course, the seating situation is not the same at Pratt as it is at TBA, but there's still room to set up a few folding chairs for a few guests if they wanted to accommodate

Butt hurt John, who cares what he thinks?
 
#12
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#12
Some of these problems may be due to UTAD policies that coach KJH can't tackle per se. But, I am confident that she knows how to engage a fan base and promote the program in a manner like Dawn Staley who has made women's b-ball a big draw at USC.

It seemed like Holly was more of an introvert who was most comfortable being out of the limelight (which is not a great trait for a HC who is also a marketer of the program). You can tell that Kellie embraces that role.

I expect the LVs to become much more fan friendly under KJH.
And one reason that Dawn has been so successful in recruiting the most active fan base as far as attendance is concerned is that she came directly to Pat and asked her how she could recruit fans to a program that virtually had no support whatsoever. She listened to Pat and it is amazing how successful she has been in recruiting fans. I interacted with some SC fans several years ago at the SEC tournament. They told me that they had never followed women's basketball until Dawn came along and recruited them. Now they follow the team everywhere.

I do not believe that Holly did enough to get new fans. As a season ticket holder, I was so sad to see so many empty seats in prime seating areas. Had I been the AD, I would have given tickets away to as many students as I could--from elementary to high school kids. They would have paid for concessions but those young people could have become fans. Instead, empty seats abounded.

I hope that Kellie does not assume that fans will come back just because there is a new coach. She needs to do exactly as Dawn did--go to Rotary Clubs, etc., give out free tickets to kids, etc. It would also help to have a much more competitive schedule, and, of course, win!!
 
#13

Smallvol#1

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#13
And one reason that Dawn has been so successful in recruiting the most active fan base as far as attendance is concerned is that she came directly to Pat and asked her how she could recruit fans to a program that virtually had no support whatsoever. She listened to Pat and it is amazing how successful she has been in recruiting fans. I interacted with some SC fans several years ago at the SEC tournament. They told me that they had never followed women's basketball until Dawn came along and recruited them. Now they follow the team everywhere.

I do not believe that Holly did enough to get new fans. As a season ticket holder, I was so sad to see so many empty seats in prime seating areas. Had I been the AD, I would have given tickets away to as many students as I could--from elementary to high school kids. They would have paid for concessions but those young people could have become fans. Instead, empty seats abounded.

I hope that Kellie does not assume that fans will come back just because there is a new coach. She needs to do exactly as Dawn did--go to Rotary Clubs, etc., give out free tickets to kids, etc. It would also help to have a much more competitive schedule, and, of course, win!!
Deerpark et al may have better info, but, iimu, in the recent past, the UTAD did not want to “cheapen” the product by selling low cost tickets. During Pat’s time there were a lot of fill the seats ideas, low cost tickets for young family days, etc. That was determined to be cheapening the product and stopped. Also, again iimu, that the concession rights were sold, that UT does not make additional money no matter how many concessions bought, so that is not a driver for UT to get people to attend. The coup de grace is cost. UT has a very high “donation” and much higher ticket costs than other schools making attendance prohibitively expensive for young families, teams, etc. to attend. A couple of years ago I compared UT vs USC costs and there was a huge difference, both in donations required and cost of tickets. Since then USCWBB has become highly successful and much more popular so those differences may not be as great.

I too hate to see TBA with so many empty seats. However, I never saw an effort made by either the AD or by Holly to address the issues of attendance. With the team falling so short of expectations, attendance was going to take a hit; the AD policy actually made the hit worse. I am not sure how much Holly was held back by the AD and how much she is just uncomfortable in public. Either way she never really achieved that connection with the fan base. Of course every coach can’t be a Pat or a Bruce going to the student center, buying pizzas, etc., but even Gary Blair goes around before a game, hands out candy, and speaks to the fans. Heck, even I liked him😁....and got a piece of candy.

I think the program (not the team) has become stuck up, exclusive, entitled, inappreciative, whatever you want to call it, but the plain old appreciation of the fans is not there like it was when we had Pat. The feeling of camaraderie is no longer present. Hopefully we can get it back.
 
#14

Benionsopinion

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#14
Deerpark et al may have better info, but, iimu, in the recent past, the UTAD did not want to “cheapen” the product by selling low cost tickets. During Pat’s time there were a lot of fill the seats ideas, low cost tickets for young family days, etc. That was determined to be cheapening the product and stopped. Also, again iimu, that the concession rights were sold, that UT does not make additional money no matter how many concessions bought, so that is not a driver for UT to get people to attend. The coup de grace is cost. UT has a very high “donation” and much higher ticket costs than other schools making attendance prohibitively expensive for young families, teams, etc. to attend. A couple of years ago I compared UT vs USC costs and there was a huge difference, both in donations required and cost of tickets. Since then USCWBB has become highly successful and much more popular so those differences may not be as great.





I too hate to see TBA with so many empty seats. However, I never saw an effort made by either the AD or by Holly to address the issues of attendance. With the team falling so short of expectations, attendance was going to take a hit; the AD policy actually made the hit worse. I am not sure how much Holly was held back by the AD and how much she is just uncomfortable in public. Either way she never really achieved that connection with the fan base. Of course every coach can’t be a Pat or a Bruce going to the student center, buying pizzas, etc., but even Gary Blair goes around before a game, hands out candy, and speaks to the fans. Heck, even I liked him😁....and got a piece of candy.

I think the program (not the team) has become stuck up, exclusive, entitled, inappreciative, whatever you want to call it, but the plain old appreciation of the fans is not there like it was when we had Pat. The feeling of camaraderie is no longer present. Hopefully we can get it back.


Smallvol,thank you for your insight on some of the peccadillos of the UT administration. In days past,I can remember getting general admission tickets to Lady Vol games for a low price. That may have been before TBA,so maybe a new arena contributed to an increased ticket cost. My family had season tickets for several years,and costs went up almost on a yearly basis. The decision makers decided that prices should increase and that no tickets would be reduced. It was always my opinion that selling tickets at the gate for a small price would be better than having empty seats. Also,years ago,after games were going,patrons were allowed to go from upper levels to lower level seats with no problem. I believe that also has been stopped.
UT’s administration ,in this instance,reminds me of the little boy who wanted to sell an apple. When asked a price,he quoted “ ten thousand dollars” and was told he would not sell many at that price,to which he replied”I just have to sell one!”
Marketing ideas should include many ideas, but lower ticket prices should be included. I would think that Pat Summitt’s ideas should be reviewed and reimplemented. Young families should be encouraged to attend games together.
Maybe we will see some more changes to get away from Bama Dave’s influence.
 
#15

T_Vol376

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#15
hart did a lot to hurt the LVs; my personal opinion is it was done intentionally. Removing all possible player/coach/fan interaction did not help Holly either. If you can meet Holly, listen to her, get to know her....not saying any of that would have helped her situation, but it could have lessened the vitriol we hear again and again, and which serves no positive purpose. They can tell in seconds who holds season tickets, donates, etc., so I’m not saying just throw practices wide open to the general public, but there are times (not all practices) which could be opened, control the maximum number allowed to watch, that sort of thing. And if you don’t behave, you get banned (how long would gule last @T_Vol376? Would he be on good behavior? Wifey and MIL might have to chaperone 😍.). But I think ties (controlled) between players and fans are nice. Now that said, with NCAA rules, insurance, etc., it just might not be possible anymore. But it was nice when they did it.🍊
He would probably have to have a stern talking to, @Smallvol#1. 😆
 
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#16

FlyFishnVol

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#16
Not saying there should not be access, as it pertains to John Adams, he burnt his bridges with UT AD for years, and now his columns reflect the lack of having an insider perspective, he made his bed, and he does not have a right to have any interviews..........have to earn it.
 
#17

lvocd

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#17
Another reason open practices are a good idea is that being watched by adoring fans could help motivate them during practices. On a day when the team drags out of the locker room looking like they'd rather be ANYwhere but at practice, Kellie can gather them in the circle and say something like: "Look over there in those fold-up chairs. Those people are so excited to be here and so proud to be fans of the Tennessee Lady Vols that they actually took a day of their vacation to come here just to watch you PRACTICE. So do we want to look like we don't want to be here? Or do we give our best effort for them AND for each other? Now, let's get better today!" :D
 
#18
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#18
Smallvol,thank you for your insight on some of the peccadillos of the UT administration. In days past,I can remember getting general admission tickets to Lady Vol games for a low price. That may have been before TBA,so maybe a new arena contributed to an increased ticket cost. My family had season tickets for several years,and costs went up almost on a yearly basis. The decision makers decided that prices should increase and that no tickets would be reduced. It was always my opinion that selling tickets at the gate for a small price would be better than having empty seats. Also,years ago,after games were going,patrons were allowed to go from upper levels to lower level seats with no problem. I believe that also has been stopped.
UT’s administration ,in this instance,reminds me of the little boy who wanted to sell an apple. When asked a price,he quoted “ ten thousand dollars” and was told he would not sell many at that price,to which he replied”I just have to sell one!”
Marketing ideas should include many ideas, but lower ticket prices should be included. I would think that Pat Summitt’s ideas should be reviewed and reimplemented. Young families should be encouraged to attend games together.
Maybe we will see some more changes to get away from Bama Dave’s influence.

TBA had general admission tickets for $5 for most of the games. A few of the better games ranked opponents Etc the tickets balloon to $10. $5 to see the Lady Vols basketball game sounds like a pretty good value to me.
 
#19
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#19
Another reason open practices are a good idea is that being watched by adoring fans could help motivate them during practices. On a day when the team drags out of the locker room looking like they'd rather be ANYwhere but at practice, Kellie can gather them in the circle and say something like: "Look over there in those fold-up chairs. Those people are so excited to be here and so proud to be fans of the Tennessee Lady Vols that they actually took a day of their vacation to come here just to watch you PRACTICE. So do we want to look like we don't want to be here? Or do we give our best effort for them AND for each other? Now, let's get better today!" :D
I can understand limiting the amount of people watching a practice. Or even limiting the practices you allow people to come to if you're going to practice something you don't want seen. But I can't understand not wanting to show off your athletes and your unique drills. I love it when people watch my practices. I was at a tournament once where our competition forfeited. There were three other games going on and we asked if we could use the court space as a practice session. It was an exposure tournament in Greenville. There were as many coaches watching our practice as there were at some of the games.
 
#22

PG1

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#22
Practices should never be open to the public! If the Coach wants to invite youth Coaches or youth teams in to watch then I am all for that!
 

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