crimsoncrusher's picture


MEMBER SINCE   March 29, 2017

Recent Activity

Comment 30 Jan 2019

My big beef is this is someone's opinion, with no financial analysis done, just conjecture.  That's fine, but the author's arrogant tone has it come off as "these are the indisputable facts, the investment ain't happening" as if he just proved it made zero financial sense to make the investment (when he did no such thing) rather than "this my opinion on what I think will happen".  As we have seen recently in the "news media"  someone's opinion of a situation and the actual facts of what occurred can be 180 degrees apart.

I also don't believe there are "few people who care about the program".  If you are talking about large donors, yes, you are correct.  Otherwise, win and they will come.  It has been proven in the past will continue to be true in the future.

Comment 30 Jan 2019

He didn't really lay out anything well, he is just giving his uninformed opinion.  Where are the spreadsheets and analysis to show that PSU basketball is not worth the investment?  There are none.  I stated earlier that an investment in the basketball program could produce a positive ROI, whereas a new natatorium or a nine figure overhaul of Beaver Stadium have zero chance of producing a positive ROI.  I am too busy at work and other responsibilities to produce spreadsheets myself, but over at there is a discussion thread where posters have crunched  some numbers and have done some quick and dirty analysis to show investment in the program has a chance to breakeven or produce a positive return.  

In my view, this is just sour grapes from the Chambers' fanboys who believe "well, if he can't get it done, no one can", discounting the fact he is a terrrible Xs and Os coach and from a perspective of the B1G, a very erratic recruiter (look at some of the recruiting "reaches" on the roster). 

Yes, the ADs office needs to support the program better, but it shouldn't be too hard to find a better coach than Mr. Attitude.  Give him a bigger pool to hire some quality assistants and see what happens.  If the team wins, people will show up, contrary to the urban legend that the area does not contain many basketball fans.  That's a myth often propagated by undergrads from outside the area who have no clue about local/PSU history.  When I was an undergrad in the mid-late 80s and in grad school in the early 90s, the wrestling team only sold out a 7,000 seat Rec Hall when an Iowa or Oklahoma St would show up, just like basketball in the A-10 when a Temple (or in non-con when a Billy Tubbs coached Oklahoma team came in and kicked our ass) came to town.  Wrestling attendance wasn't very impressive in the 2000s before Sanderson was hired as well. 

Whenever the basketball program has shown signs of success, fans have shown up.  Unfortunately, those periods have been brief and not sustainable.  More fans equates to more ticket sales (and other game day revenue) and more interest in the program, eventually leading to more donations and financial support.  That thread I mentioned earlier has a great example of this at Virginia Tech, where initially the hire of Buzz Williams increased expenses but not revenue.  However, the most recent figures show that those numbers have been flipped, with that program now make more of a profit than before the hire, plus donations/fundraising for the program have markedly increased.  Virginia Tech is very similar to PSU in lack of hoops history, historically not spending on their program and lacking large metropolitan areas nearby to draw from, particularly during weekdays.

It can be done!!!

Comment 22 Jan 2019

I guess we will see in about 6 weeks who's right...I like my chances.  There are 2 issues:  First, the 5-6MM in profit the basketball team makes due to the allocation of TV dollars.  People believe this money goes to fund the nonrevenue sports; I'm sure most of it does.  However, we don't see the budgetary breakdown.  Also, the TV contracts/BTN money has been increasing each year.  You could easily take a million+ and allocate it to men's basketball.  We know there is no Pegula like donor out there, but we don't know about other donors out there...what I am saying is we don't know the total cash flows and their allocations and what is available.  If insiders (who have been correct in the past) are saying there is money available (and have said it wasn't in the past), I'll take their word for it.

Second, in regard to the "master plan", that money will not come from operating cash flows, but from large gifts/donations and debt issuance (long term capital projects), a generally different pool of money than we are talking about for coaches salaries.  Given Sandy's poor record of fiscal management at Cal and the boat load of debt that will be necessary for all these projects, I highly doubt most will be completed, particularly any nine figure renovation of Beaver Stadium.  It can be shown that investing a couple million in the basketball program could have a positive ROI.  That is not the case with any of these other projects, including the Stadium.  Money will get raised to improve the assistant coaches pool and some superficial improvements to the stadium; after that, all bets are off.

As far as Oats or Cronin not being realistic, why not?  How many Power 5 +Big East jobs will be open this year (that's where the money is): UCLA, Wake, maybe BC.  There are not many of them; Penn State has shown that the position has job security (for better or worse).  While you can correctly state that Cincinnati has much greater basketball history than Penn State, what is the state of their finances; look at UConn athletics 40 million in the red.  That can't continue for long.  Cincinnati can't be much better; the refurbishment of Nippert Stadium cost upper eight to nine figures and was mostly financed with debt.  How are they paying the debt service on that, TV money? I don't think so. 

Comment 22 Jan 2019

I don't know if any of the writers on here aspire to a career in journalism or they just do this as a hobby, but a bit of poking around some of the insider sites followed by by some questions to the ADs office and independent research could produce a good column on the likelihood of Chambers driving a Tastykake delivery truck next year. 

Supposedly 2 years ago, Sandy gave great thought to dumping Chambers, but decided against it for 2 reasons.  First, and most importantly, the ADs office had zero spare money.  The loan that was taken out from the university to pay the Sandusky related fines was still being paid, football attendance was just starting to recover after it's dropoff and the new B1G TV deals had yet to kick in.  Because of this, and the fact Chambers had just brought in the Roman Catholic guys, she decided to keep the status quo. 

Last year, Chambers took an NCAA caliber team (from both the eye test and the advanced predictive stats point of view), possibly a second weekend team, and led them to the NIT title.  Despite the underachievement, the optics would have made it impossible to do anything but keep him on, so the extension was granted (hopefully with a small buyout, given the lack of negotiating leverage Chambers had).

This year, as I stated in my prior message, rumor has it there is money to spend on hoops.  (Spending on the arms race in football comes down to fundraising, which supposedly Sandy is not good at, but that is a whole different story).  Sandy just had her contract renewed; in her tenure here at Penn State, she has yet to make an important hire.  With the freedom of a new contract, hopefully she will give Chambers the boot and make a bold hire.  Will they spend the money?  Well, you do need to spend money to make money and there is a lot of potential revenue that could be gained by investing in a new coach and staff.  A whole article with plenty of scenario analysis showing all possible outcomes would need to be undertaken to show that it makes sense to invest in the program, but a back of the envelope calculation with some reasonable assumptions could do the job.  Maybe later in this disaster of a season I'll post those numbers.  The ADs office at Penn State has always been run by people with little background in business/finance/marketing and has had zero ability to foresee changes to the collegiate sports landscape (See pisspoor design of BJC, expanding Beaver Stadium just as HD TV and the availablility of games on TV makes staying home a much more viable option, etc.)

Possible candidates:  Nate Oats, probably the favorite of the casual fan; poaching Mick Cronin from Cincinnati, as a poster on another site has suggested, very bold; Thad Matta, assuming his back injury is healed or at least under control, a safe but very solid move. 

Comment 21 Jan 2019

Since there is a week between games, I am waiting hopefully for the "10 Candidates Who Could Be the Next PSU Men's Hoops Coach" ;  instead, I'm sure we will be blessed with "5 Reasons Why Pat Chambers Deserves More Time" or "Why the 4 Out 1 In...oops, I mean Iso-Ball...Actually It's Closer to Pickup Games at the IM Building Offense Is Still PSU's Best Option". 

How about honest opinions or some sleuthing around the AD's office; rumors on other PS boards from "insiders" believe Sandy is willing to spend some money on the upcoming hire (he is a dead man walking, be realistic), the number $2.3 million/year has been mentioned.  That would be a good start; a nice pool for assistant coaches (so we don't have to hire the jabroni friends of the coach on the cheap) would also be helpful. 

Seeing how dead the comments section has been on basketball posts, all but friends and family have given up on the Chambers Era.  Time to look forward to a fresh new start for Penn State men's basketball!!!

Comment 14 Mar 2018

Is this going to be like the mid 80s when Temple came to town and half the student section cheered for them? 

Gee, what a shock the Temple program has fallen mean local Phiily kids don't want to play vs teams from Greenville, NC, Memphis, Houston, etc.. vs Philly, DC, NYC, Pittsburgh, etc.  The money differential between the Power 6 (I include the Big East for hoops) schools and the others keeps getting greater as well.  Plus Temple is an average (or worse) academic school in a bad location.  There are many factors as to why that program has declined...Dunphy is/was a good coach, but at 69 should have been thinking about retirement before the jackals have circled his carcass.

I'm most interested in the post game handshake/conversation and the press conferences.  While the writers have already declared Chambers to have "clean hands" in regard to the "40K" rumor, I don't think we have heard the last of the allegations, particularly if Temple loses the game.  College basketball is a dirty sport; while it may sound like it, I'm not hoping that PSU is involved in anything illegal.  But the nature of the recruiting game, Chambers ties to a Villanova program that played dirty in the past and his "used car salesman" persona  give me pause before giving the "all clear".

Comment 12 Mar 2018

Is it true?  I can tell you with certainty that Villanova was dirty in the 80s.  They and their boosters won the bidding war for Doug West (Altoona) over Pitt and the Golden Panthers.  That process was nearly out in the open, too, although maybe because my friend was a D1 recruit in the area who signed with Wake Forest that year and I was friends with people who had connections to the Pitt boosters, my ear was closer to the ground.  If you question my take, go ask someone in Altoona with connections to the hoop scene.  They can give you all the details.

Given all the shoe company money and the AAU involvement, I imagine things have escalated moneywise and the process hush-hushed a bit since the mid 80s.  Is Villanova still involved?  Their coaches were mentioned in one of the leaks having lunch with one of the agents named in the FBI suit.  If they play the game, did Chambers take that strategy with him to PSU?  Just speculation, but there is a lot of smoke.  I eagerly await the follow-up interviews with Chambers and Dunphy on this subject.

Comment 12 Mar 2018

OK Fran, what's the "special move"?  Did he call Temple a sh** school in a sh** area?  If he did, sorry Fran, but the truth hurts sometimes.  Or, is it more akin to the "40K payment to Tony Carr" rumors floating around twitter or other message boards? 

With the FBI investigation having faded a bit into the background as the NCAA tournament nears, accusations of this nature are much more serious.  It is one explanation of how Penn State suddenly became a player for top Philly talent.  Is their any truth to the matter?  I guess we'll see; it is most likely dependent upon how long and deep the FBI investigation goes and how much information is leaked and/or will be turned over to the NCAA as to whether these rumors can be verified.  Unless Coach Dunphy wishes to disclose more information he might have on the matter.

Comment 06 Mar 2018

Eric, I also have a degree from UIUC, so I follow the Illini closely and know what is going on there.  Let's try your negative spin on Penn State from an "outsider's view";  the team underachieved, there have been academic and behavioral suspensions, rumor is Carr and Watkins will leave and others might follow, Chambers only has one year left on his contract and that will making recruiting tough...

As for Holtmann, maybe he was concerned about Garner and Reaves, along with Carr from deep as to why no zone.  He needed Dakich in to run the offense; maybe he figured he could imitate his old man covering Jordan in playing D vs Carr.  When looking at the year as whole, given the season OSU has had and how they have overachieved vs PSU's underachievement, I think Holtmann can be given a pass for some questionable in game coaching vs PSU. 

Hilariously pathetic?  That's what I call those trying to paper over the many flaws of Pat Chambers.  7 years, no NCAA appearances, including this year with one of the top 4 starting lineups in the conference.  No developed bench, scheduling to save his job meaning the team has no margin for error in making the tournament, no structured offense, poor in game adjustments...I would say that is just sad.

Comment 06 Mar 2018

As we eagerly await the announcement of the rematch with Rider* in the NIT than no one is calling for, to be played in front of 1500 (whose attendance must be punishment for some misdeed) at the BJC, here are a few comments and the 2 big questions everyone wants answered.

On point 6, Eric, no, there should be no love for Pat Chambers.  In a later post, I will show the numerous poor decisions Pat Chambers has made that turned what should be a team waiting for its NCAA seeding next Sunday into one relegated to the Not Important Tournament.

I find the implication that Chambers outcoached Holtmann quite funny; maybe it's just a bad matchup for Ohio State, but that wouldn't fit the narrative.  At your other hangout,, this implication is even taken to another level.  The funniest/most ill informed I've seen was people calling Brad Underwood a "high school coach" for his loud tirades in the huddle.  Brad Underwood has already accomplished more in his coaching career than Pat Chambers ever will; to equate him to a high school coach or gym teacher just points out the lack of non-Penn State college basketball knowledge of most of this fanbase.  I will bet you anything Brad Underwood will be at Illinois or another high profile program long after Pat Chambers is gone from PSU.

Now, the questions everyone has on their mind: 1) Are Watkins and Carr staying or leaving?  2) What type of extension will Chambers get?  To answer the first, if both get the proper advice, they will stay.  Watkins needs to develop some post moves as well as a midrange jumper,  Carr needs to work on finishing at the rim (getting strong will help), develop a Bryant McIntosh type floater and continue to tweak other aspects of his game.  However, I put each at 50/50 staying.

Second, I think Sandy gives Chambers a 2-3 year extension with a minimal raise and a small buyout.  Chambers has no leverage, he will be forced to take the deal.  He could, however, play riverboat gambler and double down on himself.  If Sandy proposes the type of deal mentioned above, Chambers could counter with a one year extension, betting on a deep NCAA run next year to provide him the success needed to push for a more lucrative deal at that point.  If he does that, he better know that both Carr  and Watkins are returning.

*I know they won't meet due to seeding.

Comment 24 Feb 2018

Pat Forde and Pete Thamel are not pretend journalists; just because you may not like the information being presented doesn't mean these guys are amateur bloggers.  As previously noted, this is the tip of the iceberg (see Sean Miller wiretap); there is plenty more to come and we do not know where it may lead.  I wouldn't make any assumptions at this point.

Comment 23 Feb 2018

If Newbill received 2K while eligible, that is an illegal benefit and would be considered an NCAA infraction.  In and of itself, that would reflect on DJ's poor decision making rather than anything on Chambers.  However, given what we have found out in this probe, did he have a relationship with ASM and the agent earlier?  Was he "steered" to PSU via assistant coach/agent relationships and received other, prior "loans"?  We don't know yet.  If this would be the case, then Chambers' culpability comes into play. 

What about the recruitment of the Philly guys?  Even Eric in his rant against Dan Dakich mentioned the possibility of getting caught up in this (cue all those "how tough it is for Penn State to recruit/break into Philly" rants - maybe this is how).  Right now Chambers is clear, but this is one agent out of many, just the tip of the iceberg.  Those who have seen the evidence in this case believe it will shake college hoops to the core.  Let's see how it plays out.

Comment 23 Feb 2018

Hey Old, we might not have to worry about Chambers much longer.  In today's piece from Yahoo Sports there is a photo showing loans to players...DJ Newbill got 2K...was this before or after graduation, not sure.  There are more documents where those came from.  Will be interesting...

Comment 22 Feb 2018

The 1-3-1 zone, the dagger to the heart of Penn State men's basketball.  The last time this program had as much anticipation and fan excitement around it was the infamous Return to Rec game vs Princeton.  A huge lead was blown, the game lost in OT after Princeton switched to a 1-3-1 zone, something Chambers had seen the prior year vs Northwestern, knew was coming at some point, but had no answers for. 

Last night, with a huge crowd at the BJC and NCAA bubble hopes washing through the crowd, PSU was able to overcome a slow start and an injury to Mike Watkins, overcoming a 13 point deficit to take the lead.  Then John Beilein, playing chess while the other sideline was playing checkers, switches to a 1-3-1.  Penn State, which has no zone offense, nor apparently any knowledge of how to attack a 1-3-1, continued with its iso-ball.  Michigan soon regained the lead and won a game that was huge for PSU's NCAA tourney resume and attempts to rebuild a fanbase.  Now a run to the the BTT final is a must for the Lions' slim hopes. 

How many of the fans who attended the OSU and Michigan games will be back?  What was the opportunity cost in terms of possible new season ticket holders for next year?  How many people walked away after the game saying "Somethings never change" in regards to the program?  I doubt you will see much fan interest in a first round NIT game vs Iona.  More "wait till next year",  barring a miracle run in the BTT.

Comment 16 Feb 2018

I'm talking longer term.  If everyone come back next year, they are definitely a top 25 team with a very high ceiling.  After next year, though, is when I think things get darker.  Dread and Bolton seem legit (at least via their ratings and press clippings), but what about the following years?  I think the "Philly Pipeline" has dried up; are we in on any big names that I am not aware of?  Plus, the number of reaches and misses in recruiting, even recently, is still a concern.  We won't get into strategy and in game coaching; you are well aware of my thoughts on those topics.  An NCAA bid this year and a deep run next year would might take care of the recruiting concerns, but that's not a guarantee. 

Comment 16 Feb 2018

Eric, are you inferring someone such as myself?  The team has been finally playing up to its potential, but has given itself very little margin for error.  Is this run going to end in a similar manner to 2011 or will it come up just short?  My question is why did it take this long for the team to start sharing the ball, moving and communicating better. Tony Carr is the engine of the team (Josh Reaves is the heart), and ever since he started to act like it's a team game rather than a game of 1 on 1 (or 5) the result have been positive.  What changed? Did someone have a heart-to-heart talk with him (coaching staff, father, prior coach, etc) or did it just take that long for the light to click on.

As far as my opinion on Chambers, that's not going to change.  This is an immensely talented team and he is still, by far the weak link.  I remember being in Indy with my buddy after we beat Michigan St in the BTT in 2011 and we both agreed, great for the program this year to make the NCAAs, bad for the long term because it meant more years of DeChellis.  ED ran to Annapolis before the reaper could get him, and I am very convinced the same thing may apply this year to Chambers (bad for the long term).  We shall see...I guess we should just enjoy this run and worry about those things later, anyway.

P.S. I have been busy at work and did not have much time to post recently (as you may or may not have noticed, the markets have been very volatile).

Comment 26 Jan 2018

Nice win, but look at the shooting percentage, particularly from 3 it took to pull it off.  Defense should be a concern (PPP = 1.28), although at the end, when a guy like Bates-Diop gets in "the zone", there is not much you can do.  Question is, does it mean much for the longer term?  Can the team go on a run and actually play to their potential or is this just the once a year upset where they have a great shooting game?  A good move getting Davis 10+ minutes PT, but why was this not done starting early in the nonconference portion of the schedule?

Millzners, if they beat Buttgers, I have a feeling the pro-Chambers faction is going to co-op #trusttheprocess.

Comment 25 Jan 2018

Exhibit A:  What happens when a team with some higher end talent but limited numbers is paired with a good coach (Ohio St.).

Exhibit B:  What happens when a team with some higher end talent but limited numbers is paired with someone masquerading as a coach (PSU).

I would like to apologize to the staff here at RLR, particularly Dan, for being critical of what I believe were far too sympathetic columns in regard to HC Chambers.  You guys have nothing on the short lived piece of puffery that was posted on the CDT's website for a couple of hours earlier in the week, authored by PSU color commentator Dick Jerardi.  I hope someone was able to save the piece before it got removed fro the site; such propaganda may get Mr. Jerardi an offer to pen columns in Pravda from Vlad Putin.

What to make of the column, which was a blatant attempt to help a friend save his job?  No real facts were offered up, just a "Villanova is the template, we are almost there, Pat needs more time".  Jerardi is no dummy; no doubt he has plenty of contacts around college basketball and has heard the rumblings of imminent change.  The fact that the article was removed a few hours after it was first posted tells me someone in the AD's office saw it, was not happy and made a phone call.  This just confirms my belief that Sandy is out there actively vetting candidates for the job.  I predict Chambers will be removed very quickly after the final loss of the season and a replacement will be named posthaste.  After this sort of stunt, I also think Steve Jones will have a new partner on the broadcasts next year.

Comment 19 Jan 2018

It's that the the entire basis of the article, that Penn State's chances at the NCAA might just now be gone because Josh Reaves might not be back, is false.  Those at large chances have been long gone, due to the reasons I stated above; their only chance for a while has been to win the BTT.  Even Eric and most steadfast Chambers supporters would most likely admit this is the case. 

Have you read the last two David Jones articles on the team?  They are pretty damning, particularly coming from a former diehard supporter of Chambers.  The tone of those implies Chambers is gone at the end of the year...does Dave know anything we don't?  How about a follow up on the basis of those articles; what would it take for Chambers' job to be saved, if anything?  Asking questions on why we haven't installed an offense and rely on streetball and iso/hero ball.  Is it because of my theory, that that is what Chambers promised them (how they could play) if they came to PSU?  Or is it that Chambers really is that clueless on installing an offense or is it some combination thereof?

The writers here seem so afraid of asking the tough questions about Chambers...if I remember correctly, when Butler and Donovan were obviously in over their heads as coordinators on the football team, people were correctly questioning their competence.  Dave Jones' articles were the first ones I have seen in 7 years to do so for Chambers, rather than making excuses.

Comment 19 Jan 2018

Tournament?!?  Dan, that ship sailed a long time ago, starting with the construction of the Tastykake non-conference schedule, a down B1G and cemented with the N.C. State, Rider and Wisconsin losses.  All three of those losses occurred with Reaves in the lineup.  The problem was, as you sort of danced around, has been coaching and a lack of offensive structure.  That was bound to doom Penn State's minimal NCAA chances with Reaves...with him gone, start the countdown until Chambers is relieved of his duties. 

That should have been the focus of the write-up, as well as starting to focus in on possible replacements.  I can easily see Dan as Kevin Bacon.

Comment 16 Jan 2018

Can we now start speculating on possible head coaching candidates?  Look, I know more than half the conference season plus the BTT remains, but barring a minor miracle, this ship isn't getting turned around anytime soon with the same "Captain".  Even if/when Reaves returns, I think all you'll get is more frustration and missed opportunities. 

I also find it curious that the TV guys have been quite critical of Pat.  Normally that is a no-no, those guys will do everything to make excuses for the coach. Someone on another board noted that Seth Greenberg was mentioning the team was not playing to its talent level.  OK, I'm not a fan of his, but still surprising.  Moreso have been the BTN color guys, Jon Crispin and Robby Hummel.  Hummel in particular was very good, but very candid last night, particularly in his criticism of Carr.  I'm wondering, has Sandy been putting out early feelers to possible candidates via the back door (agents, friends, etc.) and that those in the industry know Pat is a Dead Man Walking, therefore they feel free to be critical, knowing he's out the door ?

Comment 06 Jan 2018

Great game for Lamar and Big Mike.  If Stevens can continue to focus on "go to the rim" vs "jack a three", combined with his solid midrange game, similar performances may follow.  I hope the rumors of Mike possibly leaving after this year to support his family turn out to be false.  As well as he has been playing recently, with another year of summer work and experience, given the guys who will be graduating or going to the league, he could be the dominant big man in the B1G next year (Fernando from Maryland also has a lot of potential) and set himself up for an even larger paycheck.

Comment 03 Jan 2018

So Maryland turns the ball over on over 20% of their possessions, Huerter picks up 2 early fouls, but you don't press, one of the few things this team does well.  Same old, same old.  With no structured offense, more chuck and duck and Tony forcing drives into the paint.

I've long thought that the reason first Dj, then Shep and finally the "Philly 3"  came here is because Chambers told them there would be no offensive structure and that they have the green light to shoot at all times.  DJ was a prototypical high volume shooter and Shep never was benched or disciplined for his chronic poor shot selection.  Chambers must have told Tony and the guys in his recruiting pitch that they could play pretty must like they do on the playground at home; other than the press and a few isolated called plays, what structure do we have?  Maybe after his exit interview this spring, some intrepid "reporter" could ask Chambers this question, since at that point he won't be able to deny them access to the program.