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Kevin Brockway Leaving Basketball Beat

Discussion in 'Nuttin' but Net' started by gatorjjh, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. akaGatorhoops

    akaGatorhoops VIP Member GC Columnist

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    I think the UAA made some nice strides over the past couple seasons as it relates to marketing efforts.
    Anyone on these forums has read my rants relating thereto. But I have seen some real effort and improvement in recent years/
    The media access is less about apathy or auto-pilot, and more about a mentality that came from the top. JF always had a very tight circle -- and that approach, in my opinion, -- permeated the culture. It was kind of an "inside access" only policy. I have always argued that such mentality had been ok for football, but basketball needs to be almost force-fed to the fan base. The UAA should be tripping over itself to reach any writer willing to cover the program. IT'S FREE MARKETING!!!!

    Don't get me wrong. . . JF, and specifically Mike Hill did wonderful things with our program and reached heights I never thought possible. But I also think a "closed circle" mentality and a notion that basketball can be marketed/sold like football --- are mistakes.

    I do not think Mike Hill's spot has been filled. That is odd - as it is a very important hire.
    Scott - if you are reading this, I am available! :)
     
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  2. UFish

    UFish GC Legend

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    He claims to be a basketball fan for what it’s worth, but I think he’s much more of a baseball guy.
     
  3. Efawcett7

    Efawcett7 Eric Fawcett VIP Member GC Columnist

    He definitely loves to tweet about the Mets haha
     
  4. akaGatorhoops

    akaGatorhoops VIP Member GC Columnist

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    When I covered cUSA, the SID's very much welcomed any media coverage - - especially anything national. And similarly, the coaches were typically very happy to speak about their teams and programs.

    Obviously, big time conferences and programs typically need not clamor for this coverage. But even after covering the SEC for a couple years w/ Lindy's . . . .I still found Florida's approach to be atypical. I spoke to several of the coaches whose teams I covered. Heck, I remember calling Billy Kennedy on his cell phone.
    But when I sought to get some comments from Coach White -- nope.
    I was always deferred to media days, which was weeks away. To be honest, this bothered me less than when I wanted to write something for GC or something for the local fan base. I have always argued that Florida basketball need not national coverage, but far more and far deeper coverage in its own backyard.

    But as I said in a prior post -- UAA seemed to see it differently, and really offered more obstacle than cooperation. And so I stopped trying.

    I will say this -- Mike Hill was a wonderful ambassador and leader of the program, and was always happy to chat and contribute. But media access is delegated elsewhere . . . and it is there that it is typically thwarted, imo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
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  5. MadduxFanII

    MadduxFanII GC Hall of Fame

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    Without necessarily weighing in on the substance of these issues (and I'm not familiar with them, so I really can't), I think the bolded text is probably what Foley, Hill and the UAA focused on when evaluating their policies. Florida basketball pre-Donovan (and mostly pre-Foley) was basically the 1994 Final Four team and some scattered moments here and there. And then they built it into a national powerhouse. Why fix what's not broken, you know?

    Now, what's become apparent is that all that success hasn't really converted Gator Nation into consistent basketball fanatics. And I am beginning to suspect/worry that there's a soft ceiling on the program, and we might be capped out at slightly sub-elite status moving forward. Now, to what extent greater marketing efforts could address that, I don't know. I'd like UAA to help provide quotes for aka's stories, but whether or not greater access would help us recruit elite talent...different question.
     
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  6. Gatorhead

    Gatorhead GC Hall of Fame

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    Hot off the press ……….. Bullis to take over Brockway gig...….;)
     
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  7. akaGatorhoops

    akaGatorhoops VIP Member GC Columnist

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    This is a good point!

    But I would argue that success on the court, and success building an elite program are not entirely the same. I think we both agree that Florida's support hasn't fully matched its achievements. Why? I am guessing that is a multi-faceted answer, and much if it being a regional dynamic.

    But I think the UAA could and should do more to cultivate its basketball fan base. It may not dramatically change anything, or it may facilitate a slow process . . . but the potential cost of not doing something far outweighs the $0 price tag that comes with letting the media promote your program.

    I don't have delusions that anything I write would open recruiting flood gates. And i have largely stopped writing.
    I just think the program deserves and would benefit from better, deeper coverage. The fans too.

    That soft-ceiling you referred to is due, in part, to the region's tepid interest in the sport. But we have seen Gainesville become very excited about some of its teams and personalities. So sell that! Let the community in --- let the community learn about its team, its players and coaches.

    Heck, these kids are doing some awesome service stuff over the summer. Let someone follow along and chronicle that. . . .someone other than Chris Harry.
    Look, Chris is a great writer and resource --- but without any breadth of coverage, these stories may not get out to the community and potential fans.
    An old guy may sitdown with a newspaper at Perkins... you and I may check out GatorCountry ....a student will grab the Alligator on the way to class.... and others very well might check out Chris Harry's reports. But let's not limit real coverage just to the latter. It limits the readership and again . . . maybe blocks the FREE MARKETING to that old guy, you and me and the student.

    I could rant about this endlessly, so I better stop!
     
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  8. Efawcett7

    Efawcett7 Eric Fawcett VIP Member GC Columnist

    I think you could keep going! I'm enjoying this!

    I always appreciate a good rant that keeps things fact-based and doesn't have to divulge into insults and your rant has been just that!
     
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  9. MadduxFanII

    MadduxFanII GC Hall of Fame

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    I don't disagree with any of this. I do think there's a bit of a chicken and egg dynamic here that becomes difficult to untangle. It's pretty clear basketball isn't the big-time beat in Gator sports, and you don't get the most aggressive and pro-active reporters there. Like Brockway or dislike him, it's pretty clear he wasn't pushing any boundaries there or raising too much of a fuss, and that can be one way those policies change - aggressive (and let's be honest, annoying) media pushing for greater access.

    But because men's basketball isn't a subject of overwhelming interest you don't get that sort of media pressure, which means the UAA has no incentive to change, which means (potentially) the sport doesn't grow in popularity with the fans, which means there's no reason for media entities to put their best and most aggressive reporters on the beat, and so on and so on.
     
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  10. candymanfromgc

    candymanfromgc Moderator VIP Member

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    Why not have some boys/girls club freebies for the exhibition games? Give them a whole section and meet the players.
     
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  11. gatorbogey

    gatorbogey Premium Member

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    I love these UAA rants by @akaGatorhoops too! I don’t see them as rants, though. I see them as constructive criticism.

    I think we all want the gator hoops program to rival all the blue bloods. We can get there. Or at least, rise significantly above where we are at now.

    Human interest, and player- interest stories do go along way to build a lasting bond between player, coach and fan! That’s really an easy start.
     
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  12. Anyone who actually cares about UF basketball gets their coverage here in Gator Country. With the exception of Chris Henry, and the Championship years, don’t believe i’ve ever about Gator hoops anywhere but here.
     
  13. GatorLurker

    GatorLurker GC Hall of Fame

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    When talking about building up the fan base I have to ask how many Rowdies become boosters and season ticket holders?
     
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  14. akaGatorhoops

    akaGatorhoops VIP Member GC Columnist

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    Excellent question.

    And it raises another point .... cultivating and maintaining the EXISTING fan base.

    I’ll give ya an example:
    I, along with several friends have attended the SEC Tournament for 15 consecutive years. This is an event at which gators fan are largely no-shows. Over the past few years when I have called the ticket office to purchase my books... sold out.
    And I ain’t believing for a single second that we sold out to our season ticket holders. I’ve been each of these “sellout” years, and if I saw 25 gators... that was a lot.

    What happens is that UK fans snatch up tickets from whatever schools are willing to sell.

    I have implored the UAA to keep track of gators fans who attend .... and offer those GATORS FANS a few day head start to buy tickets in the GATORS section.

    Nope.

    Cats buy... Tickets get sold.
    UAA happy.
    Gators attendance sucks.

    It’s small things like this that may not make a huge difference, but it drives me bat shit crazy. And honestly.. not for selfish reasons. I’ll get tickets and go regardless. But I know a group of three gators fans (one is an occasional poster on here) who didn’t go because of “sold out” status, and they too were prior year attendees.

    I’m convinced Mike Hill left... at least in part.... to escape my emails! Lol!

    Anyway- I’ve really steered this thread off course with my soapbox!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  15. cincinnatigator

    cincinnatigator GC Hall of Fame

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    (going further OT) And the camera angle needs to face the student section!!!! How are we gonna maintain a certain standard when recruits see half empty seats? We really expect us to out-recruit a Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Kansas when they're rocking every night while our rich alum are in their first-class lounge area to start the game? I don't know why people can't coordinate their time better. We're the #6 most successful program since 2000 and yet I'm left puzzled every time I tune in to a home game.
     
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  16. MadduxFanII

    MadduxFanII GC Hall of Fame

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    And going even further OT, why did the convenience store near my apartment stop selling the Snyder's of Hanover Sourdough Nibblers?! Now I have to go to the convenience store all the way up north, and that's like a 15-minute drive, or I have to go to the grocery store and get a big bag of the things and I don't want a big bag, I just want a small bag, dammit!
     
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  17. akaGatorhoops

    akaGatorhoops VIP Member GC Columnist

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    LMAO!
     
  18. Efawcett7

    Efawcett7 Eric Fawcett VIP Member GC Columnist

    During the NCAA tournament DROVES of Kentucky fans were posting pictures on twitter of them buying tickets to the Atlanta games from the blocks of tickets allocated to the Loyola-Chicago fans. Was a good reminder that schools are more concerned with making sure they move all their tickets then who gets them.
     
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  19. MadduxFanII

    MadduxFanII GC Hall of Fame

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    I’m convinced we could destroy the world with an apocalypse of nuclear hellfire and the remaining Kentucky fans would trudge to the remnants of Rupp through the radiation-blasted wastelands to watch two groups of leather-clad psychopathic cannibals play a version of basketball where a human skull is used in place of a ball.
     
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  20. gatorbogey

    gatorbogey Premium Member

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    Furthering OT: speaking of blocks seating etc...and neutral site venues: really wish sites like Ticketmaster would indicate where various fan bases are sitting. Or maybe each ticket owner I.d.’s who they root for. I would rather sit next to gator fans than get “best available” seats in a rival fan block.
     
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