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Miami Football: Where do we go from here?

Rinard’s Rundown

Columnist

Published: Friday, December 6, 2013

Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 10:12

After suffering a 55-14 loss Friday Nov. 29, the Miami football team has many questions that need to be answered coming off the heels of perhaps the worst season in school history. We now know that Chuck Martin is the head coach whose responsibility it is to put a respectable product on the field once again for the RedHawks, but will the team be able to perform better immediately after the coaching change or will this take a considerable amount of time? Can winning alone fix the blatant attendance problem at Yager? Is it even possible for Miami to be considered a “football school” again?

The team will have a majority of its pieces back for its 2014 campaign with just 13 seniors scheduled to leave. Martin will have to come into the spring and summer willing to adapt to his personnel with a team that is coming off a year in which they had 51 freshmen on the roster. However, it would not be impossible for the team to be more productive, given that the coaches give them the best opportunities to be successful and avoid injuries, and that will be dependent on the coaches that he hires and the types of high school athletes that he recruits.

Now we have the issue with the attendance at Yager Stadium, which has consistently been a problem, despite efforts by the administration to put people in the stands through various promotions. It is a given that the attendance will be better when the product on the field is better, but it is not a sure thing that Miami would sell out Yager every night even if it was a perennial contender in the MAC.  Since it is a facility in need of renovation, we cannot rely on the team’s performance alone to fix the attendance problem. The administration must either become more creative with their marketing strategies or make certain concessions on its part as nothing yet has worked.

The ability for Miami to become a “football school” again rests on the shoulders of Martin and the athletic department as the offseason process of building a team for the upcoming season will establish what we can come to expect from the program for the future. If the administration has the attitude that the program cannot afford to be unsuccessful, then this says a great deal about the department’s priorities. While it seems unfathomable to think that this is possible considering the recent success of other Miami programs, Miami football is capable of becoming the feature sport at the university if it is given the opportunity to do so. Rebuilding the program and providing coaching stability (Martin is the fifth coach to lead the Red and White since the 2010 MAC championship season, counting interim coaches) would be the first step in accomplishing this feat.

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