The Right Answers To The Key Questions
Courtesy: Wendell Barnhouse, Big 12 Insider
          Release: 03/22/2013
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Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 24 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

Steve Malchow, the senior associate athletic director for communications at Iowa State, in his regular Two Minute Timeout feature, points out how the Cyclones and other Big 12 schools have the right answers for key questions.

Those are the types of questions that college sports administrators ask themselves.

Are we winning? Only 10 schools nationally played in a bowl game this season and received invites this week for their women’s and men’s basketball teams to participate in the NCAA Championship. The schools include: Iowa State, Duke, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Syracuse and UCLA.

The Big 12 was the only conference with three schools on that list. Since Notre Dame football doesn’t have a conference home, the Big East has two schools on the list just like the Big Ten. The Pac-12 and ACC have one each.

Are we drawing fans to our games? In a review of football and basketball attendance averages as a percent of capacity, here is the order of how well the 10 schools are getting fans to their games:  Notre Dame (98.9%), Oklahoma (95.3%), Iowa State (93.9%), Michigan State (91.9%), Michigan (91.9%), Duke (81.2%), Louisville (81.1%), Oklahoma State (78.5%), UCLA (66.6%) and Syracuse (52.9%).

Are we spending our resources wisely to accomplish the first two things? Using the Department of Education’s EADA Reports as a data center, here is the money (total expenses) that each school spent in the most-recent year available for the football and basketball programs: Iowa State ($21.3 million), UCLA ($29.1 million), Michigan ($32.4 million), Michigan State ($32.4 million), Notre Dame ($35.1 million), Oklahoma ($35.7 million), Louisville ($37.6 million), Syracuse ($40.2 million), Duke ($41.3 million) and Oklahoma State ($42.3 million).

Taking a snapshot from 50,000 feet, it’s hard to argue anything other than Iowa State is doing some great things and doing them responsibly and without excess.

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