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Old 05-23-2008, 09:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

Mainejeff may be a bit better of a historian than I, but let's take a walk through the 2007-08 Maine Black Bears sports seasons:

Football: 4-7 (3-5) 4th of 6 CAA North
Men's Hockey: 13-18-3 (9-15-3) 9th of 10 Hockey East
Baseball: 20-28-1 (8-15-0) last place America East
Men's Basketball: 7-23 (3-11) tied for last place America East
Women's Basketball: 7-23 (4-12) 8th of 9 America East
Women's Hockey: 4-27-3 (3-15-3) Last in Hockey East
Men's Cross Country: 3rd of 9 in America East championships
Women's Cross Country: 6th of 9 in America East championships
Field Hockey: 5-11 (1-4) 5th of 6 in America East
Men's Soccer: 3-13-1 (1-6-1) last place America East
Women's Soccer: 6-8-3 (4-3-1) 5th of 9 in America East
Softball: 11-39-0 (10-11-0) 5th of 8 in America East
Women's Swimming: 5th of 7 America East
Men's Swimming: 5th of 5 America East
Men's Indoor Track: 8th of 9 America East
Women's Indoor Track: 6th of 9 America East
Volleyball: 5-22 (2-10) 6th of 7 America East

Disssssssssssgusting.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

Love the commentary.....LOL....."Disssssssssssgusting"
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

Did Nero handpick someone to be left in charge to make sure that when he left to be the commish, they wouldn't let it get this bad? Or did the school find someone themselves that clearly didn't know what to do?
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

I'm glad that you posted this ccd......I was going to, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. It has been one disgusting year up in Orono......unfortunately, no one seems to care or do anything about it (although they did just fire the softball coach).
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

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Originally Posted by mainejeff View Post
I'm glad that you posted this ccd......I was going to, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. It has been one disgusting year up in Orono......unfortunately, no one seems to care or do anything about it (although they did just fire the softball coach).
Good choice. Softball was the only sport that counts wins and losses in which the Bears even sniffed .500 in the conference.

Fire Cosgrove. Maine was flagged for 4 personal fouls as I typed this post.
Fire Whitehead. I'm actually not in the "Fire Whitehead" camp. I think he's done fine.
Fire Woodward. Technically, I'm in the "One more year to prove himself" camp.
Fire Blodgett. I think this was an indefensibly bad hire, but I don't think you can fire her yet.
Fire Trimper. I stand full heartedly behind this. Baseball in America East should begin and end with the Maine Black Bears. This team should NEVER have a losing record in conference
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

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Good choice. Softball was the only sport that counts wins and losses in which the Bears even sniffed .500 in the conference.

Fire Cosgrove. Maine was flagged for 4 personal fouls as I typed this post.
Fire Whitehead. I'm actually not in the "Fire Whitehead" camp. I think he's done fine.
Fire Woodward. Technically, I'm in the "One more year to prove himself" camp.
Fire Blodgett. I think this was an indefensibly bad hire, but I don't think you can fire her yet.
Fire Trimper. I stand full heartedly behind this. Baseball in America East should begin and end with the Maine Black Bears. This team should NEVER have a losing record in conference
I think that Maine's biggest problem at this point is that they have absolutely burned bridges in the New England coaching community and most likely have a reputation as one of those places that "you don't want to go" (and I'm not even talking about the financial, facilities, or recruiting difficulties). James has fostered an atmosphere of irreparable damage.......he needs to go so that Maine can start the long slow process of rebuilding the entire athletic program.
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Old 03-06-2011, 07:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

I began typing an entirely new thread about how horrible the entire athletic department at the University of Maine is. Then, I thought to myself "didn't you already make this thread three years ago?" Only a few things have fundamentally changed from that list above: the men's soccer and women's volleyball teams no longer exist.

At the beginning of the year, through the loss to BU at Agganis, and even a little beyond, my mantra was the same: "if it doesn't happen this season, it may not happen in my lifetime." Maine has had good teams before, but Maine's good teams have always coincided with the conference having superlative teams (example: 1999-00, Hofstra and UD were just better than what may have been Maine's best team ever). Before UVM turned into the 1995-96 Bulls with better facial hair, this conference looked wide open. However, what we saw on the floor yesterday was a microcosm of the second half of Maine's seasons: the team never appeared to give a sh!t. I've read and heard maybe 15 reasons why this was (from two players on the team outright detesting each other, to they all hate the coach, to one player in particular was such a cancer that the entire team soured), but at the end of the day the coach has a responsibility to fix whatever the problem is. It never happened, even as the slide continued.

On Thursday, the entire team and coaching staff were at the Maine Red Claws game in Portland. I thought it was odd they weren't in Hartford yet, but what do I know about travel plans? Instead of watching the Claws choke away another late season game (if you think Maine's record after January was bad, you should see Austin Ainge's), I mostly watched what the team was doing perched in the top row of the stands across the court. The answer? Nothing. None of the team members interacted with each other the entire game. They were spaced out, both mentally and physically. If there was a word that I would use to describe their behavior it would be "defeated." Maybe they just didn't want to be there and I was reading too much into things, but they looked a lot more like a group that was 1-8 in their last nine than a team that had the #3 seed in their conference tournament.

A few days ago, I posted an article in which the BDN discussed Blodgett's job status. By the zero replies, I'm not sure anyone read it, so I will repeat the salient points: Cindy was given a two year extension by Blake James despite having a .225 winning percentage in her first three seasons. She promptly rewarded that faith in her abilities by guiding the team to a 4-25 record in her fourth year. The BDN basically repeated what I have been saying for months: now that James is gone (thankfully), there is no AD in place to fire her. Furthermore, there is no president in place to hire an AD. It is unlikely an AD will be in place by summer. Regardless, the money isn't there to buy out a coach.

This is relevant to Woodward, as well. A March 2009 article in the BDN, again discussing why none of Maine's coaches are likely to be fired (no money, no leadership were again cited) stated that Woodward's main argument for staying was the three years remaining on his contract. That means that there is likely only one more year on his contract, unless Blake James' parting gift was a super-secret 20 year contract extension (as opposed to the herpes he gave the entire athletic program). Frankly, instead of lamenting that there is no one around to give him his walking papers, I am going to celebrate the fact that there is no one around to give him a contract extension. If he could induce such a listless, unmotivated season out of the team Maine had this year, the writing should be on the wall after whatever 8-20 record Maine sleepwalks to next season.

This, however, brings me to my larger point, one which I have been ridiculed for before: I'm not 100% sure Maine should be running a division one athletics program. It is abundantly clear what Maine would need to do to be more successful: spend more money. Woodward and Blodgett have to be near the absolute bottom of the pay scale for head coaches in their sports. Whitehead has to be in the lower rungs for hockey programs that consider themselves "national powers." Cosgrove, I'm not sure, as he has (a) been here forever, (b) cultivated an impressive rolodex of alums and (c) received a $5,000 bonus every time one of his players is arrested or commits a personal foul penalty (the lack of accountability in the football program is a 10,000 word post of its own).

Any time a solution arises to one of the myriad problems facing Maine athletics that involves spending money, the same answer comes: "we can't." Unless something is completely donor funded, it doesn't happen. Coaches don't get fired and are left to fester. Programs are cut. If you are running a business, and things are going poorly, you don't keep hemorrhaging money hoping things miraculously turn around because you are scared to open the purse strings, the only end result of that is bankruptcy. If Maine's money woes are so bad that you can't spend $100,000 to get rid of a coach that is setting your program back years, what is the point of continuing to operate the program? If cost containment is the name of the game, there's a place that has "cost containment" right in its raison d'etre: Division 3.

So, Orono, there are really only two blueprints for the future, go ahead and choose your own adventure:

1. Hire a president already. This process has taken so long I think 3 of your candidates died of old age.
2. Hire an AD. There should be a candidate list on the new President's desk the day he/she sits behind it for the first time.
3. Sack up, spend some money, and fire Blodgett, Woodward and Whitehead.
4. Sack up, spend some money, and hire reasonably paid up and comers to coach the basketball teams WITH ZERO PREVIOUS TIES TO MAINE. Sometimes its good to have part of your legacy involved. But not if that legacy is decades of failure.
5. Sack up, spend some money, and pay a top tier hockey coach. Hockey is the golden goose, it is nearly dead. Only an experienced vet can revive it.
6. Profit from the fans who will come crawling back to watch winners win.

Or:

1. Hire a president around July.
2. Hire an AD around November.
3. Let Whitehead, Woodward and Blodgett finish their contracts.
4. Lowball offer replacements, find no takers.
5. Rehire the mediocre incumbents.
6. Watch the teams continue to lose and the fans continue to flee.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

Excellent post!!! Spot on. Now, please do us Maine fans a favor and pass your thoughts on to Steve Abbott, the Bangor Daily News, the Portland Press Herald, and to anyone that could possibly make a difference. It would be a shame to only see this posted on a forum where few will see it.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

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Excellent post!!! Spot on. Now, please do us Maine fans a favor and pass your thoughts on to Steve Abbott, the Bangor Daily News, the Portland Press Herald, and to anyone that could possibly make a difference. It would be a shame to only see this posted on a forum where few will see it.
I would, but that's kind of the point: there is NO ONE who can make a difference right now. Steve Abbott is a caretaker. Robert Kennedy is a lame duck. While there could be an argument made that people who are about to see the door anyways should be the ones to take the flack for spending about $500,000 to fire three people, just to give the newcomers a clean slate, it is incredibly unlikely to happen.

Maine athletics: a rudderless ship, drifting without a captain, hoping to luck into a safe harbor.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

You know, the sad thing is is that Maine actually gets good athletes to play for their teams but they languish in mediocrity. I've never seen so many teams do "less with more".
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

nvm, see new thread.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

Bump.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

I think it can get worse & I'm betting (& rooting that it will) WBB is currently 1-8, and if they don't win tonight against Bryant then IMO the next W will come against a winless Bingo squad nearly a month and a half from now, which would mean nearly 2 1/2 mos since their last W.

Not even Mr. March can come close to that losing streak.

Add in 2 wins apiece for Women's & Men's hockey and their Winter sports total is an astonishing 7-38-3, which is a 15% winning pct
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

The UMaine athletic department is the biggest joke in D-1 athletics right now. There is no other way to put it. Not only are teams losing........they are apathetic, unfocused, unable to perform the most basic of skills associated with their respective sports............to sum it up, they are horribly coached. But no one and I mean NO ONE in the State of Maine gives a sh*t........especially the people that matter (AD, President, Board of Trustees, Governor, etc, etc). It's a pathetic situation.......if things don't change soon, I may start up a campaign to eliminate the entire UMaine sports program.......for the University of Maine to spend $16 million per year operating this pathetic excuse for a D-1 athletic department is unconscionable. So maybe it's time to just eliminate it..........it's called tough love.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:32 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: UMaine athletics: Worst year in history?

I have no answers anymore, and basically bumped this post because I no longer really care enough to type out a long post like I did above.

It's almost like the school needs to give the whole athletics department the death penalty for five years then start over. Have a clean slate, start up with new coaches, athletes, maybe reorganize what programs are sponsored, figure out a new budget based on the future, not the past...

"And while I'm dreaming, I'd also like a pony." -Lisa Simpson
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