Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Update and Correction on Sacramento State Post

A couple of days ago, I posted an article on Walter Jackson of Sacramento State quitting the basketball team, and including this snippet:

Jackson is the second player to leave the team this year, as Anthony Costetino quit the team before playing a game for them before the season started, not saying a word to Head Coach Brian Katz. For Katz, players leaving is becoming a disturbing trend, despite Sacramento State always saying that Katz graduates all of his players. Eventually, Sacramento State fans and boosters are beginning to be disenchanted with Katz, as a source tells me that boosters may slowly be mobilizing to buy out Katz's contract, of which next season is the final year on his deal.
I want to correct an error that was made, as next year is not the final year of Katz' contract. I am being told that he originally signed a 5 year deal, but he re-upped a couple of years ago, so there are three years remaining on his deal. I am not sure if all of the years are guaranteed, but I was incorrect when I said that his contract was out next year, and I want to apologize for that error.

I did also want to expand on one other part of this point. One commenter (there were a couple of boosters who posted some excellent comments on the original post) posed this question to me, and I wanted to reply in a post, as well as throw out a question to Sacramento State fans and boosters. The commenter said: "Speculating as to why Walter Jackson or any other player leaves his team is simply unfounded conjecture unless you have personally spoken to Mr. Jackson. Why would you simply conclude that the problem lies with Coach Katz?"

I just want to clarify this - I have no idea why Walter Jackson left the team, and I didn't mean to insinuate that it was because of Coach Katz. I simply don't know. But, I do know this -- there is a pattern or trend developing of guys leaving the program, and that is what I was saying. According to some fans counts, the number of players that have simply left the program under Katz has reached double figures.

Last season, two players (Zach Nelson and Antoine Proctor) left the team in the middle of the season. Big man Alpha N'Diaye was declared ineligible and left the team. This season, big man and solid JUCO recruit Anthony Costetino left the program before ever playing a game for the Hornets. And now Walter Jackson has left the team in the middle of the season as conference play is beginning. That is five guys since the start of last season that are no longer with the team.

Now, for all I know, all of them could have left for reasons independent of the Coach. But here is my question to Sacramento State fans -- does that bother you that many players are leaving? I have seen suggestions that they are leaving because Coach Katz is a disciplinarian, and some players can't handle that. I get that if it is some guys leaving, but at what point is he maybe a little too hard on them? Or at what point is it his responsibility to bring in guys that can handle his coaching style?

I am not doubting his coaching ability, and I am not doubting his character or anything of that nature. For the former, the team has improved every year (a trend I think will continue into next year, when I think they will be very solid), and he certainly has a strong track record. To the latter point, I've never heard a bad thing about the guy, and he is from all accounts a stand up guy.

As an outsider, it is my opinion that if this were my school or my team, I would be worried about the program because it has seen so many players leave it over the past few seasons. However, I know there are people out there that know the Sacramento State program better than I know it, so I would love your opinion. What do you think of the job that Coach Katz is doing? Does the amount of attrition worry you?

Please share your thoughts, I would love to hear them.

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  1. Ask an Idaho State fan how attrition affected the football program AND APR.

    I count 12 players who Joe O'Brien either ran off or who quit on their own, and people are already starting to sound the APR warning.

  2. it's unfortunate when a player quits, but it happens. As a Hornets fan, I'm not too concerned because the players he has on the team represent our school very well. From my perspective, he took a chance on some guys, and in the cases stated above, for whatever reason, it didn't work out. Turning around a losing culture isn't easy, and there's bound to be some casualties. As the culture continues to improve, so will the stability of the players and program. I'm glad Katz is our coach, and if you watch on the sidelines, he is very supportive and in control with his players. All he ever has done is win, and he has the program going steady in that direction.

  3. Once again it is important to be accurate in your reporting. You state that "according to some fan counts the number of players that have simply left the program under Katz has reached double figures".
    More precisely the number is actually 5; one of which left after being declared academically ineligible and one who left before the season even began. That equates to 3 players, not 10, over a 2 year period. That's not exactly burning down the house.

    Nonetheless, Sac State fans are enthused about the program. Coach Katz has instituted a positive, team oriented atmosphere not seen at the "Hornet's Nest" in years. Building a program with the right culture takes time and unfortunately there will be players who don't buy into it.

    Remember--"Rome was not built in a day". That's hard to accept in today's instant gratification society. However be patient. The wins will come.

  4. The double digit number was supposed to be through his entire tenure, not just in the last 2 years. I agree that the number has been 5 for the last 2 years.

    Your point about one guy leaving before the season began, I still don't think that lessens the impact. That is still a guy that recruiting dollars and time was used to recruit, and he left without ever playing a game for them. That is still a bad ROI.

    That was the purpose of my post - to see if Sac State fans really are enthused about the program. I have gotten quite a few comments of fans that are, but a quick look at team's message boards shows there are also a lot of fans that are not happy with the state of the program. I don't believe attendance has been that strong either (I have not looked to verify that part, however).

    From what I have seen, some fans are happy with the progress, others are not. I was just curious to see which faction was actually in the majority.

  5. Attendance is not that strong because its hard to sell to both players and a fanbase that you play in a 1200 seat gym. Until the school admin gets serious about a new on-campus arena, Katz is going to be playing with both hands tied behind his back.

    As for players leaving, hate to tell them this: this is college. To prepare you for the real world. There are going to bosses you don't like, bosses you do and bosses you are indifferent about. But as long as someone is paying your full way to go to school, it would behoove to sack it up, study and go to class and follow the directions set. If you can't handle it, then there is the door.

    This isn't hand holding time anymore. To the players who left, you are an adult now. No more of mommy or daddy molly coddling you. For those who have just plain quit: ie Cosentino and Jackson this year, bad precedents to set for your individual lives. Quitting won't get you far in life. For those like Nelson and Proctor, those guys were thugs who should have never seen the light of day on a Div. I court.

  6. Very smart MR Anonymous (^) your comment sounds very familiar, perhaps the man himself!!! The attendance is not a factor, if the team was winning, that place would be packed, its not like fans are saying Im not going to a game because there might not be anywhere to sit...(really) This is not college...This is an University..big difference. (^)Thugs on the team really--who picked them to be on the team huh??? Your comparison about being on this team and it being like the real world..excuse me... the boss is not the CEO...there are many bosses that have been fired due to the way they treat their employees. Many coaches have been fired for various reason... Anyway back to the bring truth to light of what really happened, maybe someone should interview Mr. Jackson. He did not quit the team...he was injured and went to the coach and the coach quit the team for him. Do any of you realize Mr Jackson has played for Katz before Katz was at Sacramento State?? He played hurt, he had to fly the day after his grandmother was buried to get to a game..does that sound like a quitter? Just because a student has a scholarship doesn't mean he/she should sack it up and be disrespected from the coach because he has control issues. 5 for the last 2 years. one before he even hit the wood...guess he made the decision early he wasn't going to deal with this coach. What people fail to realize is that there are reasons things happen but due to politics, these reason are never heard of because many people do not want to spend the time trying to bring them to light. So go ahead and uphold Mr your money to watch the team play, cheer them on and continue to live your life. You will figure it out eventually, matter of fact...sit close to the players bench so you can hear how he "Uplifts" his players.