Posted by: marcmwm | October 2, 2008

From the “logical, but will never happen” department . . .

I don’t think any coaches’ agent would agree to this. And let’s face, once money is spent and contracts are signed, it’s a done deal.

Matt Shaffer, of Cedar Rapids, has a simple and logical suggestion that would never in a million years make it to a coach’s contract. It’ll never happen, but I think Matt’s suggestion shows how deeply frustration has set in for a lot of Iowa fans.

I suggest hanging on and seeing what happens here with a team that’s pretty good in a couple places (running, stopping the run) that should win some football games. But you guys are free to voice your frustration and this is the place to do it.

Here’s Matt’s e-mail, what do you guys think?

Hi,I read your story about Ferentz and the buck stopping with him.  My suggestion would be to tie team performance (record) to the ticket prices and seat premiums for season ticket holders.  Pay the list rate up front at the start of the season and for every loss a season ticket holder gets so many dollars per ticket back as a refund or applied to next year.  As a premium season ticket holder, my patience is wearing very thin.  They have jacked the ticket prices and they should be elevating performance, not playing 0.500 ball and losing to Western Michigan or Northwestern at home. 

Matt Shaffer
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Section 128, Row 1, seats 12 & 13

Matt sent this addendum:


Sure.  I just wanted to clarify to Marc that when I said season ticketholders should get a rebate based on the team’s won -loss record (team performance), I meant the rebate should come from the University, not Coach Ferentz.  The fans who are committed to this program, especially people who buy the season tickets and put up the money should get what we paid for and are paying for.  I do like the recent decisions the staff has made in certain areas and on Saturday versus Northwestern that was as into a game as I have seen the players on the sideline in quite a while.  My seats are right behind the Iowa bench (right behind the quarterbacks) so I see how they react and support their teammates.  There were games last year where I would swear the game was a distraction to some of the players I observed.  I don’t want Coach Ferentz to go anywhere, as I think he is a great Coach, but I wish he were more open to changes and we can quit referring back to successes from 4 years ago.  We could be sitting at 4 years of 0.5000 ball essentially if this year goes the same way as the previous 3.  To me, that is totally unacceptable.

Feel free to use my commentary.  I am a true Iowa fan and I don’t like criticizing Coach Ferentz.  He has brought a lot to Iowa and to the state just as Coach Fry did.  Hopefully they surprise us and win on Saturday at Michigan State.



  1. How do you handle road wins/losses? I also think this provides (another) financial incentive to schedule marginal non-conference games against FCS teams. Why risk the financial hit of losing to a top-20 team?

  2. As a season ticket holder, I’m tired of shelling out money to see games against Maine, FIU, UNI, Montana, etc. I’d rather spend $50 to see them get hammered by USC than see the 3rd and 4th string on the field in the 4th quarter against Maine.

  3. You pays your $ youse takes your chances.

    If you don’t like the movie do you ask for a refund? If so, did you get it?

    No, life doesn’t work that way. If you don’t like what you see quit buying tickets.

  4. I’ve never been a season ticket holder to anything.

    I can see a sense of ownership, but, ultimately, I’m not footing the bill. Not entirely, anyway.

    I don’t think Iowa is in a waiting list situation for tickets yet.

  5. The problem with that is not all losses are created equally. If the Hawks lose a close game to a top 25 team, the fans are getting their money’s worth. As J. Wagner stated, that’s probably a better value than watching the Hawks pummel FIU (or EIU and FAU, in coming seasons).
    I do agree that Iowa hasn’t offered much value lately–last year, I managed to scalp a ticket to the Western Michigan game for ten bucks. Even at that price, I think I got ripped off.

  6. Essentially, this is a suggestion is to eliminate season ticket sales. Perhaps it’s an idea that’s run it’s course. But what you’d have to have is some upfront revenue mechanism. And this proposal is all about downside protection for the buyer. It doesn’t do anything for the seller – a key part of the equation. For something like this to work you’d have to put down a larger ‘seat purchasing license’ in return for the ‘value’ flexible season pricing.

    No offense, but this idea is built for the hindsight seeker. It also de-values or fails to value anything beyond the result on the field.

    For a substantial number of season ticket holders there’s value in rituals of the game such as a) holding season tickets b) tailgating

    The issue of coaching compensation is completely moot with me. I honestly don’t care, at all, whether the HC at Iowa is paid $3mm or $3k. The UI is going to pay in the higher end of the B10 scale because that’s the competitive side of things.

  7. Marc:

    Full disclosure here. I’m an NU grad living in Iowa City but also follow the Hawks. I enjoy your blog.

    Iowa fans are bent out of shape over a coaches salary but what they really should be upset about is an athletic department tht is not very successful for the money they spend

    Since 2001, Iowa has only nine team Big Ten titles with Purdue (eight) in 11th place. The first-place school, Michigan, has 41. Northwestern has 12 (and an additional 4 titles in Lacrosse that is not in the Big Ten). NU has 19 sports and Iowa 22. I suspect that Iowa’s AD budget is roughly double that of NU.

    Also, if we look at football. Iowa’s Big Ten record since 1995 is 54-51. NU’s is only slightly worse at 48-57.

    Iowa fans need to demand more from their high priced AD than the Big Ten basement.

  8. What???????????????????

    Sorry, but that is insane

  9. Marc, anything new on Sash’s availability today or is he a game-time decision?

    Saturday will be interesting to see who can do more on the ground: Ringer vs. Greene. I hope Greene can hold up the entire year. Seems like he gets dinged up and has to come out at least for a while in every game.

    Were you on the beat the last time we won in East Lansing?? Would like to see Stanzi take next step and provide an offensive 1-2 punch with Greene. Drew Tate took the next step in the state of Michigan his soph. year in my opinion, albeit in a loss so hopefully Stanzi blossoms to get us to 1-1 in the Big Ten.

    Will be rough if we lose these next two on road with having to face Wisconsin then.

  10. Sash, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Ferentz said on the radio last night that Sash was a maybe. I don’t think he was ruled out. I think they’re definitely stuck in a wait and see, as in how much pain and mow much more damage, if any, his shoulder can take.

    I’m writing a story about Greene and Ringer right now. I talked to Mike Mayock of the NFL Network. I brought up the possibility of Greene leaving early. Mayock wouldn’t go there, but said some interesting stuff.

    I was in DBQ in 1995. I covered Iowa, but I didn’t travel.

    I like Stanzi’s makeup, but he’s not the bulldog that Tate was. I see Stanzi as more of a Joe Montana-cool type of QB. Tate was a bulldog’s bulldog.

  11. Shonn Greene needs to show he can make it through one year on the collegiate level as the main back.

    Barring maybe Maine, hasn’t he come out of every game dinged up with one thing or another? That’s not going to have the NFL scouts drooling.

    Headin’ out to watch Game 2 of Cubs-Dodgers. Have a good night. Hola to Wingnut if he’s around.

  12. I think we have some decent RB backups if we need them. They’re all young, but better than nothing.

  13. i find it amusing that mr. shaffer thinks the price of his tickets should be tied to the amount of winning his team does. just guessing, but i doubt he’d be offering to tip the university if his team was unbeaten.

    no, what you have here is a simple case of buyer’s remorse. he’s merely one of thousands of frustrated fans who wear blinders to the ticket counter and then wonder what hit them when they realize their team sucks.

    In the real world, supply and demand has substance, and until people quit buying the overpriced product it will remain … well, overpriced

    end of transmission

  14. I think Mr. Shaffer is half-right. Because of the Hawks’ performance in the salad days (was that really four years ago?), the price of the tickets to Iowa football games did go up. So, if the same holds true, then they should go down if the team’s performance reflects a downward turn. But, that will never happen, will it?
    So, the ultimate choice should be, if you are unhappy with the product, don’t buy it. Simple. Tailgate all you want, if that is why you go (for the atmosphere). But, don’t buy a ticket. I think the U of I athletic department would get the hint. And, it’s not like there is a waiting list for season tix at Kinnick.

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