Fordham, Duquesne…we need to talk

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Sad stat I stumbled upon this morning while searching home attendance numbers for A-10 teams: both the Fordham Rams and Duquesne Dukes are averaging fewer than 1,000 fans per game.

Insert: sad face emoji + gun emoji.

There’s no way to sugarcoat just how embarrassing that is and how unacceptable that should be for a basketball conference like this one. Sub-1,000-fan games are low-major stuff. They aren’t the level the A-10 strives for and quite frankly aren’t even an acceptable level for conferences like the CAA (who has zero members averaging under 1,000 fans per game) or the MAC, who has just Northern Illinois in the sub-1,000 category. Fordham’s abysmal 782 fans per home game is not only the worst mark in A-10 men’s hoops but would rank 6th among the women’s programs.

We’re talking Patriot League and MEAC stuff, which quite frankly may be where programs like Duquesne and Fordham belong.

There, I said it.

Even in their post-Jim Crews hell, Saint Louis is drawing just under 6,000 fans per contest. La Salle, during a 9-22 season, pulled 2,492 fans per near-guaranteed loss.

The fact is, not only are both Fordham and Duquesne the only teams to average under 1,000 fans per contest, they are the only teams in this hoops-loving league that are averaging under 3,000 this season, making their volleyball-esque crowds a huge black eye on a conference striving to prove it’s among one of the best college hoops conferences in the country.

Look, I get how this works. I’ve seen enough conference realignment to know conferences aren’t kicking out schools for low attendance. But if teams and fanbases like Fordham and Duquesne can’t prove they care enough about basketball to be here, the A-10 may not need to kick out teams, because they’ll be adding more schools when the programs trying to prove they are high-major basketball jump at opportunities to join other likeminded teams that actually care about the sport (say goodbye to schools like Dayton, VCU and SLU).

 

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About Author

Mat Shelton-Eide has been involved in college athletics since 2007, starting as a co-founder of VCURamNation.com where he covered the Rams all the way to Houston as the one-time CAA darling shocked the hoops world with a historic run to the Final 4. He has worked within two Atlantic 10 athletic departments, first as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department during the '09-'10 basketball season, then after receiving his M.Ed. from VCU's Center for Sport Leadership, as a ticketing and marketing intern in the University of Richmond's athletic department during the inaugural season of Richmond's Robins Stadium, months before the Spiders 2011 Sweet 16 run.

6 Comments

  1. Fordham belongs in the MAAC or the Patriot League and it’s no secret that many of their basketball loving alums feel the same way…

    • Further… if Fordham were to get out; as they should, the A10 should target some of the upper-echelon MAAC schools to keep their presence in the New York metro area. Monmouth comes to mind as a program that would be an excellent addition. They have a beautiful facility and have had great crowds at each game I’ve been to in the last year.

      • Monmouth or Hofstra would be teams I would hope to target if Fordham decided to leave, but as I said below I disagree with kicking anyone out.

  2. Fordham in the A10 is a sad joke that has run its course. One of the worst D1 men’s programs of the last 20+ years. Fordham adds nothing positive to the A10, nothing. And the program serves as a huge drag on the A10. It’s time to end this farce and send Fordham packing.

  3. As a Fordham alum and basketball fan, I would LOVE it if we left the A-10 and went back to the MAAC for everything but football–please kick us out! The bumbling idiots in the Fordham administration want all the benefits of membership in a top basketball conference (although I really don’t understand this, because they appear to be indifferent, at best, when it comes to college basketball) without any of the sacrifice or investment required. (This coming from one of the most expensive Catholic schools in the country–hey, thanks for the $60K, mom and dad! Tell your kids to enjoy our ’50s-style facilities!) It’s pathetic. If they’re going to insist that we play in the embarrassing CYO rat-hole known as the Rose Hill Gym for another century, at least let us do it in a conference where we can get away with it…maybe…

  4. I am not a fan of kicking schools out of the conference especially an original member like Duquesne. I know there programs are down right now but every conference has it’s bottom feeders. Big Ten basketball has Penn State, Rutgers, Minnesota, we have Fordham, Duquesne, and Saint Louis. And it all goes in cycles sure Fordham has been a bottom feeder for a long time but that doesn’t mean they should get tossed.

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