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Lucas Oil, DUIs, New Recruits, and Coach Chats. What an Offseason So Far

NFL Stadiums, DUIs, and new recruits?!? OH MY!

You know, sort of like the Howard Stern show curse, where whenever the King of All Media takes a week off from his radio show, celebrities die, usually in bunches, and all without the commentary of Howard, Robin, Fred and Bababooey the last couple weeks have been a whirlwind of Ball State footballness despite our inability to comment, report, or crack wise about the goings on. Have you been paying attention and not swamped at work? Then feel free to let us know what we haven’t caught up on. Been a bit behind yourself? Then read on for the highlight, or the lowlights as the case may be…

 

Looking Forward to the IU Game Next Fall? Hope You Get Good Mileage
What was talked about for most of the winter has finally become a reality as Ball State announced it is moving the scheduled 2011 home game with Indiana University away from Scheumann Stadium and instead to Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis. Not surprisingly, the reaction from a good percentage of the fanbase has been less than stellar, hurling barbs about how it isn’t fair, it’s a stupid decision, the administration doesn’t care about the fans, on and on and on. Also equally not surprising has been the reaction from IU fans, who have apparently forgotten the last time that BSU and IU met on the turf, their expectations of crushing “that little teacher’s college” didn’t really work out all that well. Hoosier faithful apparently have no interest in traveling to the mighty metropolis of Muncie, IN and they seem quite confident that the crowd at Lucas will be overwhelmingly pro-Indiana.

Of course, there is reason to complain a bit, but only briefly. Yes, it would have been nice to have a Big 10 opponent come to the Scheu. Playing the game in Muncie may have generated a large student turnout (assuming they didn’t go home for Labor Day). Finally, it would have meant a comfortable experience both in cost and planning for season ticket holders and folks local to the Muncie area. Those are the positives and in reality, it’s just another home game albeit against an in-state rival from a BCS conference, which doesn’t happen in Muncie very often. Fans that take that perspective though are missing the overwhelming possibilities for this move. First and foremost is the financial benefit for the Cardinals. This isn’t some sort of neutral site made for television contest. This is still BSU’s home game, which means the revenue stream is significantly widened. Not only are the tickets more expensive, there are more of them to sell, and for a program on a shoestring budget already an increase in revenue is a gifthorse not to be looked in the mouth. So many fans and supporters bemoan the lack of facilities, our inability to pay well for coaches, and the general atmosphere of spendthriftness around the U. Doing all that and then panning this move makes you at best a cynical asshole and at worst a full-blown hypocrite.

This is also an opportunity to get the Indy alums on board with this program and catch the Cards in action. So many of our friends would like to go to games, but the drive to Muncie is just far enough and hassle enough to make other Saturday plans more appealing. A good experience, and hopefully a win, may reel these folks in as the season progresses. Last, but probably not lease despite the fact that no one is really talking about it is the experience for the players. Granted, playing games in Ypsilanti or Oxford I’m sure is exciting to the point of butterflies, but MAC student athletes playing in an NFL stadium is something that they may treasure for a while. All in all… good move.

Welcome to the Program, Now Blow in This
Terry Lantz has had a hell of a first ten days in the Ball State program. Just nine days after being hired by Pete Lembo to coach the safeties, Lantz got stopped and subsequently arrested for DUI at the always treacherous intersection of University and Dill. No word on where he was coming from, but I pray he wasn’t at Dill Street. If that’s the case, his lack of judgment about where to imbibe and poor taste in bars is far more troubling than his decision to get behind the wheel. Lantz blew a .16, which is bombed by any definition and just royally sucks for him and the program. No word on what his punishment will be, whether he’ll keep his job, or what his beverage of choice was. I’ll go with counseling, zero tolerance, keeps the job, and amaretto sours. The good news in all of this is the direct correlation between law breaking and victories. Further proving this new staff’s commitment, they didn’t even wait for the players to screw up and get to meet Muncie’s finest, they grabbed that bull by the horns themselves. Commitment never sleeps. But commitment does deliver mugshot gold:

Is a trial even needed with a photo like this?

We’re in Your Sunshine and Golden States, Stealing Your Recruits
Eric Patterson from Tampa, Florida (according to the Tampa Tribune) is trading in beaches, warm weather, and sunshine for Muncie. Go us! Patterson is a 5’9″ 174 lb corner, who also has experience returning kicks. Patterson picked the Cards over a few FCS offers but also MAC brethren Ohio and Buffalo. Also added to the Lembo fold this past weekend was California OLB Michael Ayers. A general athlete in high school, the 6’2 200-pounder played both LB and QB and chose BSU over Sacramento State and San Jose State. Whether or not this program can get these players from so far out of state to actually complete 4 years remains to be seen, but it’s nice to see the staff reaching out past the de facto borders that the last few staffs placed on recruiting.

Meet Some of Your New Coaches
In a surprising turn of events, the BSU athletics department has been johnny on the spot this offseason with news coming out and actual reasons to visit the website. We’ve long been a proponent of BSU shoring up its digital footprint, so to see our wishes slowly coming to reality is quite refreshing. In what is presumably an effort to ingratiate the new coaching staff with the fanbase, several Q+As have appeared with the assistant coaches and all have been insightful and energizing about this staff’s personality and values. Whether that translates to wins on the field come fall we’ll have to wait and see. Check them out yourself: Justin Lustig, Jay Bateman, Rich Skrosky.

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One Response

  1. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a mugshot with that much “Man, Did I Ever Just Fuck Up” to it…

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