Thursday, March 27, 2014

It was Fun while it Lasted

First the good news.

I know the basketball team faltered down the stretch and lost to Yale last night in the CIT quarterfinals. But the game was great to watch at Levien and the crowd was great too. I got there a little late and stood at the back of the student section, but had a great time anyway.

Now the bad news, the sad news, and the scary news.

Yesterday’s decision by the Chicago regional NLRB to allow Northwestern football players to unionize is the end of college sports as we know it. If the decision is struck down, then fine, but if not we can say goodbye to the varsity sports that really matter… and that includes the Ivies.

We’re no fools. We know that big-time college sports haven’t been about real students for a long, long time. But the illusion of the top players and teams being filled with actual students is important. Once fans are presented with the option of rooting for players who are getting salaries and are just hired guns, you will see the interest wane. Northwestern, Stanford, and Duke will be among the first schools to disband their football programs when faced with the prospect of having to pay players. The NCAA will become totally meaningless and will also disband. And without an NCAA, or major college programs encouraging thousands of kids to play high school sports for eventual college scholarships, all of competitive varsity sports will eventually go away. They will be replaced with somewhat popular minor pro leagues, but they won’t draw big crowds or the big TV money.

Once again, unions and overzealous lawyers will have destroyed a good American tradition.  I know that much of big time college sports was rotten to the core, but this is not the way to fix it. Paying players might seem only fair to a lot of us, and better forms of compensation were indeed warranted, but union wages are not the answer and I have the list of thousands of closed American factories to prove it.

My gut feeling is that the athletes and their lawyers pushing this don’t really want salaries. They want some kind of share of the endorsement money, or expanded student services. But the NLRB has inadvertently called their bluff and now they might just burn down D-1 sports forever.

If you think the Ivies will profit or even be immune to all of this, you’re sadly wrong.

Again, without a big time college recruiting machine, the number of quality high school students to recruit at our level will disappear. With big time FBS schools shuttering their programs, the Ivy presidents will finally have a good argument for eliminating varsity sports at their schools as well. I can just hear Lee Bollinger saying: “If Alabama no longer has football, I don’t see how Columbia can either!”

And that’s where we are folks. The clock is ticking. Either this decision is overturned  or college sports are destroyed. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I'm confident that Levien Gymnasium will indeed be packed tonight for the big game against Yale in the CIT quarterfinals.

But just in case anyone reading this is still sitting on the fence, this is one last entreaty to get to the game and experience all the positives that a winning and functional Ivy League sports team can bring to the students and alumni.

The Columbia Spectator has this solid analysis of what to expect on the court.

The Vegas betting lines have the Lions as a 4-point favorite.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Message from Mangurian

Head Coach Pete Mangurian has a short review of spring practice now up on the athletic department website.

I thought the info about the size of the roster was the most informative part of the message.

My favorite part was Mangurian's shout out to the basketball team. I actually thought that was classy of him.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Making History

I was very impressed by every aspect of Columbia's win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday night.

Despite the fact that everyone had to get their tickets via Will Call, I saw no problems at the box office or with fans finding their seats.

I was impressed with the decent number of students who attended, despite the fact that is was still spring break.

I was very impressed with the way the old alums were extremely vocal and clearly pumped for the game from well before the opening tip.

This was really a fantastic night for Columbia, and it would have been a terrible shame to have lost this special night to an “away game” had the athletic department and others not stepped up to make sure the Lions were at home Saturday night. Anyone who was at the game will surely be able to tell this truth to those who might still think that road games are better for this team right now. And it’s excellent that the CIT Quarterfinal game against Yale Wednesday will also be at home. I’m hoping for a record sellout.

I also hope that lots of CU administrators watched this game. Because if they did, none of them will ever doubt that WINNING athletics can bring together the Columbia community in a way nothing else can.

I think Columbia Spectator writer Peter Andrews has summed it up the best with this statement from his column today:

"It’s a reward for the players, coaches, and—most of all—fans for an incredible year. In the wake of a disastrous football season which cast a toxic cloud over Columbia athletics, this lovable team has offered the community something to rally around."

Obviously, I was most impressed by the way the Lions defeated a bigger and quicker EMU team and finished the game playing their best basketball of the night.

Now, we have a historic moment in Ivy history before us. Columbia will face Yale for the third time in one season. I’m not sure if two Ivy teams have ever met more than twice in one year other than the few times when there was an tie-breaker game for the Ivy title.

Surely, no two Ivy hoop teams have ever met in the postseason… right?

Either way, this Wednesday night’s game at Levien will be a lot of fun for Ivy fans. The winner goes to the CIT Final Four.

Friday, March 21, 2014

What You Need to Know...

Some helpful tips for tomorrow night’s game:

1)      Get there early. Remember ALL the tickets sold were “will call,” so everyone will be in line to get their tickets and then have to get in another line to get in.
2)      The nice new entrance on 120th Street is the only place where you can pick up tickets, AND that’s the entrance that has to block fans from getting to their seats except during timeouts. So if you don’t get there well before the game, you might miss some of the action. The doors for the box office on 120th will open at 5pm, so be ready.
3)      That said, I consider the creation of that new box office and entrance on 120th to be one of the most fan-friendly changes CU has made in years. I believe it opened last year or the year before, but it’s a nice space and allows for much easier access. No longer do fans have to walk all the way through campus or hope that one of the loading docks on Broadway or Amsterdam is clear.
4)      Parking is available at a number of garages very close to that 120th entrance. See the bottom of this link for more info.

I’m being told that students get in free to the game, which is great. I know it’s still technically spring break, but I’m betting a good number of students will be back on campus by tomorrow afternoon. And the students who in the general New York area now have a good reason to return just a little early.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pack this House!

I just bought two tickets for Saturday night's 2nd round CIT game against Eastern Michigan at Levien Gymnasium.

I'm hoping Lions fans can provide a sellout to show our support for the team and prove a point about how much a winning sports program can mean to the students and alumni.

I'm also hoping enough current students will be back from spring break and will be in the stands.

You can buy your tickets now by clicking here.

Columbia to Host EMU

The Lions will host Eastern Michigan at 7pm this Saturday at Levien Gymnasium.

EMU eked out a close win over Norfolk State to advance to the second round of the CIT.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

BREAKING: Home Game Secured!

The Lions will be back home this Saturday night for round two of the CIT!

Good job to everyone involved in making this happen.

The Gold Standard

Even as his team is in the middle of a long, grueling road trip, Columbia Baseball Head Coach Brett Boretti is still setting the best example of how to COMMUNICATE with the fans and keep up support.

Remember, this is a coach working in the same department as Pete Mangurian, who has yet to speak directly to the fans in months and just swept an assistant coaching hiring debacle under the rug.

Here's Boretti's latest notice sent out today:

I wanted to give you a quick update on the Columbia Baseball spring trip in Texas.

We won one of the four games at UT-San Antonio (UTSA). The games were all tight and I feel like all facets of our game are getting better. The pitching on the weekend was solid throughout. Dave Speer, Joe Donino and Kevin Roy all gave us quality starts.

The bats are coming around as well. We outhit UTSA on the weekend (46 to 38)-which is saying something. They are a very good offensive team who take their hacks and they have a solid pitching staff. We had a couple of 1 run losses which hurt, but we have to learn from them and get better in those situations and make the most of our opportunities offensively. We left 40 guys on base over the weekend. We are a hit away from some big innings. When you look at the process- we are doing good things offensively- the result is not quite there yet- but it will be.

In game three we were down 8-1 after 4 innings and came back and had opportunities to tie it up or take the lead before losing 9-8. The effort is consistent and the energy is good. These are all things we can control and the guys are doing a good job. One last thing, offensively is it has been a collective effort- not just one or two guys. There are different guys contributing different days which is great. We want it that way. The at bats are getting more consistent and we are facing some good pitchers.

Last night at Texas A&M, we played one of our best games. We got great starting pitching. Sophomore RHP George Thanopoulos pitched great. Our defense was outstanding- led by Aaron Silbar who had several nice plays at shortstop. Our 2-out hitting was the best it has been all year. Everything went as well as we could have envisioned for 23 outs.

We need to finish better- it doesn’t matter if its Texas A&M or Dartmouth College- the game is the same. It takes 27 outs (sometimes more) to complete a victory. We played well and we lost- that’s better than playing poorly and losing. We take away the positives (which there were plenty) and move on. The guys are competing at a high level and their focus has been very good.

Tonight it’s UT-Arlington- 6pm CST. We are staying right down the road from the Texas Rangers Ballpark and AT&T Stadium (Cowboys). Tonight Freshman RHP Ty Wiest will make his first collegiate start. After tonight’s game we travel tomorrow to Austin for an evening workout before locking up with the Longhorns on Friday night for game #1 of the series.


UTSA head coach Jason Marshall played at Texas A&M. He is an outstanding coach who runs a great program. Their players had a ton of energy and have fun at the yard. We picked up a few things from watching them play and how they went about their business. That’s the great thing about taking these trips to different parts of the country- you learn different ways of doing things- and try to incorporate some of those into your own program that you feel can help you succeed.

Texas A&M’s facility- Blue Bell Ballpark- is the nicest college stadium I have ever been in. We worked out there on Monday evening and I’m not ashamed to say I felt like a kid in a candy store. I had to be touching 78mph in batting practice! College baseball down here is a BIG deal- and the atmosphere at the game last night was awesome. Another reason why these trips are so important to the overall experience for our guys.

Texas A&M’s head coach Rob Childress, who has taken his program to the NCAA’s during each of his six years at the school and made a trip to Omaha in 2011 for the CWS, had some real good things to say about our guys after the game. Another class act and tremendous baseball coach that we enjoyed competing against.

Columbia Baseball Alumni- Leslie “David” Hillis and Ron Szumilas came to our games at UTSA over the weekend. It’s always great to talk with our alumni who are living in some of the areas we travel to. Thanks guys for coming out and supporting the team.

Tonight there’s an alumni function at UT-Arlington’s ballpark. Columbia Baseball alumn Anthony Appollaro will be at tonight’s game.

That’s all for now.
Thanks for reading and for more in depth reports on the games- check out our website- where Brock Malone put up some pictures of last night’s game.


Let's Bring the Lions Home!

If it's cash we need to get a home game, let's make it happen!

Lion nation is justifiably elated today after Maodo Lo nailed a buzzer-beating shot to defeat Valparaiso last night.

Columbia won't find out who it plays next in the CIT until maybe late tonight, but Lion fans should start acting NOW to push for a home game in second round.

The next game would be either this Friday or Saturday night, so a nice-sized crowd is possible. A good number of students who were away on spring break could even make it, especially if the game is Saturday night.

Securing this home game is the least the administration, (which claims to be so appreciative of the home crowds), can do for this team that has played so well this year and the fans who have been so loyal.

If cost truly is the issue, I'll be happy to lead a fundraising drive right on this blog that I bet would put a nice dent in the price.

Let's get this done!

Baseball Almost Makes History

It wasn't almost a doubly amazing night for CU, as the baseball team blew a 7-4 8th inning lead and fell on the road to Texas A&M.

It was still a strong performance considering the competition.

So, I'm very much looking forward to the Ivy in-conference baseball season which begins at the end of this month.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BREAKING: Two Valpo Seniors OUT

Looks like Valparaiso will be without two seniors tonight in the game against the Lions.

One is Jordan Coleman, who is a decent 3-pt. shooter and averaged 8.1 points per game. The other is Bobby Capobianco, a big man who scored 6.3 points per game. Both were good foul shooters. 

Capobianco's absence could be a key to the game, as Lion Head Coach Kyle Smith has been talking about Valpo's strong front line. 

More with Less

In a release just issued by the athletic department, Columbia's coaching staff for 2014 has been announced.

The headlines are that Gordon Sammis has been promoted to full time O-line coach and Ola Adams, a 2008 graduate of Concord University, will be coaching the wide receivers.

Other members of the coaching staff have been asked to add to their duties/responsibilities.

Color me unimpressed. These weren't the proven and experience coaches we needed to see this very unprepared team to be even remotely competitive this fall.

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Lows

Murphy & Mangurian: Trouble in Paradise?

I’d really like to go at least two weeks without having to point out the latest egregious mistake and failure in the CU athletics world.

But I just never get the darned chance.

Something is very, very wrong in Head Coach Pete Mangurian’s football office right now.

And it’s worse than anything that even detractors like me could have guessed would happen.

Consider the confusing and downright incorrect “information” we’ve received in just the last few weeks.

First, we were promised Wednesday updates beginning on March 5th. March 5th came and went with no update. So did March 12th.

We were also promised that a full write-up on the incoming freshman class was coming on or about March 15th.

We were not told that there was to be no spring game this year, and it took a decent amount of re-clarification to clear up the fact that this past Saturday’s practice was open and indeed the final session of spring practice.

The write up about that final practice posted late Saturday provided absolutely no real information about the scrimmage, the players, or anything else.

Of course, the March 15th report on the incoming class did not materialize, but Saturday’s release did promise that report for sometime next month.

I know there are some defenders of the current regime who read this blog and think I’ve been too harsh on everyone involved.

Well, apparently I and other haven’t been harsh enough. The athletic department vis a vis football is now not even able to put out a coherent stream of information. This is beyond pathetic and inexcusable.

Ineptitude can only explain about 50% of this, so I have to chalk this up to outright disdain for the fans. And this disdain from the Mangurian regime has been clear for a long time.

Perhaps this breakdown in official athletic department communications for football is a result of reports I’m getting of a growing breach between Mangurian and Athletic Director Dianne Murphy. To put it mildly, the two aren’t getting along.

I’ll be an optimist here and take Murphy’s growing displeasure with Mangurian as a good sign that maybe even she will soon wake up to her terrible mistake and let him go sooner rather than later.

CIT Controversy

A few readers have made a good point asking why Columbia is not spending the money other Ivies are paying to secure a home game in the upcoming CIT Tournament.

I would bet Columbia simply didn’t want to put up the cash, even though the money could have been raised very easily and quickly. Perhaps, the athletic department felt it would be too embarrassing to go publicly hat in hand to its fans and ask for the money. But being afraid of embarrassment certainly doesn’t seem to be a problem for a department that’s okay with an 0-10 football team and retaining the head coach of that team to boot!

Another argument I’ve heard is that it’s now spring break and the students wouldn’t be around for a home game anyway. Well, Brown and Yale students are on spring break too and their administrations ponied up the cash. I promise you that if CU had a home game tomorrow night, Levien would have sold out.

Just days after penning an editorial in the Spectator thanking the home fans for all their crucial support of the basketball team, it appears Dianne Murphy and the rest of the administration didn’t see fit to reward those fans with another home game. Once again, lip service trumps all for this administration and out student athletes and fans. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Columbia has just been invited to play in the postseason tournament.

The Lions will go to Valparaiso to play the Crusaders this coming Tuesday night at 8:05 Eastern Time.


I’ll withhold my next post until we get today’s promised update on the football program.

Anyone want to take bets on when it will actually be posted?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hoops Hits a Target

Hopefully, this season is just a prelude to even better basketball in 2015

Well, we got one of the goals we set up on January 6th for the season accomplished.

Columbia Men’s Basketball finished the season with a split against Penn and Princeton and ends the year with a 19-12 overall record, 8-6 Ivy.

It’s the first winning Ivy season for CU since 1993, and that’s worth noting.

It’s also worth being optimistic about next year since the team has no graduating seniors and plenty of talented players.

But celebrating a 3rd place finish is going a little too far.

As some readers have already noted, this is a baseline-type of performance we want to see from the hoops team, not the high water mark.

The expectations will be so much higher for the team next season, so let’s see if Coach Kyle Smith and the crew can come through.

Lions on the Diamond

Baseball is already showing pretty good signs for this early stage in the season.

Long time Columbia fans can remember a time when even good Lion teams often went the entire pre-Ivy League season with just 2 or 3 wins.

But Head Coach Brett Boretti’s guys are 4-4 so far on what’s been a challenging road trip. The hitting hasn’t been great, but senior Jordan Serena is tearing it up with a .419 batting average.

And please check out the stats on pitcher David Speer. He’s pitched 16 innings, has ZERO walks, 13 strikeouts, a 1.12 ERA, and a .179 opponents’ batting average.

Columbia now heads to Texas beginning this weekend for four against UTSA, one each against Texas A&M and UT Arlington, and three against UT Austin. That’s some top notch competition that should get these guys really ready for the Ivy League slate which begins at home against Brown on March 29th, (with a game against Army just before that on the 26th). 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Make or Break

This is obviously a crucial weekend for Men’s Basketball.

With the final two games against Penn and Princeton, Columbia has a chance to achieve some of the key goals of the season.

First, the Lions need to win at least one of the games to secure their first winning Ivy record in 21 years.

A sweep would give Columbia an impressive 20-win season.

After last week’s embarrassing loss to Harvard, I don’t expect Columbia to have any chance at an NIT berth. You have to remember the extreme low regard the general sports world has for Ivy athletics. But a slot in the CBI Tournament would not be out of the question if CU sweeps.

Yes, it has been a very good season for Columbia hoops so far. But this weekend is where we really get a measure of the team going into next year.

One thing I have to say about Coach Kyle Smith right now is that he’s doing something very positive with the DEVELOPMENT of his players.

Guys like Alex Rosenberg and Maodo Lo are a lot better than they were last year, even though they were already pretty good.

Can anyone remember the last time we saw a talented young player in football really get better as the years went on? Honestly, I can only think of football players who got WORSE instead of better over the years. Horrific coaching and injuries are almost always the reasons why and people like Marcorus Garrett and Sean Brackett come to mind. One exception was Marcellus Wiley, who then-Head Coach Ray Tellier recognized as a budding D-Lineman and switched him at a good time.

But more examples abound of players who either stayed still or simply got worse instead of better even after All Ivy seasons. Players like TE Hamilton Garner, an All Ivy selection as a sophomore who barely got into the offensive mix his final two seasons. Players like OL Scott Ward, also an All Ivy awardee, who was marginalized even more than Garner. The list really goes on and on.

Let’s face it: the state of Columbia football right now is that basically we’re a developmental/instructional league team. With no JV experience and so many freshmen playing in key positions last season, it was obvious these guys were learning as they go.

But if the usual order of things for CU football continues, this will end up being a major disaster. These players with no real experience really need to get much, much, much better over time or CU will never win another game ever again.

I hope the Mangurian regime has a plan here, but damned if anyone knows for sure. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Waiting for Word...

With the football roster now updated, here are some takeaways:

1)      Missing Lions

The non-graduating seniors now officially gone are LB Mark Cieslak, WR Isaiah  Gross, OL Eric Kuklinski, TE Connor Spears, WR Jake Wanamaker, and OL Ricky Wolff.

2)      Weights are not updated

With all the scrutiny I’ve been putting on the player weights, I doubt this will be updated any time soon. But maybe they’ll surprise me.

3)      It’s all about the O-line: part 135

We now have 10 returning offensive linemen. Job 1 is still the same: fix this unit and fix it now. I know we have a number of incoming frosh linemen, but do we really want to rely on freshmen offensive linemen? These are the guys the coaches need to make into a unit that gives the team a fighting chance to win.

I’m not sure when the weekly updates that were promised in this release will actually begin. I was expecting something yesterday, but maybe the timing is off.

This Saturday’s practice is still open from what I understand. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A True Lion

Ever wonder what a REAL good college coach does to communicate with the alumni and fans?

I could describe it to you, but I’d rather do something a lot better and just SHOW you what I’m talking about.

Here’s the latest email from our outstanding baseball coach Brett Boretti:

The Columbia Baseball team split our first weekend at the University of South Florida. We took the first two games of the series 1-0 and 6-4 to go 2-0 for the first time since 1999, but that lasted about 3 hours when USF beat us soundly in the night cap on Saturday 13-5 and followed it up by taking Sunday’s game 7-2.

On Friday night senior Dave Speer pitched a tremendous 8 innings and senior Zack Tax closed the door to record his first save of the year. It was a great pitcher’s duel as USF’s #1 starter had not been scored on in his previous two starts this year. We scored in the top of the first as junior Jordan Serena hit a hard single up the middle, stole second, and came around on senior Aaron Silbar’s RBI single. That early run stood up as Speer worked out of a second and third no out situation in the middle innings to continue to give us momentum. We ended up with zero errors on defense and issued 1 BB and had 8k’s. A very good win and real good start to the season.
Joe Donino took the hill on Saturday for the first game of a doubleheader. Joe struggled with his command a bit and we made a move to the bullpen early to bring in sophomore lefty Thomas Crispi. Crispi gave us 3 quality innings and a chance to regroup and settle in. We grabbed the lead back in the top of the 6
th but it ended up tied going into the 7th. Sophomore George Thanopoulos came on and pitched one hit ball over the final three frames striking out two.
The offense grinded out a run in the 8
th that started with Dave Vandercook getting hit by a pitch then Aaron Silbar sac bunting him over to 2nd followed by a walk (Falcone) and a single by Rob Paller and a sac fly by Logan Boyher. The offense scored two more in the 9th when freshmen second-baseman Will Savage led off with a single and was bunted over by Mike Fischer. Jordan Serena (who had a heck of a weekend- 9 for 16 w/ 3 doubles and 3SB’s) doubled him in and Aaron Silbar had a big 2-out RBI to add some insurance for a 6-4 win. It started a little sloppy but we ended up on the right side of the score in the end.
Game three did not end up that way. Adam Cline got the start and his command was not the best. A 1-1 game quickly got away from us when USF put up an 8 spot in the 4
th to take a commanding lead. Freshman RHP Ty Wiest made his debut on the hill in relief. We played a solid game defensively, but we gave them too many chances to cash in some opportunities and they did in a big way in the 4th inning.

Logan Boyer did a real nice job behind the plate in game #2 after starting at 1b in game #1. Sophomore Nick Maguire had two hits including an RBI triple.
On Sunday sophomore RHP Kevin Roy took the hill, as we looked to take the series. We struck in the top of the first with Serena getting hit by a pitch and stealing second and Rob Paller driving him in, but that was all we could manage with the bases loaded and 1 out. We would end up leaving 14 guys on base for the day. Roy had some problems locating his fastball early and got into some trouble. We were able to limit the damage but still were tied 2-2 after three innings. In the 4
th we went to the bullpen. Zack Tax and junior LHP Mike Weisman worked themselves out of some jams to keep it at 5-2 at the end of six. Sophomore RHP Matt Robinson made his debut in the seventh. Freshman Ty Wiest did a real nice job getting out of a second and third 1 out jam in the 8th to keep the score at 7-2. We had our chanceson Sunday to do a lot more offensively. We knocked their starter out after three innings and were unable to capitalize on plenty of opportunities. Defensively we did not commit an error.
I thought we could have done better/more on the weekend. A splits a split, but we did not show as well as we can. Our bullpen showed their depth and it was good to use the whole staff on the weekend. Defense was very good. Offensively the approach was solid for the first weekend and we took some healthy hacks. The two strike approach was pretty good too. Our bunting needs to improve and it will. USF is a solid team. Their top 3 starters pitched well, and we saw a few good arms out of the pen, so it was a good match up for us early. Their hitters have a great 2k-approach- which I think our guys recognized and learned from.
After the games on Saturday, I found out our flight was cancelled (IMPENDING WEATHER). We quickly turned a negative into a BIG positive. Other than missing classes on a Monday I thought it was a blessing in disguise to get another day on the field in Florida. We had a great workout Monday morning at USF. Coach Prado at USF runs a class program. He's a great guy and very complimentary of our program and I appreciate him allowing us to practice on Monday at his place. It was great to get back on the field after the two losses and get in a real good practice in the Florida sun.
We head back on the road on Thursday. We are traveling down to Kennesaw State. They are 7-6 with wins over Georgia and Georgia Tech already. It should be another challenging match up for us.
Alumni Notes
Tim Giel SEAS ’13 was at our games. Tim is in Tampa for spring training with the Yankees for his second season. He looked great and is ready to go.
Dario Pizzano CC ’13 made his big league spring training debut yesterday for the Seattle Mariners. He got an OF assist- threw a guy out at third.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Columbia Baseball Alumni Homecoming Day Saturday April 12th vs Princeton.
Also, I want to make sure everyone knows the giving link if you want to make your gift to the baseball program:

Thanks for all your support and talk to you soon.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Letter of Aggravation

I’m sure I’m not the only one here who received the letter from Head Coach Pete Mangurian this weekend that promised us a team we could be proud of and stated that “recruiting is going very well.”

Look, I get that Mangurian has to write this kind of stuff and that all his predecessors did the same.

So, I’m not criticizing him for writing the letter or anything he said in it.

But I’m already suffering from pre-emptive mental pain when I think of the inevitable pushback I and some other fans will get 8 ½ months from now when we accurately point to this letter and ask why none of these promises were kept.

At the top of the template for this blog are Mangurian’s statements from last year about how we should judge the 2013 team by its wins and losses. Well, we judged the 0-10 team for what it was, and yet the administration refused to do a thing about it, the Mangurian trolls decided to ignore it, and apparently the only important thing is that I called Mangurian fat.

I wish I could say “good for Pete for making bold and clear promises.” But I can’t, because when it comes to at least taking responsibility for breaking those promises, he’s been AWOL… other than taking a moment to blame me. And apparently some of his zealous employees/followers/family members are running some kind of absurd interference.

Anyone can feel free to attack me for telling it like I see it, but right now I don’t see how this team does better than 1-9 next season. 0-10 is actually more likely than not. Anyone who saw how far behind we were compared to every other team we played last season knows what I’m talking about. This is a program that’s 4-5 years away from being competitive even if Mangurian makes a lot of right moves from now on.

So forgive me if I just throw Mangurian’s letter away, because filing it away to use it as some kind of evidence against him in November won’t do any good. The administration and his supporters will attack me for using Pete’s own words and promises against him. 

Blocked Out

Charles Argast is about to get coached by his dad

Offensive line coach Ed Argast is leaving CU to go to Bryant University. His son plays there now and that probably has a lot to do with it. But I also think Argast is getting out of a bad situation where he has not been allowed to really do his job.

When I heard that Ed Argast was joining the Lion coaching staff exactly five years ago, I was excited. Argast was one of those very experienced coaches with a good track record that CU was picking up as a bargain. I guessed that the fact that his son was playing football for nearby Fordham Prep may have had something to do with it.

Argast made an impact right away as the 2009 Columbia offensive line was the best we’ve seen since 1998 or maybe 2000.

But Argast was never really able to coach the unit his way during his entire tenure. Former Head Coach Norries Wilson and his OC Vinnie Marino tinkered too much with Argast’s work. That unfortunate tradition continued during the Mangurian regime.

The result is that the Lions have been sporting not just a poor offensive line, but and almost criminally deficient front five that threatens to keep the surgeons at Columbia-Presbyterian working overtime for years to come.

Let’s hope Argast’s replacement is not only talented, but has the guts to tell Pete Mangurian to back off and stop doing whatever he’s done to make our O-Line perhaps the worst in Ivy history.