18.3.07

THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT MATTERS. One and done, and Washington women's basketball coach June Daugherty is also done.

We just need to have a positive buzz in our community about our team. And it just wasn't there," athletic director Todd Turner said, after he announced he would not renew the contracts of Daugherty or any of her assistants, including her husband, Mike, following her 11th season at UW.

Daugherty's teams made six NCAA Tournaments, but the final one ended Saturday when No. 11 seed Washington lost to sixth-seeded Iowa State 79-60. The Huskies went 18-12 in the regular season finished fourth in the Pac-10 at 11-7.

The positional arms race in sports facilities puts a lot of pressure on coaches and players to get fans in the seats. Those revenue bonds have to be amortized.

Attendance at remodeled Hec Edmundson Pavilion decreased from almost 5,000 per game to just above 2,500 in five seasons.

In 2003, Washington posted its first 20-win regular season under Daugherty and led the Pac-10 in attendance with a school-record 4,981 fans per game. The Huskies tied for second in the league with their best conference record during Daugherty's tenure, 13-5. That team set a single-game attendance record when 8,408 fans saw Washington crush UCLA.

There's apparently some interest in having local players perform for local fans.

Turner also didn't like seeing top recruits from what he called a "fertile" home state leave. The latest was Regina Rogers, the star center from Chief Sealth High School in Seattle has committed to UCLA.

"Quite a few kids have left our state to play elsewhere .... That is troubling," Turner said.

The money paragraph, as it were, comes at the end.
He also said the Huskies should be producing more for what Washington is paying into the women's program. He noted "hundreds of thousands of dollars" spent to improve practice gyms, meeting rooms and training rooms for both the men's and women's teams and an increase in coaches' salaries.
The article appears on ESPN, a service not noted for contemplating the information content in university administrations' revealed preferences for improved sports facilities while enrollment-impacted departments struggle with deferred maintenance in the classrooms.

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