*Editor’s note: I received this well-written email in my inbox from a Husky fan who wishes to remain anonymous. It’s a good follow-up from yesterday’s column on the University of Washington’s return policy. Check it.
I never leave sporting events early, but I seriously wanted to leave after only the first quarter of the Huskies’ embarrassing, lackluster performance against Stanford. I ended up staying to the bitter, acrid end, mostly because I was surrounded by good friends and we wanted to see what Keith Price had to offer in the fourth quarter.
In no way was my staying to the end related to getting my money’s worth. From 21-0 Stanford on, there was nothing the Dawgs could do to justify my expenditures on that particular game.
When the Los Angeles Galaxy came to Qwest Field and trounced the Seattle Sounders FC 4-0 this year, the Sounders ownership took the unprecedented step of refunding the fans (by extending a one-game credit on season ticket renewals). After a game in which the Huskies did not even show up, I felt like calling for the same thing. It was such a pathetic performance, and so little heart and effort was shown, that UW owes its fan base some sort of refund.
College athletic programs are complex institutions. Our football ticket money pays for not only the football program, but a large chunk of the budget for our other Husky teams that do not generate revenue for the department.
Thus, it doesn’t do much to demand a direct refund. Even though we paid to watch a football team that didn’t play, I’m not going to ask the athletic department to refund everybody’s ticket price, knowing that it would hurt the many successful and dedicated programs that sport the Washington W.
However, it is worth considering where a substantial portion of our ticket dollars are going: football coaches’ salaries.
Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt makes around $700,000 a year, an astronomical number for an assistant football coach. The Husky defense, over the last two games, has been fundamentally incapable of stopping their opponent. In the last 18 drives that mattered (discounting drives at the end of a half), they have given up 11 touchdowns and three field goals (on four attempts). In that span, they have forced only three punts.
No matter how you break down supposed talent gaps, fatigue due to the Husky offense punting the ball as soon as possible, or inexperience, it seems clear to me that we as Husky fans are not getting our money’s worth. Holt just signed a contract extension, however, and I have the belief that coaching staffs with constant turnover are not successful (see: recent Seattle sports history).
I’m not asking for a refund and I’m not asking for anybody’s head (yet).
But I am asking for some retribution.
I want to see my money go to something productive. I am calling on Nick Holt and any other member of the Husky Football coaching staff to donate part of their bloated salaries to the Husky Stadium renovation project, student scholarships, equipment purchases, or any other beneficial outlet.
Donating at least one-sixth of your salary, representing this home game in which your team simply did not show up to play, would be a good start.
Donating half or more would be even better. Because, quite simply, you are not earning your money, and we would like to know that our money is at least going towards something that will help our program be competitive.
A concerned Husky fan