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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Plan Like a Champion Today

Temple's band at home, as they sadly were
this past weekend.
This past weekend, as most conferences played in their championship games, there was something noticeably absent as Temple traveled to Houston for the American Athletic Conference championship: The band. Temple's Diamond Marching Band had to watch the team they had supported all year from home in Philly. Yesterday, collegemarching.com broke on their social media that the University of Wisconsin, bound for the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, would only be able to bring 225 of the over 300 members of the Badger Band. What's going on here?

While I don't want to let my group of five brethren off the hook, Wisconsin in particular surprises me. The Badgers are chasing a ten win season with a bowl victory, and haven't missed the postseason since 2001. During that stretch, I got to see their band in full glory during the 2005 Outback Bowl. So while I realize it's a different world now than nearly 11 years ago, what has changed? This is only speculation, but assistant pay was cited as a potential concern in the departures of both Bret Bielema and Gary Anderson. Could the Wisconsin athletic department be saving their pennies so as not to see Paul Chryst follow them out the door?

Whether you're Wisconsin or Temple, Northwestern or Northwestern State, the expectation set before every coach in America is to win games and put their team in a position to reach the postseason. Why shouldn't the expectation be the same from athletic directors? Enter every season expecting to compete for a championship, and plan and budget accordingly. Yes, even you, Temple, just two seasons from a two win season and with a not-so-distant history of having been unceremoniously removed from a conference. Expect to win, and plan accordingly.

Winners bring the band. All of it.
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