Jump to content

My e mail to Brian Burwell


Recommended Posts

Dear Mr Burwell,

I have enjoyed your writing in the post thus far, but I am now writing because I was dissappointed by your article "SLU would be better off in MVC than Atlantic 10".

I can not more wholeheartedly disagree with your opinion. Please let me explain why.

First of all I am a SLU fan and Alum and have followed the Bills since Rich Grawer's last year of Coaching. I have ridden the rollercoaster that they have had since that time with NCAA appearances and even some wins. Recently, some years have been a little more painful, but last year from out of no where, the hard work hustling play exhibited by the Bills and the Heroics of Marque Perry were exhilarating. Not enough to make the tourney, but still fun. One of the best game was their last game against tulane which they won in OT but, the best part of that game was halftime when 200 plus students athletes took the court to be honored for athletic excellence. Real athletes going to class and excelling!!!!

Saint Louis University challenges its students every day, not just to do well but to do better, to excell. If they are going to pursue Division one Basketball, then the administration also needs to come to work and do better everyday. They are trying to do this despite some personal hardships. The plans to better the program and student participation by building an on campus arena is a signficant ex[ression of the administrations and the communities support.

As you realize much of the power that exists in college sports has to do with money, and the realignment that has been thrust upon many of these schools is a result of that. Money is not the only reason to join a conference, but it also cannot simply be ignored. SLU needs to join a conference that will give them the chance to excell each year, and excelling is not measured by wins and losses. Excelling is bringing in student athletes to compete, and achieveing greater and greater success each year. Joining the MVC would not allow this. We can get into the plethora of reasons, lower RPI, fewer "like minded schools school", less television exposure regionally and nationally, and smaller basketball fund contribution from the conference.

The A 10 while not perfect does align SLU with more schools that only play basketball, private schools with high academic standards, more similar schools like(Dayton, St. Joe's and Xavier) greater national exposure, and greater income potential for the universities basketball program. Moreover SLU does infact have history with Xavier and Dayton. The fact that St. Joseph's, Temple, Xavier, Dayton, SLU, Charlotte would make up the core of the conference, give them a better hand to deal with any future changes in the Big East.

In order for SLU to do well, they need to recruit solid players, players that will choose between A-10, Big East, and even the Big 12. However to do this they need stability, ie they need a coach that will stay long term. CUSA was becoming a destination job for the head coaching positions certainly not Duke or UNC but better than MVC at retaining head coaches. The A-10 while perhaps not at that level yet, may become that type of conference. If SLU went to the MVC I just do not think Caoch Soderberg would stay around much longer than three or four years, but in a bigger conference, and his Dream job of Wisconsin not available for the forseeable future, and his family ties here in St. Louis SLU has a chance to build a program the correct way, with hardwork and some luck.

It is folly to believe "Oh if SLU were in the MVC they would win more games and thus be in the tourney more often. " Wrong I think they would actually hurt their ability to recruit, and the fan support would be dimished in the long run. Who would draw better Drake or a top 25 ranked St. Joseph's or Xavier. I still want to see SLU play SIUC and SMS regularly, but I want a better conference schedule for this hardworking program. I would appreciate it if you could take some time and really investigate their options and rethink your opinion.

Brian McMorrow

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely done. For the record, by the way, Bryan wrote both about the "heroics of Marque Perry" and specifically about the whole scholar-athlete thing, as follows:

"It was Wednesday night at Savvis Center, and at halftime of St. Louis University's men's basketball game with Charlotte, the SLU athletics department restored my faith. At halftime, a steady stream of athletes wearing various shades of blue sweatsuits, came marching out of the stands and onto the court where they were honored for achieving a 3.0 grade-point average or higher during the fall semester.

"Mind you, at some places, this is the sort of ceremony that you might miss completely by bending down to pick up a quarter. But here, it took forever. Out of 284 student-athletes who were on varsity rosters during the fall semester, 215 of them -- an eye-popping 76 percent -- earned a 3.0 or better. There were soccer players, cross country runners, volleyball and tennis players, and the entire cheerleading squad. The only ones missing from the celebration were the six members of the men's basketball team -- starters Josh Fisher and Chris Sloan, reserves Chris Braun, Anthony Drejaj and Ross Varner, plus the guy who everyone is saying will be next year's star, guard Reggie Bryant, who sat out this season after transferring from Villanova -- who were in the locker room preparing for the second half of their 50-39 victory.

"We settled back in our chair and smiled. The liars and cheats have not hijacked the games. They just get most of the attention. What we saw at SLU -- and what we know happens at so many other schools -- is business as usual. What Harrick and all his corrupt henchmen are foisting on us is simply bad business."

Link to post
Share on other sites

He may have wrote good thing in the past ... but that doesn't diminish this article. It was on the front page of the sports section with a headline saying SLU would be better off in the MVC.

There is no way he did any research into the facts of who SLU is and what they are striving to acheive.

People in St. Louis will read that article and because of who he is make the assumption that he is correct.

Every single SLU fan needs to bombard his email letting him know what we think. Have your friends do it also. Maybe we can inspire him to change his mind and write a new story

The letter above was super. Job well done .... Now lets get a note to him from everyone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

good job basketbill, i sent another letter earlier today as well. here is my e-mail (btw, capitalizing words was tough!):

Dear Brian,

I have enjoyed your work since joining the Post Dispatch. I was especially pleased with the few Billiken support articles you wrote last year and felt we might have finally found a true ally on the Post Staff.

To my horror, today we open the paper and see you are advocating the Billikens give up in their goal of a top tier basketball program and join the Missouri Valley Conference rather than finally become a part of a very good conference that SLU would have some fellow members that they would have some similar traits and beliefs.

The Valley has nothing to offer the Billikens. I assume you know that the overall strength of the MVC has steadily diminished badly over the last 5 years. Last year the MVC was only the 14th ranked conference in the country trailing the likes of the Horizon the WAC and the Mid American Conference. I bet you could even have counted on an even steeper fall had SIU and Creighton not been as strong as they were.

Beings you are not from around here, you probably are not familiar with the days where Creighton would win the conference and then hope like hell they could also win the Conference tourney because undoubtedly the conference would only get one bid to the NCAA tourney. Well sure that has not been the case the last couple of seasons, but remember, SIU has now lost their best coach ever and Dearman and Williams, the players that carried the Saluki's the last two seasons. Crieghton has just lost the best player in their history in Kyle Korver. There is actually a better chance that the MVC will actually fall further into oblivion than rise.

The A-10 on the other hand has continuously had more than 2 teams in the tourney. Judging from the fact that they have always been a top 10 conference per the RPI, I see no reason that any top team in the A-10 will ever be in the win the tourney or else position that the top teams in the MVC face each year.

If you go to www1.ncaa.org/finance/7-yr_conf-summaries/basketball you will see a chart on the share of the NCAA pie. Look at the A-10 as compared to the MVC and Conference USA. From a financial standpoint alone the move makes more sense.

Now go look at the demographical makeup of the teams in the A-10 versus the MVC. My gosh, other than Creighton, who the hell does SLU have any similarities with in the MVC? The A-10 though is loaded with other smaller private urban schools that have similar philosophical, demographic and ethical similarities.

Now if you want to bring out travel as a reason, well I even wonder if you can fly to half of the MVC schools. I don't know, is there an airport that could accommodate a Jet airplane in Peoria, Cedar Rapids or Evansville? If not, you tell me, is it better to take a 4 hour plane ride or a 6 hour bus ride?

Last I can only assume you do not think we can compete in the A-10. This is absurd. Last year we easily defeated Dayton who was probably the second best team in the A-10. We have beaten much better teams in recent years than any program in the A-10. I remember when SLU left the Midwestern Cities Conference to join the Great Midwest Conference. All the media in St Louis joked we would never win a game we were in over our heads. Well by the time the conference disbanded just a few years later, SLU was ranked in the top 25, had made two trips to the NCAA and had taken Cincy to the last second of the conference championship.

Next when the Great Midwest was disbanded in favor of an even tougher Conference USA, we heard all the same talk. Well we actually won a Conference USA title, also went to 2 more NCAA tourney's, and have consistently finished in the upper half of the conference standings. My point is the Billikens will compete.

Please consider recanting your story today. The Billiken program has worked too hard to improve over the last 15 years to take a step back to the MVC. If we are ever going to knock on the top tier program door, it sure as hell will never happen as a member of the MVC.

Sincerely,

Roy Mueller,

Link to post
Share on other sites

btw, i hope more of you also flooded his mailbox today. i also hope you all e-mailed doug woolard.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday as I was going to play a very rainy round of golf I had Burwells radio show on. He said he wanted to talk about SLU and the A10. He indicated that he had been "educated" by the many E mails he had received from the Billiken faithfull. I got the impression that he knew he had made a mistake. Unfortunately I had to get out of the car and didn't hear the program. Anybody hear it?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did email someone in the athletic department, and had a reply the next day, which informed me that they are taking the political speak angle in public and keeping their own hope out of public scutiny. But it is interesting that Ramsey and Frank changed their tunes very quickly.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

a mention on his rarely heard radio show doesnt combat his column in the post. imo he owes us an article in the post to offset his previous words.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have written Burwell twice previously with positive comments and got a prompt, short "thanks for the support" response each time. This time when I wrote with negative feedback, no response. It is nice to know though that he said on the air that the emails had an impact on his thinking. Many writers, indeed human beings in general, are loath to admit they have been wrong in the past. Burwell has written positive SLU stuff in the past so I would expect he will make it up to us with a positive article in the near future.

Link to post
Share on other sites

my e-mail to brian started with comments about how positive he has been about the billikens since his arrival to st louis. i agree, he has been an ally. that is what was so disappointing about the column last week. like i said, i am hoping he recants in another column soon. i sent e-mails to both brian and doug woolard. i did not hear from either.

Link to post
Share on other sites

he was apparently overwhelmed by the responses. if he gets 3 or 4 e-mails, that is nothing to hit the reply button and bang out a quick response. he gets 50, he sits up and says, "wow, i guess i hit a nerve." still the casual fans that read his "opinion" and then take that as a fact, need to hear the truth now. come on brian. do us the favor.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...