Former Football Players Still Being Left Out

Yesterday they had the 2008 team at lane for a 10-year reunion. Just one problem though only 5 players were there and many were not invited, including Sergio Render who just so happens to live Radford.

The Hokie Club doesn't get it. They need these guys as donors and salespeople for the program, now more than ever. Where is the disconnect?

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The Hokie Club doesn't control that. Plenty of actual reasons to criticize them without making up accusations.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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They should be part of the outreach. Why are they even disconnected is beyond me? They can help bring donors in and bring more money in. They are a draw, and some of them have money from playing in the league.

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We have a separate organization called the monogram club. The reason is the Hokie Club doesn't want to burden people who played for Tech with constant requests to give back.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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And we wonder why we don't get the kind of donations that we need.

They need to be tapped into, at least the ones that played in the NFL for a period of time. Absolutely no reason not to hit them up. They are more vested in the program then just the fans.

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This mindset is actually the problem. There is a sense that the only former players the program cares about are the ones who have gone on to the league. You're shooting yourself in the foot if you automatically look past 95% of your former players or make them feel excluded.

Bud/Wiles 2020

No stone should be unturned. DJ Parker is on Serge's feed talking about how the school needs the former players now more than ever before. It seems like they are more than willing to help out, we just need to get them involved somehow.

Tim Sandige was on there as well, talking about how he feels left out. I'm sure they all want to help, and not utilizing them in some fashion whether it be for money, recruiting, fundraising, etc. It's just dumb that we aren't using willing resources to help the school get their goals accomplished.

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As a former player, I'm not arguing with you on that. There are a lot of us willing to help out. I was saying the idea of concentrating on the guys in the league will hurt the cause, not help it.

Bud/Wiles 2020

Sidenote question, when did you graduate? I worked for Lester between 2003 to 2007.

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If you worked with Lester from 03-07, then worked with my roommate- he worked with him too but 04-06? I don't think he worked after he sophomore year, but cannot recall.

Sure did. I know who you're talking about. He got fired for showing up drunk for a game on the sidelines.

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Wow - yes, I forgot about how/why he left completely, until you mentioned that. He was with us before that game, and we told him that he needed to cut it out. At the time, he was under a lot of stress from school and just made a bad decision that day - I know he regretted it for a while. All good now though.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

The don't be blunt. Get them out here to relive some memories and butter them up.

Recruit Prosim

funny story about that though. JC Coleman tweeted sunday morning "first email i ever got from coach beamer and its asking me to donate" with the crying laughing emoji. again, like most of us feel the timing is horrible by whomever is sending out these emails, one day after a 5th straight loss is not going to get anyone digging in their pockets around the holidays.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

Yeah. The timing on these emails has been horrible.

The timing on the emails was likely pre-determined long ago. The team crapping the bed right before said emails going out is the issue, IMO

One quick look at the Monogram Club's website and....

About US

Ahh I think I can see a reason why the outreach for the football program might not be up to par in the social media era...

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

The VT Monogram Club has just 97 likes on Facebook and 317 on Twitter

Is there not someone that is an alumni in Communication or Marketing AND a former Football Player that would take on the responsibility? Maybe from this century?

you don't think Shelbylynn Adair is appropriately qualified?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I'm sure he is referring to @comcast.net, but no, I doubt Shelbylynn wants to be in that position. I remember when Kav was in that position and he'd be there like 2 hours a day and say fuck it and go home. It's the spot where they put someone that they can't/don't want to fire, but doesn't really fit anywhere else. Only so many former coaches you can shoehorn into the business office.

I'm glad everyone pointed this out because it didn't stand out to me at first glance. Shelbylynn Adair is the wife of Chuggar Adair, head coach of the women's soccer team.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Makes me think of Ted.

Not a great look

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

A message was posted on the Virginia Tech Football Players message group about the event weeks ago. Sergio is a member of that group so don't really know what you mean by not invited. He also had a playoff game yesterday at 1pm so don't know if he'd had been able to make it. A message had been posted for the original reunion scheduled for the ECU game and more people were planning on making it. A follow up email was sent regarding the Miami game. Adding the 08 team to the 1993 team reunion was a last minute deal. Effort to get guys to make it wasn't the best and was mainly led by former players.

Bud/Wiles 2020

Go check out Sergio's Facebook page. He had no clue.

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Correction: There was an email sent out but no Facebook post. No clue whether he would have gotten an email or not. Facebook group mentioned the reunion for the ECU game but not the Miami game.

Bud/Wiles 2020

It's frustrating that this is still an issue. In the post-game last night, Fuente said he would love for more former players to be around the program regardless of if they had a pro career. The disconnect is concerning

I get the impression that their are organizational issues at all levels of Virginia Tech's donor system. It is concerning, but it's surprisingly common at any organization.

At a high level, I don't understand why there's not a single fundraising arm of the university. I'm not saying that the The Alumni Association, The Hokie Club, and the Monogram Club should be a single entity, but they should at least be in frequent communication, and always be walking in lockstep.

Drilling down to the Athletic Department level, from the outside looking in, it appears that there's just not enough bodies to the work required. Many of us have complained about lack of communication from the Hokie Club. Well, in order to initiate outreach (in hopes of find donors), you need people to crunch the data, build strategies, and execute. You can't get the people to do this without money, so you get stuck in this vicious cycle. Also, if I recall correctly, there where rumors that Chuck Cantor left because he was being overworked and asked to wear too many hats; not sure if this is true, but it supports my suspicion.

Twitter me

I mean, I guess it was really cool of Virginia Tech to invite the 1993 Independence Bowl team to come watch the team that will break the bowl streak they started.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Yeah, that's a lot of irony there. But I don't think we should be blaming the players, they are doing the best they can,

I think next year will be a lot better, and maybe the 2019 team will start a new 25-year bowl streak.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

My question is who is expected at these reunions? Everyone on the roster that year? The Seniors that year? If the former, you're going to have people attending 10-year reunions 4-5 years in a row. Then a few years off before attending 20 year reunions for 4-5 years in a row. I could see how attendance might suffer a little. If it's seniors only, and there was a small class (like this season) I could also see how attendance would be pretty low.

That being said, there has to be a database of our former athletes with contact information so that invites to these kind of events can be distributed. Not just an email, but a letter in the mail and a phone call/voicemail / text message.

I spoke with a former player this summer who networks in some fairly significant circles full of Hokie Alums and former football and basketball players.

He's had season tickets for 30+ years (since he graduated) with a fairly significant individual related to VT... said they were dropping for a number of reasons, one being the lack love for/connection with former athletes. Mentioned that the people that are responsible for these types of things really have no clue. Couldn't figure out why Whit didn't want to step in.

Is it football season yet?

Edit: I realize now that this doesn't fit this thread very well, my bad. But....

Now the recent transfers flat out saying Fuente doesn't care about the players.

Not great, Bob.

Bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips &
bacon strips

Note that Duwayne Johnson was recruited under Beamer. He was Class of 2015 and transferred after his rFR season (2017) when he was looking like the #5 or #6 CB

#5 or #6 CB? He would be starting today!

#ThingsRecentTransfersSay

Also...

#MoreStuffToComplainAbout during a year when the team is struggling.

Could Fuente be more empathetic? Probably. But is it going to substantially change things for players that transfer because they're lower on the depth chart than they want to be?

The Hokie Club doesn't get it. They need these guys as donors and salespeople for the program, now more than ever. Where is the disconnect?

The disconnect is that alumni programs are mostly run by alumni. So this is really about ex-football players reaching out to other ex-football players, isn't it?

Alumni organizations are mostly a labor of love and are a LOT of work. Coordinating one is pretty thankless, and it's really easy to offend alumni.

How do I know this? Because I am an alumnus of many organizations, and I've seen how they work. And for every successful connection you get with an alumnus who is interested and wants to contribute, there are many who find reasons to be offended because they weren't contacted by whoever was arranging an event, or who expect someone else to be putting in the hard work. Everyone needs to do more than their part for anything to work. Some people will do a LOT of work, and some won't do any. And then when someone puts in the work to have an event, the intended participants think to themselves "Do I really feel like driving over there today? I have a lot going on, and they're not even giving me xxxxx!" At the end of the day, everybody is busy.

I suspect that VT alumni organizations could be better coordinated, but I likewise suspect that there are legitimate privacy concerns that block better coordination, and most people they're trying to contact are busy and not really all that interested. The coordinator has to sell these events to the participants.

I don't doubt that someone who is in charge of coordinating an event like the one this thread is about may have dropped the ball, but it's probably a lot harder than it sounds. It's fairly hard to reliably gather people's contact information, arrange an event, and generate enough interest to get people to show up.

Lastly, there are a lot of threads about how "THEY" aren't doing enough. The reality is that "THEY" are "YOU". The only way to have an alumni group that's run right is to do it yourself. So, if you feel that things aren't getting done right, get to work.

From what I understand, most successful programs have paid positions dedicated to just former player relations. I don't think it's unrealistic to want that at Tech instead of former players having to organize their own reunions. Having a more formal process for it would be nice.

Bud/Wiles 2020

I'm guessing "more successful programs" means mo' money.

But I'm not opposed to doing that. I'm just pointing out the challenges. It's not as easy as it looks. Even with paid staff, those kinds of things depend on commitment from the groups themselves. It's the nature of the beast.

I don't want to be "that guy", but is it possible this has anything do with it...?

The VT Monogram club is, apparently, the group tasked with maintaining player relations in all sports. I'm sure former players can correct me if I'm wrong on that. http://monogram.hokiesports.com/about/

Looking at their website, there are 2 members with football ties: (not mentioning full names as it's not about "who" they are, more so their age...)
President: Mike ('66, football)
Football representative: John ('66)

So Class of 66 means they likely arrived at VT in 1962, carry the one... those fellow Hokies are probably between 65-75 years old.

Again, I could be COMPLETELY off base on this - but perhaps there is a generational gap between the Monogram Club reps and our more recent grads? I mean, maybe it's an oversight, but the President doesn't even have an email address listed - just a phone number. It's completely possible these 2 Hokies are the coolest guys in the world and have a great rapport with the younger grads... but generally speaking, the 70-year-old people I know just don't have a lot in common with people under 30, and certainly don't have the social media access one would use to conduct communications.

So before I get downvoted to oblivion - I'm not saying these guys aren't doing a great job. Just saying... "could" there be an issue with the age gap?

Could there be? I think its definitely a possibility that they have no clue how to use digital information to leverage anything.

What's
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Had the exact same thought when I posted what I did above. In an era where everything is going digital, either via email or social media, we have our primary outreach personnel for our highest profile athletes a couple of guys who were old enough to have worked on the Apollo 11 mission after graduation.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Heh - yeah I was definitely following your lead on that. I wasn't sure if you noticed their ages. As others have said, it definitely makes sense to have multiple reps for each sport/generation. As much as I wouldn't expect a 70-year-old to tweet something at D-Hall, I also wouldn't expect a 2016 grad/football rep to pick up the phone and cold-call a player from the Class of 1972 - and that goes for all sports.

I did a short stint at the VT phone bank when I was in school - calling alums for cash. (Man that shit sucked.) But more to the point... it's not always easy to build rapport with a "stranger", much less someone 50 years older than you.

When you're a former football player at VT, it should be a much easier convo. That's why the majority of sports players go on to be salesmen. Their name alone will get them into doors.

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I think you're right... my stint at the VT phone bank taught me at an early age... I am NOT cut out for sales. ;)

I noticed the same thing and think it's a fair point. It's a tough situation as the older alumni are more likely to have the time and willingness to assume the leadership roles; however, they may not understand or connect with the younger generations particularly well. If you moved them out of those position then you risk offending older alumni whom are potentially large donors. If they stay in the positions and cannot communicate effectively with younger alumni, you risk alienating the young alumni whom have more relevance and name recognition with the fans.

I feel like there's not an easy answer but a good starting point might be nominating a liaison from each decade to maintain regular communication with the football representative. It seems like everyone would benefit from those connections and it could help forge some close relationships between guys who played at VT decades apart from each other.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

You can't fear cannibalization of sales when mainstreaming and digitizing any business model. That's the number one way you get passed by newer innovative business models.

It doesn't mean you would lose those donors, but you would just have to cater to them in a different way.

With anything in the new digital world, there is always a need for the old school brick and mortar grassroots marketing.

What's
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Yes the reps are usually older same goes for a lot of volunteer organizations. How does VT change that? Well Whit tried twice, Kevin Jones was hired and left and then another younger alum was brought in and I haven't heard much since then from them.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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It's probably hard to find the right person to lead it, but you also need some people with charisma from within the group to get it going and to keep it going.