Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine.
~Robert C. Gallagher
You may have noticed that we had an Auction date posted on this website to be held in conjunction with the Gonzaga game on November 13. You may have also noticed that it has been removed from the calendar.
So, what’s up?
After some lengthy conversations between FBC volunteers and the Coaching staff, we have decided to not hold an Auction this season. Several considerations went into this decision—
--Funding regulations regarding foreign tours are in the midst of being changed. This has always been the primary reason for holding the Auction and it is not clear what effect the changes will have on the methods that are acceptable for fundraising.
--More stringent rules are in force which could limit the sort of items that could be sold.
--Our pool of Auction volunteers—a hearty bunch for many years—has dwindled. Life changes and folks move on and some of our expertise and manpower has moved along with them.
This was a tough decision, because it is such a fun event and don’t we all like to get our hands on some cool stuff or get to do some cool things? But as we reviewed what we were facing for this season, it just was the best decision to make.
Does this mean we will never have an Auction again? Not sure, and we will need to give considerations to conditions on a season-by-season basis.
The good news is that the move to the Buck-Cardinal Club has been a financial success which has eased the fundraising burdens that allows Coaches to do what they do best—COACH! And we get to sit back and enjoy another great season of Stanford Women’s Basketball!
But we just can't seem to get anyone more than five years and most we only get for four. How they have changed and grown! Each has their story--what has been or what could of been. Neither type diminishes what each has contributed to Stanford Women's Basketball.
My last Blog created a lot of traffic and comments. It is really great to get such a good reponse. Just like most everything, communication is the key to solving issues!
Let me see if I can answer or comment to as much as possible.
I think there is a misconception about "joining" the Fast Break Club to attend events. FBC events, whether in Maples or Kissick or Arrillaga, are open to EVERYONE. Doesn't matter whether you are a Buck/Cardinal member or not, so don't think that attending will only be if you "sneak" in! Marion does a great job of making sure that events are front and center on the website. Also, we have revitalized the FBC twitter account and this is being used regularly to send out info. Please make sure to follow stanfordfbc on Twitter!
A lot of folks asked about the paying for the floor in Arrillaga issue. I should have been clearer in how the $$ is accounted for. All Stanford departments must pay for Facilities services through their budget. This is not actual cash changing hands but is allocated as used to each department none the less. The pricing is set by Facilities and not negotiable by each department. So while the actual amount may seem high to those of us out of the loop, this is a Stanford policy that cannot be changed.
The BTB (Behind the Bench) postgame events will continue in Maples--again, a good thing if you consider it will give access to people who might not know that such events even exist. But, as much as possible taking into account the budgetary issues, selected postgames will be held on Dallmar Court. Currently, the plan for the Senior Day tribute is that it be held in Dallmar. Keep checking the website for more details.
"Does one need to donate to Buck/Cardinal to be on the FBC Mailing list?" I am assuming this is in regards to the weekly email sent out. Yes, that is the case and that is primarily due to the fact that the 800+ member email list is maintained through the B/C. However, if you have joined for next year, please contact Eileen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can set you on the path to get added. But I must add that the info in the email is almost always duplicated either on the website or Twitter. The scouting report is from a different source but schedule and event info is always available.
So why should you donate to the Buck/Cardinal Club? They have their own set of benefits that are listed here, including that coveted Parking Pass! But, as I mentioned in my last Blog, it is simply a personal decision to monetarily support any team or cause. If you are doing it to go to FBC events, you don't need to! Or perhaps you can take the approach that Marian does when she commented, "I get nothing tangible from my donation to women's basketball, but the satisfaction of supporting a program that gives me so much pleasure is priceless."
My comment "Frankly, in the past, we did not receive much feedback on the auction that would indicate that it was all that popular with attendees" got some feedback. I know that we were still raising a good amount of money but, as a volunteer for this event, I actually see it on a different level.
Was there a sense that this had become, as Su said in her comment, "a tired expectation" --absolutely. Had the money raised and attendance been declining--yes, indeed. Were volunteers burning out--you bet. Were new people stepping up to help out--no.
It was time for a rest and revitalization and that was why it was not held this year--not because of some attempt by the Staff to discontinue FBC events. This event is really, really, really labor intensive both for volunteers and folks in the Office.
To keep the path of communication going, we are trying to figure out a method to set up something on the website akin to a Suggestion/Question Box so that concerns have a place to land and be addressed. Hopefully, that can be rolled out soon.
In the meantime, if you have something that you'd like to bring up, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I probably won't know the answer, but I sure can find out as long as it is something reasonable.
Lastly, there was one comment that I feel the need to address--
"It is hard to convince people how great it is when Buck/Cardinal giving and decline in FBC events correlate."
If you get the chance, ask one of the Coaches if the change to Buck/Cardinal has helped them out. More donations, more donors, more time spent coaching, not fund raising. If we get back to the core of supporting the program, shouldn't the success of the Team and Staff be the measuring stick?
Wow, what a weekend of basketball we just saw! Nothing short of a total domination of the two closest PAC-10 rivals in this season's standings.
So I think I'll take a little time to go over some Fast Break Club stuff in this blog.
Ever since the change to make the Buck/Cardinal Club the main fund raising arm for all of Stanford's sports teams, the format of the Fast Break Club has been evolving and I have heard many of the grumbles.
So let's look at a few points and see what we can see.
Let me start by saying that the access Stanford Women's Basketball gives to its program is unprecedented and has been for a very long time. It all started out in a cozy tent behind Maples in the late 80's and hasn't changed much in over 20 years. We are able to see players and coaches in a very up close and personal setting.
I have been to games at Tennessee. Coach Summitt might come out and address the crowd. The only time I saw that was when she did her post-game radio show from the court. Many years ago, there was an "Eileen-type" in the office who had previously worked at Tennessee--she was flabbergasted at the access that was given by the Stanford players and staff. This is not to pick on Tennessee, but to point out that high level programs just don't do what Stanford does.
Unfortunately, once something is given, it is hard to have it taken away. So finding a balance of what works for fans and what works for the team is always difficult.
I admit that I am a lurker on the woman's Hoopsboard--no posting, just doing some reading to see what is going on. So, when a recent string entitled "FBC Events" showed up, I was interested. It started out as a comment on the move of post games from Arrillaga to Maples.
"I see from the e-mail that went around today that all the tents for the rest of the year are in Maples instead of Dallmar court. Does anyone know why? "
Hopefully, you have already heard of the financial issues that necessitated this change. If not, in short, it costs the Program big $$ to set up for the post game in Arrillaga. The tarp on the floor (necessary to make sure the floor is not damaged), the chairs and even the podium have to be paid for. Recently, the cost of setup was raised from $1,000 per game to over $3,500 without notice. So, the money that had been budgeted for the year is already gone.
The best work-around is to stay in Maples. The Coaches don't necessarily like it, as they cannot be as candid as they are used to being. But on the bright side, this gives access to newer fans who would not know to go over to Arrillaga at all. In addition, the Staff is trying very hard to hold Senior Day in Arrillaga.
Some say, let's pass the hat and pay for this. It probably couldn't be done, but, if we were really able to raise $3,500 per game, wouldn't it be far better spent in support of something that the team needs instead of paying for an hour of chat?
As a result of this change, the Thursday post games are back, now in the Kissick Auditorium. Yes, these used to be on the court in Arrillaga, but, again, this is not financially feasible. And yes, it can be crowded! I was there last Thursday and may I offer a hint? Folks, please sit next to each other and make seats available. There were empty seats inside, but everyone was stuck at the door. It would be great if some volunteer ushers would step up!
Remember, too, that the Pre-Game chalk talks remain in place as always.
So back to the Hoopsboard string--
"Well I'm not going to contribute to Buck/Cardinal next year or ever again. Why should I when for my contribution I apparently lost events I used to enjoy."
Contributions to the Buck/Cardinal Club have absolutely nothing to do with events that take place. The FBC is being maintained by the Program because they understand how valuable the group has been and continues to be.
At some point, when donating money to anything, it becomes a matter of whether a person donates for what they receive or for what that donation will do for the recipient. This is a very personal thing that everyone has to decide for themselves.
"Moving everything to the Buck/Cardinal Club has had a very destructive effect on the FBC. The whole 'donor' thing is pricing out folks who have supported this team for years."
How is this true? Remember, in years past, you had to show your membership badge to attend post games. Now, you just show up. Nobody knows what you have paid for.
"Also, it is hard to join. I wanted to join in September this year and found out that I missed the deadline -- according to the FBC web site, you had to donate before August 31, 2010 to receive benefits for 2010-11. I donated anyway, so -- I guess -- I will be a member starting in the 2011-12 season. Who ever heard of a fan club that you have to wait a year to get into?"
This is a tough one, but remember that the Buck/Cardinal supports all Stanford sports, so the membership calendar is set up in conjunction with their fiscal year. This results in difficult timing to join in support of all Winter and Spring sports if you are trying to join right before their seasons start. But, by selecting Women's Basketball on your Buck/Cardinal application, you are assuring that your money is designated to the Program no matter what time of year you join. And, just as important, keep in mind that this membership timing does not exclude anyone from FBC events.
"And no auction this year. In the past this has been promoted as a key fundraiser and the primary source of funds for foreign trips. It now seems to have declined in importance."
OK, this one is close to my heart! Frankly, in the past, we did not receive much feedback on the auction that would indicate that it was all that popular with attendees. We discussed this before the season and decided to give it a year break to maybe refresh it (and the Volunteers!) and create a demand. With the support of the Buck/Cardinal, it was OK to take that break for a year. And guess what? Now we hear that people are missing the Auction! So, in response, we are auctioning a jersey at the Thursday post games and we are already planning for a mid-November 2011 Auction. You can be assured that the Auction will remain the primary fund raiser for foreign trips, which can take place every four years.
I, like so many, was reluctant to join the Buck/Cardinal Club because I was certain all of the $$ would go to Football. But the results are great, according to the Coaching Staff. Their focus no longer needs to be on fund raising, so they have time to do what they do best--COACH! Instead of about 300 donors to the Program during the FBC-only days, there are now over 800 donors to Women's Basketball, all because of the Buck/Cardinal Club. That is true progress!
I hear comments about the Program--that "they just don't care anymore." That is just not true. From the get-go, the concern was always that the uniqueness of the FBC be maintained as the conversion to Buck/Cardinal took place. Our FBC group is vastly appreciated by all involved and not caring is just not in the equation. If they didn't care, all of these activities would have just gone away.
In the end it is important to remember nothing stays the same. We may not be in that cozy tent behind Maples, but our support is still a cornerstone to the grand success that is Stanford Women's Basketball. It has been, and will continue to be, a fabulous, fun, fast-breakin' good time!
As I sat down to write this, I thought, "Didn't we just do 700?" Yep, it was just 2007, but you can move up the ladder quickly when you average 32 wins over the last three years. That is what Coach Vanderveer and her troops have done to put her on the threshold of her 800th win.
400 Stanford March 16, 1995 UC Irvine (NCAA) 88-55
500 Stanford Nov. 26, 2000 Pacific 73-65
600 Stanford March 20, 2004 Missouri 68-44
700 Stanford December 28, 2007 Washington State 105-47
And so are the highlights.
Two NCAA Championships
Head Coach of the 1996 Gold Medal winning USA Olympic Team
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee in 2002
Eight trips to the Final Four 18 Pac-10 Titles
Three-time NCAA Coach of the Year
10 time PAC-10 Coach of the Year
As impressive as all of this is, that is not the measure of Coach VanDerveer. Put the records and the accolades aside for a minute and it is still easy to see what Tara has contributed to not only the world of Women's Basketball, but to the whole world in general.
Women's Basketball will be forever changed by her coaching strategies and the thriving Coaching Tree that grows with each year. Five former players and seven former assistants have been head coaches at the NCAA or WNBA level. Throw in a whole bunch of former players who are currently assistants and you know that Tree will continue to sprout.
As for the world in general, a quick look at the list of former players tells the story--doctors, lawyers, teachers, business professionals, engineers, moms, consultants, analysts, nurses, trainers, Peace Corps members. It is not a stretch to say that the players that Tara has coached are making a big difference in the world.
Because, at heart, Tara is a teacher, and we all know that nothing makes her happier than seeing a player work hard to progress and make the full use of their potential. It may be that they find that full potential not as a player, but as a human being. For Tara, that is the true definintion of a Win.
So as our Coach gets ready to join the elite 800 Club, along with Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt, C. Vivian Stringer and Sylvia Hatchell, let's remember to celebrate Tara the Mentor as well as Tara the Coach. Nothing would make her happier.