Glass still taking chances

Fred Glass said he knows that he won’t see a consistently sold-out Memorial Stadium until Indiana football turns into a winning program, no matter what sort of facilities IU adds on to the stadium or what sort of promotions he puts together.

But that, the Indiana athletic director said, isn’t a reason for him to sit around and wait.

“I’ll acknowledge that I get that being good is the best way to get people in the stands,” Glass said at Tuesday IU Football Media Day. . “I’m not a goof about that. I understand that winning is the best marketing strategy we have. But I reject and have always rejected the approach I think some people sometimes have. Shrug their shoulders and say ‘Well, there’s not much we can do. We’ll just wait until the team wins.’ I think that’s wrong-headed, and that’s why last year and I think continuing this year, we’re doing everything we can to prime the pump if you will, to get people excited so that as the team comes along as I’m very confident it will, we’re going to be in great shape in terms of attendance.”

So in Season 2 of his tenure, Glass is attempting about as many out-of-the-box ideas as he did in Season 1.

The primary goal of most of his initiatives, he said, is to get young people hooked on IU football, starting as kids and continuing through their time at IU and into their first few years of real-world adulthood. Glass said children up to age 18 will continue to get into games for $5 as will students and young alumni, meaning alums who have graduated in the past three years. He said those initiatives have helped raise overall ticket sales by 18 percent from this time last year and has caused the sale of season tickets to young alumni to sky rocket, by 1400 percent. He also said IU has already sold more season tickets (17,348) than they did all last season (17,278).

“If we catch fire and win some non-conference games and beat Michigan when they come in here, then that’s really the momentum that we need to be doing what we want fan wise,” Glass said.

Glass said he also has planned a number of changes involving in-game atmosphere. The new scoreboard will obviously be an important part of it, but he said he’s also expecting a lot from the student section, which will now be dubbed “The Crimson Quarry,” a nod to the Indiana limestone tradition. Glass said the school will try to promote students to play a long with the theme, perhaps wearing hard-hats to games and t-shirts with the Crimson Quarry name on it. He also said IU will have a “Quarry Rig,” with a blowhorn on it that it will use to make noise for big plays.

“This may be my favorite thing this year,” Glass said. “… It looks like a crane that they use to pull the rocks and stuff out of the quarries. We’re creating a replica of that. We’re going to put it in front of the students section. It’s going to be like 20 feet high, and on the top of it is going to be a horn. So when there’s a big play by IU, a turnover or a third-down stop or whatever, a goalline stand, we’re going to blow that horn.”

Glass said he’s also trying to make some traditions crossover from football to basketball. That’s the reason, he said, that the poles below the scoreboard are candy-stripe red and white to match the IU basketball program’s warm-up pants. This year, Glass said, he will try to replicate the tradition of playing the William Tell Overture with the cheerleaders running around with IU flags, which always happens at the media timeout closest to the eight-minute mark in basketball games.

In addition, Glass said, IU is trying to make its games more green. Among the initiatives there are use of more food products grown in-state, including popcorn, to cut down on travel costs, and a bike valet service that allows visitors to ride their bikes up to the stadium and have them valeted.

All of that adds a lot of ancillary activity to the games, but IU coach Bill Lynch said he doesn’t view any of it as a distraction and that he hopes it will get help get people into the stands.

“I think it’s gonna be fun,” Lynch said. “He’s a creative guy. His staff, Pat Kraft, they do a great job of coming up with ideas. And you know, the thing that’s great about it is they’re not afraid for an idea … if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, we’ll try the next one. I think sometimes you’re afraid, ‘Oh, that won’t work, so we won’t do anything. But clearly, the things he did last year caught on. First and foremost I think is the real effort to put the students here. Both from the price of tickets to make it easier for the friends who come on campus to come, to developing this quarry, and all the different things that make it where if you’re a student at IU on a football Saturday or a Thursday night, that’s the place to be.”


  1. He also said IU will have a “Quarry Rig,” with a blowhorn on it that it will use to make noise for big plays.

    Well, his name is Fred.

  2. I really like the work that Glass has done in improving the facilities and boosting the attendance during football season. Memorial won’t be sold out for a season or two yet, but I can see Glass helping the team set a new attendance record in the near future.

    Lynch’s recruiting has improved. If the wins don’t start to come along with it I believe that our greatly improved facilities could help to attract a pretty good coach.

    I have a feeling that he stole “Crimson Quarry” from the yahoo blog of the same name but I’ve always liked that name anyway.

  3. Its actually just The Quarry. It was suggested by students, and that’s what it says on the wall in front of the student section.

  4. Love to see the enthusiasm growing for the IU football program. If they can continue to improve and be consistently competitive, the fans WILL support, fill seats, and enjoy the whole event.

    A rose bowl maybe asking too much, but a winning season with a few surprise wins is not. I think this could be that year for IU football to generate serious momentum & support.

  5. I’m really looking forward to this season even more than prior years. I really think we may be able to pull off 6-7 wins. If we can keep Willis on the field and provided we don’t have too many other critical injuries, IU could be truly competitive for the first time in many years.

  6. Like what Glass is doing to get people in the seats. I like the enthusiasm for this season but I as well as many others were feeling the same way after the bowl and look what happened. I will be forever a skeptic until I see 6,7,8 wins on a consistent basis. Is that asking too much???

  7. I like what glass is doing, but as they did last year with closing down the fields at kickoff is ridicoulous and just makes students go to the bars early and not stumble into the game.

  8. Indeed, J Pat, another good idea that accomplished what it was intended to do. If someone wants more tailgating time, they should start earlier or drink faster. Either would work every time for the desired result; although both would be considered riskier actions than anything AD Glass is creating.

  9. I like Glass and his overall attitude of trying new things and then moving on. He found some good stuff last year. However, with this quarry rig and horn, I hope that it sounds nothing like the train whistle up in Hell because that is maybe the most annoying thing at a football game besides this clever gem: ‘1,2,3,4…first down.’ We aren’t trying to be Purdouche bags, so lets find something that is uniquely ours, not a horn or a whistle after a big play.

    I seem to remember one recently prominent alumni, Tracy Porter (TP22)had a power up move that caught on pretty sufficiently and could be used for more than just 3rd down situations. Or any other number of things would work here, if we are gonna be new, lets be new and original.

  10. I wish we could bring that cannon back we blasted after a TD and I wish we had a song early in the 3rd quarter that would pump everyone up. The song is needed the most as bad as a 3rd quarter team as we have been. If you don’t agree about the song, just ask Wisky fans if it helps. I vote for the first minute or 2 of Hells Bells by ACDC or Thunderstruck. Cameron played Are You Ready by ACDC at warm-ups. I could list many more songs…any ideas???

  11. The William Tell Overture is our end of the 3rd quarter “event” now. That’s when Jump Around and all the songs/big events at other schools usually occur.

  12. JPat, I totallly hear you on the cannon! I kind of wish we could recondition one of those anti-aircraft cannons in front of the stadium and use THAT as our touchdown cannon…that’d just be way too cool. BTW, the new scoreboard was running video yesterday…*drool* Fred seems to know what he’s doing, let’s have a few wins to go along with the new stuff.

  13. H.B. – Getting those AA guns up and running would quite possibly be the coolest thing in college football. Imagine one of those suckers cranking off like a dozen blanks after each score. Even cooler is if they could get the rotation platform working too for added effect. Then imagine a video coming up on the new scoreboard of a blimp or something with the logo of our opponent going down in flames after the rounds are expended…..

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