UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull Wrote A Letter To Basketball Fans ‘We Need Your Support’
It’s not secret that the UTEP Men’s and Women’s basketball teams have done poorly this season. The continued losses have taken a toll on an otherwise faithful fan base, and fans have flooded social media and the phone lines on our sister station 600 ESPN to voice their displeasure especially with Floyd and his silence towards fans this season.
UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull sent a letter to Miner basketball fans yesterday and addressed what he called the basketball program’s "difficult" year. He touched on the frustration UTEP women's basketball coach Keitha Adams and men's coach Tim Floyd and players have felt over the continued losses both teams have turned in.
In the letter, Stull defended the past performance of both Floyd and Adams teams, and outlined what he said the future will hold for the teams, including seven new players signed to the men's team for next year.
Fans at last night’s game at the Don Haskins Center said they were a little mystified at Stull’s request for strong fan support and a loud Haskins Center to help the teams get back on track. Many of those in attendance said they have supported the program for a long time and they don’t believe fan support is why the teams have done so poorly this season.
Fans also said that it’s obvious that UTEP is getting desperate about attendance, and maybe it is time for a shake-up at all levels of the program.
FULL TEXT OF UTEP ATHLETIC DIRECTOR BOB STULL'S LETTER TO FANS
Dear Miner fans,
As you know this has been a difficult year for UTEP basketball, and no one is more frustrated than coach Keitha Adams, coach Tim Floyd and our players.
In the previous three seasons (2013-16) coach Adams produced two 29-win campaigns, but the loss of seven seniors has made this a rebuilding year. In the previous three seasons coach Floyd’s Miners registered 23, 22 and 19 victories, but this year they lost three of their most talented and productive players.
Both coaches have averaged 20 wins a season since they took the helm of the program. Twenty wins used to be a good barometer for getting a team into the NCAA Tournament, but now the only way to guarantee a bid is to win the conference tournament. This is true for all the “Group of Five” conferences – C-USA, AAC, MAC, Mountain West and the Sun Belt. Only one team from the “Group of Five” received an at-large bid last year, and that came from the AAC.
We are fortunate that we have a basketball-savvy fan base that cares and expects to be playing for championships. I want to thank all of you who continue to support our coaches and team during this difficult period. We have led the conference in attendance every year, which gives us a chance to win at home and also attract top recruits. Which, I am pleased to say, has gone well.
Coach Floyd has signed seven new players for next year. One, Evan Gilyard from Chicago, is listed by Rivals.com as one of the biggest steals of the early signing period. He scored 32 points on 13 shots in a recent game in Memphis. Other recruits include Kobe Magee (outstanding guard from San Antonio, ranked #10 recruit in Texas), burly 6’9” forward Tirus Smith, smooth 6’7” junior college forward Roderick Williams, and two players currently enrolled at UTEP in 6’7” guard Isiah Osborne and 6’8” forward Trey Wade. Coach Adams has seven freshmen that are supremely talented but lacking college experience. They are getting better each day.
I can assure you that both Coach Adams and Coach Floyd are working harder than ever to get UTEP back on the winning road. We have great young men and women on our teams that are giving their best each day in practice to improve. I am asking our fans to continue to support these student-athletes in the same passionate manner that visiting teams have come to expect– making the Don Haskins Center one of the toughest places to play in college basketball! Strong fan support and a loud Haskins Center is what we need to help get back on track.
We will continue to do all we can to enhance the game-day experience. I hope to see you at the Haskins Center for all the games, but keep an eye out especially for the men’s games versus UTSA on Jan. 21 (halftime performance by Air Elite Dunk team) and UAB on Feb. 2 (Jeep Jackson Tribute Night).
Thanks again for your support and Go Miners!