Levick, Benson urge patience at Georgia State

Georgia State athletic director Cheryl Levick urged patience after the Panthers were hammered by Texas-San Antonio 38-14 on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

The loss dropped the Panthers to 0-3 this season. They now face an extremely difficult stretch of games in their first and last season in the Colonial Athletic Association beginning with next week’s contest against Richmond at the Georgia Dome.

Levick said they will continue to look at everything that is being done on and off the field to make sure the team and coaches are receiving the support needed to be successful. When asked what that could be, considering the team has a new practice facility and plays in the Georgia Dome (something it touts for recruiting), Levick said “patience.”

“We know the potential these young men have and we see the potential every day in practice and we can’t seem to convert on the field yet,” she said after having an impromptu meeting with coach Bill Curry after his press conference. “But we will figure out a way. We aren’t going to quit, we aren’t going to stop until we are a very, very successful football team.”

After going 6-5 in their inaugural season, the Panthers have struggled to replicate that success. The team went 3-8 last year and has been outscored 122-33 this year. Curry is retiring from coaching after the season.

Stretching the patience that Levick said is needed is that the Roadrunners are in their second year. That program seems to be moving forward since defeating the Panthers in overtime last year, while Georgia State has, at best, remained in place. Both will be moving to the FBS next year.

“It is a dilemma,” she said. “We clearly know that our friends at UTSA are doing well and we are struggling. But we will figure it out and correct it and move on.”

That message was also stressed by Sun Belt Conference commissioner Karl Benson at halftime. Georgia State will join his conference next year, which plays football on the FBS level.

“I’m not a patient guy, I know that Cheryl and President Becker aren’t, but we have to be patient,” he said. “The potential is here, the upside is here, we just have to be patient.”

It’s not just on the field where the team is struggling. The university tried several different promotions for Saturday’s game, including giving away T-shirts and sunglasses that were promoted by a video earlier in the week featuring Curry lip-synching “Sunglasses at night.” Students were also offered free pizza on the shuttles going back and forth from campus to the Dome.

The announced attendance was 11,496 with a small student section.

“It’s not as big as I want, but everyone in the seats, wearing their blue sunglasses, was having a good time,” Levick said. “We are building a base, that base keeps coming back. It won’t be long before this place is full. I believe that.

“We’ve got to produce on the field to make sure the audience increases. I’m not giving up, we’re never giving up. This team will turn itself around because I believe in those young men on the field and in the coaches. Our fans were fabulous. It just goes back to patience.”

Benson, like Levick, said winning should help stimulate the fan base.

“That’s a hard one to deal with sometimes,” he said.

Benson provided some hope.

Previously commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference, Benson said he estimated 15,000 fans may have attended the first conference game he attended at Boise State in 2001. He said there was no pre-game, tailgating environment.

“They win, next year they win…it doesn’t happen in one year,” he said. “When you start from Ground Zero, it makes it even harder. Your fan base started at zero.”

Other headlines

Georgia State destroyed by UTSA

Bond says McLane will start if healthy

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

78 comments Add your comment

DowntownAtl

September 16th, 2012
12:05 am

Stop trying to cover for yourself, Levick. Youshould be fired for your awful performance. And the coaches as well. How dare you ask for patience! You’ve had 3 years!!

FanNoMore...

September 16th, 2012
12:14 am

… until we get a new coaching staff. Fire Levick!!!!!!!!

Sluggo

September 16th, 2012
12:18 am

“It is a dilemma,” she said. “We clearly know that our friends at UTSA are doing well and we are struggling. But we will figure it out and correct it and move on.”

Add USA and ODU to that quote as well. All those teams have made major strides since their inaugural season; GSU, not so much. Very likely we go winless this year.

Passion of the Panther

September 16th, 2012
12:25 am

We are building a base, that base keeps coming back. It won’t be long before this place is full.

No Cheryl … the base isnt coming back as the crowds get smaller … get your whiteboard to explain why

the Professor

September 16th, 2012
12:33 am

The thing is…Boise State has it figured out…you don’t have to be able to count to two to play for the Broncos.

Kennesaw Mtn.

September 16th, 2012
12:37 am

Be patient, Kennesaw State will be playing football soon if you want to see quality on the field.

Panama

September 16th, 2012
12:37 am

I am not buying Benson’s comments. President Becker getting a phone call from New Orleans in 3…2…1…

Woody Paige

September 16th, 2012
12:41 am

Levick isn’t worried as long as the checks clear when the move to FBS is made. The administration just wants to be able to peddle the program out like Savannah State and Florida Atlantic have done.

Some schools play for national championships. Some play for bowl games. Georgia State wants to play for big paydays. Is this truly what people WANT the program to be about? An old fight song for Ga. State was called Panther Pride. Now it’s becoming Panther Pride For Sale.

Woody Paige

September 16th, 2012
12:43 am

Kennesaw Mtn.: Give me a break. The way that buffoon is running the department up there, KSU won’t be able to afford athletics in two years, let alone start a football team.

qwerty

September 16th, 2012
12:54 am

Guess we need to ask our “friends” at UTSA, USA, and ODU to teach GSU how to coach a football team.

Karl Benson

September 16th, 2012
12:58 am

Relax, guys. The two teams I’m adding are from Texas. Your team will be fine, but Cheryl, and she’s a friend of mine, needs to go. Get your butts to the game though, I can only spin this for so long.

Karl Benson

September 16th, 2012
1:00 am

And I mean two Texas teams in addition to Arlington and Texas State.

AgentOrange

September 16th, 2012
1:00 am

This was harder than I thought it would be.

That said, Levick has not done a good job of managing this. Our staff needed changes 2 years ago and none were made.

Now the only thing forcing a change is a guy retiring. That’s said.

GODAWGS

September 16th, 2012
1:23 am

Benson is an idiot. I bet he’s second guessing his decision now. It’s funny when reporters are questioning your actual attendance. If you have to inflate your numbers and you still don’t break 12,000, you shouldnt field a football team.

GSU season ticket holder

September 16th, 2012
2:27 am

I will continue to suport our Panthers & players. But i have lost all faith in this coaching staff. Hope we can win some games….never thought those hart breaking close loses from last year would be missed but anythings better than being blown out every week! I have been begging people to come to the games…..now how can i get them to show up? Hay, come to the dome & watch us get beat down!

Dining Hall Employee

September 16th, 2012
7:12 am

Giving Your team all the support Ms. Levick. Is that why the entire football team eats at the student dining hall the night before the game? As we know, this is included in their meal plan and the team is then busses to the team hotel. The other students were not happy walking in and having to wait in long lines while the football team eats. Never seen this is my entire time working at GSU. Sad, really.

Pennsylvania CAA fan

September 16th, 2012
7:45 am

Good thing the schedule remaining is the CAA. I have been ripped on this site for two seasons now and told how the CAA stinks, has horrible schools and is academically average. I expect this GSU team ( based on the comments) to be 7-3 to finish out the season. Oh by the way to add salt to your wounds the latest academic rankings came out and GSU still did not move into the rankings. Blown opportunities. Should have stayed in the CAA focused on bb and hunter (awesome hire) and academics. Many of you said “Yankee CAA fan you don’t know what you are saying ..football is king in the south”. Long live the king!

Pennsylvania CAA Fan

September 16th, 2012
7:59 am

Btw, any hot, lonely guys out there? Just friends first, but let’s meet up for coffee or a milkshake sometime.

Passion of the Panther

September 16th, 2012
8:46 am

Benson provided some hope

Previously commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference, Benson said he estimated 15,000 fans may have attended the first conference game he attended at Boise State in 2001. He said there was no pre-game, tailgating environment.

Spin away Karl …

As of the 2010 Census , there are 200,000 people in Boise. GSU has 100k alumni and is surrounded by 5 million people. 15k at a 2001 Boise State conference game sounds pretty good.

Boise State spent 26 years in the Big Sky Conference beginning as Division 2 before they moved to the then Division 1A Big West Conference in the mid 1990’s.

Georgia State is in a major media market, while Boise State is not.

So which of the following is more likely?

A) Bill Curry and his coaching staff are a bunch of raving idiots who can’t recruit or coach students up, or;
B) The GSU administration made a mistake launching a program in the first place, or;
C) Cheryl Levick made a gross miscalculation about GSU’s relevance in the shifting football conference landscape.

You decide …

Keep in mind that one SunBelt Conference member Louisiana-Monroe has already beat one SEC school this Fall and took another into overtime last night … Im not sure the Panthers could beat Parkview High School

Crickets in the Dome

September 16th, 2012
9:00 am

@Passion

I’ll take D) All the above.

Paddy

September 16th, 2012
9:05 am

Don’t believe the Ga State vs ODU game can be considered a toss-up any longer.

Sluggo……if Ga State had followed the ODU plan for starting and promoting a new football team, things might have been different. Ga State even had a whole year to study what works with reguards to the ODU philosophy. They thought they had a better idea, but they didn’t! Way to many big ego’s to admit that there is in fact ‘a better mouse trap’.

CAA Fan

September 16th, 2012
9:14 am

haha, this team sucks so bad! how stupid is the sunbelt to invite GSU. I told you 3 weeks ago you would go winless. And to think you have a soft CAA schedule, too (no Towson).

GSU wouldn’t even be competitive in D2. Everyone in Virginia is making fun of you guys and your sham of a programs….

Pantherzzzzzzz

September 16th, 2012
9:24 am

So, Cheryl Levick should be fired because the football team is horrible on the field led by a coach she did not hire. Sounds like many think Cherly’s job as the AD is to manage the X’s and O’s on the football field and make decisions on which coordinators should be hired and fired.

Alum

September 16th, 2012
9:47 am

@Pantherzzzzzz The AD is responsible for hiring firing communicating to the publc, and scheduling. So what specifically has she been good at in ANY of these areas?

EKY Panther

September 16th, 2012
9:57 am

CAA fan, interesting that everyone in Virginia is following Georgia State football. Must not be a lot happening there. Hopefully, they’ll all become fans when the program turns around and it will.

This is all about coaching, and it’s critical that the next hire be the right person. Unfortunately, this team is going nowhere with Curry and his staff.

SAD Panther

September 16th, 2012
10:13 am

I agree the coaching staff need to go NOW!! Bond, Midget, Riddle et al. Riddle is the one that I am totally confused about. Why can’t this guy teach these “students” how to BLOCK for God’s sake!! I mean seriously, we have a monster RB and we can’t even block for the guy. I’m getting pretty tired of seeing these kids lack of effort. Cannot block, tackle, or defend the fade? The coaches are terrible but so are the kids. I think they are taking their free education for granted and some of them need a wake up call.

eaglewraith

September 16th, 2012
10:24 am

Georgia State administration (as well as the Sun Belt Commissioner surprisingly) seem to be accepting mediocrity if these quotes are to be believed. This is honestly extremely sad. Why is the President not kicking Levick out of that office and getting someone in there that can turn the program around? I mean, I have no love lost as a Georgia Southern fan, but I can definitely sympathize with having an inept AD who has no idea how to run a Division 1 athletic department. Until the desire to truly succeed is implanted in the AD office, Georgia State will continue to be terrible.

Pantherzzzzzzz

September 16th, 2012
10:50 am

Alum – Are you suggesting that Levick proceed with firing Curry now instead of waiting until the end? If anything, she is guilty of being too loyal to Curry. But that is what happens when you hire a “legend” that helped build the program from scratch……it is hard to fire them without things getting real nasty.

Communicating with the public? I assume this is related to the bad attendance? See losing football team for that and the fact that Atlanta never supports it’s teams well and the terrible logistics of getting anywhere in the city and the crime in the downtown area. When you combine all of those factors, people aren’t going to attend.

Statement

September 16th, 2012
11:32 am

@Alum Totally agree. These kids are weak, lazy and need to consider transferring. Outside of Albert Wilson, The Donald, and Matt Hubbard they all stink. Obviously the coaching is horrific but that will take care of itself. Cheryl Levik better make a great hire or I believe her days here are numbered (I hope).

Go Panthers

September 16th, 2012
11:37 am

To Pennsylvania CAA fan -your crazy to think we will be 3-7. I was at the game last night there is no way this team wins a single game.

To eaglewraith so let’s talk about your loss to the Citadel yesterday and the 3 to 0 beat down Southern took against State in soccer or the 20 point beat down you took by state in basketball last year and will again this year. Now that I got that out of the way…. I agree with most of your points here and on PT and agree with you here as well. You make a great point. Levick will never be able to fire Curry because of his Status. SO if Levick cannot fire Curry then Becker cannot fire Levick. What a circus. That being said the next person will be hired by her and if they do not win they will be gone. Levick will become the hatchet man/woman on this next hire or Becker will send her packing.

Pantherzzzzzzz

September 16th, 2012
11:48 am

And one more thing regarding the “poor communication” by Levick. Don’t forget the fact that Levick’s office managed to partner with the AJC to get waaaaaaaay more coverage than they ever deserve. I would have to say that the amount of coverage the Ga State athletic department is getting out of the AJC is the coup of the century. Unfortunately, there is nothing but bad things to report, but Ga State is being blasted out in Atlanta as much as it possibly can, but the support is just not there for a poor team. Not sure if it would be there either for a 7-4 team either.

The question is “How much longer will the AJC continue to subsidize the coverage of Ga State with their own webpage given that the interest is clearly not there for this level of coverage?”

Panther FB Team

September 16th, 2012
11:51 am

Curry:
“I will not let you down”
Team:
“Let you down I will”
Curry:
“I will not let you down”
Team:
“Let you down I will”
Curry:
“I will not let you down”
Team:
“Let you down I will”
Curry:
“I will not let you down”
Team:
“Let you down I will”

panther

September 16th, 2012
12:59 pm

I can’t even blame students for not turning up to these games anymore

Panters

September 16th, 2012
1:03 pm

“It’s not as big as I want, but everyone in the seats, wearing their blue sunglasses, was having a good time,” Levick said. “We are building a base, that base keeps coming back. It won’t be long before this place is full. I believe that.

That wasn’t fun. I was not having fun. And the blue sunglasses are already broken.

Pennsylvania CAA fan

September 16th, 2012
1:07 pm

CAA fan — it isn’t simply Virginia but pa, del md, nh, Maine and nc and even rhode island

Peanut Farmer

September 16th, 2012
1:16 pm

On the upside, all you state folks can at least take your GSU gear to Antiques Roadshow in about 25 years and maybe it will be worth something (at least a laugh). By then I suspect your program will have been shut down for at least 20 years. #STATEOFSUCK

GSUAlum

September 16th, 2012
1:38 pm

Why did our school start this programs? What a waste

Red Panther

September 16th, 2012
3:11 pm

Patience, Grasshoppers, patience. But the student dining hall for the pregame meal does seem a little bush league; at least treat the players to something different; they eat there the other six days of the week you know; do something extra for them

Season ticket holder

September 16th, 2012
3:18 pm

How does playing in the Dome help GSU with recruiting? Having 11,000 in a 70,000 seat stadium makes for the worst football atmosphere in the whole country. Why not play at Grady or some other small place that could be sold out which would provide some atmosphere. It’s depressing going to the Dome for GSU games.

Doug Roberson

September 16th, 2012
4:01 pm

Not sure on how the dome helps. Gsu says the players love playing in the same place as the sec championship and the nfl.

Zamboni_Racer

September 16th, 2012
4:59 pm

I’ve been a Panthers season ticket holder since the inaugural season. I think I speak for many Panther Athletic Club members when I say I am chagrined and disappointed at how poorly this team appears to be coached. Levick cannot be serious when she says that the fans are enjoying themselves, hardly. Most of us season ticket holders are not even staying to the end of the 4th quarter, the inepitude of this team is so painful to watch. I don’t see how Levick cannot admit this. Funny how yesterday before the game she told us at the tailgate that wearing those “fun” sunglasses was giving her a headache..The team she and her staff are putting on the field at the Dome is giving all of us one big headache too!

Hurt Park

September 16th, 2012
4:59 pm

Truth

September 16th, 2012
5:17 pm

Bill Curry is a sanctimonios moron.

Band Mom

September 16th, 2012
5:53 pm

I was definitely NOT having fun. I’m a season ticket holder (yes, I’m the one) still trying to decide if I want to sit through another game on Saturday. I’ll probably leave after half-time. At least the marching band is entertaining.

No more arm tackling

September 16th, 2012
6:30 pm

How is Nathan Schuster – #14 was on the sideline on crutches – so now it is McLane, Bell, Schrepfer ?

Astonishing Werepanther

September 16th, 2012
7:16 pm

Patience, of course. What else have we got right now?

I’ll be with this team till the end, though. And I hope there is no end…

Go State

September 16th, 2012
8:11 pm

“It’s not as big as I want, but everyone in the seats, wearing their blue sunglasses, was having a good time.”

Uhhh, did she actually watch the game? I can assure you that nobody sitting around me was having a good time, except for the opposing team’s fans. I find it offensive (not to mention idiotic) that Levick implied that this game was fun to watch. It was an embarrassment.

3 Yeah Season Ticket Holder

September 16th, 2012
8:15 pm

I’ll start having patience when this team stops moving backwards.

UNCH

September 16th, 2012
8:31 pm

the sunbelt is getting a GEM!!!. Maybe 2-9 if Lucky this season.

Blueblooded

September 16th, 2012
8:38 pm

After reading Coach Bonds comments regarding giving the starting qb, McLane, a chance. . .Is McLane related to Curry or Bond? He must be becasue football is about winning and this kid, god love him, has proven that he can not do the job and they just keep giving him back the ball. It was clear from the moment he hit the field that Bell has the stronger arm, can scramble, can take a hit, and adds a spark to the offense. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. Time to move on Bond and give this team a fighting chance – stop making excuses for McLane and move on. Your loyalty is a great thing but GSU needs a win and McLane does not have the confidence of the team behind him.
Regarding, the two step and shuffle by Levick and Benson. .. All the gimmicks in the world will not put people in the seats if we do not start winning.