Dear Cornell Football Association Members and Friends of Cornell Football,
We would like to take this opportunity to review what steps have been taken to ensure future success of the Cornell Football program as well as introduce a new vision and plan for moving forward, combining our efforts and creating synergies that cement the foundation for our return to the top of the Ivy League.
As we all know, not all relationships stand the test of time. Like many long-term alliances, the CFA and the Athletic Development office have not always shared identical views on the priorities and direction of our program. Ultimately, we all agree that we must re-commit our efforts to the importance of an excellent “marquee football” program, all that it brings to the entire university community and to working collaboratively to achieve this. It is incumbent upon us to strive for excellence and provide our players with the tools necessary to be competitive not only on the playing field, but also in the “game of life”. We owe this to Coach Archer, his staff and the team, nothing more and nothing less.
During the past few years, we feel it prudent to highlight some specific and important accomplishments achieved as a result of our ongoing joint efforts to create excellence and sustainability in a marquee football program.
- Promoting & embracing a “Top Down Commitment” to football
- CFA “White Paper”: Critical components to advance our program (web link)
- Streamlined Admissions Process – Cornell football recruiting efforts have benefited from a pilot program that has provided significant time savings and efficiencies to the football staff during the recruiting process
- Award Match Initiative (AMI) – This financial aid is absolutely critical for ANY Cornell teams’ long term success. We have an aggressive plan in place which provides a true 100 % match to aid packages offered by our Ivy League contemporaries, and we are working on ways in which we can improve pro-active offers which can now be made based on proof of recruitment
- Win Big Red (WBR) Initiative – “Will to Win”
- “Cornell Victorious” Plan (web link) – Coach Archer’s blueprint for success
- Additional coaching staff and personnel for football
- Facility improvements including new field turf which was re-located towards the crescent, including removal of the track surface which provides considerable space for future support buildings and new west stands
- Upgraded team website – increased web presence and social media
- Improved player gear
- New strength & conditioning equipment and flooring
- Nutrition – Player “fueling-station”
- Renewed enthusiasm in the “New CFA” activities and membership
We are not alone in our efforts in advancing the aforementioned, as well as additional ongoing efforts aimed at improving our program. University administration, faculty and staff, Coach Archer and his staff, the CFA and our valued alumni have all played a part. In reviewing Coach Archer’s “Cornell Victorious” plan, you can see we are making progress in advancing this agenda.
As we move forward, we feel time is precious and we won’t allow ourselves to waste it on anything but productive activities to advance our cause and better our program. In a recent meeting with Ryan Lombardi, Tom Guba, Amy Foster, Coach Archer, Tom Howley, and John Webster, we were asked by Coach Archer to put the past in the rear view mirror and move forward in a cooperative spirit that would build upon recent accomplishments and insure success on both the football field and in the boardroom. We all agreed to forge ahead with a true sense of commitment, purpose and accountability to accomplish our goal of returning the Football program to a sustainable, excellent level – emphasizing a commitment from BOTH the university and the “New CFA” to properly fund and allocate resources to our joint effort. As such, financial support for the program must be addressed to allow the increased budget capacity needed to compete for the Ivy League title year in and year out. We all understand the financial challenges the university faces, and we are fully cognizant that alumni and friends of football can’t shoulder the entire burden alone. This investment will require all parties to contribute to the process. We will create a five-year budget plan which, when fulfilled, will provide us with the resources commensurate with the most competitive football programs in the Ivy League. It will include the following:
- 5-year plan to increase football operating budget capacity
- Identify investment responsibility by party;
- University, Department of Athletics, Athletics Development Office
- CFA – Cornell Football Association
- Accountability process holding each party responsible for assigned action items
- Annual evaluation of projected plan with adjustments as needed
- University “memo” credit for all donations utilizing the CFA 501(c)(3) as a pass-through mechanism
- Promoting the “New CFA” and opportunities it provides to increased funding
This effort will be transformational in nature and will require commitments of time, energy and resources so that our joint efforts allow us additional budget capacity for the Football program in the University fiscal year beginning 7/1/17.
These efforts will be neither simple nor pain free. Endeavors worth accomplishing are not sprints to the finish; they are marathons that stand the test of time. We are ready for this challenge and ask that you join us in this most important undertaking. We will all look back one day and say to each other “I’m glad we tackled this challenge”
To our contemporaries in the Ivy League, here we come – “TOGETHER WE CAN”, TOGETHER WE WILL!
GO BIG RED !!!
Director of Athletics
|Doug Pratt ’84
|Marty Rauch ’86