Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
There are a lot of hard jobs in D-I, but if you ask any national college sports reporter which one is the toughest, Chicago State will probably be near the top of the list.
The Cougar men's Basketball team has been perhaps the least successful in the country. The squad hasn't finished with a winning record since 2008-2009, and they've only finished above .500 in three of their 37 seasons. They haven't won double-digit games in 2013. The women's side has struggled even more....since the 2016-2017 season, Chicago State women's basketball has won four games. Total.
Pull up the USA TODAY athletic department revenue rankings, and Chicago State is near the very bottom, reporting less than $6 million in revenue...or less than Dan Mullen makes in a season. According to that database, Chicago State has not once cleared $20,000 in ticket revenue since 2010.
To make matters worse, the athletic department is about to be without a conference home. Back in January, the school announced they would leave the WAC in June of 2022. It's one thing to be an independent in football, a sport Chicago State doesn't currently sponsor. But without conference homes for other sports, postseason access and consistent struggling will become nearly impossible.
This is a popular pick for the school most likely to leave D-I. For an outsider, it might be difficult to see how this school ever comes to turn things around. What are they even trying to accomplish?
It's a good question. So I got in my car, drove down to 95th and King, and asked them.