Remember that awesome story about Toledo lying through their teeth in a recruiting video? I got turned onto it over at NCAABBs, which has a very active MAC board. Miami fans first picked up on it and were rightfully pissed off because, well, Miami is the most-winning MAC program in history by nearly every measure.
Note they updated the video...
For pages and pages the thread was just a back and forth between Toledo fans equivocating, Miami and Bowling Green fans slinging mud, and the rest of us just kind of enjoying the view. That is until someone claiming to be from the Toledo Athletics Department decided to chime in. Now this is the web, and it's very likely that this might not be David Sankovich, for his sake I really hope it's someone else.
My name is David Sankovich and I'm the Video Coordinator for the Rockets. As a staff member, I prefer not to be involved in forum debates, but after being alerted to the conversation on this board by one of my student workers, I felt the need to respond.
So I am thinking, yeah, this will be someone from Toledo saying they made a few mistakes and should have been more careful in the creation of the video.
There are three things you can do when you get caught with your hands in the cookie jar. The first is to apologize and admit fault, the second is to admit you knew it was wrong but qualify it with how hungry you were, and the third is to deny that you knew taking a cookie was wrong in the first place.
Mr Sankovich (if that is who it was) decided to go with #3.
The video was made strictly as a recruiting video for recruits. The concept was to encourage them to consider what it would be like to be a Toledo Rocket - to make them a Rocket for a couple of minutes. My purpose in stating that we were the "the winningest program in the MAC" was to draw light upon our recent successes in the MAC. It was not meant to declare that we have the highest total wins, win percentage, etc. but to declare to the recruit that we feel we are currently the premier program in the MAC.
By saying you were the winningest program in the MAC, you meant it in no measurable way. The following teams have as many MAC championships as Toledo during the past decade: Buffalo, Akron, Marshall. The following teams have more MAC championships: NIU (2), Miami (2), CMU (3).
The Rockets also do not have the best bowl record, the best conference record, the best division record, or the best out of conference record in the MAC. So what exactly makes you the premier team in the conference?
I'm sure other teams and their fans would disagree with this perception, but I bet I would disagree with what other teams are telling recruits as well. I'm sure a lively debate could also ensue that we don't have "a tradition unlike any other" in the MAC, but that's what I believe we have at Toledo and what I wanted to communicate to a recruit.
And I would like to communicate that Buffalo is the best program with the best tradition in the MAC. But I would be lying, just like Toledo is.
In terms of all time success you can't argue with Miami, by any measure. Most wins, best winning percent, most titles, highest national ranking (#10 twice). If you want to talk recently, CMU, Ohio, and NIU all have a much more solid claim. Heck even Miami, who is suffering through a down spell, has a more recent title.
As far as the MAC "titles", this was drawn directly from our school's media guide and business cards. It's fair to debate whether divisional championships and co-championships should be included in this number, but I don't feel like that is important to a recruit.
Repeating a lie someone else told you does not make it true. All it does is demonstrate that the lying at Toledo is institutional!
Although it may not be higher than some other teams, we are proud of this number, which is why we display every championship, co-championship, and divisional championship prominently in our stadium as well as our media guide and business cards. I feel that if there is an issue, it should be made towards those, instead of a recruiting video...
UB has a sweet banner in Alumni pointing out we were the 2008-2009 regular season co-champions in basketball. But to say we "won a championship" that year would be lying to a recruit.
Fact is you don't have the most MAC championships.
The video was never intended to get as much public recognition as it has. We posted it for recruits on our Vimeo and YouTube page and it soon got picked up by various other sites. Because of the amount of attention it has generated though, I have changed the "winningest" phrase to "one of the winningest" and have updated it on Vimeo - which is the version we use internally. To be honest, I don't think that this changes anything at ALL about the message of the video and how recruits perceive it, but I understand how others may have been upset by it.
By recognition you mean we hoped nobody would fact check my shoddy work. And after you were caught you changes "winningest" to "one of the winningest". That's the best you can do? really?
The sad thing is that you did not have to lie, and yes you were clearly lying. Because of either intentional deception or just poor fact checking you caused needless embarrassment to a very proud football program.
There was no reason, at all, to lie about Toledo's accomplishments because while they are not the best in the MAC. They are easily one of the elite teams and you've embarrassed their enthusiastic fan base, and put a small smudge on their accomplishments.