We’d like to take a moment to say Nyla Milleson, we feel for you. Everyone knows you shouldn’t hit a girl when she’s down and out, and Missouri State really kicked you when you were down last week by firing you and your staff right after losing the play-in game of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Yes, we know you and the Lady Bears had a really rough year this year. You were inconsistent throughout the season, but you were brutally honest in interviews with our beat writer about the problems the team was facing, and it was kind of expected after the loss of five starters, including powerhouse Casey Garrison.
The university has said that they gave you your pink slip because you weren’t a competitor in the conference, and that overall revenues were also taken into consideration. And that makes us pretty sad, because it seems to send the message that if you have one bad year in women’s sports, you’re going to get the boot because the university can’t make money.
Missouri State lost $442,244 in season ticket revenue from 2008 to 2013, according to Athletics Director Kyle Moats. In 2008, the university sold 3,514 season tickets for Lady Bears games, but only 1,480 for the 2013 season. That’s a devastating 57.9 percent drop in sales for the university.
In contrast, minus this season, the Lady Bears’ winning percentage steadily increased during your tenure, Milleson, from .367 in 2007-2008 to .727 in 2011-2012. If you don’t believe us, check out our graph on page 6.
Rather than saddling you with the blame for low attendance and bad ticket sales over the last several years, the university should also have bared the burden and put more effort into marketing women’s basketball, rather than kicking a girl when she’s down and out.