Despite a season where attendance was down across the board for the 15-15 Georgetown Hoyas, the efforts of Chris Grosse and his promotions staff did not go unnoticed by the industry. A feature at Front Office Sports tells the story.

"I came to Georgetown at a very unique time," gross said. "The Big East Conference had just undergone realignment, which saw several of our traditional rivals move out of the yearly schedule. We also play in a huge arena. I believe it is the seventh biggest in the country, so there are a lot of seats to fill. We couldn't stick to the status quo of just releasing our schedule and watching tickets sales soar, we had to be more strategic about things, and come up with creative ways to bring extra attention to some of our lower demand games."

"Some promotion results are easy to measure; you can count tickets sold through promo codes or increases in overall attendance...A lot of what we do, though, is to raise awareness of our events, our department, and the great things our student-athletes are doing, and that is a little tougher to measure. We see increases in social media engagement, earned media and coverage of our games, but sometimes we might not have tangible attendance increases to count."


Having served as athletic director under 11 consecutive losing seasons for men's basketball and having hired Jerry Wainwright, Oliver Purnell, and Dave Leitao, DePaul AD Jean Lenti Ponsetto has never been a fan favorite in Chicago. Amidst a rising tide of fan discontent, Ponsetto is now the subject of a fan revolt and a newspaper inquiry into the role Ponsetto played in the naming rights of Wintrust Arena, where her sister-in-law serves as executive vice president.

"When the Blue Demons lost Wednesday's game against Marquette in the opening round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden, they capped off what should have been a season to remember. But a failed first year at the Wintrust Arena might just be the final straw in over a decade of DePaul being among the most laughable, embarrassing and mismanaged programs in the history of Division 1 NCAA basketball" wrote the DePaulia newspaper. "Today, amid growing public outcry, a third swing and miss on a washed-up Dave Leitao, $82.5 million spent on an near-empty arena and a new president ready to make his own mark on the university, the circumstances are ripe for real change."

The editorial followed a full page ad in Sunday's Chicago Sun Times by alumni calling on Ponsetto to be fired. A response from the DePaul athletic department said that "Fans and students are entitled to voice their opinions, but not everyone may agree with it...Under Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto's leadership, our student athletes continue to make us proud."

"If you want to do it the right way, you have to be patient," Lenti Ponsetto told the Chicago Tribune after the Blue Devils (11-20, 4-14 Big East) were eliminated by Marquette in the 2018 Big East tournament, its 12th loss in 14 Big East Tournament games dating to 2007. "It's not turnkey. It doesn't happen overnight."

"I'm excited what I hear from our longtime, loyal season ticket holders who come to games because they want to support DePaul student-athletes," said Ponsetto. "They're not coming to games expecting it to be the junior NBA."

The junior NBA is not a problem at DePaul, where average attendance dipped below 3,000 paying customers in the first season of the $173 million Wintrust Arena, of which Wintrust Bank provided naming rights for $22 million to DePaul over 15 years. Of more concern and perhaps more damage, is the story broke Monday by the DePaulia on the Wintrust naming rights deal.

"The Chief Marketing Officer from Wintrust Bank has confirmed that Wintrust Executive Vice President and sister-in-law of DePaul Athletic Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto, Kandace Lenti, was involved in the multi-million dollar Wintrust Arena naming rights agreement," writes the newspaper."DePaul officials have also confirmed that Jean Lenti Ponsetto never officially disclosed a conflict of interest form before engaging in the deal."

"[A] source said that Lenti Ponsetto was "involved in the process" and that she had a hand with "price points and deliverables," reports the newspaper. "Whatever is in the contract," they said, "she was involved."

A 1978 DePaul graduate, Jean Lenti Ponsetto is married to former DePaul basketball player Joe Ponsetto and has worked in the athletic department at DePaul for over 30 years.

The DePaulia coverage is recommended reading--here's the link.


At the tail end of the Craig Esherick era, fans and reporters asked if Georgetown had fallen into irrelevance after a 2003 NIT appearance and missing a post-season invitation outright. And in 2018, even more so.

To no surprise, Georgetown failed to qualify for either the NCAA or NIT tournaments in 2018, marking the third consecutive season a Georgetown team is out of sight, out of mind on Selection Sunday. It's the longest post-season drought for the Hoyas in 44 years.

While there is plenty of hope in 2018-19, there are no guarantees. And if it seems like it's been a long while since Georgetown was in the conversation, it has been:

Here are the Ratings Performance Index (RPI) finishes dating back the last 25 seasons. Georgetown finished 165th in 2017-18, its lowest ever.

Season RPI Rank Result SOS Rank
1993-94 0.5759 37 NCAA 0.5703 27
1994-95 0.5888 29 NCAA 0.5589 40
1995-96 0.6219 12 NCAA 0.5712 22
1996-97 0.5655 57 NCAA 0.5278 89
1997-98 0.5198 117 NIT 0.5326 79
1998-99 0.5365 94 NIT 0.5544 43
1999-00 0.5490 68 NIT 0.5493 53
2000-01 0.5793 42 NCAA 0.5169 105
2001-02 0.5636 56 NIT* 0.5445 62
2002-03 0.5325 100 NIT 0.5375 72
2003-04 0.5053 142 (None) 0.5190 109
2004-05 0.5517 77 NIT 0.5526 58
2005-06 0.5920 36 NCAA 0.5480 63
2006-07 0.6368 9 NCAA 0.5824 14
2007-08 0.6424 8 NCAA 0.5648 32
2008-09 0.5720 57 NIT 0.5960 4
2009-10 0.6353 7 NCAA 0.6197 1
2010-11 0.6323 13 NCAA 0.6186 1
2011-12 0.6201 15 NCAA 0.5809 14
2012-13 0.6350 11 NCAA 0.5795 16
2013-14 0.5624 69 NIT 0.5765 18
2014-15 0.6036 25 NCAA 0.5883 11
2015-16 0.5365 106 (None) 0.5755 23
2016-17 0.5247 115 (None) 0.5689 35
2017-18 0.5034 165 (None) 0.4931 179
*Invited but declined.

Past coverage for over 20 years of articles from this web site can always be found at the Archives pages. For a review of stories from earlier this month, start here.