Ask the AD -- December Edition

    Mario Moccia

    Mario Moccia

    Jan. 1, 2014

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - This is the latest installment of our monthly feature called, "Ask the AD." If you have questions for Saluki Director of Athletics Mario Moccia, feel free to submit them by e-mail.

    E-Mail a question to Mario Moccia

    What requirements does the league have for strength of schedule in non-conference for Men's Basketball?

    A few years ago the MVC put some non-conference scheduling parameters in place. No more than two sub 250 RPI teams may be scheduled each year, with only one of those being a sub 300 RPI team. RPIs are based on a three-year average, and there is a $50,000 penalty for failure to comply with this policy. All existing contracts signed before June 1, 2011 were grandfathered in and aren't subject to these guidelines. The new policy makes scheduling a bit more challenging, but it is good for the league because it maximizes opportunities for at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.

    Our Salukis logo is pretty mundane in comparison to the other school logos in the conference. Could we enlist the graphic arts department at SIU to come up with a new logo of our Saluki mascot?

    We have a wide variety of athletics logos and marks that we can use and do for different occasions (jerseys, special events, marketing materials, etc.). All of our current and previous marks are licensed with the Collegiate Licensing Company. We have decided that we are best known around the country by the word "Salukis" since it is so unique. That is why we use our word mark -- the "bullet" Salukis -- on most of our jerseys, rather than a mascot symbol. We have found that the Saluki mascot logo hasn't translated into a form that our local screen-print and embroidering companies find easy to reproduce, but we would be interested in any art-related entity at SIU willing to take on this project, as long as we retain ownership of the work. I will ask our Assistant AD for Marketing, Steve Sowers, to see if they would have an interest in such a project.

    Are there any plans in the works to pair up the Missouri Valley and another conference in the future, now that the MVC-Mountain West Challenge has gone away?

    No plans are in the works, but I just returned from a trip to the ESPN headquarters with the MVC leadership and ADs from Wichita State, Bradley and Missouri State to discuss our upcoming television contract renegotiations. The subject of a challenge series did come up, and we expressed our interest if the right conference was willing to partner with us.

    I've noticed on the video board that the men's basketball team has been entering the court from Lingle Hall this season. Is there something wrong with their new locker rooms?

    Nothing is wrong with the men's basketball locker room. Coach Hinson made the decision at a point in the non-conference season to relocate the team to the former faculty-staff locker room in Lingle Hall. The team is now back in its locker room in the Boydston Center.

    Why wasn't Davante Drinkard immediately booted from the team for calling his head coach a "little man?" That kind of disrespect should not be tolerated.

    Coach Hinson wasn't bothered by any comments made by his players. He had a very productive meeting with the team the day after the Murray State press conference, and Davante, in particular, remains in good standing with the coaching staff.

    Are you concerned about the recruiting implications of Coach Hinson's rant that was seen nationwide?

    I am not overly concerned about this and time will tell what the impact will be, if any. Depending on who you talk to, they have opinions one way or the other. Not that I take stock in all the many varying opinions floating around, but I did notice that ESPN had a poll where 9,400 people around the WORLD had an opportunity to vote on the question "If your child played for Barry Hinson would you be ok or not ok with his (rant)" and 69 percent of them said that they would be ok with it. Does that mean anything regarding the recruitment of future players? I doubt it. The greatest impact on recruiting will be if the players that Barry and the assistant coaches have recruited have good experiences at SIU, including success as a team.

    I'd like to wish a Happy New Year to Saluki Nation!