Jan. 3, 2011
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.
Why don't we get scores of other games over the PA anymore?
Now that we have begun MVC play, we will be reading the scores of all the league games for the day during our games. With the new video boards, we also have the ability to display scores of other games, including Valley and Top 25 games. I spoke with our Director of Video Operations, Chris Hagstrom and he is working with our video board program developers, Click Effects, on the most practical way to display scores. During the football season, we had to manually update the scoring fields on the out of town scoreboard. That would be difficult in a fast-moving basketball game. There is a package you can purchase that allows you to display real-time scores on the scoreboard, but the subscription fee is exorbitant. We haven't settled on an option at this point.
Has the SIU versus SLU series come to an end? Is Majerus trying to keep us out of the St. Louis market?
No, this series hasn't come to an end, but we did take a one year hiatus. SLU wants to continue to schedule both SIU and Missouri State, but they were in a situation where both games were either on the road or at home, and they wanted to break that up. When our contract came to an end, we were given the option of starting the new series back at SLU or taking a year off, so from an equitable standpoint we took a year off. We have one game remaining to be scheduled in 2011-12, and we hope it will be SLU. I know Chris May, their Director of Athletics, and we have discussed this several times. Our only concern is that during the 2012-13 season, we might also need another home game, and this would put us on the road at SLU. I anticipate getting this worked out relatively soon as both schools are committed to keeping the series going.
I was disappointed to discover the almost total lack of Saturday home games. By my count, there are only three this year, with one being New Year's Day. We have seven Saturday road games! What is the reason for this imbalance?
I spoke to the MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin on this matter and he responded with the following comment:
For the MVC portion of the schedule, the league office schedules 90 conference games - 18 games for each team, with nine of those home games. The "conference scheduling window" includes nine full weeks, with the ESPN Bracket Busters games on the next-to-last weekend of the season. Of the 90 conference games, half of those (45) are scheduled on weekends - Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
This season, only 33 games - including the five Bracket Busters games - were scheduled on Saturdays; thus, with 10 members, only four teams had more home Saturday games than the Salukis. Reasons for not having more home Saturday games, generally speaking, include: 1) early-January schedule compaction of three games in the second week of the league schedule forced all 10 MVC teams to play a Friday-Sunday sequence, skipping Saturday altogether, 2) the Valley's ESPNU package included five Sunday night games and 3) the MVC has attempted to leverage more assignments from the nation's elite basketball officials by scheduling other games on Sundays when fewer college basketball are scheduled, thus reducing further the number of Saturday games
In the future, the MVC will be analyzing which weekend days are best for scheduling Valley games, with consideration given to missed class time for traveling teams, home attendance overall and for the student body on the three weekend days, and whether Friday night TV windows are a possibility.
Considering our past success, it seems rather paltry to have only two retired numbers in men's basketball. Are there any plans to retire more?
Ironically enough, until just a few months ago, SIU never had a retired number/jersey policy. In the past, all retired jerseys/numbers were done at the discretion of the AD, or in some instances, a coach. We have two retired in volleyball, one in women's basketball, three in football and two in men's basketball. The Hall of Fame selection committee looked at several schools' retired number/jersey policy and came up with one that we liked best. I would think in the near future we would look to retire more jerseys when appropriate. Schools have different philosophies in this area -- some are extremely limited and some are more inclusive -- and we will proceed cautiously to identify the proper balance for SIU.
When will season-ticket holders receive a letter updating our Priority Points?
When SASF renewal notices go out in March/April (the exact date has yet to be determined) a letter indicating the individual's specific Priority Point total will be included in this mailing. If you would like to know your total immediately, you can always call the athletic offices or stop by and we can get that information to you quickly.