Ask the AD - January edition

    Mario Moccia

    Mario Moccia

    Feb. 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

    I really enjoyed the College Classic game against SEMO at Busch Stadium. What is the likelihood that this will be a yearly tradition? Also, can you provide some insight about the financial aspects of the game, such as cost to use Busch Stadium versus income generated?

    I have only received positive comments about this event. It was a great venue for the game, our fans had a wonderful time, the weather was perfect and the institution used it as a tool to recruit students with several hundred prospective students and their parents in attendance. Due to the cost, as well as our desire not to move our home games out of Carbondale, there is a good chance that the event might have been a one-time occasion. At the present time both schools are working with the Cardinals to determine the final numbers, but at best the endeavor will be a push from a revenue standpoint and at worst case SIU might have spent upward of $50,000. From our side it was well worth the effort involved.

    The 2013 FCS selection committee snub of the MVFC was apparent in only putting two teams in the tournament, when three or four certainly earned it. Has there been any talk by the MVFC to expand to two divisions, possibly making it more attractive for the selection committee?

    We have not yet had those discussions but our annual meeting will take place in St. Louis in mid-February and I am sure that topic will come up. Traditionally, conferences with 12 or more teams have divisions and the MVFC has only 10, but the possibility of expansion, while not on the immediate horizon, is always an annual discussion as well. With the adoption of the Simple Rating System (SRS) by the FCS playoff selection committee, I believe that this will help higher rated conferences come selection time.

    Please explain the logic of extending Coach Lennon's contract? How much of Coach Lennon's, and for that matter Coach Hinson's contract, is guaranteed by the University?

    Coach Lennon in his tenure of six years has a 42-28 record which places him second in career winning percentage behind only Jerry Kill. In addition, he has won the MVFC twice and been named MVFC and Regional Coach of the Year twice. While we have not appeared in the playoffs in the last four years, I would like to point out how our league has changed during his tenure. We have seen the addition of three-time National Champion North Dakota State, plus South Dakota State, which has qualified for the playoffs several years as well. Those are two formidable programs.

    In addition, we had an incredible string of good fortune with Joel Sambursly and Nick Hill virtually taking every snap for six years without a serious injury, and in Dale's last few seasons we have had major injuries to quarterbacks Chris Dieker, Paul McIntosh and Kory Faulkner, which have really hurt the team down the playoff stretch. Some might consider that an excuse, but if you are objectively looking at the situation, these facts must be considered. Finally, when I look at our play and our scores we are much closer to making the playoffs and being a nationally ranked team than going the other way. Just this year we had a touchdown loss at Big Ten Illinois, a double OT loss to No. 2 Eastern Illinois, a one-point loss to Youngstown State, and we were leading NDSU in the third quarter prior to Kory's injury. This leads me to believe that we have a good program and Dale is going a good job. It is imperative that Dale hit the recruiting trail with the knowledge that the institution is behind him and the prospective student-athletes knowing that the head coach is under a multi-year contract.

    I saw on WSIL a story about Anthony Beane drawing NBA basketball players. I was wondering if it would be possible for him to draw a picture of LeBron James that I could give to my son?

    I saw the same story and was impressed with his ability! There is only one way to find out. I'll have Tom Weber our Assistant AD for Media Services contact you and see if Anthony will take that on as his next art project.