April 2, 2012
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.
Has there been any talk about a redesign of the logo?
At the present time we have not discussed a redesign. The benefits both financially to the athletic department and from a marketing recognition standpoint in terms of merchandise have greatly increased since the move to the standardized three major mark logos. As you may have noticed, the athletic department has made a concerted effort to phase out the "dog head" logo and use the "bullet" font word marks of SIU or Salukis. We feel most people around the country know us by our unique name and that a logo of an actual Saluki dog is sometimes difficult for those in the apparel business to reproduce. (I am told that the dog head merchandise is still a strong local seller). We are putting together a retro logo sheet with all the logos in the history of the program, and I am anxious to see the final results as it should produce some vintage designs and merchandise.
What have you learned about how to structure future contracts in the wake of Chris Lowery's dismissal?
Our General Counsel's office has researched numerous coaches contracts and has attempted to incorporate language that is compliant with Illinois state law. When a coach is highly sought after, or is coming off a historic season, the bargaining power will always lay in their hands (or their agents) as opposed to the other way around, but slight changes have been made to key areas of the contracts for all sports.
When is the baseball renovation going to start and which phase will be first?
The Plant Services Operations on campus received submissions from architects last week who have an interest in designing the facility. In approximately one month, a short-list of firms will come to Carbondale to make a presentation to a selected group of individuals who will vote on the best plans. Next, contracts will need to be generated and signed and then the design process can begin. At the present time we need to see what the total price will be for the project, and we are hopeful that we can generate enough money to renovate the entire stadium all at one time.
With Temple's departure from the MAC, has SIU been approached about joining the conference for football only?
At the present time, I haven't spoken to anyone at the MAC, but I know their Commissioner, Jon Steinbrecher, well from his days as the OVC Commissioner. While it would be something to consider, the cost factor might make it problematic for us. Increased costs in travel, scholarships, football staff and then the need to balance the men's scholarships by adding a women's sport would be financial factors in this decision.
Will we see any changes to the football helmets for 2012?
At the present time we do not have a plan to alter the helmets for the 2012 season.
I notice from the Southern Illinoisan that SIU holds open forums for deans of various colleges. Why not do likewise for potential head coaches?
In some rare instances there are open candidate forums within coaching and athletic director searches. I can think of Montana State and Eastern Illinois off the top of my head. While this is certainly one way to do it, in the vast majority of searches, the candidates want to remain anonymous. Looking for another coaching position while holding another is a volatile situation and can affect the coach's current team, recruiting and the fan base. I believe doing a search publicly can severely limit ones candidate pool, but I do know some campuses have different rules than others.