Sept. 1, 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.
I heard that Coach Lennon would like to see the the SEMO football game become a trophy game where the winner is awarded a traveling trophy. Has this idea been seriously considered and what, if any, was the response from SEMO athletics?
At one point, we were working with the SEMO Department of Athletics to attempt to secure a title sponsor for this type of event. Our goal was to make it an all-encompassing trophy where points would be awarded for each athletic contest between the two schools and a winner being presented with the trophy after the last competition. Since we play SEMO in virtually every sport, the only hurdle was to make sure all the sports secured scheduling agreements with SEMO and that our multi-media rights partner, Saluki Sports Properties along with the SEMO athletic department sold the sponsorship. At the present time, a title sponsor has not been secured, but I know our multi-media rights team continues to work on this since it is something we would all like to see happen.
Is there any way to make the weekly coach's TV show available online?
The Coach's show is produced by WSIL-TV and they have not streamed the show on their website in the past. Our Media Services Director, Tom Weber, is looking into the possibility of getting a copy of the show in a format that could be streamed from our site.
Are there any plans to place flags representing the MVFC members around Saluki Stadium? Perhaps adding these at the top of the fence which encompasses the stadium would add a nice touch? Also, has all of the landscaping been completed around the new stadium, including adding more trees to the south area of the stadium?
I agree that flags around the top of the stadium would be a tremendous visual addition to Saluki Stadium on game day. We could do the other MVFC schools, all Saluki flags, and the American flag on Military Appreciation Day. We have looked into this with 360 architecture and principal designer and partner John Eyler estimates the cost at approximately $10,000 to do the league schools and $20,000 if we wanted to do the Saluki or American flags. Like many other add-ons considered during the Saluki Way construction process, we eliminated many "wants" in favor of "needs" and this unfortunately fell into the want category. I would like to pursue a sponsor or a new revenue stream to fund this project as it was something we wanted to do from the beginning.
All the landscaping has been completed around the stadium and much like the flags, we attempted to stay within a budget. I believe when the trees and other green spaces mature it will make the stadium look that much more "complete" in a few years, and if we find that we have some bare spots we can always add a few trees here and there.
I felt last Saturday's Saluki Fan Fest at Saluki Stadium was a great event for kids and adults to have a chance to interact with both the football players and the coaches/staff. Will this event be reconsidered for next season and if so, has there been any talk about adding any further activities as well as publicizing this event even greater?
I am glad you and your family enjoyed the event. We are certainly considering having this as an annual event and potentially including other sports as well, such as basketball. A host of factors need to be considered in the future, including the start of high school football season and the timing of our own end of fall camp scrimmage. I talked with Coach Lennon about potentially scrapping the whole fall scrimmage and holding a Fan Fest on the Thursday before high school football, and he seemed open to it. Since we received late notice of the scrimmage cancellation this year, we weren't able to spread the word as effectively, but we were able to utilize our website, our social media components (Saluki Athletics on Facebook & @SIUSalukis on Twitter) as well as radio spots during the week. In future years, we will use print, radio and more word of mouth with an earlier notice to ensure that kids and families from all over southern Illinois can participate.