Sept. 30, 2008
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.
Not having been on the east side of the stadium for some time, I was disappointed by how hard it was to hear the announcer. Is this something that can be addressed now or at least in the new stadium?
Last year, we added four portable speakers to the east side, which helped significantly. At the first game versus Hampton, I heard some complaints, and we discovered that we had a bad horn in one of the speakers. We had it fixed for the UNI game. Standing on our sidelines, I could tell that it was much louder, and I haven't received any complaints, so I believe the problem has been resolved. We will have a state-of-the-art sound system in the new stadium, which is coming soon, so bear with us until that time. We will keep the four portable speakers at the stadium until that time.
I received an accounting of my Priority Point total as of the end of the last fiscal year. When it is time to purchase MVC Tournament tickets, is the end of the fiscal year Priority Point total to be used or a "real-time" total, which would include any points added since the end of the last fiscal year?
For the allocation of MVC men's basketball tournament seats, the point totals are in "real time". When Carolyn Carsrud, our SASF secretary, receives a check in the mail, she records it and sends it over the foundation. At that time, your point total gets adjusted. We recommend that any gifts to the SASF come in prior to January 31, 2009, to count in MVC seating, as we allocate in early February.
What is the order in which the arena will be renovated? I assume the interior will get its facelift first and the exterior and additions the next year. Is this correct, and if so, will 2009 season tickets for men's basketball be revamped to match SASF giving levels?
Construction on the football stadium, arena and ancillary building will begin right around March, 2009. The construction manager, JE Dunn, is formulating the plan as we speak with specific regard to your question. Some factors that will determine what gets done first (the inside or the outside) will depend on what type of seating system we select for the upper and lower bowl once the bids come back. As with everything construction-related, there is never an easy answer, but we will know this pretty soon. If the inside of the area is to be completed first, then we would institute the new seating policy, which is also being formulated at this time.
When a key player such as Josh Bone leaves, do you ever get involved, kind of a "sit down" with you, the coach and the player, before the decision is cut in stone? Sometimes a person needs some stroking, and you being involved might just show a troubled player how valuable he is to the program.I want to thank you for this terrific Q & A forum. It's the best source of information I have ever seen at the school for sports, and I date back to 1966.
The administration has a very open relationship with all our student-athletes, and there are several factors that go into a student-athlete wanting to leave school and attend somewhere else. Some fans may assume there is a disagreement with the coach, but other factors such as homesickness, illness in the family, perceived lack of playing opportunity are often the case. Each sport has a supervisor, who is involved in the discussion. If a mutual decision is made to transfer, the appropriate NCAA paperwork is signed by all parties to make it official. If the decision is not mutual, the student-athlete can appeal the decision to a committee outside of the Department of Athletics.
It is worth noting that the NCAA's new rules on APR (Academic Progress Rate) have made players transferring a much more important issue. Points are awarded for good academic standing and retention. If a player leaves in poor academic standing, then the school loses a point. If a team score drops below a set number, scholarships can be taken away. I think this rule has been especially good for the sport of basketball, because it requires administrators to take the academic component into any decision-making regarding transfers.
Thanks for the compliment about the forum, and I hope the questions keep coming. I will continue to be forthcoming.
Do we have a Dawg Pound area setup for students at the football games?
Good timing with this question! Beginning with the Homecoming game versus Indiana State, we will reserve an area for the Dawg Pound. We have seen membership in this organization skyrocket over the last two years, and we have added a formal leadership component to it as well. The will be an interesting test, and we will do it for the remainder of the year.
The helmet insignia is definitely busy! What about going back to the simple maroon circle with SIU in the middle that the championship team made their run with? Classic, simple, visible, recognizable, and nostalgic. When you see that the most successfulchampionship football teams (LSU, USC, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn St., Florida State...) never change, maybe we can follow the same path?
Coach Kill and I had discussed this prior to his departure but never made a final decision. Coach Lennon has had so much on his plate, that this subject was pretty far down on our priority list. I will discuss this with him again in the off-season. Changing the helmet can be a sensitive issue for some ,and I'd like to make sure that whatever we do will have some staying power, is clean from a TV viewing standpoint and represents the team and school in a positive way.
Many years ago, I was a member of the Saluki Booster Club and was wondering how I could join the club again for Saluki Athletics?
The Saluki Booster Club was dissolved in favor of the Saluki Athletic Scholarship Fund (SASF). Instead of giving to just one sport, donations go to fund scholarships for all our student-athletes. One can still give to a specific sport, and that is encouraged and will help you with your point total. It will not, however, count toward the donation level that is necessary for men's basketball seating and parking, football parking, MVC Tournament and NCAA men's basketball tickets. We appreciate your consideration of joining the SASF, and you can call 618-453-3148, and ask for Casey Hale for more information.