Nov. 30, 2012
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.
We recently had the pleasure of attending a home football game. I really wondered about the propensity to refer to the Salukis as the Dawgs? It minimizes the value of one of the most unique mascots in the country.
I asked the Voice of the Salukis, Mike Reis, to give me some history on the use of the term "Dawgs" as a nickname for the Salukis. He believes it started in the late 1980s. Retired SID Fred Huff recalls it was coined by the Daily Egyptian. The term was more popular with younger audiences and was considered cool at the time. Mike uses it occasionally, but puts much more emphasis on the word Salukis. Personally, I do hear and use the term from time to time but I agree that we should maximize the use of the word Salukis.
What is the possibility of getting some home basketball game times changed to the afternoon this season?
In looking at our 15 home games this year, I took note that three of them were played in the evening to avoid conflicts with football. Of the remaining 12 games, seven of those are weekday games necessitating an evening start time. Of the remaining five weekend games, two are televised by ESPN and they have potential start times of 2/7 p.m. and 5/7 p.m. as dictated by the network, one is a doubleheader with the women's team and another is a BracketBuster game which may or may not be televised (if not, we could play this in the afternoon). Other than that, Saturday, Jan. 12 vs. Indiana State is about the only game with true flex time, and we opted to stick with a 7:05 start for consistency. As you can see, we don't have much flexibility, but we will look at the few games where we do, and see if an afternoon start makes sense.
Any interest in expanding Saluki Stadium and joining the MAC?
A few things jump out with this question. Expanding the stadium would be an expensive proposition and it is money that just doesn't exist at the moment. The cost of adding 22 more full scholarships would be considerable as well, and then we would need to do something on the women's side of the equation to balance it from a Title IX standpoint, most likely adding a sport, which is yet another expense. Seeing that the men's basketball NCAA revenue is greater in the MVC than in the MAC, we would just consider a move in the sport of football. With all that said, there is unprecedented movement with conference realignment and it would be incumbent upon us to listen to any proposal that comes our direction.
Has the Athletic Department considered offering season-ticket discounts to alumni similar to that offered to faculty and staff?
Identifying just alumni of SIU would be difficult, but we could identify members of the Alumni Association with their alumni card. I am not sure how long we have offered the faculty and staff discount, but I am aware that this is almost universal at schools other than the BCS level schools with sold-out situations. I have asked our Deputy AD, Chet Savage to discuss this possibility with Michelle Suarez, the Director of the Alumni Association. If we could maintain current revenue we would certainly consider it.
Do you still calculate points for SASF purposes? How does one find out about their points and how are the points being used?
Yes, we still calculate priority points. Currently the priority point system is used to rank individuals within their SASF donor level. We use the point system for annually reseating football and men's basketball season ticket holders, MVC Tournament tickets, and priority parking for football and men's basketball. To find out your point total, you can call or e-mail Casey Hale, who oversees our scholarship fund (618-453-5625, firstname.lastname@example.org).
With all the concerns with finances at SIU and the ads to save on energy during timeouts, why are the football field lights on all the time?
The lights are on both in Saluki Stadium and at the Lew Hartzog Track & Field complex in the fall and spring virtually every night. If the Salukis are not practicing at Saluki Stadium, recreational sports has use of the field for Flag football Sunday through Thursday usually from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Any visiting football team playing the Salukis on Saturday would have access to the field on Friday evening as well, and if not, then the Marching Salukis can utilize the field for practice for the next day's game. As for Lew Hartzog Track & Field complex, the Marching Salukis have use of the field on Monday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and recreational sports have it Tuesday through Friday, plus Sunday, mainly from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. As you can see, the fields get a lot of use, not only from our student-athletes but also from students in general. It's also worth noting that we have the ability to remotely turn the lights on and off via the web or mobile phone. If a flag football game ends early, for example, their supervisor sends us a text message so that we can promptly shut off the lights.