Ask the AD- December Edition

    Mario Moccia

    Mario Moccia

    Dec. 31, 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.

    E-Mail a question to Mario Moccia

    Is there any chance of a makeover of the dog logo in the near future? I, as well as many Saluki fans, feel that the old logo from years back was a much better.

    At the present time we are not planning any logo additions. We have a full complement of logos and word marks in use by the athletic department and our many vendors of Saluki merchandise. I will ask our Assistant AD for Marketing, Steve Sowers to find a place on our website to display the entire "logo sheet," as it is quite extensive. As you probably noticed, we have moved away from the Dog Head logo with departmental material, floor logos, etc., but our vendors still use it, as well as coaches for some collateral material.

    You will soon be able to purchase more retro logo items. We have recently partnered with the Collegiate Licensing Company to launch our Collegiate Vault line of logos. After searching Fred Huff's book "Saluki Sports History" for any and all logos that our teams have ever used, we put them on a separate logo sheet and licensed all of those marks. We recently used the 1960s baseball and men's basketball logos on some departmental merchandise. We have plans to use more of these in the coming months. It is very interesting from a historical standpoint, and I'll ask that a history of our logos be placed on as well.

    What is the MVC and SIU doing to make sure we are in a viable conference? If I had your job I would be pushing Doug Elgin and the Valley to become a 16-team conference with two eight team leagues. What are your thoughts on realignment?

    This is a topic in which the MVC ADs and campus CEOs have been in close contact with the MVC leadership and is a 'front burner' discussion topic at all meetings and on conference calls. Recent history demonstrates that the Missouri Valley Conference is as stable as any conference in the NCAA's Division I, as the Valley and the Ivy League are the only two, out of 32 leagues, that have not had any membership changes since 1996. This is a huge positive. And while we clearly cannot prevent the defection of any of our member institutions in the MVC, if we do lose any of our schools, we would aggressively pursue new members that would strengthen our men's basketball (and other sports). Let's face it - men's basketball has been the engine that drives our league throughout our history, and we have a pretty special place in the history of college basketball. Earning units in the NCAA men's basketball tournament is absolutely a priority - not only for the league's finances, but for the continuing national perception that the Valley is arguably the strongest non-BCS conference in the nation. While there aren't a ton of schools that fit the profile of strong basketball and acceptable geography, you can be certain that the MVC is on top of things if a membership change would ever occur. As to your specific suggestion to consider adding as many as six more teams to the MVC, we have to be very careful to not just 'water down' the membership and basically cause the league to share revenues among more schools. So if we get three or four teams in the NCAA Tournament this year (which is entirely possible), we would be sharing that revenue among 10 versus 16. The bottom line is any members that would be added would have to bring a strong basketball resume to the table.

    With schools like West Virginia and Minnesota approving alcohol sales at their home stadiums, will SIU consider following suit?

    This would be a decision that many individuals on campus would have to approve. With that said, our food service provider is currently serving and selling beer and wine at our clubs areas in football and basketball as well as in our football suites. We have conducted research into the FBS and FCS schools who are currently serving alcohol to the general public in football and men's basketball and it is more extensive than what I thought. Most recently and regionally Western Kentucky University has added it in football. With declining state support and a host of other issues that cause budgetary stress alcohol sales can be looked at as an untapped revenue source which can help in tough economic times. I saw both West Virginia and Minnesota both netted around $1,000,000 through alcohol sales and that is a revenue stream that can't be ignored from consideration. With all that said there is a lot of issues surrounding the decision to sell alcohol and if SIU ever was to consider this we would certainly take our stakeholders views into consideration.