Present: Terry Bishop (Chair), TJ Lusher, Paul Bauer, Ron Short, Cary Groth, Paul Carpenter, Josephine Umoren, Malcolm Morris, Gip Seaver, Bob Beatty, Ken Davidson, Marcia Dick, Ray Tourville, Nolan Davis, Craig Marcus, Eric Johnson
Guests: Sheila Berg, Athletics Business Manager; Robert Collins, Associate Athletics Director; Tekla Martin, Director of Development
I. Call to Order – Terry Bishop
II. Report from the Athletics Director – Cary Groth
Cary stated that our losses to both Bowling Green and Toledo have resulted in diminished bowl opportunities. There will be a meeting on Monday regarding interest in NIU.
Cary went on to report that both Marshall and Central Florida have accepted invitations to join Conference USA. They will leave the MAC in 2005.
Cary then went on to discuss the question of whether the MAC would expand to 14 teams in football or stay at 12 teams. In discussions with the presidents, the athletics directors feel that 12 is a good number. However, if the administrators feel good about expanding to 14 teams and the two schools are of similar academic and competitive background, expansion might be considered, However, there are not many 1A schools which fit those criteria.
MAC Coaching Vacancies
Several MAC schools have made changes in their football head coaches.
Gip then said there had been extensive discussion at the last Board meeting regarding the treatment of visiting fans, buses, etc., at various schools. The treatment received at Bowling Green was abysmal. Cary said earlier in our season, she had received quite a few e-mails from fans from visiting schools who had been poorly treated and had things thrown at them, things dumped on them, etc. NIU has issues in the student section and in the east parking lot. It has gotten better each game but there are also issues on the west side, as well. NIU has been proactive and is trying to educate its fans. The seating arrangement at the Stadium allows for control over some of the behavior but the students really need to help set the example.
III. Approval of October 15, 2003, Meeting Minutes
Ron Short made a motion to approve the October 15, 2003, meeting Minutes. Ray Tourville seconded the motion.
Having no corrections, additions or deletions, the motion was carried.
IV. Committee Reports
Sheila Berg reported that there are items that will be acted upon Under New Business but she presented an informational item to the Board. A men’s basketball promotional ticket price has been set for this Saturday’s game. A patron with a ticket from Saturday’s football game can purchase a ticket to Saturday evening’s men’s basketball game for $5.00. The seats for the $5.00 tickets will be in the upper bowl only and it is a 1-for-1 option.
TJ Lusher reported that she had met with Dee Abrahamson and they have charted a course for the committee this year. They have decided to create a report called The Face of Athletics at NIU: Past, Present, and Future. The committee will be looking at the Athletics Department’s five-year plan, last year’s student survey, and considering what Athletics may be facing in the future as it relates to gender and diversity on campus.
Malcolm Morris reported that his committee has also met. Kim Judson, who initiated a study of student-athlete satisfaction at NIU based on earlier work from another institution. Kim is in the process of having a report written by January. Based on the overview to date, in general, students are pleased with the decisions they have made. There are a number of nagging issues that seem to recur in a variety of sports. A full report is forthcoming.
Ron Short distributed information regarding topics recommended to help raise awareness of Athletics internally and externally. Each topic was reviewed briefly.
Ron then asked if the new faculty this year were given complimentary tickets to football. Tekla Martin said she did not think complimentary tickets were provided for them this year.
V. New Business
First Quarter Report
Sheila distributed copies of the FY04 first quarter report. It will be acted on at the next meeting of the Athletic Board in January, 2004. She then provided an overview of the report.
Malcolm asked where salaries are listed. Ray Tourville answered that that is a part of the budget the Board does not see.
FY04 ‘Special’ Basketball Ticket Prices
Sheila began by saying the only addition to the FY04 basketball ticket prices is the student guest ticket. This allows students to purchase one guest ticket and to be seated in the student section.
Eric Johnson asked why there is a limit of only two guest passes per student. He feels the limit should be increased. Robert Collins said that could be done and seat the students in the upper bowl. Sheila said the limit is based on the capacity at the Convocation Center. Terry Bishop said Athletics wouldn’t want to discount too many tickets. This could also create an opportunity for abuse of the policy. Because of the move to the Convocation Center, Athletics is doing this now because the capacity at Evans Field House couldn’t accommodate it. Paul Bauer said this is probably something the Board should revisit since the pre-season selection of NIU’s men’s basketball team to win the MAC this year will create a great deal of interest in attending the games. In response to Eric’s question, Sheila said the student with a valid ID must purchase the guest pass.
Malcolm Morris made a motion to approve the FY04 ‘special’ basketball ticket prices. Paul Bauer seconded.
Having no further discussion, motion was carried.
Revised FY04 Volleyball, Gymnastics, Wrestling Ticket Prices
Sheila said these ticket prices are coming forward because David Grant, head wrestling coach, wants to offer a discounted ticket price for groups of 10 or more attending wrestling matches.
Paul Bauer made a motion to approve the revised FY04 volleyball, gymnastics, and wrestling ticket prices. Malcolm Morris seconded the motion.
Eric Johnson asked why the student representatives on the Board are not allowed the two complimentary tickets as set forth in the policy as presented. Sheila said she would check with Stacy Allie on the policy as it relates to the Student Association representatives. Stacy will also be invited to attend the next executive committee meeting.
Having no further discussion, the motion was carried.
Student-Athlete Discipline Policy
Robert Collins began discussion by saying the policy needs to be updated and Ken Davidson has already pointed out some areas that should be looked at.
Terry then asked how students are informed about the expectations for conduct and if there is a clear policy in place to guide their actions? He went on to say that stemming from discussion at the last executive committee meeting, the feeling was it is now time to discuss this policy. He pointed out that it is not included in the student-athlete handbook, however. It needs to be clearly outlined and the student-athletes could be asked to sign something to show that they have seen the policy and understand it.
Nolan Davis expressed his feeling that this policy seems to leave out a number of things including protecting the institution and protecting the student. Somewhere in the policy it should state that the student has an opportunity to give his or her own side of the situation.
Nolan Davis made a motion to establish a committee to draft a more balanced student-athlete discipline policy. Eric Johnson seconded the motion.
Ken pointed out that it seems that this is a tool for the administration by virtue of the relationship. He is suggesting that he give advice to the Athletic Department to speed the policy along immediately since there are some things he would like to see changed. Then the policy could be brought back for a task force to work on it. Larry Bolles should also be included in the discussion. Ken will call Larry into the evaluation of this document and work through Robert Collins and Nolan Davis. Terry said that Jan Rintala had expressed interest in discussing this document, as well, and might be a good representative of the Compliance side of the issue. Bobbie Cesarek, the compliance officer, might be called in on an as-needed basis, as well. Ken expressed the opinion that he feels this document should come back to the Board for ratification. It was then decided that a task force need not be developed to work on the document.
Ken then said he would move forward with the process. Terry said he does not want the Board to be the judicial review board for these cases, however. Ken has been given the authority to make whatever changes to this policy that are consistent with the rules or law outside the Board. Robert Collins will take his lead from Ken.
Ray Tourville made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Malcolm Morris seconded the motion. Carried unanimously.
The next meeting of the Athletic Board will be Wednesday, January 21,
2004, in Holmes Student Center, Heritage South Room. The executive
committee will meet on Wednesday, January 14, 2004, at 1:00 p.m. in the
administration conference room in the Convocation Center.