Present: Terry Bishop, Brian Hemphill, TJ Lusher, Paul Bauer, Ron Short, Tim Aurand, Jan Rintala, Jim Phillips, Earl Hansen, Paul Carpenter, Josephine Umoren, Malcolm Morris, Ken Davidson, Marcia Dick, Charles Miller.
Guests: Sheila Berg, Athletics Business Manager; Connie Teaberry, Head Women's Track and Field/Cross Country Coach.
Earl Hansen made a motion to approve the November 17, 2004, meeting minutes. Jan Rintala seconded the motion.
One correction was submitted to the minutes. Having no additional corrections, additions or deletions, the motion was carried unanimously.
Jim Phillips began by expressing how excited the Athletic Department is to have hired Connie. He then asked Connie to give the Board a brief discussion of her background.
Connie stated that she is very excited to be part of the Huskie family. Jim has given her the opportunity and she is prepared to move forward. She is working on getting the athletes into shape and they are prepared to do so. The transition has been very easy for Connie.
Connie briefly discussed her academic and athletics experiences prior to coming to Northern Illinois University.
Sheila stated that she hopes to present the second quarterly report at the February meeting.
Tim went on to say that classes work with outside firms to help with
promotional planning, strategic planning, etc., and like to be involved
in projects of this type.
Jan is preparing to go to Cleveland for MAC meetings this weekend. The
big item for discussion is the legislation dealt with at the NCAA meetings last week. Focus will also be on the new academic progress rate. Jan has some preliminary data to review but cannot report anything today.
Also, at the end of last semester, once the football bowl teams were announced, their graduation rate information was also released. The data reported did not show NIU very favorably to the other schools. Jim Phillips, Jan Rintala, Terry Bishop, Anne Kaplan, and Gip had some discussion and were certainly concerned. However, we will try to find out what is happening and get a better understanding of why some of our student-athletes are not graduating. When they don't graduate, people assume it means they have flunked out of the university. However, sometimes they choose to go somewhere else where they will get more playing time, they change their major, or possibly there are economic or family reasons.
Jan has received an update from one of the SASS coordinators showing the more recent graduates at a much higher rate than the one recently reported.
A couple of things have come to light following the release of that information. Our football team was undergoing a coaching change at that time. The team had many out-of-state athletes at that time but now the roster is comprised mostly of student-athletes from Illinois. There was also some transition going on in the academic support area at that time.
Chuck Miller asked if men's and women's basketball are tracked as well. Jan responded that all sports report that data and the basketball data will be reported in March.
Jan will present additional information at a future meeting when the preliminary
data is released. As the preliminary information is being calculated, the
NCAA is going to decide what would be a fair assessment to institutions
not meeting the minimum criteria. It is good that something will be done
at the NCAA to police graduation rates and academic progress in a meaningful
The team participated in a great community service event with some inner city youth, which was very rewarding, for everyone involved.
Fans also had an opportunity to purchase and donate game tickets to a military base in the San Jose area for the servicemen and servicewomen to attend the game. Coach Novak and the seniors went to the air base to present the tickets and t-shirts to them.
Financially, the Bowl was a tough situation. Having to fly everyone to California, house and feed them was a financial challenge but a great experience for everyone involved.
Terry asked if Jim knows how NIU fared as a university - having not participated in a bowl for more than 20 years. Jim responded that he was very pleased how NIU traveled. All 7,000 tickets were sold and distributed as was required of NIU. It was the first time in the history of the team hotel that it was sold out for this bowl. NIU's guests and fans also booked rooms in three additional hotels in the area.
Paul Bauer said the band students also had a great experience. They really felt engaged and valued as a result of going to the bowl. It means a great deal to them and impacts recruiting for the band, as well.
Making this change will:
This change was effective on January 1. SASS is now reporting directly to Gip Seaver and funneling everything through his office. This will be better and more convenient for the student-athletes.
The SASS director's search is ongoing. Gip is chairing the search which should be closing at the end of the month with interviews taking place in February.
Brian Hemphill reported that this shift is a growing trend in athletics because of some of the liability issues out there.
Malcolm Morris made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Earl Hansen seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.
The next meeting of the Athletic Board is scheduled for Wednesday, February 16, 2005, at 1:00pm in Holmes Student Center room #406. The executive committee will meet on Wednesday, February 2, 2005, at 1:00pm in the athletics administration conference room in the Convocation Center.