Athletic Board
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Holmes Student Center Room 506, 1:00 p.m.

Present:    Gip Seaver, Cary Groth, Nolan David, Ken Olson, Keith Lambrecht, Marcia Dick, Roy Tourville, Robert Wheeler, Joe True, Tara Hawkins

Guest:        Sheila Berg, Ray Gooden, Steve Ekhoff, Tim Stedman, Eric Schultz, Beth Calder

I.        Call to Order -- Gip Seaver

II.        Approval of February 13, 2002 minutes.

The minutes from February 13, 2002 meeting were not distributed and will be put on next month's agenda.

The board skipped ahead to agend item D. under New Business

Cary introduced three new staff members of intercollegiate athletics:  Ray Gooden, new head volleyball coach, Steve Ekhoff, coordinator of marketing and promotions, and Time Stedman, major gifts officer.

Ray Gooden was assistant women's coach and associate men's coach at Loyola, and he is very well respected with people who know volleyball.  Ray thanked everyone for givin him the opportunity to be here.  He said that volloeyball at NIU has been great for many years and he is here to not mess things up.

Steve Ekhoff hails from DePaul.  He got his master's degree from NIU.  Steve expressed that, like Ray, he is very excited to be here.  He welcomes the opportunity to get back to the university he graduate from.  Cary said that the priority for Marketing and Promotions office will be to increase revenue.

Tim Stedman was at NIU many years ago and left a good impression on many of us who are still here, Cary said.  Time commented that he started at NIU ten years ago professionally, then went to SE Alabama and Denver and has now come full circle back to NIU.  He is looking forward to the challenges of his new position.

Ray Tourville asked Ray Gooden if he will use Chicagoland area for recruiting.  Coach Gooden said he definitely would because a lot of kids want to stay close to home so their family and friends can come see them play.  That way, too, an even bigger fan base then there is can be built.  he does plan to attack the whole state, though.  Cary commented that the three women who had been dismissed from the team will be offered the opportunity to try out with our new coach.

Roy Tourville asked Tim Stedman if he had any significant targets for major gifts.  Tim responded that in his first month here we have put together a quality major gift prospects list and that there is a commitment at Lowden Hall to raise money for athletics.  He said further that there is a really great naming opportunity list for locker rooms and offices, and that his focus will be on endowments and facilities.

Coach Gooden was asked if he will sign a junior college transfer setter should Jenny bowman transfer.  Ray answered that we signed a setter in the early signing period.  Marcia Dicks asked if there is an ethical question of going after a player whom he recruited at Loyola to now comet to NIU.  Ray responded that the type of athlete who goes to Loyola is different than the type of athlete who goes to NIU.  For this year, they are set at Loyola so we are not going to step on their toes.

Ray Tourville asked Stev Ekhoff about his thoughts for promotions.  Steve replied that all the promotions are coming back for basketball, attending games will be a fun-filled activity.

III.        Committee Reports

        A.    Budget

                1.    Four-year funding plan -- no report

                2.    Fee request proposal

                        Ray Tourville said that the university's fee increase proposal meeting he attended was a very good meeting.  This was the first time the athletic
                        board was represented to explain the athletics budget situation.  (A handout of what was presented was distributed to the board meembers.)  Ray
                        expressed his displeasure at being asked by Dr. Williams not to return to the meeting so that the balance between students and administration
                        would be maintained.  Gip pointed out that there has been discussion with Finance and Facilities about this process in the past.  There is a lot of
                        sensitivity towards the students to feel that this is a collaborative process and not just window dressing.  Ray Tourville said the students asked a
                        lot of good questions and it matters that they did hear what we had to say.  Nolan Davis indicated that the fee increase at 4.6% has been
                        approved by the Board of Trustees.

                        Cary said athletics has tried to put together different budget scenarios that make sense.  The issues with the budget have to do with fees.  The
                        money can be seen coming internally.  There is a plan that will be presented in a few weeks.  Furthermore, she said, we are not offering
                        opportunities to our student-athletes.  Cary will present the proposed changes to the budget committee.  She said that goin to president with her
                        hands out is not an option.

        B.    Gender Equity/Diversity

                Robert Wheeler pointed to the handout that details some of the concerns discussed at the last meeting.  Feed back on these would be helpful.
                Discussion ensued about these issues.  Cary indicated that the turn radius on the track does meet specifications to which Dr. Wheeler replied that it
                may meet specs, but it is not optimal as is.  Cary said that we are looking at having a practice faculty if we fundraise for it.  We are working with OCR
                and KNPE to find solutions for our practice facility needs.  Cary said we had proposed a phased time for the field house remodeling and, hopefully,
                that still is an option.  As far as the "rent" issue goes, Cary commented that she was told it would not cost athletics any more than what we pay now.

                1.    Interest survey - no report

                2.    Strategic plan - no report

        C.    Scheduling

                1.    Football schedule policy.
                        Cary indicated that when we play six games at home we try to schedule a Division I AA rival.  Nolan Davis asked if we have an official in-state
                        rival.  Cary suggested that Illinois State is always a rival, but having jumped around conference so much, it has to develop again.  Bob Wheeler
                        said that playing Iowa State, having Maryland here in 2003, and playing Alabama on the road is great for our schedule.

        D.    Student Welfare
                1.    Student survey - no report

                2.    NIU/NCAA eligibility criteria

                        Cary said that it has been decided to go with NCAA eligility rules, none of the others make any sense.  All NIU eligility rules have been dropped
                        except the 2.0 rule.  Bob Wheeler pointed out that there have and will be siuations were the Faculty Athletics Rep and R&R disagree, however,
                        R&R will accept the FARs interpretation as long as it is put in writing.

        E.    PR Committee

                Keith Lambrecht said the committee brainstormed about how to get students and faculty/staff involved.  They discussed the possibility of a surbey of students as to why they are not coming to the games.  Some research suggests students go to tailgate and then leave.  AMA is inteested in doing the survey and we should work with them.  Cary said that Scott Lowenberg (Marketing & Promotions) will put a list of things together that we are trying to implement.  Perhaps a focus group to examine which ideas would be most effective could be employed.  Community attendance is another matter, if students do not go, and staff do not go, hy should a community member come.  Ray Tourville commented that if you don't get them committee as students, they will not commit as alum.  Cary indicated that the most season tickets we have ever sold is 600 for MBB and 1200 for football.  She feels we have not given people reason to stick with us.  Attendance hinges on an energy,  which we need to create.  The Convocation Center will help in that regard just because of the parking alone.  Nolan Davis pointed out that there are vey few people below the age of forty but about college age who live near NIU, a fact that may very well impact attendance.  Cary said that from now on new people to the community will get two tickets to Huskie events.  Dr. Wheeler said events on 11/22-23, WBB again Wisconsin, football Saturday afternoon, and MBB against DePaul in the evening should make for enormous attendance.

IV.    Old Business

        A.    Quarterly Report
                Ken Olsen motioned to approve the 2nd Quarterly Report.  Marcia Dicks seconded the motion.  Motion was carried.

V.  New Business

        A.    2002-03 basketball ticket prices

                Eric Schultz explained that the season ticket prices are calculated for 15 games.  Season tickets are being sold for the lower bowl only.  Single game
                admission will be upper bowl.  Ken Olson asked if the students will pay to which Cary responded that students get in free because it is part of their
                fees.  Eric said we will still want students to have to pick up tickets even though they are free.  Single game tickets for men's basketball will increase
                from $8.00 to $12.00.  Eric explained they did run these prices by people in the community.  Gip mentioned the budget committee had looked at
                increasing the ticket prices a while back already.  Keith Lambrecht made a motion to approve the men's basketball ticket prices.  Ray Tourville
                seconded the motion.  Motion approved.

                Eric gave an explanation of the women's basketball ticket prices.  Cary said that we would love to get the prices for the women's games increased, but
                the MAC charges so low.  NIU is probably in the top three for women's backetball attendance in the MAC.  Keith Lambrecht moved to approved
                the basketball ticket prices.  Ray Tourville seconded the motion.  Motion approved.

        B.    2002-03 comp policy - no report

        C.    2002 Footbal ticket prices.

                Nolan Davis moved to approve the 2002 football ticket prices.  Keith Lambrecht seconded the motion.  Motion was carried.

                Eric pointed out that these are the correct prices.  Disclaimer on the varsity club was added indicating active members only.  Discounts for season
                tickets have descreased.  It has been discussed to raise the season tickets prices by $6.00.  Tent rental prices stayed the same.  Nolan Davis asked
                why the season prices for tents is two games when it gets five games?  Eric responded that is to spark interest and these are all tents that do not cost
                us.  Ken Olsen asked if the family sention is new, but Eric said we have had it 4-5 years.  Nolan Davis asked about bringing in high schools from our
                region for promotional nights.  Eric said that free tickets are not counted for attendance, and high schools create a challenge in regard to prospective
                student athletes.  As a rule, he said we try not to do that strictly for revenue and attendance.  Gip questioned if the same problem with PPSA's arose if
                it was a "Rochelle" day, for instatnce.  Cary said we have a group sales person who will target the communities this summer and community tickets will
                be offered for at least half price.  She said that we have to promote Huskie athletics and we have to get a lot of people involved in our promotions.
                Eric announced that this will be his last athletic board meeting as he is taking the job of box office handler at the Convocation Center. He thanked
                every one for being so good to work with over the years.

        D.    Division 1A update

                Cary said it was the best meeting she has ever attended.  Division IA athletic directors are very uncomfortable with the management council and have
                come out with a stance on NCAA governance structure.

Ray Tourville made a motion to adjourn.  Keith Lambrecht seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.