May 10, 2013
As athletic administrators, we are here to serve a broad spectrum of constituent groups: our student-athletes, the university community, our alumni and fans, our donors, our sponsors and other friends of SMU and SMU Athletics. In other words, we have a lot of bosses!
The Athletics Department has formal reporting lines to a number of oversight and governance groups such as the NCAA, our Conference, the Faculty Senate (Athletics Council), etc. At the top of this hierarchy - at least at the university level - is the Board of Trustees, which meets quarterly. Our committee meetings - athletics committee, finance committee, campaign executive committee - took place yesterday and the full board meeting is today.
Topics generally discussed with board members include, but are not necessarily limited to: academics, budget, compliance, facilities, key accomplishments, personnel transitions, sports program updates and the Strategic Plan for Mustang Athletics. We attempt to provide an overview and invite input on the most urgent and important aspects of our program.
We are fortunate to have such an engaged, experienced and influential group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders serving on the BOT and the Athletics Committee. These individuals provide guidance and support as we develop strategies for success and assess our progress towards fulfilling the educational mission of the university.
On the field of play, two more SMU teams advanced to NCAA post-season play this week - women's golf and men's golf - and women's track and field is competing for a C-USA Championship this weekend in Houston.
And now to the mailbag...
Joseph (Dallas): When people outside of SMU think about the Mustangs, they think of Eric Dickerson and Craig James and the "Pony Express" days of the early 80s. Any chance we can revive those blue uniforms for football anytime soon? We are fortunate to have such a great football tradition, and I think it's unfortunate that we've tossed that aside with generic uniforms in recent years - keep the helmets, though.
Answer: We are proud of our heritage and are going to honor our traditions as often as possible. Some examples include reunions, historical videos, HOF ceremonies and displays (new in Moody), Heritage Hall, facility graphics, special promotions and events. In response to your specific question regarding blue uniforms, though, hmm...
Tyler (Kouts, Ind.): As an SMU alumni and a huge basketball fan, I can't tell you how excited I am about Coach Brown and what his staff has been able to do in a short amount of time. How much of impact do you think Moody Coliseum will have on improving the basketball program once the renovation is completed? Thanks again for all you do and Pony Up!!!
Answer: The renovation of Moody Coliseum will have a significant positive impact on our entire campus. In particular, our men's and women's basketball and volleyball programs will have a competitive advantage over many of our peers once Moody is completed. Our fans will be among the biggest winners, though, with differentiated seat types (courtside, suites, club, chair backs), wider concourses, enhanced concessions and restrooms and state-of-the art audio, video and Wi-Fi technology. Also, students will be seated around the court to create an exciting atmosphere and provide our teams with a home court advantage.
Robert (Dallas (via Twitter)): What's happening at Ford? Stopped by & saw cranes, work crews, skyboxes gutted!
Answer: Look around! We like construction at SMU, Robert! We are expanding the premium areas at Ford Stadium. It is a self-funded project, which adds seven suites and 233 club seats. They'll be indoor-outdoor suites with all seating outdoors. All of the suites are sold, but club seats remain. Contact the Mustang Club (214-SMU-CLUB) for more information.
Via Twitter: Are you doing anything to ensure Larry Brown doesn't leave for an NBA gig I.E. Nets?
Answer: I baked him a pie! Just kidding... Coach Brown and his staff have done a great job in their first year on the Hilltop. He is excited about our future and we hope he is a Mustang for years to come.
If you have a question or concern, contact me through this form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach me on Twitter at @AD_RickHart.
Thanks to all and Pony Up!