Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Text of the Q&A during the Board of Trustees Meeting

I was sent the summarized text of the question and answer session during the OU Board of Trustees meeting last week.

Here it is:

Trustee Perry: Will scholarships continue for the current Student-Athletes?
AD Hocutt: Yes, they will continue for the duration of their college career.

Tr P: How has the communication process been?
AD: A letter will be sent on Monday to the S-A about their scholarships

Tr P: Is there a bridge from the university to the S-A affected?
AD: The university will help them transfer, contacted the NCAA and schools
to let them know the S-A's are released.

Tr P: Is it safe to think the calls will have influence?
AD: Yes, the coaches have good relationships and can help them transfer.

Trustee Harris
: Are there opportunities for these S-A to participate in
other sports at OU?
AD: Yes, so far one lacrosse player has already approached the women's
soccer coach about playing. The coach is open to the conversation. The
opportunity for club sports at OU is also available

Trustee Perry
: Isn't it counterintuitive to cut a women's sport?
AD: The university will now be in compliance with Title IX. OU is the only
lacrosse school in the MAC. Schools that could join the lacrosse conference
(ALC) would increase the travel budget. South Carolina and Univ of Georgia
have talked about starting a program and then joining the ALC.

Trustee Harris: What is the financial health of the Athletic Department
after this? How much does the Athletic Department depend on a fundraising
AD: We expect the revenue streams to continue to grow; increasing by 6%
through 2010. Football ticket sales and a non-conference game schedule will
help increase the fundraising. Corporate marketing should help revenue
increase by 54%.

Trustee Perry: One of the slide in your power point is troubling; the slide
showing total expenses per person. Why is there such a gap?
AD: OU has the second most athletic programs in the MAC. The university has
strategically invested in certain teams. Coaches in the athletic department
have been challenged to stay within their budgets, ie cheaper lodging, lower
per diem amounts.

Tr P: Will the slide change?
AD: Yes, OU is looking to maximize efforts for all teams.

Trustee Mitchell: Do you think there will be problems for those S-A
transferring to a school that has their own roster limitations?
AD: Not if the athlete is good enough. Transferring is common.

Tr M: With the women's sports that were added in the late 90s, why were
rosters not adjusted?
AD: In conversations with coaches the current roster sizes are where they
need to be for the program to be effective. Each sport is different.

Tr M: What if a sport wants to be a self-sustaining program?
AD: OU is a DI-A school and has standards. It is not an ideal idea.

Trustee Gerthoffer
: I understand that lacrosse was cut because of the travel
budget but for other sports that have a women's component why would it help
financially to cut these sports?
AD: There are financial savings and investments in cutting these other
sports. The university has decided to strategically invest in other sports.

Trustee Browning
: For the transition (phase-out) strategy, is there another
reason to not allow it beyond the money?
AD: Delaying the inevitable and with the environment the university is
facing, phasing out the programs was not in the best interest of the
athletic program.

Trustee Perry: Is the university helping the coaches of the sports cut?
AD: There are only two coaches affected, both of the women's lacrosse
coaches. For lacrosse, there are a lot of opportunities for coaching.

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