Board gets to work

By Jeff Kirik

The NIU Athletic Board met for the first time this semester and for the first time with new athletic director Gerald O’Dell Wednesday.

O’Dell had a chance to introduce Mary Mihelich, NIU’s new promotion and marketing director, to the board also.

When the meeting started, the board spent most of its time discussing schedule changes and the legislation voted on at the recent NCAA convention.

The board voted unanimously in favor of the rescheduling of the Dec. 19 Southern Illinois men’s basketball game, which was suspended when game officials failed to show up. The game is now scheduled for Feb. 20 in Carbondale.

O’Dell said he felt it was important that NIU has “a good working relationship with SIU.” He added that SIU will give NIU a guarantee to pay for the team’s projected expenses.

Nancy Vedral discussed five pieces of legislation which were voted on at the NCAA convention which she thought were important or could eventually affect NIU. Among the legislation was a proposition which would have set grade point average standards for NCAA student athletes. The measure passed its first vote but failed on a revote.

The proposal set g.p.a. standards at 1.6 for first-year athletes, 1.8 for second-year and 2.0 for third year. NIU’s current standard is 2.0

She also discussed the raising of Pell Grant aid, the possible formulation of Division I-AAA football division, recruiting deadlines and the number of yearly scholarships allowed for football coaches.

Also approved at the meeting was a change in the 1988 football schedule. NIU will play Middle Tennessee State at home instead of traveling to Florida State Sept. 10. The schedule features home games against Akron, Southwest Missouri State, Ball State, Western Illinois and Western Michigan.

The Huskies will play road games against Wisconsin, Minnesota, Toledo, Southwest Louisiana and Southern Illinois.