Scheduling process discussed

By Gary Sadewater

Scheduling philosophies, the budget and the admissions for gymnastic events were among the topics discussed Wednesday at the monthly board meeting.

At the request of the new scheduling subcommittee, Robert Brigham and Susie Pembroke-Jones submitted scheduling policies for football and women’s basketball, respectively.

Brigham said in order for NIU to maintain their Division I-A classification, they have to maintain criteria from one of two options.

One option is a school must have a stadium which seats 30,000 or more people, must schedule a minimum of seven IA schools and average 17,000 at home games once every four years.

If a university cannot meet those criteria, the other option is that a team must average 20,000 people at all contests, both home and away. Brigham said NIU met the second option last year.

When scheduling football games, Brigham said he tries to do the following:

Schedule six or seven Division IA teams to meet NCAA standards.

Of those six or seven teams, three or four of those opponents scheduled should have a high recognition factor for purposes of media and fan interest, recruiting appeal, income and to increase the opportunity for postseason play.

To fill in each year’s schedule with regional opponents of high gate appeal which will increase NIU’s opportunity for victories and add to NIU’s income base.

To schedule five or six home games each season and schedule no home games after the second week of November.

To give NIU the opportunity to schedule and compete against opponents with as high, or higher, academic standards as NIU such as the U.S. Military Academy, Big Ten and Big Eight opponents.

Pembroke-Jones said the one criteria which NIU has no control over when scheduling women’s basketball is rules covered under the North Star Conference. NIU must play each conference foe twice and they must play all Division I schools.

In order to be eligible for an at-large NCAA berth and an automatic conference bid, Pembroke-Jones said it is necessary to play teams in the top 50 in the United States, and NIU strives to play top 20 teams.

Other criteria Pembroke-Jones considers include NIU’s Fastbreak Fest, which this season features Long Beach State and Iowa; playing Big Ten schools, building state rivalries, playing other major universities for recruiting enticement, and a committing to NIU recruits to play at some universities within the athlete’s home locale.

In other business, Gary Glenn, chairman of the budget committee, said football revenues are strikingly down. As of the last home game, the revenue stands at about $120,000. He said the lower-than-expected revenues should be offset by the increase in fee money, which is a result of higher enrollment.

Glenn also said the tuition increase will increase costs for the athletic department due to tuition waivers. He said it is difficult to determine how much the increase will cost the department.

Ticket prices for the Nov. 21 Mixed Pairs Gymnastics Meet were set. Adults will be charged $4, non-NIU students, including students from the participating schools, will be charged $2, and NIU students will be admitted free with a student activity card.

The men’s basketball ticket policy for MetroCentre games was announced. A maximum of 365 complimentary tickets will be given away, including 80 for the home team and 40 for recruiting.