WIU footballers to room in HSC

By Dave Tuley

The NIU football team will be taking a trip for the Nov. 7 Parents’ Day game against Western Illinois.

Coach Jerry Pettibone’s troops will spend Friday night before the game in Rockford’s Clock Tower Inn because the Western Illinois Leathernecks will be spending the night in the Holmes Student Center Hotel, where the Huskies usually spend the night before a home game.

“You don’t want two opposing teams spending the night before a game in the same hotel,” Pettibone said.

The 60-man traveling squad and the coaches will take a bus after Friday afternoon’s practice to Rockford and then come back to DeKalb Saturday after their pregame meal. Gametime is 1:05 p.m.

Pettibone said he made the decision two weeks ago after learning the Leathernecks were going to stay in the HSC.

“What happened was some people booked the Western Illinois team in the Student Center,” Pettibone said. “I’m not blaming anybody, but nobody checked with the athletic department to see if there was a conflict.”

Donnetta Domina, supervisor of guest rooms in the HSC, said Western Illinois made the reservations “about a week after they played here last year.” The date of the 1986 NIU-WIU game was Sept. 27.

“The football office called and said they heard a rumor two weeks ago that Western Illinois was staying in the hotel, and I confirmed it,” Domina said. She said no one in the football office confirmed the team was pulling out until HSC General Office Acting Director Marlin Tenboer called last week.

Tenboer said, “They didn’t give me a reason nor did I ask for one.”

Domina said it was unfortunate the Huskies did not cancel earlier because some parents had contacted the hotel to get rooms for the weekend.

“The sad part is we turned away so many parents because we’ve been full for three months,” Domina said. “Either they decided to wait to come up Saturday or they had to get their accommodations elsewhere.”

She said there are about 20 rooms still vacant for the weekend of Nov. 6.

Tenboer said the Leathernecks will have their meals in the student center and also might use a conference room or two for team meetings.

Pettibone said he does not feel the move from familiar surroundings will have an adverse effect on his team.

“It’s only 45 minutes away and we’ll have all our meetings Friday night and our pregame meal on Saturday,” Pettibone said. “We’ll have to leave a little bit earlier, but then we’ll have our taping done at the stadium and do everything else the same.”