Priorities for athletes debated

By Steve Dennis

Priority scheduling for student athletes was a hot topic at the monthly Athletic Board meeting yesterday.

Members threw around ideas surrounding the controversy of student athletes being granted some sort of priority when it comes to piecing together their schedules.

Currently, NIU is the only higher-level institution in the state of Illinois that does not offer some sort of priority scheduling, said Cary Groth, senior associate athletic director.

Student Affairs Committee member Monique Bernoudy noted that the committee is in the process of researching the methods that other schools use for possible implementation into the NIU system.

Such methods include early access to add-drop programs, priority comparable to what NIU seniors enjoy and in-season scheduling priority.

Although board members seemed to support such a program, Bernoudy and Groth admitted that any action is pending until all the kinks are worked out.

‘The board approved the 1992 NIU football schedule which included the additions of Illinois State and Liberty (both Division I-AA schools), rather than the planned Temple and Akron games.

Since Akron and Temple backed out due to conference affiliation, Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell noted that NIU may take the schools to court or, in all likelihood, reschedule the contests for a later date.