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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2014


Major Changes Made at NCAA Convention
Last week, I attended the NCAA Convention in Oxon Hill, Md., where the landscape of college athletics was reshaped significantly.

The 65 schools in the “Power Five” conferences (ACC/Big 12/Big Ten/Pac-12/SEC) voted to begin paying the cost of attendance for student-athletes, guarantee four-year scholarships and adopt a new concussion protocol. Student-athletes also now will be allowed to purchase insurance policies against their potential earnings as professional athletes.

Division I members from other conferences such as Conference USA were not allowed to vote. Schools outside the Power Five now have the option of implementing these new standards or continuing to operate under the current rules.

Conference USA athletics directors will meet later this month to discuss how this will affect our conference. Considerable thought will be given to adopting the cost of attendance legislation. This one revision could amount to several hundred thousand dollars a year in additional aide to UTSA student-athletes.

The traditional athletics scholarship covers tuition, fees, room, board and books. The recently adopted Power Five legislation allows schools to pay additional expenses, up to the full amount a traditional student might spend annually.

I will keep you informed as we contemplate along with other C-USA members how to better serve our student-athletes, remain competitive with the Power Five schools and absorb these additional annual expenses.

UTSA Women To Host Top League Teams This Week
The women’s basketball team (7-10, 2-3 C-USA) hopes its luck has turned when it plays its first home games in nearly three weeks this weekend. 

The Roadrunners will host Marshall (11-5, 3-2 C-USA) at 7 p.m. on Thursday and No. 24-ranked Western Kentucky (16-2, 5-0 C-USA) at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Convocation Center.

UTSA finally had a last-minute shot fall their way in Saturday's 55-53 victory at UTEP. A Mannasha Bell put-back with 28 seconds to play gave the Roadrunners a 54-53 lead and Bell then sank a free three with four seconds remaining for the final margin. Two of the women’s three C-USA losses this season have come in overtime.

Marshall enters Thursday’s game in a six-way tie for third place in C-USA with two league losses, while first-place Western Kentucky is the only team that remains unbeaten in C-USA action this season. The Hilltoppers are playing their first C-USA season after winning the Sun Belt Championship last year.

Nicole Karaklis mug shot Tomas Stillman mug shot
Nicole Karaklis Tomas Stillman

UTSA Sweeps Conference USA Weekly Tennis Awards
Nicole Karaklis and Tomas Stillman swept Conference USA's Player of the Week awards that were announced on Tuesday by the league office.

Karaklis won three of her four matches during opening weekend, including outlasting Rocio Martin of No. 37-ranked Houston in three sets (4-6, 7-6 [7-5], 7-5) at No. 3 singles. The junior from San Antonio won her singles and doubles contests in Sunday's 5-2 victory at Lamar. Karaklis and the Roadrunners will return to action next Saturday, Jan. 31, when they open their home slate against Incarnate Word at 1 p.m. at the UTSA Tennis Center.

Meanwhile, Stillman, the ITA's No. 42-ranked player in the nation, won both of his singles and doubles matches this past weekend. He provided the deciding point to help UTSA spoil Rice's inaugural match at the George R. Brown Tennis Center last Friday when he defeated Srikar Alla, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), in a 4-3 victory. The senior from Harlingen also teamed with Yannick Junger for a 6-3 win that clinched the doubles point. It marks the third C-USA honor of his two-year UTSA career. You can catch Stillman and the Roadrunners in their home opener against Old Dominion at 2 p.m. on Friday at the UTSA Tennis Center.

Admission is free to all home tennis matches.

Megan Low vs. Wichita State

Low Named Preseason Conference USA Player of the Year
Senior Megan Low was named the Preseason Conference USA Softball Player of the Year, the league office announced this morning. The Spring native hit .388 with 34 runs, 12 doubles, 22 home runs (1st C-USA/3rd NCAA), 47 RBIs, 137 total bases (1st C-USA), a .901 slugging percentage (1st C-USA/4th NCAA) and a .513 on-base percentage en route to first-team All-C-USA and second-team NFCA All-South Region honors last season. She was the NCAA statistical champion for home runs per game (0.44) and she helped the Roadrunners slug 1.31 homers per outing, which ranked ninth in the nation.

Low and the Roadrunners will open the 2015 campaign on Friday, Feb. 6, when they compete at the three-day Hotel Encanto Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M. UTSA will open the home schedule against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18.

Football Adds 2017 Home Game
UTSA announced this week that it will host Southern in a non-conference home football game on Sept. 2, 2017, at the Alamodome. The Roadrunners also have 2017 non-conference games scheduled at Baylor on Sept. 9 and at Texas State on Sept. 28.

Southern is a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Jaguars finished 9-4 in 2014 and lost to Alcorn State, 38-24, in the SWAC Championship Game. The last FCS opponent UTSA played was McNeese State on Nov. 10, 2012 and the Roadrunners picked up a 31-24 victory.

Roadrunners Attain Combined 2.98 GPA In Fall Semester
A total of 339 student-athletes on 17 UTSA team rosters attained a combined GPA of 2.98 for the Fall 2014 semester. Twenty student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA and more than 20 percent of student-athletes received academic honors from the university on the President’s List, Dean's List or Honor Roll. Seven teams and 45.7 percent of all student-athletes achieved a 3.0 or greater GPA. 

One Last Fact From The 2014 Football Season
Business Affairs Associate Vice President Pamela Bacon recently received an email from her neighbor Gregory Buschmann. It read: “Do you realize this: The Undisputed National Champions (Ohio State) lost to Virginia Tech, who lost to Temple, who lost to Houston, who lost to … UTSA. Congratulations to the Roadrunners on a historic season!”

Final Thoughts
A historic college basketball moment is likely to occur Sunday in New York City. I’ve asked head men’s basketball coach Brooks Thompson to provide the Final Thoughts this week on that event.

Brooks Thompson mug shot
Brooks Thompson

Sixty-seven year old Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski is teed up to post his 1,000th career win when the Blue Devils take on St. John's at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Let’s put Coach K’s accomplishment into perspective. I’m 44 years old. To be in a position to win 1,000 games this season, I would have had to have been posting 30 wins per season since I was 11 years old.

In his 34th season at Duke, Coach K will become the first major college head coach to win 1,000 games. That number will include 73 wins in his first five head coaching seasons at Army.

There have been a lot of great coaches who never won 1,000 games. Krzyzewski’s college coach at West Point, Bob Knight, won 902 in 42 seasons at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech. Dean Smith won 879 in 36 seasons at North Carolina. Adolph Rupp won 876 in 41 seasons at Kentucky.

My college coach at Oklahoma State, Eddie Sutton, won 804 games and took four teams (Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and OSU) to the NCAA Tournament. He coached his last game in 2007-08 at San Francisco. It’s time for Coach Sutton to go into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

There are two current college head coaches who have more than 1,000 wins. Harry Statham has won 1,085 in 47 seasons at NCAA Division II McKendree University. Danny Miles has won 1,016 in 42 seasons at Oregon Tech in the NAIA.

It’s ironic that Coach K’s historic run at Duke almost ended before it really got going. After a cumulative 38-47 record in his first three seasons, many Blue Devil fans thought they had the wrong head coach.

Finally in 1983-84 Duke posted a 24-10 record to earn Coach K’s first trip to the NCAA tournament. Since then he has taken the Blue Devils to 29 NCAA Tournaments in the past 30 years, won four NCAA Championships, been to 11 Final Fours and amassed a record 82 NCAA Tournament wins.

The only active major college head coach with an outside chance to catch Coach K in the win column is Jim Boeheim. With 961 wins in 38 seasons at Syracuse, Boeheim is 38 wins behind Krzyzewski. At age 70, Father Time may catch Boeheim before he catches Coach K.

Hope you will be listening to the Roadrunners as Andy Everett calls our games at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Marshall and at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Western Kentucky. Then I hope you’ll reserve a seat in front of your television at 1 p.m. on Sunday to watch Duke and St. Johns. It should be a great moment in college basketball history.

Go Runners!


Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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