The AD's Corner — Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2014
Local Chambers Accept Arizona Game Challenge
Volleyball Earns AVACA Team Academic Award
“Larry Coker Show” Moving to Buffalo Wings & Rings
Houston, Oklahoma State Tickets Still Available
This ‘n’ That
Tailgate with UTSA Alumni Association — The UTSA Alumni Association and San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) will be bringing Roadrunner Station, the best tailgate in San Antonio, to Houston for the football season opener next Friday, Aug. 29. Join alumni and friends at 5 p.m. in Hofheinz Pavilion on the Houston campus for a pregame party with tailgate fare and drinks. The cost is $15 for members of the Association and $20 for non-members and guests. Children under 12 are free. Click here to purchase your tickets today.
UTSA grad joins Conference USA Digital Network staff — Recent UTSA graduate Kennedy Hardman has joined the Conference USA staff as Digital Media Coordinator. For the past four years, Hardman has been a frequent on-camera contributor for goUTSA.com video programming and helped establish the UTSA Student Sports Network. The Houston-area native will join program host Ron Thulin on the weekly C-USA magazine program on FOX Sports Southwest. She also will be producing and reporting on video features for the C-USA Digital Network. Congratulations to Kennedy and thanks for all that you did and will do for the Roadrunners.
Brio Tuscan Grille to host "Back to School Bash" — Members of the UTSA Athletics Department and the San Antonio Chapter of the Former NFL Players Association will be on hand from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday at Brio Tuscan Grille at La Cantera (15900 La Cantera Parkway). All Roadrunners fans are invited to attend and receive free food and UTSA giveaways to help kick off the 2014-15 school year and sports seasons,. Rowdy and the UTSA cheerleaders also will be in attendance.
Coker to kick off San Antonio Quarterback Club fall lineup — Head football coach Larry Coker will kick off the San Antonio Quarterback Club fall lineup of speakers at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 8 at Earl Abel’s (1201 Austin Highway). Each week a UTSA assistant coach will address the QB Club at 11:15 a.m. providing a review of the previous week’s game and a scouting report on the next week’s game. I am honored that the QB Club also has invited me to address the group on Oct. 6. To join the QB Club, attend the first meeting on Sept. 8 or call Rodney Hayden at (830) 491-1396. Membership for the entire nine-speaker QB Club season is $180.
Season ticket holder discounts continue — Dozens of UTSA football season ticket holders have been taking advantage of discounts offered by Advanced OnLine, the UTSA Athletics online supplier of Roadrunners merchandise. Season ticket holders should go to UTSAGear.com and click on “2014 Football Tkt Holder Merch.” Be prepared to enter your e-mail address and the password “UrTownUrTeam” to receive a discount on Roadrunners merchandise. This offer ends on Aug. 28.
During the past two weeks, two significant decisions were made that will significantly change NCAA Division I sports for the foreseeable future.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors recently approved a plan to revise the division’s governance structure by streamlining the NCAA’s decision-making process and giving limited autonomy to five conferences: ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. For descriptive purposes, let’s call them the Power Five.
A day later, a federal judge ruled that in the sports of football and men’s basketball the NCAA cannot cap the amount of a scholarship below the actual cost of attendance and must allow its members to compensate their student-athletes for the use of their names, images and likenesses.
The Power Five now will have the power to enact legislation to increase student-athlete aid, practice time, benefits to parents and size of coaching staffs. For the first time, a select group of Division I conferences can vote and give themselves a competitive advantage over other conferences.
Conference USA and other Division I conferences may adopt and utilize the same rules, but keeping up with the Power Five will be expensive, maybe too expensive. C-USA will review the Power Five’s first legislative efforts in October and will determine if its members will adopt the same practices.
The second major ruling — the Ed O’Bannon federal class action suit — bars the NCAA from prohibiting payment to student-athletes for the use of their names, images and likeness, such as on video games. The ruling is seen as a defeat for the NCAA. The NCAA legal team already has started the appeals process.
Somewhat overshadowed by these two landmark decisions was the NCAA’s approval of UTSA as an active member of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The Roadrunners, who began play in the Football Championship Subdivision as an independent in 2011, spent the last two seasons reclassifying to FBS. UTSA will play its first season as a full-fledged FBS member and will be eligible for a bowl game this fall.
Congratulations to our staff members who spent the last three years assuring that we met all of the FBS standards and submitted the necessary documents to gain approval from the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.
There’s one final bit of NCAA-related news to share. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Division I Committee will make a site visit to San Antonio in September in regard to our bid to bring another Final Four to the Alamodome.
To assist in the effort to land another Final Four and other major events, the City of San Antonio has agreed to make significant renovations to the Alamodome. More floor space will be created and state-of-the-art video capabilities will be added. Overall, there will be better accommodations for fans, teams, media and sponsors. You can read about all the proposed changes here.
As a full-time tenant of the Alamodome for football games, UTSA will be a prime beneficiary of these important improvements. At the same time, paying for these improvements could impact future parking and ticket rates to help pay for these improvements. We will keep you informed as these changes and possible increases are encountered.
Change is often out of our control. What we can control is how we work to build the best program for our student-athletes and our fans. Please continue to be the best team of supporters for our student-athletes and coaches. We will work harder than ever to make sure that we put the best teams on the fields and courts.
See you at the games.