INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETIC

COMMITTEE MEETING

October 21, 2003

 

ATTENDING: Brad Berg, Charlie Bridgeford, Jared Bruggeman, Judy DeMers, Ray Diez, Lillian Elsinga, Phil Harmeson, Susan Jeno, Susan Nelson, Sherry Penner, Mark Rudolph, Lowell Schweigert, John Sirignano, Bruce Smith, Paul Todhunter

 

Recorder:  Bev Hopman

 

The meeting was called to order by Sue Jeno at 3:38 p.m. in room 1537 of the Medical School

 

Minutes: Judy DeMers moved the minutes from September 16, 2003, be approved.  Lillian Elsinga seconded.  Motion carried.

 

Fighting at Hockey Games:  Bruce Smith expressed concern with the fighting that occurs during hockey games and questioned the role of the IAC in this type of matter.  He feels fighting sends the wrong message about UND and UND Athletics.  Judy DeMers said that checking is a part of the game, but fighting is not.  She also stated that the officials had the opportunity to stop the fight before it began, but did not intervene.  Phil Harmeson stated that the WCHA commissioner and the head of officials were both at the game and that the issue with the officials was handled that night.  Charlie Bridgeford said that from the “hockey perspective” fighting can actually clean up the game.  If the referees do not call high sticking, elbowing, etc. sometimes fighting puts an end to it.  Lowell Schweigert expressed concern that the fight was shown during the pre-game video.  Sue Jeno summarized that the feeling of IAC was that fighting was not condoned by the University and suggested a letter be drafted by the committee.  Bruce Smith and Judy DeMers will write a letter which will be sent to the Athletic Director, President Kupchella and the WCHA commissioner with a CC to Dean Blais.  It was felt that the video board replays and inappropriate graphics could be handled internally. 

 

Women’s Basketball Trip:  The women’s basketball team is scheduled to play in a tournament in Hawaii during finals week.  Gene Roebuck appeared before the IAC last year and requested the committee’s support for this trip.  The committee members approved the trip and recommended that Coach Roebuck have his athletes notify their instructors early in the semester about the team travel plans.  Sherry Penner distributed a copy of a letter from Gene Roebuck for the student-athletes to give to their professors.  The committee made several suggestions for the letter:  1) add a line for the professor’s signature stating that they saw the letter and arrangements had been made  2)add a line for the professor to request more information before they sign off on the trip 3)add a sentence that states the IAC approved the trip.  Phil Harmeson indicated that policy states the Faculty Athletic Representative needs to approve any team travel during finals week.  He said he is waiting for a formal request from the Athletic Department.

 

Department Reports:

Compliance and Gender Equity:  Jared Bruggeman reported that he and Sherry Penner had just finished their report for the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act.  They have one additional report they are preparing for the Department of Education.  He will bring in the final reports in November.

 

Budget:  John Sirignano said the final income reports are not available for the NDSU football game or from the Boston College hockey series, but that the crowds were very good at both venues. 

 

Other Business:  Ray Diez displayed an ad printed in the Northern Lights Boy Scout Council publication, Northern Hi Lites.  The ad advertised $1.00 admission to an NDSU football game for scouts.  Ray Diez said that it may be too late to implement this for football, but that UND may want to try this promotion to boost attendance at a basketball game or hockey game during the breaks.  John Sirignano said that Ralph Engelstad Arena has several people who work with group sales.  He also said one drawback to implementing this at football is that the Alerus Center charges UND $1.50 per ticket.  The ad and contact information will be given to the Athletic Marketing Department for them to follow up.

 

Sue Jeno informed the committee about a Halloween party which will be held on Oct. 31, at the East Grand Forks Eagles Club, sponsored by the Greater Grand Forks Area Physical Therapists.    This is an annual event and this year the proceeds will go to Tiffany Pudenz, a former UND women’s basketball player diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. 

 

Phil Harmeson asked what the committee members thought of the NDSU pre-game and post-game activities at the Alerus.  Charlie Bridgeford said it was “unbelievable”.  He wished it could be like that all the time.  Lillian Elsinga said it was a very friendly atmosphere.  Paul Todhunter said he saw security checking lettering on T-shirts and hats.  Susan Nelson stated that many of the Bison and Sioux fans stayed and socialized for an hour or longer after the game.  She said it was a wonderful day.  Phil Harmeson said that President Kupchella felt the game management and crowd control people did an excellent job. 

 

Sue Jeno asked what will happen to the nickel trophy if this is the last game between the Sioux and the Bison.  Phil Harmeson said no decision has been made but that one option was to display it at the Heritage Center in Bismarck.

 

Phil Harmeson said that the City of Grand Forks, Grand Forks Air Force Base and UND are being forwarded to the Air Force and the Pentagon for recognition on Operation Enduring Friendship. 

 

Susan Nelson said there has been some confusion regarding the pre-game parties at the Alerus.  She indicated that fans had asked employees of the Alerus where the FSC socials were being held and that the Alerus staff was not aware of the locations.  Mark Rudolph reported that Athletics had contracted with the Alerus for an indoor location for the Homecoming and NDSU games and that all of the rest were outside.  Sherry Penner indicated that there have been some issues in communication with the Alerus staff, but that the Athletic Department is working with them.  Mark Rudolph indicated the rest of the FSC pre-game socials will be held indoors.

 

Ray Diez said that with basketball season soon here, there will be some parking issues for students and staff during Tuesday night games.  Sue Jeno said there is also difficulty for families who have swimming lessons.  Sherry Penner said there are only two Tuesday night games this year, but she has met with parking and they are trying to find solutions to the week night issues. 

 

The meeting adjourned at 4:27 p.m.


 

 

The following is a copy of the letter sent out by the IAC regarding fighting at UND hockey games.

 

 

 

October 21, 2003

 

 

 

Charles E. Kupchella, President

University of North Dakota

Box 8193

Grand Forks, ND  58202-8193

 

Roger Thomas, Athletic Director

University of North Dakota

Box 9013

Grand Forks, ND  58202-9013

 

Bruce McLeod, Commissioner, WCHA

2190 S. High St.

Denver, CO  80210

 

Dear Gentlemen:

 

This date marks the first scheduled meeting of the University of North Dakota’s Intercollegiate Athletic Committee (IAC) since the fight between two players during the UND vs. the University of Minnesota Duluth hockey game of October 11, 2003.

 

After considerable discussion, the IAC would like to go on record to say that this situation was a blatant display of inappropriate behavior in every regard and is not representative of the high level of sportsmanship we expect from UND athletes. This sets a terrible example for the younger players in our extended community who look to the UND hockey team members as role models. We are also troubled by the fact that this behavior was further glorified by being presented as a replay during the pre-game video program prior to the Boston College series.

 

The IAC understands that the penalties pertaining to fighting are detailed in the NCAA Rule Book and that those guidelines were followed with the appropriate suspensions for the involved players. The IAC also understands that reprimands were sent to the referees for their lack of proper and timely intervention. We feel that the penalties and the reprimands were appropriately administered, however, it concerns the IAC that these officials were not properly prepared to enforce the rules specific to the WCHA prior to the game. This concern extends to future games where serious injuries could result from improperly trained referees.

 

 

 

 

The UND Hockey Program is one of the showcases of our University and our community. The IAC feels it is our responsibility to speak out when the quality of sportsmanship falls below our expectations.

 

Thanks you for your attention to this matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Susan H.N. Jeno, PhD, PT              Bruce A. Smith, PhD                        Judy L. DeMers,

Chair, IAC                                          IAC Member                                      IAC Member

Assistant Professor                          Dean, John D. Odegard                   Associate Dean,

Department of Physical Therapy     School of Aerospace Sciences      UNDSOMHS

 

 

Cc:      Dean Blais

            Head Coach, UND

 

            Scott Sandelin

            Head Coach, U of M Duluth