Debbie Yow Live Chat Transcript
Aug. 17, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. -
NC State Athletics Director Debbie Yow answered fan questions on GoPack.com.
Debbie Yow: Thanks to everybody for joining me today for the live chat. I'm very excited about the new school year and all the possibilities for all of our 23 varsity teams.
Comment from Anthony Hedgepeth: Do you have any plans to add any more non-revenue sports, specifically Lacrosse?
Yow: As much as I enjoy watching lacrosse, we simply do not have the financial resources to add it as a varsity sport here at State. Maybe one day...
Comment from Brian: What are your impressions of the new football uniforms?
Yow: Our players seem to like the new uniforms and so do our coaches. The best part of the uniform, to me, is having the word "STATE" across the jersey. We will use "STATE" on all jerseys this year. I had a funny moment with Coach O'Brien the day I suggested a pinstripe down the pant and he said, "No, we're not that flashy." We both laughed - he's pretty conservative and he has a right to have the uniform the way he wants it.
Comment from Michael Richardson: If we expand Carter Finley in the future, where would the new seating most likely be? Would love to see us get to 70,000 one day. It's so weird having an Athletic Director that cares!
Yow: Our next major project will likely be an indoor practice facility and a "Walk of Fame and History" where all of our memorabilia can be properly displayed and enjoyed by thousands of State fans. We would not consider expansion of Carter-Finley unless we were selling out of our current seating. I'd like to have that problem though!
Comment from C. Dombroski: If the SEC were to expand and invite NCSU to join the SEC, would you advocate a move to join the SEC if there were substantial economic benefits from doing so? Thank you for all of your hard work, Dr. Yow!
Yow: Our focus at State, as a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, continues to be how we can strengthen the conference. The best way for us to do that is to win more and continue to graduate student-athletes. I respect the SEC and spent nine years in that league as a basketball coach at Kentucky and at Florida, but I love being home and enjoy being part of the ACC.
Comment from Terry: A report in today's newspaper said NC State would not have gone to the bowl last year if the new graduation rate were adopted
Yow: According to the head of our Academic Support unit, our team would have been eligible because our multi-year rate for APR was above 930 and that is going to be the new cut score to play in a bowl.
Comment from Earline Smith: Do you think C.J. Wilson will be a scout pick for next year?
Yow: I don't talk publicly about any players on any teams unless it is to praise them. The coaches are in charge of their respective teams, as well they should be. Any question about a student-athlete competitively should be directed at his or her coach.
Comment from #1 soccer fan: How excited are you about the new look to the Dail Soccer Field? The seat backs look amazing, and I love the new field boards, great home for the PACK!
Yow: We spent most of last year in construction to enhance the game-day environment for both Pack soccer teams. Last night, the place was packed for an exhibition game against UNC Greensboro. People seem to love the stands behind each goal, the new chair back seating and the new team locker rooms at the east end of the field. I can hardly wait for other ACC teams to see all the changes. I think it will be a bit intimidating.
Comment from palmettowolf: Dr. Yow... can you give us a detailed update on the status of an apparel deal? If you are not ready to give a decision, can you give us a timeline on the decision?
Yow: We have been in discussions with apparel providers for several months about an all-sport deal. If and when someone offers the right financial incentive and product that our teams deserve, we will consider agreeing to a contract. This is no artificial timeline that has been imposed.
Comment from John: I heard concessions are getting even more expensive at Carter-Finley this year? $4 for a Snickers bar? Really?
Yow: I hope you are wrong. I am unaware of any price changes by concessions. Thanks for the heads up, though. I will check this out.
Comment from RollieGeiger: Why was my office moved without my consent?
Yow: I'm not sure this is really Coach Geiger, because he was so excited about getting a new office suite for his staff.
Comment from Maya: Our swimming facility is terrible. What are the plans to upgrade it so that we can compete better.
Yow: Our swimming facility is one of the oldest in the ACC. It is functional, but certainly doesn't have all the bells and whistles of modern day facilities. Our swimming alumni recently provided half a million dollars to improve the lobby entrance and we made an investment in hiring our new coaching staff for both swim teams. Those two initiatives are a beginning. Perhaps one day there will be a new pool on Centennial Campus.
Comment from Mark: Why can't men's basketball play their games on campus? Aren't we good enough to have our own arena?
Yow: In the late 1990s, the university made a decision to partner with Wake County and the City of Raleigh to build a state-of-the-art basketball and hockey arena three miles from main campus. Our recruits think it is a beautiful building, so it does not seem to have hurt us in recruiting. The parking is the best in the conference for our fans and access to the facility is also excellent.
So, there are advantages to our having agreed to build the facility at its current site. For this upcoming season, 19,000 new Wolfpack red seats are being installed along with a brand-new, state-of-the-art floor specially designed for us and by us. I think you will find the environment to be improved, energetic and dynamic.
Comment from Stubhub: Will the football and basketball tickets ever be scanned by barcode readers upon entrance as opposed to just being torn off at the gate?
Yow: Yes. We will be using this technology as early as next year, possibly. We are working on that particular initiative throughout the winter. You could then share your tickets very easily among family and friends at a moment's notice.
Comment from Kevin: Since you're been at State, what's the number one question/complaint you've gotten from Wolfpack fans?
Yow: As I think back over the last year, it seems like the number one question has been, "Why don't we believe we can be the best?" I do believe we can be the best, which is why I decided to come home and be your AD. I have gathered around me additional administrators who feel the same way and will support the coaches and student-athletes 100 percent. We have had great moments in sport and we can have them again. This is where sticking to our goals and staying focused no matter what happens becomes so important. I truly believe we can do great things here.
Comment from Layton Harwell: So you are wanting to be known as STATE vs. NC State, right? Why would you not change the Helmet back to the one we had from 1978-1980 which was Red and has the Block S vs. the one we have now that is the Block S with N and C in the S.
Yow: I think your suggestion has merit. That is an offseason conversation with our coach, which can occur some time in the spring. When it comes to uniforms and helmets, as AD, I will always listen first to our coach and what he or she would like to have for the respective team.
Comment from Guest: We have an incredibly passionate fan base. What is your office doing to ensure we do not have boosters that will put us in a position similar to what Miami is now facing?
Yow: I love the passion of our fan base and would never want to see it diminished. In regard to how to best ensure we do not have boosters, student-athletes or coaches violate NCAA rules, there are no guarantees. That said, it starts with the people and we hired a woman named Carrie Doyle last November to head up our compliance unit. I consider her to be one of the most talented people in the United States. She worked on the NCAA's enforcement staff and was Director of Student-Athlete reinstatement for 13 years. In other words, we have an expert on staff to guide us in developing the best policies and procedures.
The next step is to hire and retain coaches who have a genuine respect for following NCAA rules and regulations. They have great influence over their team members. The third step is to educate our boosters about the rules and to make it easy for them to ask questions. We now have a toll-free number, a text number and we're developing a compliance website for educational information.
With thousands upon thousands of boosters, at any point in time, an individual could decide to break a rule and we would never know it. I don't like the way that feels, but accept the fact that we can't control what everyone does. True supporters would never intentionally put us in harm's way by breaking a rule.
Yow: Thanks to everyone for joining me today to talk about my favorite subject: Wolfpack Athletics. It's the beginning of a new year and our teams are fired up. I'm off now to a men's basketball meeting with Coach Gottfried. His enthusiasm for being at State is as high as ever and he and his staff are determined to get us back to the NCAA Tournament as soon as possible. In the spirit of the Pack, Debbie.