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Ask the AD Archives

Click on the date below to jump to the questions and answers from that update.

December 4, 2012
February 13, 2012
October 5, 2011
June 15, 2011
March 18, 2011
January 3, 2011
September 10, 2010

June 2, 2010

April 15, 2010

February 26, 2010
January 19, 2010

December 4, 2012:

In reading the Athletics Strategic Plan, I noticed several references to the target area for athletics recruiting, contributions, building a fan base, etc. is southwestern Missouri. What is the reasoning behind limiting the Missouri State reach to such a small area? As the second largest university in Missouri, seems to me the goal needs to be to reach a larger area of the state as well as targeting adjacent states as well. - Renee S., Wichita, Kan.

Renee-
Our strategic plan reflects our need to own the Springfield market first and foremost and grow our brand and our outreach from there. We have much work to do locally, and it will take our fans, our students, businesses and our community as a whole to embrace this University and our program.

We continue to have fan and alumni events throughout the state and throughout the country, and our recruiting areas for most teams extend nationally and even internationally.

Certainly, it also helps build our fan/attendance base with student-athletes from the surrounding area and from this region. We will continue to recruit where we think is best for us.

Just wanted to congratulate you and Coach Lusk on bring Jermaine Henderson to Missouri State. Jermaine is a good man and coach, and being a Missouri State grad, I was glad to see the move and have had several talks with Jermaine since then. Again thanks you made a good move. - Darrell R., Oxford, Ohio

Darrell-
We agree. Thanks for the note and your continued support.

Why is it that Missouri State has six sports for the male athletes to participate in and nine for female athletes? This seems unfair to me. I really can't understand how or why a university the size of Missouri State does not have a men's track & field program. It is such a glaring hole in your athletic program, can we dare to hope that this would be remedied anytime soon? - Barbara W., Rich Hill, Mo.

Barbara-
This is a great question and one that I'm glad you asked. I get asked all the time about what sports we sponsor and why. One of the main reasons we have a disproportionate number of male/female sports is because of Title IX compliance. We are a Prong 1 institution, which means the federal law requires us to be proportionate by gender in the number of athletes we have to the institution's enrollment by gender. For example, if the female enrollment on campus is 55% we must have approximately 55% of our student-athletes represented on our female teams. Since we sponsor football, this means we will continue to have more female sports than male sports strictly because of the numbers. Unless the percentage of male students on campus grows, we plan on adding one to two more female sports in the future to stay compliant.

I think Missouri State is an amazing university and can compete with any other university. Do you ever see MSU joining another conference? - Ethan B., Steele, Mo.

Ethan-
I agree with you. I think MSU is an amazing university. I would hope eventually we may get to that level, but not in the short term. We already compete against the SEC, Big 12, PAC 12 and the other BCS conferences in many sports. When those teams come here, we need to respond with good attendance and good atmosphere to keep us in the conversation regionally and nationally as an emerging program. We continue to explore the best options for Missouri State University as we monitor league realignments around the country.

As a former strength and conditioning coach at six different universities, I was wondering if our athletic department had any thought of purchasing new turf for the football field. The old turf has had about enough and looks terrible. Also, I have never found many Division I programs without the ability of showing an indoor turf room to recruits. Why do we not have this essential tool for our athletes? Thank you for the work you do and let's strive to build a championship program. Go Bears! - Larry W., Mena, Ark.

Larry-
We are in the process of looking at purchasing a new turf field for Plaster. It is my hope to begin the process after next season based on facility funding. We continue to find the resources to make all of our teams competitive. It takes everyone who has an interest in our success supporting us by donating to specific funds, buying season tickets, purchasing licensed gear or being involved in our sponsorship opportunities. I couldn't agree more regarding your charge of building championship programs.

I found out via the grapevine that several bus trips to lady bear games have been scheduled. My question is: Why weren't season ticket holders who have email informed of this? - John A., Gainesville

John -
We're working on collecting additional email addresses to be able to provide our fans with more information and exclusive specials. However, the most-timely way to get your information on MSU athletics continues to be at MissouriStateBears.com. You can subscribe to email alerts there, which are free and provide you with up-to-date information as it's available. You can also follow us on Twitter (@MissouriStBears) or Facebook (MissouriStBears) for breaking news, exclusive stories, and great fan information. The link to the on-line story on the fan bus trips is below: http://www.missouristatebears.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/110812aaa.html

Is Missouri State Men's Basketball running a Day Care during games?

Your ball/towel boys are too many (8 on 11/17), unsupervised, they don't know their role for being there. They think they are there to play.

They are in the way of teams warming up, the half time floor cleaning and the Sugar Bears routine. Your promotional staff had to run them off the floor twice during half time (11/17). During the National Anthem they just dropped the basketballs they were holding and went to stand in line with the players. Team's managers had to retrieve the balls and put them away.

In the Charlie Spoonhour days there were two boys at each goal. Ready with towel in hand and when commanded by the ref, they got on their hand and knees wiping the floor and off just as fast as could to not delay the game anymore than necessary.

Some order needs to be brought to this group.

Thank you. - Alan K., Springfield, Mo.

Alan-
I agree with your observation. We are in the process of addressing this situation. We had a couple of young kids who were very excited about being ball kids and eager to get onto the floor. To them, it's a big deal to be a ball kid. Sometimes that eagerness can be problematic, so we'll continue to monitor this throughout the rest of the season. Thanks for your comments.

February 13, 2012:

Mr. Moats,
I am a alum and a alum of the football program, so it's very near and dear to me. I attend all home football and basketball games. Two questions: Are there any plans or thoughts of removing the track in Plaster and bringing the stands in closer? I really think this would really allow the student section to feel a part of the game. Not to mention, this would add to the appeal of new recruits. Secondly, I know that there is talk about the student side being renovated, is there an estimated time table on that? I know money is tight, but as an ex-Bears football player, I know what it feels like to be looked over as a team. To have the school behind them would boost their moral and I think the community.

Everyone loves Bears hoops, and they see that stadium and they know that MSU is serious about their basketball. You can't say that about football. Yes we need to win and winning will bring in more money, but so will better facilities, which will in turn bring in better recruits, and hopefully this all equals wins. I know we can be national champs, we all just have to go all in.
- Brandon T., Springfield, Mo.

Brandon-
President Smart has assembled a Football Task Force to address many issues relative to football. The results will be available later this spring. Your concerns are being addressed. In order for us to make significant changes, we need financial backing from alums and supporters. We thank you for all of your continued supporters.

Dear Mr. Moats,
This year I purchased Bears baseball season tickets for the first time. Although I have attended baseball games before, I am excited for this season and decided to go all out to support the baseball team this season. However, something was rather disconcerting. For a while now it has been advertised that student season tickets cost $20. Although this is true, when I went to the Missouri State Tix window in the PSU I was informed that there is an additional $5 fee. Although I am fine paying this fee and in no way am upset about it, I feel like it was misleading to advertise $20 season tickets to students if, in fact, it will cost us $25. I understand that it's a "fee" and not the actual price, so it's not technically false advertising or anything of the sort, but it is still misleading and somewhat dishonest. This is particularly true since the baseball ticket information page on the website does not mention a fee existing. I would simply recommend that in the future the full price, including the fee, be a part of the advertised price so that students are not mislead.
- Daniel B., Springfield, Mo.

Daniel-
You bring up a good point. Fees are usually assessed because there is a cost associated with the ticket company or credit card company. We can do a better job of communicating this in the future. Also, I am recommending that we don't charge students a fee for baseball season tickets. Please check back with us in a week or so and we may be able to refund you your $5.

Hey, Mr. Moats!
This basketball season has been exciting because we've had match-ups with non-conference schools like Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and soon Old Dominion. I love seeing that, and I know a lot of other students do. Any other schools you're working on facing next season?
- Garrett G., Overland Park, Kan.

Garrett-
We're always working on match-ups that will be beneficial to the development of our team, spike an interest with our fan base and help us financially. We will continue to work on getting games in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas since a vital part of our alumni base lives in these areas. It's very difficult to get bigger-conference schools to come to Springfield. However, we will continue to use our relationships within the basketball community to help better our schedule. In the meantime, we plan to continue playing multi-team events during the holidays which enables us to play BCS schools at neutral sites. Next Thanksgiving, we will be headed to Puerto Vallarta to play two such games. For more information, continue to check back at MissouriStateBears.com and with the Alumni Office as details are available. The MSU women will also participate in this tournament.

October 5, 2011:

As a SMS alumni and X-C/track letterman, who has basically been wiped off the MSU historical map along with a ton of other greater athletes who ran/competed for the program, I wonder why the Athletic dept has not gotten creative about bringing back Men's Track and/or Cross Country on the distance side only. Much like with the Ladies team, it would seem that a Men's Cross Country team (and distance only track events) could be more affordable as the framework of the X-C program already exists with the ladies program and efforts to fundraise to upgrade Plasters track is already planned. It would be very easy to re-establish a men's distance team at minimal additional costs as they would be competing the same meets/events and practice facilities the ladies participate in and use today? As the process goes to replace the Ladies coach - I hope, Kyle, you consider the option to bring back Men's XC and distance events for track. Cross Country in Missouri is huge and one visit to the MO state meet in Jeff City will show the huge popularity of the sport AND the quality of the student-athletes they can bring to MSU. When the Men's team was abandoned, they were very competitive, great history of success and had a great GPA, meanwhile, football is on scholarship probation and struggles to compete in 1AA, with talk of going to 1A? Having a more diverse view on athletic opportunities and being creative in generating them should be a focus across the entire athletics dept. Please consider creative opportunities when hiring the new coach and utilizations of synergies already in place with existing X-C program framework. If there can be goals to raise $3 million for locker rooms, training room and offices, 1-2 Million for lights and resurface the track, certainly adding 7-14 men athletes to an already existing framework is not worthy of crying poor about?? Thanks for the consideration. - Mike G., St. Louis, Mo.

Mike G.
Thanks for your years of dedication to your sport and for having so much pride in Missouri State. We are proud to have you as an alum and hope to see you back on campus soon!

Once we made the decision to go Prong 1 with our Title IX compliance plan -- proportionality based on the university's make up of males and females -- and continue to have Division I football, it makes it very difficult to add any male sports in the future.

The current ratio of our campus is 53.4 percent female and 43.6 male, which means we have to mirror those percentages on our athletic teams. This is probably our biggest challenge based on our current sport composite and financial situation. If the overall student body percentages shift and we can recruit more male students to campus, that dynamic could change in the future.

I fully understand your concern, and when we dropped a few sports in the early 2000's, it was a difficult decision for everyone involved. I hope this helps you understand the issue and how we meet compliance with the Federal Title IX regulations.

Good Morning Kyle, just a few items I would like you to address .
1. Do you think it is wise to raise the price of Men's basketball tickets in this economic time? We drive an hour one way for each game and have to think about it for a long time before making that kind of purchase. Maybe we should whine like the lady bear fans and you will lower the prices for us also! It was a shame to lose Cuonzo, but as a Purdue Grad I am happy with Paul Lusk. I do worry though that as Cuonzo struggled his first year Paul may as well. Having been in the business as long as you have you know this could well be the case. My fear is that what has been built the last couple of years could set us back even farther if we struggle at all this year.
2. Please when they bring fans down from the upper bowl to the floor seats make sure they at least have on MSU gear, it frustrates me when I see them bring people down who do not even care enough to go buy a t-shirt to support the University.
3. A marketing Idea, give gold level and above season ticket holders one free pass to Prime Overtime Club to try it out. They may be inclined to purchase membership when they experience the product. Thanks for taking the time to read my rant and hope to hear from you soon. - Pat D., Kimberling City, Mo.

Pat C.
Thanks for your e-mail. We raised the prices this year slightly to help offset the cost of going to Las Vegas for the Multi-Team Event and an opportunity to play West Virginia and St. Mary's. The conference office has mandated all men's teams to schedule an MTE in order to improve our overall conference scheduling. This increase only addressed half of our game guarantee obligation. I felt like increasing the ticket price any more would be detrimental to our season ticket holders during these trying economic times.

I know our fans want a quality men's basketball product. As with anything there is a price that comes along with success. I can assure you we are very sensitive to ticket prices and our fans. I understand these are difficult economic times.

We are offering free admission to the Prime Overtime Club for the two home exhibitions. I hope you will join us.

Finally, I look forward to Coach Lusk and his first season. As with any new coach there will be a transition period. He has seven new players along with a new system he has to implement. I have complete confidence in his ability to lead our program. We need to support him and be as positive as we can as he starts his head coaching career with the Bears!!

I apologize for the following question because I know you have probably been relentlessly attacked by a question like this. I heard today that Pitt and Syracuse have applied for the ACC. Since MSU has connections with the MAC via Men's Swimming and Diving and Women's Field Hockey, would it be realistic to get the Board to favor applying for the MAC. It's a smaller conference that we have a fair shot at winning 1 or 2 games early. Plus, it is a 13 team conference which is weird. And a follow up because I know money has a lot to do with it, how close is MSU financially to maybe adding more seats in order to qualify to be an FBS school? Again, I apologize but I have just been pondering this. - Joey H., Independence, Mo.

Joey H.,
You are right, this question has been asked a lot lately due to the conference realignment of the major conferences. At this time, I see no movement by MSU to go anywhere other than the MVC. The conference is very sound in all sports, and the FCS level of football is where we need to be based on the commitment and funding we have in place.

June 15, 2011:

Looking at some of the Women's NCAA Regional sites, why has Missouri State and the MVC not hosted a 1st/2nd round pod yet? - Derek E., St. Louis, Mo.

Recently (2009) the MVC hosted the Women's Final Four. In most cases the NCAA tries to go to locations where the host team will participate. In order for us to secure a bid we would have to submit a bid to host. I think financially it would be in our best interest to submit a bid when our team will be more of a consistent NCAA participant.

Your answer (as I understood it) to the previous person's question was that to move up to FBS for football and a 'Big 12' type conference for basketball would require a significant change in Board of Governors' philosophy. Could you explain more fully? Or, could you point me in the direction of some resource that explains the role of the Board of Governors in determining athletic programs. Thanks! - Geniese S., Hesston, Kan.

Geniese-
The Board of Governors determines the overall philosophy of the University. That's what a Board is responsible for, to chart the course, in collaboration with the President. In order for us to consider a move to a different conference that decision first would have to be approved by the Board, which is the highest level. It would require a different funding model for athletics for starters, investment in facilities, Title IX considerations, salaries etc. Secondly, a conference would have to want us. We just can't decide we're moving to a new conference. You must be invited. I hope this helps. We're a long way away from anything like that happening. We're perfectly fine being members of the MVC.

 

March 18, 2011:

I am a proud graduate of Missouri State and I am tired of defending my alma mater to Missouri fans/alumni. There needs to be an annual matchup between the two schools. Are there any plans for moving forward with an in-state rivalry? Obviously I am referring to basketball series but the school needs a definitive rivalry game. You could make an argument for half a dozen MVC schools and possibly SLU but how often do you get to rub it in the face of one of their fans? I like the regional matchups with Arkansas and the Oklahoma schools, but who wouldn't rather beat Missouri? We are constantly walking among Mizzou fans and being referred to as the "little school", or not on the same level. I am tired of it, let's step up and make a name for ourselves. - Adam D., Trenton, Mo.

Adam-

We would welcome an opportunity to play Missouri in men's basketball. Both teams have to be willing to play. If there was a financial incentive, such as a title sponsor, Mizzou may have more of an interest in playing. Currently the interest is one sided.

I watched both the UNI and Creighton games that were aired. Throughout both games the announcers show our attendance stats. I have enjoyed many Lady Bear games at Hammons Student Center with the crowd average of well over 6500. JQH is a wonderful arena and I think we all are very proud of this facility. I know it has to be paid for and ticket prices help do just that. The upper bowl and student sections are empty. Wouldn't it be to the university's advantage to lower the upper bowl ticket prices adding attendance numbers, and to reap the rewards of concessions and Bearwear sales. I know this has been a big issue on ticket pricing. I attend every Lady Bear home game and have the opportunity to get to a few road games. Last season we managed to get to Tulsa twice, Wichita and Jonesboro. All had cheaper ticket prices for floor seating than we do for our upper bowl tickets. We also went to March Madness although we lost in the first round. Any feedback would be wonderful. We love Coach Martin he has done some tremendous things for our school. I wish I could get to all home games both men and women. - Dwight M., Springfield, Mo.

Dwight-

We will continue to look at ways to fill JQH for Lady Bears Basketball in the most economical way. In doing so, we need to make sure we financially support the funding for the arena. We will continue to evaluate what is best for our fans and program overall. Next year, you will notice some changes. Coach Martin and Coach Milleson have had great seasons.

Mr. Moats, While watching the Fiesta Bowl, the announcer commented about how Connecticut had been Division IAA not that many years ago. With Missouri having a population in excess of 6 million people and only one Division I school, are there any plans or discussions around taking MSU to the next level in football? Thanks - Dave D., Des Moines, Iowa

Dave-

Missouri State competes at the Division I level in all sports. Football has two subdivisions within Division I, and MSU plays at the FCS level. In that light, your question is one I get asked quite often. It will take a change in philosophy from our Board of Governors and University leadership to even consider this as a possibility. Financially, it would be a major commitment from the state, university, alumni, fans and corporate community. Based upon our current situation, I think we are in the best conference for our program.

Mr. Moats, Two years ago, I was a season ticket holder. I unfortunately dropped my men's basketball tickets and did not renew. I called your ticket office early last summer and asked to be added to a list of people interested in season tickets. I was informed that there was no such list and I would have to call back sometime in July if I wanted tickets. I found it hard to believe that the sales staff could not be bothered to take my name and call me once current season ticket holders fulfilled their purchases. It just doesn't seem like good marketing. That being said, I still purchase tickets and attend most home games and also travel each march to the MVC tournament. I continue to support the bears. I would have purchased season tickets if I had been contacted. I hope to support the bears as a season ticket holder next season. - Chuck W., Nixa, Mo.

Chuck-

I apologize for the service you received. This is not how we want to treat perspective customers and former supporters. I can assure we will do better next time. Please feel free to call our office (417) 836-6382 to get more information so we can assist in the future. Thanks for supporting the Bears!!

I was wondering if MSU gets any tickets for the football game at Oregon next year and if there is a way to reserve tickets if they are available. Myself and other alumni are wanting to go to the game and were hoping as Alumni we could get tickets through Missouri State. Thank You - Matt R., St. Louis, Mo.

Matt-

We do, and we would love to have you join us for the trip. In the near future, we will be unveiling a travel package to Oregon through our Alumni Office. Stay tuned and watch for more details on our web site.

January 3, 2011:

Will you reinstate the wrestling program? Thanks you for your consideration of my question. Kindest regards. -- Ken H., Lee's Summit, Mo.

Hello Mr. Moats, I am an alumni of Missouri State University Athletics. Any chance you and your administration will bring back the Men's Cross Country and Track program? Kind regards, -- Calvin S., Kitchener, Ont.

Ken and Calvin -

The most difficult decision an athletic director can make is to eliminate a sport.  It affects many people's lives and eradicates the opportunity to participate. I am certain the university's decisions to cut wrestling, tennis, and men's track/cross country were a difficult ones, and I want to thank you for representing our university with hard work and distinction.

Based upon the current financial situation of higher education in our state and specifically within our department, it is difficult to imagine expanding our programs in the near future. However, I would like to personally invite you and all former student-athletes to consider joining the Bears Varsity Club. It is free and provides opportunities to get re-engaged with your teammates as well as current student-athletes, be part of a proud athletics tradition and help us shape the future of MSU athletics.

Mr. Moats, Scholarships are generally among the largest ongoing expenses in any college sport, but also provide the most meaningful value to the student. As MSU fans, it would seem to me that one of the most important contributions we could make to the Bears, would be to help provide more endowed athletic scholarships. Currently, how many scholarships for Men's and Woman's sports are endowed? Do you have any plans to make a push for more endowed scholarships? Keep up the good work. All the best. -- Michael F., Neosho, Mo.

Michael-

I couldn't agree more.  The Bears Fund was established just for that reason; to provide scholarship dollars for our student/athletes and programs.  If we are going to improve our athletics department and compete on a consistent championship level we need to continue to grow the Bears Fund..  There are numerous ways you can give. This can be done by buying season tickets, endowing a scholarship, a planned gift, etc.  For more information on how you can help, please call the Bears Fund at 417-836-4143.

Hello. Is it possible to purchase the football games on DVD? There have been several games I would love to own. GO BEARS! -- Jackie D., Springdale, Ark.

Jackie -

Many of our football games are available through our on-line video channel, BearsLive. This service can be found on our athletics web site at www.MissouriStateBears.com.  Even though there are currently no DVD options with the service, we will look into that for the future. The archived games on the system are available to view at no charge.

Mr. Moats- What does one have to do to nominate an ex-Missouri State athlete to the Hall of Fame? Let me know. Thank you -- Steve A., Altoona, Iowa

Steve-

We have a HOF committee made up of former coaches and administrators which recommend the inductees to the athletic department for approval.  If you have a nominee please send to us before October of each year.  The committee meets periodically to evaluate the nominees.  Please send to Missouri State University, Athletics Communications, 901 S. National, Springfield, MO 65897.

Mr. Moats- A recent topic on a local MSU fan forum asked what could be done to get the student section and band more involved. This topic sparked me to contact you directly in hopes that it will reach the correct personnel. At the last MSU/Arkansas basketball game held in AR, during a second half time out the AR band played "Also sprach Zarathustra", which you may have heard before from the opening of 2001 A Space Odyssey. The cheer leaders (and in MSU's case the Sugar Bears could participate too in some form) took the floor and created a pyramid along with raising a huge (so big there were flag poles on both sides) State of Arkansas flag. I will be the first to tell you that I can be bias against anything that is from the state of Arkansas, but I have to admit that the music and flag made me think that if I were from AR, I would be proud, not only to be a Razorback fan, but to be someone who lives in Arkansas. I am suggesting MSU do something similar. The State Flag of Missouri has BEARS on it, not tigers. I think we should take advantage of that. Maybe use the state flag and two smaller MSU/Bear Logo flags? I think this would be crowd pleaser and an excellent way to encourage them to cheer during the final minutes of a close game. And what better way to show our fans/students that we are a STATEWIDE school? I hope you pass this info to those involved (Band, Cheerleading, etc.) and encourage them to look into this. -- Dan B., Springfield, Mo.

Dan-

These are good suggestions.  We continue to have meetings with our spirit squad and band to improve the environment at JQH Arena.  We have made some tweaks and more will be coming.  Your right on track. Thanks!

September 10, 2010:

As a football booster, I wanted to check on, and confirm the press release that was in the newspaper, that said we will have new lights up for the first home game. Are we getting all new lights and poles, or just new poles? Is the candlepower improved over the old lights? We look forward to the night games, a long time tradition for MSU. Thanks - Kirk H., Springfield, Mo.

Kirk- Yes the lights will be up and are already functioning.  We have new poles, lights and a stronger candlepower with fewer actual lights.  The entire lighting system is more economically efficient. The lights were much needed not just for football but for soccer, track, field hockey, band, intramurals and all the other events held at Plaster.

Mr. Moats, I'm a big fan of Missouri State athletics and I would like to submit a bold question to you. Are you up for any conference expansion? See, I'm a huge fan of change. Like when Houston joined the NFL and Seattle left the AFC, I enjoyed that. Maybe propose the idea of joining the Big 12? I know that seems outrageous. I think it would be fun to see Missouri vs. Missouri State start a rivalry. Maybe sneak in Kansas? Maybe start an FCS expansion of conferences because the Missouri Valley is successful so add more teams? I'm just going out on a limb but I think it would be great to hear about MSU joining the conference mix up talk. -Joey H., Independence, Mo.

I've had this question asked many times over the past couple of months due to the shifting of schools and conferences. I think we all took notice that the driving force behind realignment has been football.

The Big Ten started the domino effect, and in my opinion, it's not over. How does this pertain to MSU?  Let me lay out the process so everyone understands.

A couple of decisions have to be made in order for there to be any worthwhile discussion regarding any movement.  1) The decision to position ourselves must be made by the Board of Governors and our administration.  2) We have to be marketable to a conference.  It's not our choice where we would go. We have to be selected. 3) The NCAA has a moratorium on moving up that expires in 2011. 4) There are certain criteria you must meet to be eligible for FBS status which include attendance, facility size, season ticket holders etc. 5) It would take a substantial annual financial commitment to consider being competitive,  in addition to one-time facility improvements that would also be very costly.

Financially as an athletics department and as an institution we are not in a position to consider this move at this time.  We participate in one of the best football leagues at the FCS level in the country.  The schools, geographic location and budget commitment to football in this league are where we need to be.

As an Alumni of Missouri State, there was always speculation as to why Mizzou and Missouri State never met in any nonconference football or basketball games. Perhaps you could shed some light on it. Why don't we meet more in what would be considered by some to be a "natural rivalry"? Thank you for your time.  -Kristopher K., Joplin, Mo.

This is a question I get asked a lot. 

In Division I football, the primary reason FCS schools play FBS schools is for the guarantee the FCS schools receive.  Even though the two levels of Division I football are similar, the playing field is not the same with FBS schools having 85 scholarships and millions in TV revenue on which to build successful programs, whereas the FCS programs have 63 scholarships without the national TV contracts.

The guarantees our football program receives from these games provide much needed revenue to help to offset our budget.  Missouri State looks for the BEST financial deals it can to help its overall budget.  If that becomes the case with Missouri, we will certainly consider it.

As for men's basketball and women's basketball, I would welcome the opportunity to play Missouri.  Both parties have to be willing to participate, and we will continue to have dialogue with Mizzou on this topic. Again, it has to make sense for both schools.

So you are aware, we do play against Missouri in other sports, including a very healthy rivalry in baseball. I would like to see us play more frequently in other team sports as well, and share many of your hopes.

Bears' Basketball and KY3. Fantastic! Super! Wonderful! Great! Can't wait! THANK YOU! - John B., Springfield, Mo.

I am glad you approve.  The real winners in this agreement are our fans.  We achieved the three goals I set out to accomplish:  1) Improve coverage 2) Enhance programming and 3) Be fiscally responsible.  We could not have done it without the vision and support of Bass Pro, Great Southern Bank, Chevy Dealers of the Ozarks and St. John's.  These are all great community supporters of the Bears!!  I encourage all of our fans to support these community businesses for making the deal happen!!

June 2, 2010:

We are long-time Lady Bears season ticket holders and have seats in the lower bowl. We also like to go to the Bears' basketball games a few times each year. For us it would be a nice incentive if as Lady Bears season ticket holders we could have the option to buy single-game tickets in the lower bowl for the men's games. We would be willing to pay for the seats and are Diamond Bear Club members.This additional benefit to being a season ticket holder might also help MSU gain some people who want t o have season tickets for both the men's and women's basketball seasons. Thanks, -- Candace F., Springfield, Mo.

Candace, this option is available already for both Bears and Lady Bears season ticket holders. Simply call the ticket office at (417) 836-7678 any time you want lower-level Bears' tickets.

At one time there was discussion about bringing all of the athletic programs under one apparel and equipment contract (Nike, Adidas, or Underamour).  Has that moved any farther, and has there been any more discussion about updating the "Missouri State" wordmark and logo? -- Jeff B., Exeter, Mo.

Jeff, Good question. The equipment deal has been one of my goals from day one.  We have been in contact with the three major apparel companies you mentioned, and I indicated to our coaches if I couldn't collectively get a better deal for all of our programs we wouldn't do it.  To this point, we have not been able to come to terms with a deal I feel is best for all of our teams.  Especially in these very difficult times, I don't want to hurt any of our teams financially.  Eventually, I think this will happen, but for now, the timing is not right.

Dear Mr. Moats, I was wondering if there was any chance of MSU bringing in an NBA preseason game to JQH Arena in the future. It has been 18 years, since we had an NBA game in Springfield, and I think that was the only time we had one here. Thank you, -- Joshua R., Springfield, Mo.

Joshua, Our facility staff is actively trying to attract all kinds of acts and entertainment to JQH Arena. The NBA has to be willing to come to Springfield and be successful.  In a lot of cases, the NBA returns to areas where former college players played. Thanks for the good idea that our university will continue to pursue.

Are there any plans to replace the track surface at Plaster Sports Complex, and what about the possibility of bringing back men's track and field? Go Bears! Thanks, -- Tim S., Springfield, Mo.

Tim, I'm glad you asked.  We are in the process of fund raising for a new track at Plaster. Plans are to make improvements next year. If you would like to donate to the track or know of others please contact Padraic McMeel in the Athletics Foundation office at (417) 836-4817 for more information.

April 15, 2010:

Had a question about the TV contract for the Men's Bears Basketball games. As one of the growing population of people who have satellite TV instead of Mediacom, it is frustrating not being able to see my Bears on TV when they go on the road. I understand that the 6-year TV contract with Mediacom expires at the end of this, the 2009-2010 season. As compared to 6 years ago, with the boom of satellite TV subscribers (DirecTV or Dish), it seems the landscape has changed as far as how people get their "premium" TV. What will the athletic department do to make sure that the new TV contract for Men's Bears Basketball takes into consideration the growing number of Bears fans without Mediacom? Will you consider going back with KY3, or perhaps going with Fox Sports Midwest, to ensure that all cable and satellite subscribers will be able to see as much Bears Basketball as possible? -- Martin C., Springfield, Mo. 

Martin-This has been a frequently asked question.  We are in the preliminary discussions with potential parties that would be involved.  Much is yet to be done.  The concerns you have mentioned are issues we will address in the upcoming negotiations.  We will look at all scenarios and make the best decision we can both for our fans and university. The television landscape is much different than it was the last time the contract was bid.

Our goal will be to be the most effective and efficient in both areas...reach and cost. 

Are there plans for MSU football to move up to D1-A? -- Jon H., Manhattan 

Jon-There are no plans to move up to FBS status at this time.  Our best position would be to find philanthropic support to add lights, redo the student bleachers and upgrade our facilities. In addition to these improvements, we need to make significant strides in developing a much better season ticket base.  If we succeed in all these areas, we potentially could make ourselves marketable should a decision ever be made or potential suitors come calling.  This decision would first be made at the administrative level.

To cater to their recent graduates who might be making entry-level wages, it seems that many D-I schools offer reduced prices on season-ticket plans for alumni who have graduated within the last, say, 3-5 years. What are the chances that Missouri State would create such a plan for its young alumni for any sport that offers season tickets? This would seem to make sense now more than ever, seeing as how student interest in Bears athletics has steadily increased over the past five years or so. Thanks so much! -- Doug R., St. Louis, Mo.  

Doug-I think that's an excellent idea.  As we determine ticket strategies for the upcoming season we will consider your idea.  Thanks for the suggestion.

There is a huge problem with finding Missouri State merchandise in MSU's HOME TOWN! What is the plan to make things better? Every local department store has drastically lowered the number of items they sell and some don't even have any items to purchase! I, and many others, are tired of wading through Mizzou and Kansas and Oklahoma gear to find anything with MSU on it!! -- Bill J., Springfield, Mo. 

Bill-This is an important concern to all of us at the University.  Art Hains, who coordinates our Licensing Program, has met with every major retail outlet in Springfield to determine how we might improve our presence in the market.  In the future, we will post those retailers who carry MSU merchandise to better assistant our fans/customers.  I can tell you we are making strides.  Not at the rate that any of us are satisfied, but we continue to work with the local general managers and buyers of the major retailers here locally and in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas. The Collegiate Licensing Company is also very involved from a national level communicating with the national buyers of the retail chains. You can help us by voicing your concern to the managers at the retail stores.  In doing so, we hope they communicate your interest to the corporate buyers.

Is there any chance the Bears Basketball team will play any games soon at UMKC or vs a neutral court opponent in Kansas City? The bears are always playing in STL but never in KC so that is something the fans up here would like to see. -- Derek W., Kansas City, Mo. 

Derek-We are in constant discussions about potential games throughout the region.  With the growing alumni base in the Kansas City area, we will continue to look at opportunities to play in the KC area.

Dear Mr. Moats, I was wondering now that we have three basketball arenas on our campus, what will happen in the future to McDonald Arena? Will it remain a basketball arena for high school tournaments and such, or be converted into something else? And is there ever a possibility, that for a smaller crowd drawing game, that the Bears would play one more game in the old arena? Even if it were an exhibition game, I think it would go well. North Carolina held a NIT game in their old arena, and I always heard Bears games in McDonald were awesome. It would be fun for fans of all ages, I believe, to have the team wear some throwback uniforms, and play in McDonald once more for us who just missed getting to go to a game there. Thank you for your time. -- Josh R., Republic, Mo. 

Josh-I think the only possibility of this occurring would be for a scrimmage or a midnight madness type event. Something to consider as it would impact parking, concessions, etc.

February 26, 2010:

Are there any plans to upgrade the student side of the football stadium?  - Scott M., Kansas City, Mo.

We have identified the student section as an area that needs to be renovated.  This project will require a philanthropic gift of $1-$2 million to be completed.  As soon as we can identify a donor(s), we will move forward.

Did anyone provide funds to finish the locker rooms in JQH Arena? If so, who and how much did it cost to finish? Thank you for your time. -- Alan K., Springfield, Mo.

This is an on-going fundraising project.  The project will cost approximately $3 million for locker rooms, training room and offices.

I am an alum and a Bears fan. I live in Branson and I have been disappointed with the broadcast of the men's basketball games by Mediacom. In the past few years, the quality was poor on the Branson cable system (Suddenlink) and they would often not cut in to the game until it was several minutes into it. This year, they are not even showing them at all. I find it very disappointing and frustrating that MSU awarded the TV rights to Mediacom and it appears that they are not upholding their end of the agreement. I hope all of this is considered when the contract comes up for renewal. Thank you. -- Roger F., Branson, Mo.

Rest assured we are working on the new television contract.  My goal is to bring MSU athletics to as many households in the state and regionally as we can at an affordable price -- both to the consumer and as an athletics department.

When are you going to upgrade the swim facility? Every swim meet I have ever attended as a fan has left me standing due to lack of spectator seating.  -- John H., Joplin, Mo.

I understand your concern.  We are just beginning efforts to fundraise to renovate the pool. This will cost in the neighborhood of $1 million to $1.5 million. We will need all family, friends and especially alumni to reach our goal.  We must move forward and improve the facility we have and make it the best environment for our student-athletes.  We are proud of our teams and congratulate our women's team by winning the Missouri Valley Conference meet! 

I have been accepted to Missouri State and wish to schedule a tryout this spring for the men's basketball team. How would I be able to schedule a tryout? Thank you -- Josh M., Chouteau

Contact Trevyor Fischer, director of basketball operations in our Men's Basketball Office, at (417) 836-5250.  Good luck.

January 19, 2010:

When will Missouri State men's basketball team schedule a regular season game against the University of Missouri men's basketball team? It seems like this would create a great in-state rivalry with massive interest! A Bears versus Tigers basketball game should be a high priority on future men's basketball scheduling. Thanks, -- Michael M., Red Oak, Texas

I agree. We would have an interest in playing Missouri in all sports, not just men's basketball. I think if an agreement can benefit both parties financially it be worth consideration. Whatever agreement is reached, however, has to make sense for both parties.

I live in the Kansas City area and make as many basketball games as possible. I can't justify buying a season ticket package as it currently exists. As an alumnus would it be possible to get a small season ticket package in the lower bowl for those of us from out of town. Maybe a 5 game pack? Are there plans for more sporting events in Kansas City? I know we have played KU and a baseball tournament in KCK at the minor league baseball stadium. BEAR FANS want to see our team and also expose the great product we have to potential fans. Thank you, GO BEARS! -- Lee B., Lee's Summit, Mo.

Currently we have an eight-game conference package along with a Family Four Pack that might be of interest to you. We have no lower-level ticket specials. However, in the off season we will reevaluate all ticket specials and seat assessments.

It would be ideal if every other year we could be in Kansas City or St. Louis with men's or women's basketball. Due to the number of current students and alumni we have from these two areas, it is an important recruiting area as well as an admissions focal point.     Thank you for your interest.

Looking to see when / if 2010 football schedule will be out. Trying to find dates of parents weekend, homecoming etc. Thanks for your help. Keep up the good work
. -- Matt M., Washington, Mo.

The 2010 football schedule is primarily completed. It will be finalized with start times and released later this spring.  The annual Maroon and White Spring Game is scheduled for Saturday, April 24.

I am a recent alum, '07, and a few of my buddies and I want to come down to a game this spring. We all graduated before JQH was open, and we want to watch the Bears. Why can't we buy lower level seats? Saw an article in the News-Leader saying it was to protect season ticket holders. I am in grad school at Mizzou and obviously am not going to get season tickets when I live this far away. How do you expect to have a regional fan base when I can't come to a game and get a descent seat? Mizzou actually gets something right on this. I can buy lower-level tickets on a single-game basis. I imagine their ticket holders have a much higher assessment (it is $2500). You are alienating your fan base at this critical time for Bears basketball!!! -- Mike B., Columbia, Mo.

We will continue to evaluate our ticket strategies.  Currently, season ticket holders have the benefit of being able to purchase additional lower-level seats on an individual game basis. Lower-level seats are not available to the general public or gameday ticket buyers at this time.   

The reason for this decision is not to dilute or erode our season ticket base and the assessment they pay for the premium seats.  Financially, it is crucial for the success of our entire athletics department that we have a strong and vibrant season ticket base.  It is very important that we have great crowds to support our teams, but if we allow game day ticket buyers to purchase assessment-level seats, we run the potential of alienating those that have invested in our program.  

In the future, we will consider possibly offering a section(s) in the lower-level available to the game day, walk-up crowd.  We may even entertain a premium price for those who want to purchase available lower-level tickets on a day-of-game basis. These are all things we are considering. 

We appreciate the time and support of all of our fans whether they are kids who come free (Monday through Thursday), our Family Four Pack folks or those who purchase a single-game ticket.  We need all of you.   I can honestly tell you, there's not a bad seat in JQH Arena. We have a wonderful asset in the "Q" for the university, community and the state.