April 9, 2001
Q: "Recently, I heard Kentucky Wesleyan coach Ray Harper state on ESPN Radio that we had signed a five-year contract to play Wesleyan each year beginning in 2002-03. Can you confirm please? Also, I am a 10-year HAF member, and have some interest in becoming a member of the HAF Board of Directors. What is the selection process for HAF board members? You are doing a fabulous job, it's great to see the positive direction the athletics program is headed in." -- question submitted by Barry White (Alvaton, Ky.)
Dr. Selig: "Barry -- thanks for your compliments and support of WKU athletics. Regarding your first question, we have no formal contract with Kentucky Wesleyan to play basketball, although I have discussed the possibility with Coach Felton, Coach Harbaugh, and Larry Moore, the AD at Kentucky Wesleyan. The first scenario that was discussed was to set up a football - basketball doubleheader in November of 2002 or 2003 with a regular-season football game and an exhibition basketball game. No long-term situations have been addressed. We discussed this while were football members in the Ohio Valley Conference about 12 months ago.
Since our move to the Gateway Football Conference, our schedule has changed such that the likelihood of playing a November doubleheader is doubtful as the Gateway football schedule calls for conference games throughout November. Thus, if we were to play KWC, it would have to be a September game. It still leaves a window to schedule football, but the doubleheader is in doubt. Not having a doubleheader takes away some of the luster of the competition between the two schools.
We currently await word this month to see what the NCAA Management Council will recommend regarding the number of men's basketball games allowed each season and the preseason play determination. There is some talk about reducing the preseason from two games to one and adding a regular-season game. In that event, it would be difficult to play Kentucky Wesleyan in an exhibition game as we currently play an international team each season that, as part of that contract, allows the team to travel Europe during the summer (every four years) and play meaningful contests with outstanding international competition. Our summer tour this past summer was very instrumental in helping us gel and become the NCAA postseason team that we were in 2000-01. I doubt we would want to give that opportunity up by replacing the international exhibition game with an exhibition versus Kentucky Wesleyan.
Thus, we are in a holding pattern right now with regard to scheduling Kentucky Wesleyan, and we hope to resolve both situations sometime this summer."
Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Jim Clark:
"Barry -- thank you for your long-time support of Western through your membership in the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation. With regard to your question about becoming a member of the HAF Board of Directors, the process is as follows: the current Board of Directors shall provide to the membership for its consideration at its annual meeting (in June) a slate of individuals recommended by the Board of Directors for election to a term not to exceed three years. The Board consists of not less than eighteen (18) nor more than thirty (30) members. In order to qualify for the Board, the individual must be a member of the Foundation and must remain a member in good standing during that Director's tenure.
If you would like to discuss having your name presented to Board for consideration, please feel free to give me a call at (270) 745-6064. Thanks again for your support of Hilltopper athletics."