Nov. 8, 2001
Q: In 2002, colleges and universities will be allowed to play 12 football games. I have three questions: (1) Will Western play a 12 game schedule? (2) Are we going to play a division 1-A school and if so , who are we talking to about that game? (3) What "new" teams of division 1-AA might we play? Submitted by: John Daugherty, Nicholasville, Ky.
Dr. Selig: John: At the current time we are looking to play 11 games.... our two open date weekends are mid-November and it is very hard to get any games out of conference on those dates. We had to really weave the Gateway games around our schedule and Gateway member institution's already set schedules for the first three years of our league membership. We were left with a very difficult schedule to fill for this year, 2002, and 2003. Hence series with McNeese and Florida International - they could play mid-year games. We are looking to schedule a I-A opponent every year. Our student-athletes loved their experience in Madison this year. We would like to offer them the chance to play in a "Wisconsin like" atmosphere every year. We would like to make a I-A announcement very soon for 2002. We would also like to look into bringing back Murray State and Eastern Kentucky in the next few years. Ideally WKU settles into a seven game conference schedule, one I-A game, one division II game, and two non-conference opponents with at least one being EKU or Murray every year. Playing them both each year could be an option, but with the strength of MSU and EKU, a I-A game, and the challenge of the Gateway each year, we may be biting off more than we can chew each year. Thanks for your question.
Q: First, I would like to say "Thank You" for the job you and your staff are doing. Hilltopper fans have some great changes over the last two or three years and we appreciate them! My question is concerning the time of Wednesday night basketball at Diddle Arena. For many years Wednesday games have been at 8 PM, this has been done so those who go to Bible Study can still make it for most of the game. Now with this year's schedule, the games are at 7 PM. Why the change? And can it be changed back the way it was? Thanks again for all of your hard work.
Dr. Selig: Tim, Thanks for your question concerning Wednesday night basketball games in Diddle for the men and women. I understand and have been made perfectly clear of the history with respect to Wednesday night contests. Our first goal is not to schedule games on Wednesday nights due to church conflicts. However, these Wednesday night games sometimes can not be avoided. After two years of hearing and witnessing the debate as to the start time for Wednesday night contests, I and others on my staff have come to the conclusion that the majority of our season ticket holders and walk-up ticket purchasers prefer a start time consistent with the other weekday game times which is 7 p.m.. Starting at 8 p.m. on school and work nights simply puts people out of Diddle Arena entirely too late.... at 10:00 p.m. or even later. While we regret to have to make such a decision, it is the one we plan to go with for the future - again if we must schedule a Wednesday night game. Thanks for your compliments and support of the Hilltoppers. It is a great time to be a Hilltopper.