Friday, March 14, 2008


by Rhonda Rompola

Everybody needs goals. We as a team are no different. During conference play, our short term goal was to finish in the top four so we’d get a bye in the first round of the tournament (We were in 5th place at the time.) The team stayed focused, had a good run of wins, moved up in the standings and accomplished our first goal by finishing second. You’re familiar with the phrase “blessing in disguise,” and that’s what we experienced with our final two conference games, which were losses at UTEP and Tulane. It woke us all up!

The tournament bracket was arranged with a possibility for us to play Tulsa, Tulane and UTEP, and frankly, I was happy about that. It gave us a chance to avenge all our conference losses. We definitely made a statement in the Tulsa game. We beat them using a trapping defense and pressure – the girls were not to be denied. Brittani Allen showed her offensive talent by hitting three threes against Tulsa at just the right time to get us going. Tulane got knocked out by Marshall so that scenario went away. Marshall had us down by 15 at one point in the game, but the girls showed a lot of poise. We switched to a zone defense, which slowed down Marshall’s athleticism. JB Samuels was the offensive punch in that game.

Against UTEP, I saw a fire in the girls’ eyes, and a confidence more than I’d ever seen before. UTEP came at us with an 18-0 run in the second half, but the team bounced back with a 17-0 run of its own. Sharee Shepherd was the difference in the second half of this game. We relied on our seniors more than ever in this tournament, and they came through for us like the champions they are. When it was all over, Sharee was named to the All-Conference team and Janielle Dodds was named Tournament MVP. In truth, they were ALL MVP’s. It’s been awhile since this office has experienced such euphoria, and we like it!

You’re all invited to the Women’s Selection Show Watch Party on Monday, March 17, being held at Ten Sports Grill at 1302 Main Street in downtown Dallas, starting at 6 p.m.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Excitement Brings Rules?

by Jeff Konya, Assoc. A.D./Compliance & Student Services

First, I would like to start this blog by thanking the participants of the “Guess the Number of Interpretations” contest. The number of 2007 official interpretations was 202 and this figure was documented in several official SMU reports. The contest winner was Steve Stovall with a guess of 165. Said Steve, “I would consider this as the single greatest accomplishment in my life.” O.K. - so I exaggerated Steve’s quote by a large margin, but everyone who participated in the contest got some SMU swag. I was in the giving mood including t shirts, hats, posters, etc.

Second, Coach Jones coming to SMU has sure caused a lot of excitement, and I can personally tell you that working with this new staff has been tremendous. And there is great excitement in SMU football - which has spilled into some SMU boosters wanting to get involved in recruiting or accidentally finding themselves in unique situations. Please click here to view a quick reference piece of all of the questions that have been asked of this office recently. Please keep the questions coming.

Third, with all the construction in the Loyd All Sports building recently, there have been several tests of the emergency broadcast system, that I am quickly losing it. I am sure you can relate. Perhaps, when you are watching your favorite TV show and the sound goes out for that high pitched siren and montage of it being only a test? The alarm goes off here every 10 minutes, so my question is does this qualify for hazard pay?

Anyone think ESPN will be running figure skating between 5 and 9 p.m. on Sunday night?

Last iPod Download- Well, I am still waiting for my replacement; perhaps with this new found hazard pay . . .

Thursday, January 17, 2008


by Rhonda Rompola, Head Basketball Coach

Many thanks to everyone who attended our games vs. UCF and Southern Mississippi this weekend. Reaching our 300th win was very emotional for all of us. I want to send out special thanks to all our past players, for they are a big part of our total wins. I’m very thankful and appreciative of the opportunities SMU has provided. It’s quite a thrill to me, especially because it has all happened right here at SMU – my alma mater. Most of our staff has been with me for the better part of this journey, but I want to point out that Margaret Kovac and Coach Lisa Dark have been with me for the entire trip! Margaret reminded me that my first win was also my very first game as Head Coach which was at UTA.

Our crowd really got into the games. It really made me chuckle to look across the court and see Brenda Bruggeman Cox and Vicki Walterscheid Eldridge with all those blonde children on the front row. What a trip!

I was very proud of how well the team played Sunday in front of a national TV audience. They played hard, and gave it their all. It was important that we play well and prove ourselves at home. We had just returned from a very tough 5 games on the road, and our confidence needed a boost. Now we head out on the road again to play ECU and Marshall. Just wish we could bottle up our play from last weekend.

See you at Moody for our next home game against Tulsa on Sat., January 26th, at 2 p.m.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Traveling In The New Year… And A Contest?

by Jeff Konya, Associate A.D./Compliance & Student Services

Happy Holidays! This is a busy time for most and, for me personally, 2008 will start off with a bang. I am traveling a lot and will share the details with all of you so you don’t have to track these flights on-line.

First, I am accompanying the men’s basketball team to Colorado in early January. It will be first away trip with the team as their sport supervisor so I am looking forward to spending more time with the coaches, staff, and athletes - and witnessing the road win firsthand.

Second, I am off to the Gaylord property in Nashville, Tenn., for the NCAA Convention, Jan. 9-13. There I will attend an educational symposium on college athletics in general, but will also be on hand to cast SMU’s official vote on two rules being looked at again by the membership (one is the current text message ban in the recruiting process).

Third, I am going on a “family” retreat to Playa del Carmen at the end of the month for a weekend. O.K. - this one was a personal choice, but, who can pass up an all-inclusive?

Now turning to another matter - I am actually flattered that a company wanted to use compliance rules as a basketball “in-game” promotion. Even though some of my job responsibilities are in this fantastic field, I do realize the rules are sometimes stale. I hear you, the message board masses, and your theme to change the trivia game (as I write this, in my head I have the picture of the ‘posse’ in a Verizon TV commercial). Our sponsor of the trivia game has authorized me to change SOME of the questions, so the Ice Cold Compliance Quiz will become the Ice Cold Quiz where some questions will center on the history of SMU athletics and some important compliance themes. Look for the new and improved contest at an upcoming basketball timeout.

Finally, I have just put the finishing touches on the 2007 Annual Compliance Report which I will share with President Turner very soon.

And now the contest - Please guess the number of questions this office received last calendar year that resulted in an “Official Interpretation?” An official interpretation is one that required a written response from the SMU compliance staff and cited an NCAA rule. These were questions asked by administrators, coaches, athletes, university folks, and, yes, Mustang fans everywhere. Email the guesses to and the winner will receive an “Ice Cold Sports Prize Pack” with some needed gear for the Holidays.

Latest iPod Download- NONE (iPod has water damage)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Busy Times

By Steve Orsini, Director of Athletics

I apologize for the recent lapse in blogging, but hopefully everyone can understand that the coaching search is my highest priority right now. I did want to offer a few words, though, about the process.

I know some of you may be frustrated with the lack of news and information out there, but a coaching search is unlike anything else we do. It has always been my experience that these searches are best conducted quietly. Again, I know that may frustrate the message boards, bloggers and even the DMN, but right now I can only focus on getting the best available coach to the Hilltop.

Our timeline is influenced by the high quality of candidates we are pursuing, but as I said last time, I entered this process with a plan. I remain pleased with how it’s being executed and its effectiveness. We’re on the right track.

Thanks again to everyone for their interest. We appreciate your support. Know that we will win at SMU. GO MUSTANGS!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bench Production

by Rhonda Rompola, Head Women's basketball Coach

A huge “THANK YOU” to all our great fans who traveled to Denton for the game against North Texas last Saturday. We had a lot of fans who made a lot of noise and, believe me, it helps! I’m just happy we were able to come through for you. It’s so nice to have a good, HAPPY post game talk. (Some that we’ve had after UNT games should not be repeated…)

This team is learning to finish a game. We’ve still got a ways to go, though. I want us to get a lead and keep building on it instead of making it so exciting at the end. One thing that helped was Brittany Gilliam’s play coming off the bench. Bench production is a key component to our being successful, and BG stepped up and did the job. Hopefully, this will get the entire bench going for the rest of the season. So far, we’ve been progressing and improving with each game.

Now we need you all to come out for the Coppin State game on Thursday night (12/6) and then come back to watch us play UT-Arlington on Saturday. Both games are at 7 p.m. and are the last games before the break for finals. Our next home game is more than a month away - Friday, Jan. 11th, so come get your women’s basketball “fix” before finals and Christmas Break.

One last note of interest - I’m very proud to point out that Delisha Wills was named Conference USA Player of the Week for last week. Dee follows teammate Janielle Dodds, who got the same award the week before. THAT’S TWO IN A ROW – how about that? Just to let you know how unique this is – NO SMU player received this honor all of last year.

See you Thursday!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Still Thankful

by Rhonda Rompola, Head Women's Basketball Coach

Thanksgiving certainly was a time of thanks! We were especially thankful for winning our Hoops for the Cure Tournament. We beat Western Michigan in the first game and Kansas in the final. Janielle Dodds scored 29 points against Kansas and was named Tournament MVP. I want you to know – Janielle was absolutely sensational in that game! Nellie got rolled on and squashed by a TCU player late in that game, and it made her mad. Most of you know – she plays better when she’s mad. We just hope she stays mad for the rest of the season!

Once again, we were led in grand style by our seniors. I can’t say enough about Sharee Shepherd, particularly on defense, and Katy Cobb – she may not score big numbers, but she plays a valuable role by picking up the tempo and setting the rhythm for the team.

Even though we lost by five to A & M in the season opener, I think that game showed our girls they can play with top teams. Beating TCU helped, and then beating Kansas really instilled a sense of confidence. KU is a quality team from a great conference, and FYI – they had the #1 RPI ranking coming into our tournament! Beating them helped our RPI tremendously.

As I’ve said before – I’m really excited about this team. They are progressing and playing better each game, and I expect this trend to continue. Our next game is at home on Wednesday, November 28th, against Stephen F. Austin. Come out and see what I’m talking about.