Friday, April 20, 2007

It’s Between Arizona and Colorado. You’ve Seen Pictures.

by Jeff Konya, Assoc. A.D./Compliance

I may be dating myself, and for that I apologize, but “Fletch” circa 1985 is a very underrated comedy. In fact, I would put it up against any of the old guard comedies (i..e, “Animal House”, “Caddyshack”) and the new guard (i.e., “Napoleon Dynamite”, “Anchorman”). Sadly, it was mostly downhill for poor Chevy after that movie save a few more Griswold adventures. So when I found out I was going to Utah in September 2007, I immediately thought of Fletch and some of the “Utah” scenes (i.e., Harry S. Truman, “look defenseless babies,” mattress police, stunt flying up there, “somebody’s bucking for a promotion”, etc).

Why Utah?

Because, "It’s all ball bearings nowadays, maybe you need a refresher course.”

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I have been selected to be a NCAA Peer Reviewer for a Division I institution in Utah this fall. With my fellow peer reviewers (a C-USA school President, a Vice Provost from a Pac 10 school, et cetera), we will be tasked with writing a report based on our findings of how Utah State measures up to some NCAA standards on various issues (i.e., Rules Compliance, Academics, Diversity, Student-Athlete Welfare, Department Organization, etc). For those that don’t know, the Peer Review team and report is part of the official NCAA Certification process, where approximately every 10 years, each NCAA Division I member school must be similarly reviewed. In fact, SMU will begin its third cycle certification within the next two years, so hopefully I can get sufficient knowledge of what issues will be stressed by the NCAA during this wave of reviews. The whole process is very labor intensive, but this time I can be the auditor (Stanwyk’s Doctor) and not the auditee (Fletch singing "Moon River").

Also, the Office of Compliance Services - with the help of the Marketing and Media Relations Staffs - has produced a new compliance educational brochure. Click here for a preview. For starters, this brochure will be sent with all football season tickets, and will be distributed at several SMU athletics contests next year. The goal was to present the rules in a more proactive, and for lack of a better word, “fun” way. The brochure covers the basic rules with a few of the nuances but I may have to get the Vista version when it is upgraded to account for some of the issues being discussed on and/or potential issues coming on the horizon (i.e., the animal of text messaging).

Till next time. You can charge this entire blog to the Underhills. Tierra Del Fuego.

Last Ipod Download- Fletch (movie)

A Win, Win, Win.

by Dr. Vicki Hill, Director of the A-LEC

Top 25 in Athletics.

Top 50 (or better!) in U.S. News & World Report undergraduate rankings.

Top 50 (at least!) in Carnegie classifications for graduate programs.

How can SMU be all things to all people? Aren’t there inevitable contradictions inherent in these goals? Fortunately, those are questions for President Turner, the new Provost, and the Board of Trustees to answer. Not me.

But I am pleased with one of the ways that the A-LEC is contributing to all three initiatives. It all comes down to graduate students. For 2007-2008, the Office of the Provost has approved funding for four new graduate assistantships, and these Ph.D. candidates will work not in their home departments but instead for the A-LEC, providing advanced subject-specific tutoring and study skills instruction to SMU undergraduates, primarily student-athletes.

Everybody wins. Several Dedman College departments have increased their number of funded graduate students. Win. The A-LEC has more tutors. Win. Our student-athletes have access to even better assistance. Win

Win, Win, Win. I like the sound of that.

And props to all of our student athletes who made the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Color Blind

I can't tell you how much time I have spent in the last few months talking about colors. When I got here it didn't take long to see that we had and identity problem when it came to our colors. Everywhere I looked I saw different shades of blue and red on everything from seats to end zones to baselines to uniforms. I even saw a few colors other than red and blue on merchandise. Thank God I didn't see that awful purple anywhere. It is important that a brand be consistent with regard to color. Something had to be done.

Well, it certainly wasn't going to be me making this decision. You see, I'm a little color blind (can't distinguish navy from black). I believe being the slightest bit colorblind disqualifies one from making these important decisions. So, we actually decided to do the logical thing - the simplest thing - ask what the official University colors were. We did and were told SMU Blue (PMS 286) and SMU Red (PMS 186). Yea! Mission accomplished. Well not really... mission just beginning.

Before you knew it, everyone was asking if everything from the walls to halls to floors should be SMU Blue and SMU Red, We were taking it way too far. I had a dream I drove up to campus and all the buildings were SMU Blue and SMU Red. Yikes!!! I had to reel everyone in. I had to let them know that our colors should show up on things like uniforms, print advertising, signage, end zones, and basketball floors. In addition, the colors should be predominate on merchandise but not exclusive (we want to sell fashionable merchandise). Other than that, floors should look like floors, walls like walls, and halls like halls. Ah, mission accomplished. Well not really… mission communicated.

Now everyone is asking if the colors should be changed over immediately. Ideally, yes. Realistically, no. We need to be financially responsible and make the changes as they need to and can be made. At Southwest Airlines we made a color change but we certainly didn't repaint all 470 aircraft at once. SMU will evolve to its true colors as quickly as possible but in a fiscally-responsibly manner. Mission accomplished. Well not really... mission in progress.

Finally, there was confusion as to whether the colors were determined by focus groups. The answer is no. Focus groups commented on the colors but the colors were established by the University. What was determined by focus group was our athletic logo treatments. Do you know how much time I've spent talking about logos? I'll tell you, but not until my next post on the blog.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Records Section

By Brad Sutton, Asst. A.D./Media Relations

Well it’s finished and posted. The Spring Wrap-Up (with the long-awaited depth chart) is now up on You can see it here.

I thought we looked good in the spring, but it’s always tough to tell when you’re only competing against your own team. That said, if you didn’t get a chance to see the Spring Game, you can watch the highlights below.

The thing that spurred my post today, though, was actually the 2007 Media Guide. I’m creating the records pages now, and let me say, what we did last season was really impressive. This will be the fifth football guide I’ve done on my own and I can safely say that I have had to update more records and top ten lists than ever – BY FAR. Just as impressive is the fact that almost all the updates have been due to the performances of underclassmen (yes, Justin and Emmanuel did account for several). So while spring practice and the spring game were great, it’s those records that have me really excited about the future of SMU Football. I can’t wait until Sept. 3!