Tag Archive | "Football"

Football in the works for IWU

The addition of football to IWU’s athletic program is closer to becoming a reality. The Board of Trustees, in conjunction with President Smith and SGA, formed a study commission on Oct. 1 to look further into the topic. Along with football, the board also discussed IWU’s potential move from NAIA to NCAA Division II for all sports.

The Blue Ribbon Commission will have its first official meeting in a few weeks and begin its study along with coaches, staff and players. Between then and the April 1 Board of Trustees meeting, the commission will research and weigh the potential outcomes and benefits of implementing a football team at IWU.

As president, Dr. Henry Smith serves several roles throughout the process of considering a football team. Smith said that both the commission and IWU are committed to in-depth research and good decisionmaking for the betterment of the school.

“We must attempt to anticipate how football will affect our overall campus culture, the possible impact a high-profile sport like football might have on the entire intercollegiate athletic program and what the financial needs would be for such a venture,” Smith said.

Over the next six months, many people will take a deeper look into the possibilities of the program. With such a grueling task in an allotted time, Smith has appointed Chet Foraker, a retired coach and athletic director, to assist the commission in the coming months.

Smith has also been active in requesting funds to complete the study and setting the guidelines and parameters. If and when the commission suggests football as an adequate fit for IWU, then a timeline for implementation will be arranged.

The financial budget would be a concern to the program, along with the Title IX regulations that must be met. IWU Athletic Director Mark DeMichael said a lot must be considered and dealt with as this process goes on.

“We will have to do a complete financial pro forma and look at what other schools have done,” he said.

DeMichael said that IWU has always stayed in compliance with gender equality regulations.

“We will have to ask ourselves, what does adding football do to the compliance issue and the standards and what do we need to do to stay in compliance with Title IX?” he said.

Several MCC teams have added football in recent years and seen substantial growth in each of the respective universities.

Ross Tanzer (jr) has been chosen as one of the athletes to research and provide study and background from a students’ perspective. Tanzer said IWU has the possibility to thrive on the gridiron.

“I think it will take a few years to build, but if we stick with it and realize it will take time to grow [it has the opportunity to succeed],” Tanzer said.

Along with football, the Board of Trustees is looking into the leap from NAIA to NCAA Division II for all IWU sports.

The board sent in its application to Division II this month. It cost $115,000 just to be considered. Like football, several stages must be completed before adjustments can begin to take place.

DeMichael, along with Dr. Todd Voss, executive vice president of IWU, have carefully looked at and planned the proposals.

“The study group will be appointed to carefully unpack the details to determine if [football and NCAA Division II] are fit for Indiana Wesleyan,” Voss said.

Smith and DeMichael said the ascent to NCAA will boost the athletic program and make it more credible and recognizable to outsiders.

“It seems that NCAA II might give us a more definable and understood platform for IWU athletics. NAIA is not an easily understood conference to the general public,” he said.

Although these changes will not happen immediately, Tanzer said he is excited about the direction the athletic program is heading.

“[NCAA Division II] is more challenging and I think we can be an example for Christ through it,” he said. “[Football] will bring in more students and give students something to do on a Saturday, and is great for school spirit.”

The commission will meet six times between now and March and decide where to go from there. While the process might seem simple and straightforward, a lot of behind-the-scenes work must be done before the proposals become a reality.

Smith, now in his fifth year as president, said he is dedicated to the highest standards of procedure and research that will most benefit the university.

“We will not make a decision either way on something as important as football without careful and prayerful consideration,” Smith said. “And, neither of these things will increase the cost to attend IWU.”

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Sizing up the Big Ten

After the third week of non-conference action around the country, we have a few things figured out: Alabama and Ohio State are riding first class, while Boise State, Oregon, and a heck of a lot of other schools are those people kneeing them in the back of the seat in second. On a weekend where your marquee game was Notre Dame-Michigan State, however, you might say that not much was accomplished since the week two rankings.

While it was a thriller to watch the Irish leprechaun get trounced by a bunch of field-goal-faking Spartans, it didn’t turn out to be a Saturday to remember. We learned that a lot of teams can play, but it’s kind of like AAU basketball — everybody looks good in warm-ups, but who is going to make the roster or big time?

As far as the Big Ten (soon to be 12) goes, we found out how good the athletic directors were at scheduling their early games. It worked out squeaky clean for some (Michigan State), while disappointingly fowl for others (Iowa, 37-24 loss to Arizona).

With all the talk surrounding how slow and undersized the Big Ten is, two strong candidates for the Heisman have emerged in the last few weeks from the Midwest conference. The preseason favorite, junior Terrelle Pryor, has guided the Buckeyes to a 3-0 start, with an impressive performance on the Miami (Fl) game. Meanwhile, sophomore Denard Robinson has almost singlehandedly won all three games for the Wolverines.

Although it is early, college football fans are already salivating over the greatest rivalry (OSU vs. Mich) in sports on Nov. 27. If stats alone could win you the Heisman, then the battle between Pryor and Robinson would come down to that final game, but I don’t think that the Wolverines has the stamina to pull off battle after battle this season between the trenches, where they really are not that experienced.

But time will tell; after all, conference play hasn’t even begun. Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa State, among others have a lot to say in who should be crowned the conference’s best. One thing is for sure, we better enjoy the setup of games in how they are now, because in two years, the money monster that is the Big Ten Championship will snare its wealthy teeth.

The importance of regular season games will diminish slightly, because the top three or four teams will have a chance to steal a spot, depending on the final week of play. And while the games and players itself will stay the same, conference strategy or the big picture in “the game behind the game” will undoubtedly differ in some degree.

But that’s the future. We’re back to the present when the season is still young and dreams are still big. A lot has to happen before we find out who rules supreme in the Big Ten. Heck, Indiana and Northwestern are still undefeated. Teams such as Iowa, Purdue and Penn State will bounce back from their early season losses. Others have big tests coming up in the next few weeks. As for my prediction, I would watch out for those Buckeyes, but the scrappy Badgers will have something to say about it. Enjoy the football, people.

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Don’t panic yet Colts fans

I know what all you Colts fans were thinking last Sunday during the treacherous loss to the Texans. It’s only the first game of the season and we still almost squeaked out a win with injuries more rampant than the number of Texans cheerleaders. While the offensive line is clearly not at full strength, key losses such as Bob Sanders and Anthony Gonzales don’t help the cause either. Now I know it is early, but let’s face it: Sanders is the Greg Oden of football. Lots of promise and even success (2007 Defensive Player of the Year), but when you’re struggling with injuries the first week of a grueling 16-game slate, it’s not a good sign.

But hey, Manning looked good right? Looks like his offseason commercial plunge, hasn’t deterred him any. The four-time MVP attempted and completed the most passes in his illustrious 13 year NFL career (Note: I didn’t say advertising career). Granted, if I went out there and threw the ball around 57 times I think I could complete a couple of them. That is, as long as I’m not thwarted by the referees ballspotting rule.

Honestly though, it’s not like the Colts offense is rocket science, but rushing the ball only 10 times in a game is about as predictable as your 10th grade Anatomy teacher saying “Let’s be mature about this guys.” Yet with 463 total yards of offense something has to be on the rise, but it’s not their win total.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here: it was the Houston Texans. You know, that team formed in 2002, that team Indy has beat 15 out of 16 times. I mean, they can be up 20 points late in the 4th quarter, and the Colts still have a chance, right?

Wrong. Not when your defense gives up the second largest rushing performance in the history of opening weekend. They simply couldn’t stop the guy wearing #23. (Much to the shocking delight of his fantasy football owners.) A year ago, Arian Foster was wearing a yellow penny running around the Texans practice field. On Sunday, he was scampering all over the Colts front line which seemed to have more room to get around than the new IWU chapel.

The question is: have the Colts lost some of their dominance? Now I know it is only one game, but the AFC South and other divisions are getting stronger every year. And guess what their focus is on? How do we beat the Colts, or the Ravens per say? Every team in the conference is fine-tuning their roster to get over that hump and beat the best.

Yes, I know there’s alot more football to be played until the fat lady sings, but the Colts aren’t going to be able to breeze their way into the AFC Championship or even the playoffs. That target on their back is looming large and growing every week. They are going to get the best shot from every team this season. The determining factor will be if they can take the punches and roll or get cocky and KO’d.

If they are the same resilient Colts I have seen in the past, then you can expect great things this year. But get one thing straight: it ain’t always easy being the favorite.

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