Athletics workgroup works on preliminary recommendations

Cassie Buchman, News Editor


Workgroup No. 4, focusing on intercollegiate athletics, talked about prioritizing parts of their preliminary reports and looked at data at their meeting Monday.

This preliminary report is due Tuesday and will go to Eastern President David Glassman, the vice presidents and unit leaders.

Workgroup chair Tami Babbs, assistant comptroller, said everyone seems to be in agreement with what is being put in the recommendations.

While she said she thinks the recommendations will be released once the president looks at them, she did not say what they would be yet.

“Since it’s just in draft form, I don’t feel like I should share,” Babbs said. “I think it should go to the president first.”

Babbs said the group is recommending things that will improve athletics, as well as improving the student’s experience.

“(The recommendations) will definitely improve the university,” Babbs said. “I feel like it’s positive.”

Chemistry professor Dan Sheeran said something about the Academic Center is probably worth putting in the preliminary reports.

He said the center is a place all student athletes have access too.

Steve Rich, assistant vice president for university advancement, said there are also programs like it for non-athlete students.

During the meeting, the group talked about prioritizing and organizing their feedback for the preliminary recommendations.

Babbs ended up taking the group’s feedback and putting it in the report.

She said everyone in the group’s considerations could be taken.

The group will prioritize ideas in the report. If needed, they will put in their own ideas and recommendations.

“I want to take everyone’s comments and make it right,” Babbs said. “Don’t assume just because I put it in there that’s how it’s going to go. I want you to look at the documents with new eyes.”

She said she took the group’s comments and tried to reflect in the report what the members were trying to say.

Rich said going through the preliminary report will be less about disagreeing with what’s on it and more about putting in different ideas that could work.

“You should be prioritizing,” Babbs said. “Unless you find something you do not like at all.”

The group also looked at some of the data posted on the vitalization project webpage, though they agreed that they had a lot of data to go through for the small amount of time they had to come up with the recommendations.

“It doesn’t feel like we had a lot of time to analyze numbers and where they come,” Babbs said.

She said they wanted to compare Eastern to other universities, but even if they received the information from other schools, there might not have even been time to look at them.

“We were hoping the (Ohio Valley Conference) would have a report,” Babbs said. However, group members did not find any information of that kind.

She said the data provided online on the vitalization project website was from 2011 to 2014 and the profit/loss sheets.

Sheeran said he got lost looking at some of the numbers and reconciling them.

“There’s not enough time, too much data,” Sheeran said. “There is a fuzziness in these.” Because the recommendation the group made used a lot of numbers, Sheeran is going to look at it again and make it easier to interpret and understand, Babbs said.

Babbs said there is no new data the group needs to see. The members are going to use what Sheeran writes up in regards to the data to finalize their preliminary report.

However, Babbs does not think looking at these numbers or the data again will change things in the recommendation.

“I think we understood, we just want to make sure it’s clear to the president,” Babbs said.

Now, the group has set a tentative next meeting date for Tuesday, Nov. 29. Babbs said hopefully, all that will be needed then is some tweaking for the final report.

The final report and recommendations are due Thursday, Dec.15.

She said she assumes the reports will be available then; however, Babbs said it is ultimately the president’s call.


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]