Welcome to our first installment of the Lions Roar Mailbag, where you can send us your questions and we’ll get them to the appropriate people for answers.
In this edition, LMU Athletic Director Craig Pintens provides us with insightful answers to reader questions about the WCC, LMU, finances and more.
In an unprecedented move, the NCAA cancelled this year’s national basketball tournament. How does this affect the West Coast Conference and LMU, financially and otherwise?
The WCC was experiencing a fantastic year, with three teams anticipated to participate in the NCAA men’s tournament and two teams in the NCAA women’s tournament. It is heartbreaking that we didn’t have an opportunity for those teams to compete in the post-season, especially for those student-athletes that exhausted their eligibility.
The financial implications are being felt throughout college athletics. The distribution from the NCAA is $375 million less than what was anticipated. This affects every school in the country to varying degrees, as this money is included in budgets at the beginning of a fiscal year. We have and will be making adjustments to our budget as a result.
What can you tell us about basketball scheduling at this time?
Basketball scheduling takes place year round and the majority of the schedule for the 2020-2021 season is in place. With just a sixteen game schedule in the WCC, we have two extra non-conference games each year that must be scheduled. As other conferences increase the number of conference games, it becomes even more difficult to find non-conference opponents. In addition, with COVID-19 creating budgetary concerns across the country, it could change scheduling philosophies in the future. We are looking forward to assisting the new staff on building competitive schedules in the future. Last year, our overall schedule was ranked 77th in the country according to the NCAA Net rankings and 148th for non-conference.
Is there a strategy for paying opponents to play at LMU, known as “buy” games, and vice versa, LMU being paid to play on the road?
We anticipate continuing to play guarantee games at home, as this is something we currently budget for. If there are opportunities to receive an appearance fee on the road and it fits within our scheduling philosophy in a given season, we will schedule the game.
If you have questions for LMU Athletic Director Craig Pintens, Head Coach Stan Johnson, Iggy the Lion or anyone else in the LMU family, email us at email@example.com, and we’ll do our best to get them answered for you.
Thanks for sending and Go Lions!