Lions Roar Q & A 05-08-20

Thanks to all the Lions fans who submitted questions for this edition of the Lions Roar Q & A. LMU Athletic Director Craig Pintens was kind enough to answers questions for the week.

Has there been discussion among athletic directors to change 2020/21 athletic scheduling to accommodate more local travel vs. national travel for sports teams?

There are a number of schools that have adopted this model.   We have a few schools that were scheduled to come here that have canceled in various sports.   Everyone is trying to reduce expenses and certainly this is one option.   We are fortunate to have a number of Division I schools within driving distance.

Is there a contingency plan for LMU athletics if mass gatherings are still not allowed as a result of Covid-19?

There are contingencies on the contingency, which could change the contingency if the contingency happens.  We are working through various scenarios.   There are not any definitive answers, which can be frustrating and it is a moving target.   The great thing about working in college athletics is we are very adaptable.

Are there plans for LMU to bring back a student/community pep band to enhance the fan experience for basketball games?

It is rather unique that we don’t have a pep band, as it is an important part of the college basketball experience.   We do not have any immediate plans to bring back a pep band.   If we are going to do anything, we are going to ensure we can do it right.   If there is somebody out there capable of solving this both musically and financially, we certainly will listen.

Is there an athletic program you would like to model LMU after or emulate?

This is a great question.   I have been fortunate to work at some outstanding universities and athletic departments and have seen success at the highest level.  We want to be the premier Division I-AAA (non-football Division I) school in the country.   Based on the Director’s Cup, the University of Denver has claimed that title eleven times in the past twelve years.   The standings from 2018-2019 are here.   There isn’t a certain school that we want to model or emulate, as we want to be the best version of LMU we can possibly be.   A lot of the schools in the Big East and a Jesuit school in the WCC provide a great blueprint of broad-based excellence when basketball is the focal point of the athletic department.

Do you think the possibility of no football in the Fall will bankrupt many NCAA programs?

Football in the fall has become a very important topic in college athletics and rightfully so.  There is a wide range of what football means to an institution.  At the Division III level with no scholarships, it is an important driver of enrollment.  At the Power Five level, it can represent the majority of revenue.   If revenue is affected, departments will have to replace lost revenue or reduce operating expenses.   If you are curious as to what type of affect it has, the best website is the Equity in Athletics Data Analysis, as it can provide a general sense of the finances of college athletics.

Will the NCAA consider following the lead of some high schools and play non-contact sports in the Fall and pushing back contact sports to the Spring?

I am personally unfamiliar with what is happening on the high school level or this proposal.  The NCAA put out a “Core Principles of Resocialization of Collegiate Sport” which more eloquently states all the complexities of sports starting.   Ultimately, any decisions we make will be in the best interest of the health and safety of our student-athletes.

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 lmulionsroar@gmail.com, and we’ll do our best to get them answered for you.

Go Lions!