Mossman Prophecies No. 027
July 2, 2007
SoonerSports.com receives many emails from fans and
we are grateful for the input. We make an attempt to
acknowledge all of them and answer in more detail when
Over the years, we’ve seen a few common themes
that probably would be better addressed in a public
forum for all to see. So here goes...
Reader Comment: OU's student-athletes graduate
at an alarmingly low rate.
I actually addressed this in last
week’s column, but it’s simply not
true. The same people that developed the Rubik’s
Cube came up with graduation rate formulas. Many count
transfers and early professional departures as non-graduates.
The public at-large assumes that graduation rates measure
the rate of graduation among those student-athletes
that complete their athletic eligibility. They don’t.
But if they did, you would see that Sooner student-athletes
graduate very consistently at 80 percent.
If you ever get a minute, stop by the Prentice Gautt
Student Life Center at the stadium. If you can walk
through that facility and claim that OU is not committed
to the academic success of its student athletes I’ll
eat the cover off the Schooner.
Reader Comment: The OU Athletics Department
doesn't support its hockey (men's soccer, rugby, etc.)
Those sports in particular are club sports that do
not operate under the auspices of the intercollegiate
athletics department. OU sponsors 20 sports and those
20 are a handful. There are dozens of club sports and
competitive activities on campus that function independent
of the athletics department.
From a staffing and budgetary standpoint, it would
be impractical for the athletics department to also
take on the club sports. And for the record, the way
OU’s campus and athletics department handle club
sports is typical of what you will find throughout
Reader Comment: The Department continues to
reduce the number of student tickets to provide more
We never change the number of student tickets or their
location for anything without input from student leadership
groups on campus. If we do reduce student ticket availability
for a specific sport, it is because the number of tickets
has exceeded demand.
It is rare when an OU student is unable to purchase
a student ticket for any event. And remember, OU students
pay no admission charge for 18 of the school’s
20 sports and they pay no fee that benefits the athletics
Reader Comment: OU received a check for $17
million for football's appearance in the 2007 Tostitos
We wish. The final bookkeeping is still being completed,
but the total payout for the game was projected at
$14-$17 million per participant.
In OU’s case, that check goes to the Big 12 Conference
for equal distribution among the conference members.
Except for its travel stipend, the participating school
receives the same amount as the other 11 league members.
Reader Comment: The OU Athletics compliance
office should be able to keep tabs on all student-athletes.
There are 400 or so student-athletes at Oklahoma. They
receive hours of tutoring, social skills training,
etc. At some point, they, as adults, need to experience
college minus the meddling of an athletics department.
Good compliance practices are a must. Playing Big Brother,
aside from being impossible, would kill any school
with future prospects.
Will a small minority embarrass themselves and the
school by making mistakes? Absolutely. Young adults
have been doing as much for years.
Our job is to educate and discipline when called upon
to do so. Aside from that, personal responsibility
still falls on each and every one of us.
Reader Comment: I didn't know about the game.
The department just doesn't do enough to promote games
Aside from sports talk radio stations that discuss
upcoming events, television newscasts that do the same,
newspaper articles that do the same, web sites, including
our own, that do the same and schedule posters and
cards that are distributed through various outlets,
there really isn’t much notice about OU sporting
Just so you know, the athletics media relations office
bombards local outlets with thorough releases before
and after EVERY sporting event. Each of those also
is posted at SoonerSports.com. If you’re really
someone that wants to attend an event, getting the
dates and times is easy.
The information age has pretty much cooked this particular
Reader Comment: The Sooner Club is exclusively
for the biggest donors.
It takes a gift of just $100 to become a member of
the Sooner Club and begin receiving donor benefits.
Reader Comment: Why are tickets so expensive?
Haven't we already paid enough through fees and taxes?
Relative to its peers and success rate, OU’s
tickets are fairly average in price. The athletics
department receives nothing in the way of tax or student
Reader Comment: OU's student-athletes are segregated
from the student body by living in exclusive athletics
That was true several years ago, but no more. The NCAA
does not permit housing that is set aside for athletes
Reader Comment: Oklahoma should enlarge the
football stadium to accommodate everyone on the waiting
A few other schools have gone on an enlargement binge,
then couldn’t fill all the seats. I think most
successful business operators would tell you that things
run best when demand is running slightly ahead of supply.
We’re on a nice string of sellouts right now,
but still get well into Friday or even Saturday morning
sometimes when selling single game tickets that were
either unclaimed by students or returned by the opponent.
It appears from where we sit that the current capacity
is a good fit for OU.
Reader Comment: I'm only a small retailer.
I should be able to sell items with the OU logo.
Oklahoma protects its logo by requiring items to be
licensed. While the licensing program does generate
revenue for the department, it also provides important
protection as to how the logo can be used.
That control is vital and well within the standard
practices at most high-profile universities or companies.
Besides, enforcing a licensing program that is inconsistent
in its application is very difficult.
One thing you learn very quickly at a place like OU
is that every move you make establishes a precedent.
Reader Comment: OU should release recruiting
information and have message boards. Everyone else
The NCAA prohibits the release of recruiting information
prior to signing day so our hands are tied on that
front. As for the message boards, no other Division
I school sanctions one. There must be a reason.
If the boards were not anonymous in nature and if the
content remained always positive, e.g., the sort of
thing a prospect might read and be attracted to, then
maybe. But I don’t see that day coming any time
I always find it interesting that fans of a program
could be so negative in a public forum when writing
on an entity they claim to support. We’re all
entitled to our opinions, but to think they can always
be posted in a public setting and not sometimes serve
as a detriment, especially in a business so driven
by recruiting and public perception, is incorrect
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Kenny Mossman, Associate Athletics Director for
Communications, provides his perspective on Oklahoma
Athletics in his regular column on SoonerSports.com.