Friday , December 22, 2017 - 7:53 PM1 comment
While coaches like a pair of tune-up games, the prospect of hosting three non-Division-I teams is less than thrilling for fans.
Here’s what Weber State athletic director Jerry Bovee said Friday about the program’s scheduling efforts, preferences and plans.
Has this number of non-Division-I games become the new reality of scheduling? In the past, you’ve talked about efforts to secure stronger home games, better opponents.
Bovee: We have this year. We had a guarantee with Pine Bluff, a Division-I school. We actually have more home games this year than I think we’ve had in my time here.
For us, this year at least, it was to use all the opportunities we have available to use by rule. You can already play two (non-DI games), and because we played in the tournament in The Bahamas, we were able to get one more that was just an additional game. We didn’t charge our fans for that extra game, we just added it to the schedule.
But I can see a time coming — we’re having some discussions in the Big Sky where we’re looking at do we even allow ... I think we’ll get to a place where we don’t allow three, even if you get one legally by playing in a non-exempt tournament, which is what we did this year. This year was a quirk because we played in an event that allowed us to play an extra game, so we took an extra game.
When you’re trying to obtain those games that fans, at least, might say “Oh, that’s a good one,” does it help when they actually show up?
Bovee: Sure. I get that it’s Christmas time and there’s a lot of other things going on, but ... when you’ve got a team like Pepperdine coming in from the WCC on a return game from our game there last year ... I was hoping that would be a game that would excite the fans. But I know we live in a time when there’s a lot of things to be involved with and it’s a Christmas holiday time.
So I’m hoping that we’ll continue to see those kind of games come here and our basketball fans will embrace it ... I mean, we did play a good game at home.
Is there anything official yet with the Big Sky next year and if you’ll play 20 conference games?
Bovee: We’re talking about how to do that, but next year — because there are some that already have games scheduled — I don’t know in 2018 we’ll be at 20, but I think by 2019 we will.
I’m in favor of that. It gets us another home, Division-I game and it helps sure up the conference standings when everybody plays everybody.
What would you and coaches prefer once you have 20 conference games? Because that limits your non-conference opportunities.
Bovee: The plan is always to play as many games at home as you can and to play Division-I games. We’ll play a non-Division-I game — (Randy) Rahe likes to play one around this time right before they go off to holiday break ... and one early in the year so that you’re getting a warm-up game.
Other than that ... I don’t know if it does a lot for you. So the plan is still to play Division-I teams. We’ll play in the Beehive Classic, we’re still going to be in a home-and-home series with BYU and Utah State, and we’ll still try to get good home-and-home, non-league games. As opportunities come up, we’ll look at guarantee games at home without a return trip.
We want Division-I teams and we want a good home schedule. I’d rather play at home, our record at home is good.
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