In our premium content, I have a one-on-one interview in its entirety that I conducted last week with Indiana athletic director Fred Glass. Glass was hired at a tumultuous time in IU history, beginning his job on Jan. 1, 2009. Since then he has orchestrated some major changes in the IU athletic department.
At the time he was hired, Glass was Indiana's fifth athletic director in eight years. Now the Hoosiers have a little stability as the top of the department as Glass is in his fifth year at IU.
In the interview, he talks about all of the changes, some thoughts on things to come, as well as his own opinion regarding whether IU should tear down Assembly Hall and get a new arena, or renovate the current building.
The interview ends with me doing my Five Questions segment that I have with Indiana athletes but I've turned the table and asked them of the IU athletic director. He reveals in that segment his favorite IU basketball player of all-time, his favorite place to eat in Bloomington back in the late 1970s and early 1980s when he attended school there, his favorite kind of music, thoughts on why Brebeuf High School churns out so many athletic directors and his disclosure of his mentor growing up.
Here's a sampling of what you'll get in the interview. Here's the link to the premium story and the entire interview.. One-on-One with IU A.D. Fred Glass
I asked Glass about all of the changes every year in Memorial Stadium designed to enhance the fan experience.
"This may be kind of a flippant comparison but football is a little bit like King's Island,'' Glass said. "If you're not adding a new ride every year to capture people's imagination, they start to lose interest. And I think people understandably wonder if Indiana is really serious about getting better in football and we try to answer that every year by showing the investments that we've made. Perhaps the most important investment was bringing in Kevin Wilson. We doubled the head coach's salary to get someone of his caliber. We doubled the salaries of the assistant coaches, we increased our strength and conditioning coaches from two to the NCAA maximum of five. So whether it's traditions, game day experiences, infrastructure or people, we feel like we're making the investments to get Indiana football to where we want it to be.''
In a snippet from a much longer answer talking about Assembly Hall, it's clear Glass is more in favor of renovation than building a new arena.
"I know it has some issues and we're trying to address those but it's a very, very cool place,'' Glass said. "I think it's a competitive advantage. Even if we could change it for free, I'm not sure we would want do that. But the fact is we couldn't change it for free. It would cost about $300 million dollars by my best guesstimate. And I think that would suck the oxygen out of just about everything else we were trying to do here if we were chasing that. And then the product is not even that desirable, I don't think, to have a new stadium. And then how do you make it look different than a place like Wisconsin or Ohio State or different than a lot of the new stadiums?''
That should give you a feel for the interview. If you click on this link you can read the entire interview I had with Glass. In the premium version there is also a video of that interview that AllHoosiers.com staffer Nolan Blair did to a accompany the story.
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