Van De Velde answers the tough questions

After this mornings press conference Bruce Van De Velde took time to tackle the media's tough questions ranging from his contract to the Larry Eustachy situation.

[Inaudible question]

 

Van De Velde: As athletic director you're in a situation where you have to make a lot of decisions and I made those decisions. My administrational style is to be decisive and to move forward and we did that, but that comes with the position and I accept that and I understand that in intercollegiate athletics its very competitive business and you make decisions and then you move on and that's what I've done here.

 

Did the University treat you fairly?

 

Van De Velde: I think that I offered to step down so the University could move forward. I felt like I had accomplished all I could accomplish here and it was a very, very good time for me to make this transition.

 

Did you feel there were people who wanted you to leave?

 

Van De Velde: No, I didn't necessarily feel that way. You always hear rumors and those kinds of things, but not that I know of. Nobody would come up and tell that to my face anyways.

 

Where you asked to resign?

 

Van De Velde: No, I did this because I think in the long run it's the best for me and the athletic department, and it's a good time. When I came here I really felt that I was the turnaround specialist and I feel like I've turned this thing around.

 

I've really worked hard at instilling integrity in the department. Instilling some financial discipline in the department and growing revenues and getting us back on our feet. As you guys know athletics can't survive unless it has a financial engine behind it and that's what Iowa State needed and we're on our way to doing it now.

 

Did you want a year-to-year to deal?

 

Van De Velde: You can't talk about what ifs because you don't know.

 

Do you plan on looking for a job where you have to turn the program around?

 

Van De Velde: I do, I feel like I'm a turnaround specialist. I really do and I'm proud of the things we've achieved here. I think the foundation for success is here for my successor.

 

What kind of person is next?

 

Van De Velde: That's up to President Geoffroy. He has to look for the person who Is the best fit for him.

 

What kind of financial terms are you on with the University?

 

Van De Velde: I'm still on contract. I'll remain on contract until the end of the year and then I'll be working on some consulting with the University.

 

One of the things I'm excited bout is the Hilton Coliseum project we've got that underway now. We've finished the fundraising and the planning for the Academic Center and that's coming out of the ground. The next big thing is the renovation of Hilton Coliseum and we're close to putting that in motion, so I'll be working closely with the University on that.

 

Characterize your relationship with the financial contributors.

 

Van De Velde: I think good, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to build our revenues and you don't increase your budget $10 million annually if you don't raise $25 million dollars - capital fund hits every five years.

 

We just came off raising $5 million in eight months for the Academic Center, you don't do that if you don't have a real good relationship with supporters and you know the neat thing is that's going to continue because we have 2,000 new donors to the National Cyclone Club. Since I arrived we have 11,000 new season ticket holders and that's revenue that comes in every year. So what's important to me is that the students won't have to worry about cuts.

 

How long have you been thinking about this?

 

Van De Velde: I think over July 4th I stated thinking about it and then what was the best long term interest for me, personally, my family and then the athletic department. I thought about it over the weekend. I went home and spent some time with my family and then came back this morning and was firm in my decision.

 

Have you interviewed at schools in the last couple of months?

 

Van De Velde: I have not.

 

Throughout the last five years?

 

Van De Velde: I would not comment on that.

 

Comments on the Larry Eustachy situation.

 

Van De Velde: First let me say this because there has been quiet a bit of talk about that. My administrative style is to be very decisive to make decisions and to move forward.

 

That was a very complex situation, there were contractual matters that had to be addressed and it was very much in the attorney's hands how that got handled and played out. It was not a lack of lets make the decision and move forward, that's not properly characterized.

 

What distressed you about the situation?

 

Van De Velde: What distressed me was as role models, as adults we have a responsibility for providing good character and integrity and when that doesn't happen - when adults don't act that way it's distressing to me as an athletic director.

 

Was that your most challenging time?

 

Van De Velde: I don't know if that was my most challenging. I don't know if I have one. I think in this job every day is challenge but it's also very rewarding as you guys know. It's fun to be here for the challenges and it's even funner for the rewards. I can't believe how much optimism and confidence there is for Iowa State here in the future.

 

What was it like talking to the staff this morning?

 

Van De Velde: It was hard because there were so many new faces in there from five years ago. People that I've hired and that I've placed.

 

You look around the room and you start to see all the new people who are in place, so it was difficult to speak to those people but at the same time, they know they run the department and they have to keep doing their job. They have a lot of pride in this place and I want them to continue to do a good job and feel that pride and that sense of accomplishment.


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