CN: How would you grade Jamie Pollard so far as the athletic director?
Whitver: I think that he has to get an A so far. From the beginning, the thing that I was impressed with was that he was set on turning the entire phase of Cyclone athletics into a program that can compete with anybody on a national level. He's done little things throughout the time to get the ball rolling and get people excited. I think that the overwhelmingly majority of people think he's a great AD.
CN: What did you think of selling football tickets for $10 last year?
Whitver: I think that was one of the best ideas that he's had since he got here. The fact that he was able to fill up the stadium during a game that normally wouldn't have been filled up, in the middle of a tornado, which did a lot for the program. That brought a lot of people in who don't normally go to games or don't normally don't want to go to games. On top of that, they saw one of the best Cyclone wins in the past few years. Those people who normally wouldn't be there, well they were there and they saw a great game with a great atmosphere. That gets the players excited. The players want to get off the bus and see a packed parking lot and a packed stadium. That gets them ready to play so little things like that he's done go a long ways in building the program.
CN: What are your thoughts on this $135 million expansion?
Whitver: I think that is an extremely
ambitious goal but the thing is, Jamie Pollard has been at two places that have
previously totally turned their programs around. He was at
CN: Do you think he can produce
the same kind of turnaround at
Whitver: I think that he is setting the
program up to do that. Now there are a lot of other people who factor into this.
Jamie Pollard can't do it all by himself. He needs alumni; he needs the teams to
perform on the field. It's not an easy thing to do. We have a guy at the top of
the ladder right now, in Jamie Pollard who can be a catalyst to turn this
program around. As a Cyclone fan, and a former player I can only hope that he
can do the same thing that he did at
CN: What has made Pollard such a good AD in this short period that he's been here?
Whitver: I think the biggest thing that
he's done is the fact that he's seen top notch athletic programs and he's not
afraid to come in and tell fans, players and coaches what it takes. He basically
said that the stadium looks like garbage not being bowled in. That's something
in the past that people thought, but they didn't say it out loud. He's not
afraid to stand up, put his foot down and say this is how it's got to be. If we
want to be big time, we've got to do it this way. He's not being political; he's
just telling it how it is.