Q. Tell us about about the health of the basketball team?
A. Ryan Hogan is progressing nicely from his knee surgery. Luke Recker's injury took so long to show healing that they were considering operating. Finally an MRI revealed healing in the patella. He played hard at the scrimmage the last two weeks and has had no adverse effects. He should be 100% for the season. Brody Boyd looked good in an individual workout that Bob saw this week. Weight training and good food has Sean Sonderleiter up to 255 pounds. Not to be outdone by Sean, Jared Reiner is now 275. Freshman Erek Hansen is a very good athlete. Although they would like to redshirt him, he may be too good. He adds speed and running ability to the inside in addition to being a natural shot blocker. Although at 6-11, 207, he is a little light for the Big Ten wars.
Q. What about Jermelle Lewis?
A. Jermelle is in the doghouse some with the coaches because he has the ability to do well in school, but dropped the ball. He has had to get a loan to pay the out of state tuition since ineligible players do not qualify for aid in the Big Ten. His slow progress at running back probably had something to do with his effort in school. Aaron Greving, Siaka Massaquoi and Fred Russell all stepped up their games. Jermelle has now been given a wake-up call and should respond in a positive manner.
Q. Can you tell more us about the Aiello/Beutjer incident?
A. I really think that most things should be left unsaid. Jon, on his own, would probably have stayed at Iowa. However, his father was upset since Jon didn't play again after recuperating from his injury last season. Jim Beutjer was the real antagonist here. Sam Aiello had even worked for the Beutjer family business last Christmas break. The altercation was over a lot more than just $22.
Q. Can I improve my season basketball tickets this year?
A. Highly unlikely. The students may purchase an additional 1,000 tickets. That will displace 1,000 season ticket holders from last season. Level of contribution, years giving, years buying basketball tickets will all be considered in deciding who will get tickets.
Q. What about the future of non-revenue sports?
A. Sports like swimming and gymnastics have athletes that work just as hard as football and basketball players. Unfortunately, they don't have the fan appeal or following of the major sports. ISU has an easier program to run because they only compete in 17 sports to Iowa's 24. At some point, I may be forced to consider dropping some sports, but will delay it as long as possible.
Q. Will Kinnick Stadium be replaced?
A. At one time, we considered a long-term plan to build a new stadium outside of town. However, that idea has been squashed. Given the current construction costs, a new stadium would cost $400-500 million dollars. Obviously, we always preferred the current setting within the University community. However, we will have to make improvements to Kinnick to keep up with the times. A new south end zone, new bathrooms and concession stands, new wiring and plumbing, and possibly a new press box with additional skyboxes are being considered. The improvements will reflect the architecture and tradition of Kinnick. I don't want a pro stadium look. Therefore, we will just have to put up with the parking problems we have now. Total cost of Kinnick improvements could reach $75-100 million dollars.
Q. How many Iowa vs Duke tickets can I get for the November game at the United Center in Chicago?
A. We should be able to fill all requests.