Dec. 7, 2010
1. Indiana University is absolutely committed to improving the football program.
a. Coaching: Indiana is prepared to make the financial resources available for its new head coach and his staff to insure that we get the people we want and need to lead IU to Big Ten competitiveness.
b. Facilities: The $60 million "North End Zone" facility opened in 2009 creates a Big Ten quality "horse shoe" stadium, a 25,000 square foot strength and conditioning center (one of the largest, if not the largest, of its kind in the country) and premier coaches offices co-located with the Athletic Director and other senior athletic department administrators. Combined with the brand new $2 million scoreboard (among the very largest in the country), the existing Mellencamp indoor practice facility, the two adjacent outdoor practice fields, the stadium-located Academic Center and Training Table, IU has one of the very best football complexes in the country.
c. Academic Support: This year IU opened a state of the art 25,800 square foot academic center physically located in the football stadium complex. We have added academic advisors to take us from ninth to third in the conference for student-athlete to academic advisor ratio. Last year the football team posted a multi-year APR score of 969, placing IU in the top 20 percent of Division I football teams. 94 percent of student-athletes who exhaust their eligibility earn an IU degree (third in the conference). Last year we had more student-athletes named Academic All big Ten than anyone else in the conference on a pro rata basis.
d. Attendance: As a result of the extensive facility improvements, dramatic enhancements to the "game day experience", and aggressive marketing, football attendance has increased to record levels the last two years despite the team's losing records during that time. In 2009, average attendance increased by more than 10,000 per game and was the third largest one year percentage increase in the country. Student and overall attendance were at their respective highest levels since 1992. In 2010, despite our traditionally two most popular games (Ohio State and Purdue) being on the road, our home attendance exceeded even that of the previous year. Season ticket sales are at a ten year high.
2. IU leadership is stable.
President Michael A. McRobbie was recently given a multiyear extension by the Board of Trustees which will keep him as President at least through 2017. IU alumnus Fred Glass (B.A.'81, J.D. '84) is his Athletic Director (and University Vice-President), President McRobbie having hired him as of January, 2009. At 51, Glass plans to remain athletic director until he retires at 65.
3. The football cupboard is not bare.
The program enjoys a strong foundation of quality student-athletes. For 2011, 8 of 11 offensive starters return, 9 of 11 defensive starters return, and all punters and place kickers return. Returners are expected to include the entire highly regarded receiving corps led by Tandon Doss, Damarlo Belcher, Ted Bosler and others as well as running back Darius Willis and defensive standouts Jeff Thomas, Darius Johnson, and Adam Replogle. Recently recruited players have been retained and developed: 18 of 18 class of 2009 recruits are still in the program (all but one red-shirted); 22 of 25 class of 2010 recruits are still in the program (19 of 20 high school recruits red-shirted); and there are 20 verbal commitments for the well regarded recruiting class of 2011.
4. Indiana's basketball program is very positive for the football program.
Indiana's strong basketball tradition can strongly support rebuilding its football program. The incredible atmosphere of Assembly Hall is helpful with recruit visits, and the increasing success and notoriety of the basketball program (particularly its recent recruiting successes) can help get the attention of football recruits who are often also involved with, or at least interested in, basketball. Head men's basketball coach Tom Crean is also a "football guy" who is known for actively supporting the recruiting of other IU sports programs. Tom's brothers-in-law are John Harbaugh (head coach of the Baltimore Ravens) and Jim Harbaugh (head coach of the Stanford Cardinal). His father-in-law is former long-time college coach Jack Harbaugh. Tom's recently hired strength and condition coach is Je'Ney Jackson who was the long-time defensive backs coach for the Kansas University football team.
5. The Big Ten Conference provides an unparalleled stage and opportunity for success.
The Big Ten Network provides more, broader television exposure for all Big Ten football teams than any other conference in the country. With eight contracted bowl arrangements, The Big Ten Conference has more prominent, deeper, and more lucrative bowl opportunities than any other conference in the country, including the "granddaddy of them all", the Rose Bowl. The new Big Ten championship game is poised to become the most watched conference football championship game in the country. The Big Ten Conference enjoys some of most notable, largest and well-attended football stadiums in the country. Over the last several years, other "down" football programs in the conference have risen to sustained success, including Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Iowa. It can be done in this conference. It can be done at Indiana.
6. Indiana University is a world-class institution which is very attractive to prospective student-athletes and their families.
IU-Bloomington offers more than 520 undergraduate and graduate degree programs with 180 majors through 13 schools - together offering more than 4,000 courses each semester. IU is one of only 63 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities. IU is perennially ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best public universities (ranked 32 in 2010) and offers many top-ranked programs throughout the university. In 2003, Sports Illustrated on Campus named Bloomington one of the nation's top 10 college sports towns. IU's 540,000 living alumni worldwide is the nation's third largest and constitutes a huge ready-made network for graduating student-athletes. Time magazine named IU its "2001 College of the Year" among major research universities. IU, the southernmost campus in the Big Ten, enjoys comparatively temperate weather and is often recognized as having one of the very most beautiful campuses in the country.
7. The Spirit of Indiana: 24 Sports, One Team.
As the accompanying portfolio describes in more detail, IU recently adopted this creed and established the complimentary Leadership Academy as a statement of who we are and who we become. It's our touchstone, our standard for setting priorities, allocating resources, and making decisions. It distinguishes us.
The Spirit of Indiana: 24 Sports, One Team
We are able people of integrity who play by the rules.
We reach our highest academic potential and earn Indiana University degrees.
We reach our highest athletic potential and win championships.
We are unselfish leaders and teammates.
We represent Indiana University with passion, appreciation, respect and distinction.
We are positive, responsible, inclusive and integrated with our University.
We are a part of something bigger than ourselves.