Ask The AD: More Of Your Questions Answered

Nov. 15, 2006

You can see the complete history of Ron Wellman's answers here:

Q: I think you are doing a great job, keep up the good work. My question is about the university adopting Nike as the sponsor and uniform provider for all of its sports. I think that this hinders some of the smaller sports such as Soccer (especially men's) and Field Hockey while not providing a significant impact to the sports that are already Nike like Football and Basketball. Take for instance Soccer (Adidas) and Field Hockey (UnderArmour, I believe), they are near the top of the national rankings in both the polls and attendance. Accordingly, these programs are top priorities for their respective sponsors allowing them to receive top-notch service and attention. By switching to Nike, these sports will go from a priority to an afterthought. Nike sponsors so many programs that they won't be able to provide the same service that Adidas and UnderArmour have over the past few years. I understand that these are not "revenue sports", but they have been much more successful t! han the football and basketball teams and deserve the right to choose their sponsor themselves. Thank you for taking my question.

-- Jeff / November 15, 2006

Q: I e-mailed Nike the other day in regard to getting some replica football jerseys and they e-mailed back and said they had some. I was wondering if you could contact them to see if we could get those in the Deacon Store. I would greatly appreciate ANYTHING you could do for all these fans that would buy one. (I know a bunch of people would!)

-- Blair Smith / November 15, 2006

A: Our approach to selecting an equipment sponsor is to determine what is best for the entire department. As you know, Nike has been our sponsor for football, men and women's basketball, men and women's golf for a number of years. When we renegotiated that contract, Nike expressed an interest in becoming the sponsor for all of our sports. After lengthy discussions, Nike convinced us that they will treat all of our teams equally well. There are many benefits for us to be associated with just one sponsor rather than having different sponsors for different teams. We would only make this change with the assurance that all sports will be treated exceptionally well by Nike.

Q: Can you tell me the future sites of the ACC football championship game and how are those sites determined?

-- Carlos (Winston-Salem) / November 15, 2006

A: The sites are determined by a vote of the ACC Athletic Directors. As you know, Jacksonville was awarded the game the first two years (2005 and 2006). Since Jacksonville was an excellent host last year (we had the best attendance and highest television ratings of all the conference championship games) and the ticket sales for this year's game are excellent, I am confident that we will return to Jacksonville for at least the 2007 game. I hope you will have the opportunity to go to the championship game as it is quite an event.

Q: What are the chances of a UNC-Wake football game on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008, which will be the 120th anniversary of each school's first-ever football game, against each other?

-- Jason / November 15, 2006

A: The conference schedules all of our conference games. A number of factors are taken into consideration but I am not aware that "anniversary" games are given much, if any, consideration. However, I will notify the conference of the anniversary date of this game and maybe they will attempt to schedule it on the mid-October date.

Q: Wake has experienced some devastating early season injuries.What are the chances the NCAA will extend the careers of these players.

-- Bill Sater / November 15, 2006

A: We will apply for medical hardship waivers for those players who qualify for it. The NCAA has recently "loosened up" a bit on these matters, especially as it relates to awarding a sixth year of competition for those who have been injured after they had already been awarded a medical hardship waiver or even if they had been redshirted previously. It is a rather lengthy process to apply for the medical hardship and we will do that once all of the medical documentation has been finalized.

Q: What do you think can be done to get the fans more invovled during home games? Majority of the fans just dont be into the game. The players play better and feeds off the crowd. Its terrible when the away section is lowder than the home. Also how do feel about Josh Gattis off the field sucess, as well as on the field?

-- Joe Gattis / November 15, 2006

A: Our fans could not have been better than they were at our BC game. Numerous fans who have had season tickets since Groves Stadium was opened in 1968 told me that it was the best atmosphere they had ever witnessed at one of our games. Our challenge now is to maintain that enthusiasm at our Virginia Tech game and in future years. I am confident that our fans will continue to respond positively to our team and that the atmosphere will continue to get better and better.

Josh Gattis is a real credit to our university not only because he is a great player but also because he is an outstanding person. Our local television station did a special report on Josh a couple weeks ago. He volunteers at one of the local elementary schools. He goes to the school every week and has developed a wonderful relationship with the students in the class in which he volunteers. In fact, Josh invited them to the BC game and he took a number of them in the locker room after the game. I'm not sure who was smiling broader...Josh or his students.

Q: Will Dennis Godfrey ever play for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, or will he ever be able to enroll in school? -- A Wake Fan / November 15, 2006

A: Due to NCAA rules, we are not permitted to comment about any recruit.

Q: No question but an "attaboy" to the football team and Coach Grobe.

I live in CT and went to the WFU-UConn game in Hartford. My fiancee (a Deputy Medical Examiner for the State of CT) went and were a bit appregensive, as we were in the minority.

I basked in the victory and am proud of Our Team!!

GO DEACS!

-- The Rev. Harry A. Arsenault, Ph.D. (WFU-69) / November 15, 2006

A: I'm glad the Deacs made you proud that day and gave you bragging rights with your UCONN friends!

Q: Mr. Wellman, as a season ticket holder for men's basketball for 10+ yrs. now I have enjoyed the elevated excitment that has grown since coach Prosser has taken over the program. However, as season ticket holder who sits upstairs it would be great if the tees that are given out at the big games could be given to ALL the Deacon fans. I was also wondering if it would be possible for our pep band to learn a few new tunes...the same old same old is a bit tired considering how we are trying to create such an electric enviroment...Joy To The World seems a bit outdated. I would also like to know if there are any plans to change up the Deacon's entrance on the Harley? Thanks for everything you and your staff are doing at Wake....Go DEACS!

-- Brian / November 15, 2006

A: Thanks for your suggestions. One part of our game production that we do not want to change is our motorcycle. We have more fans commenting positively about that part of the introductions than anything we do. Regarding the t-shirts, we find sponsors for that give-away and while we encourage the sponsor to include everyone attending the game, that has not happened yet. I assure you we will keep trying. The song selection is determined by our band. They do a great job of creating a good environment but I have heard similar comments about the "consistency" of the songs being played from year to year. We will encourage them to expand their horizons a bit.

Q: An idea... I saw below a question about t-shirt giveaways (like the occasional basketball games). I like the blackout concept and agree with you that it worked well. But I also like the look of alternating black and gold colors in the sections of LJVM. I think the same effect could be achieved in Groves Stadium by alternating sections with black and gold pompoms. It seems plausible. And to do it for a TV game like BC... what a look that would give the ESPN viewers! What do you think?

-- Bret / November 15, 2006

A: I like it and will pass it along to our marketing department. One challenge would be the distribution of the correct color to the fans as they enter the game. It would be nearly impossible to put the pom-pons on the seats as we do at the basketball games with the t-shirts. We would have to put the pom-pons on the seats the day before the game. Doing that for a sport that is played outdoors is somewhat "iffy" with the possibility of bad weather. There still might be a way to overcome the logistical matters, though, so I will discuss it with our marketing staff...they are very resouceful!

Q: How should folks direct suggestions regarding game-hype ideas to the Athletic Dept.? Right now, hope of a connection is a roll of the dice.

-- Kevin / November 15, 2006

A: Contact our marketing office (336-758-5010). They will be glad to hear from you.

Q: With the upcoming game against BC, there has been talk about various promotions that have been considered and 'thundersticks' being one of them. Furthermore, it has also been brought up that such 'artificial noise makers' are prohibited. Is that an NCAA rule or ACC rule and can you explain it?

-- Matt / November 15, 2006

A: Artificial noise makers are prohibited by the NCAA which is the reason you do not see "thundersticks" at college events. Our fans did not need them at the BC game...they did a great job without them!

Q: I would just like to say that the Wake- BC game was amazing. Seeing mainly all wake fans wearing black was great. I have never been to a wake game like that and i hope that kind of atmosphere will be at the next game. Also the pom poms were a great touch, will they be giving those out again at the last home game? People i have talked to said it looked awesome seeing all the pom poms going from the tv

-- Sara / November 15, 2006

A: You are right on all accounts. I have gotten calls from across the country from people who watched the game on TV about our team and crowd. A tradition may have started that night with everyone wearing black. We plan to encourage everyone to do the same this Saturday against Virginia Tech. Go Deacs!

Q: We can all agree that todays game vs. BS is the biggest home game in recent memory. It is also being nationally televised. Why there hasn't there been a concerted effort to try to "black out" the stadium either through messages on the website or broadcast emails to the student body or both?

-- Jamie Fitzgerald / November 15, 2006

A: Our "Screamin Demons" typically wear gold to our games because that is the color of the t-shirt they are given. We did not want to change their tradition of wearing gold and thought that it would be a nice contrast to everyone else wearing black. We might try the "total black-out" against Virginia Tech.

Q: Last night at the game they gave out palm palms and had fire works was that just for one game or are we going to start doing that?

-- Dallas / November 15, 2006

A: The promotions for the BC game were just for that game but we try to do something different each game...I'm sure you'll like the production plans for the Virginia Tech game.

Q: Last wake football game there was funny sounds comming from the speaker it was like someone stole a mike or somthing. Do you know what that was?

-- Dallas / November 15, 2006

A: Unfortunately, some students were able to access an area that had microphones that could be turned on. They had no idea that they were "playing" with a live microphone and that their comments were being broadcast in the stadium. When they were caught, they were quite surprised that their comments were heard by everyone in the stadium. I assure you that our security will improve to prevent that from happening again.

Q: As a Wake Forest Freshman and huge college hoops fan I was disappointed to realize last week that Wake did not conduct a Midnight Madness practice like many of the premier NCAA programs do. It is a fun event and one that gets the entire university pumped for another exciting season. Nonetheless, if the "Speed Demons" run and gun, and press like they shoould this year, it will be an exciting up tempo style of basketball that will be highly entertaining. The screaming Demons will also be out in full force, maybe stronger than ever this year as I can attest to by the line last Wednesday that stretched over an entire block. GO DEACS!

-- Stephen Edwards WFU Class of 2010 / November 15, 2006

A: We have had Midnight Madness events in previous years but decided not to have it this year because the weekend of the first basketball practice fell on fall break weekend. The success of the event is dependent on student attendance and since they were not on campus that weekend, we did not believe it would be as successful as it has been in the past. You are correct about this year's team...it promises to be an exciting year and I'm glad to hear that the students are ready to have a great time!

Q: Decades ago there was a holiday basketball tournament every December that involved the instate big 4 - Wake, State, Carolina, & Duke. Is there any chance of that ever being resurrected. It was a lot of fun and a big draw in Greensboro prior to the season. PS Keep up the great work. Your coaching staffs are awesome!

-- Jim / November 15, 2006

A: I have heard an awful lot about the Big 4 Tournament but never had the pleasure of witnessing the event as it had been discontinued prior to my coming to WFU. It is doubtful that it will be resurrected anytime in the near future. Each of the four teams is attempting to play a certain number of home games and playing two games on the road for the Big 4 Tournament decreases the opportunities that would be available for home games. In addition, playing conference teams in nonconference games does not give us the opportunity to play teams from other conferences that can help us when NCAA Tournament bids are issued. Unfortunately, there are just too many factors working against bringing the tournament back.

Q: You know that Wake is pre-season 10 in the ACC in basketball. Do you think Prosser has gotten that young group together to compete with higher ranked teams in the ACC?

-- Russell / November 15, 2006

A: Everyone knows that we will have a very young team but I would be surprised if we finish 10th in the conference. The team and coaches are working extremely hard in preparation for the season and I think that everyone will enjoy watching this team mature and improve throughout the season.

Q: How do you think our basketball team will be this year with all of our new freshman coming in and taking place of the losses of Eric Williams and Justin Gray

-- David Vlachos / November 15, 2006

A: We will be exciting, fun to watch and a team that will improve throughout the year.

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