I know, it's Tuesday, so apologies for the belatedness of this entry. But when preseason football stuff is going on, other things tend to get pushed aside or delayed. I do have your answers, however – all of them.
And since it's Tuesday already, we'll let this serve as the drop point for this week's questions. So if you have anything to ask, do so in the comments section below, and I'll get back to y'all ... at some point in the near future.
To the answers!
Q: When can we expect major renovations for the baseball stadium?
A: I asked athletics director Scott Stricklin about that. His answer:
"The ideas we have are probably more conceptual right now, more long term. We're not at the point of having a budget or a timeline. I have some thoughts of what we might like to see happen there. Dudy Noble's still a great place to watch baseball, but I think we have an opportunity to make some adjustments that would make it an even better showplace for college baseball."
Q: Will there be a major fundraising campaign in the near future, or will things remain the same for the time being (i.e., options on the Bulldog Club site)?
A: MSU has had the "Today, Tomorrow, Forever" initiative going for a couple of years now, and it's main purpose is to help fund facility work. Stricklin said it's raised around $26 million so far, "and we'll continue to use that as a platform," he said. He added, "My guess is the university in the next couple of years will come out with a large-scale campaign that we'll tie this initiative into."
Q: Will you continue to press Dan Mullen on injuries and if so, why?
A: Not right now, because he (finally) made it clear the other day that he will not talk about injuries at all. Of course, he's said that before, and then he'll end up talking about them anyway. He's been terribly inconsistent in abiding by his own policy; therefore, he leaves the door open to reporters asking about injuries.
He told us we can expect an injury report every Monday at his press conference, and that's it. If he's consistent with that, I have no problem with it.
Q: After the Penn State and Arkansas scandals, do Mullen or Stricklin think that more emphasis should be put on off-the-field evaluation of coaches?
A: I asked Stricklin about scrutinizing potential hires: "You like to think you're already doing a pretty diligent job of researching people you're looking at hiring. We do criminal background checks as part of the normal university procedure. If anything, that situation probably just makes you more diligent in making sure you're hiring good people, and you know as much about their past as you possibly can."
Q: Does coach Mullen feel that State is achieving its goal of developing good young men? How much of that is coaching and how much is evaluating character during recruiting?
A: I asked Dan about that last Tuesday, and he provided a lengthy response:
"I think we've done okay. We go back and evaluate, the character issues that you've hit and missed on are guys that have had legal issues or guys that have gotten in trouble. That's not the only character issue we look at. We look at their work ethic, that's a character issue for us. Their desire to get a degree and do the right thing on and off the field, they might not really get in trouble or do bad things when they get out of the building but are they into our program with those things. We continue to evaluate those and we've hit a lot, a lot more than we've missed.
"The coaches are finding out about the people we go after the best we can. The exposure you get and the limitations especially in terms of a head coach, I think the coaching staff go out and find out as much about them as people that they can. It's hard to judge a kid as a coach when you're just allowed to go visit them off campus one time. Sometimes you can miss the character issues."