Chalktalk interviews A-10 commish

Jason Rhodes of College Chalktalk recently interviewed new A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade, who has been on the job a week as of today. College Chalktalk Exclusive: Interview with New A-10 Commissioner, Bernadette McGlade

[BTW, that’s GW athletic director Jack Kvancz to the left of McGlade in the photo.]

Quite an interesting read. Good post.

I thought these three questions were pretty interesting…

[B]CCT [/B]– [I]One of the most pressing questions for fans and alumni is, how do you plan to improve the overall visibility and exposure of the conference’s athletics? In particular, of course, basketball (but the other sports as well) on the local and national levels. [U]For example, on the local level, certain fans in certain markets are unable to watch their team play on television, even for home games. [/U][/I] [B]Commissioner McGlade [/B]– Well, I’ve already had a great meeting with our television partner, CBS College Sports, and I’ve had several meetings with various athletic directors. We’re just working very hard to continue to improve that CBS television package. As you know, and the general public knows, that’s a contract that runs for five years….we’re into our third year, with two additional years on the contract then the possiblity of single-year extensions. So I think that CBS taking over CSTV is a terrific opportunity. When you are looking at a large national conglomerate like CBS and what they do in the world of media, it can only be a positive statement for the A-10. So we’re going to continue working every day as we have been doing — and like they’ve been doing here before me — to get every possible benefit out of that current television contract. In addition to that we’re going to take a good look at what we can do in our local syndication package and the opportunity to increase and leverage additional exposures should that become possible in each one of our individual markets. Branding the A-10 and the schools participating in it is a valuable exercise for us to be able to just really keep our name out there, and the goal is, as you said, to bring A-10 basketball into the homes of all the fans in the markets that we all reside in.
[B]CCT[/B] — [I]Clearly, one way to increase national exposure is for more programs to schedule games with major BCS conference teams. Temple is playing Kansas this year, for example, and Xavier, Dayton and others have a good track record of playing strong out of conference schedules. What role are you able to play in this regard? In other words, are you able to push-the-envelope a little with respect to the schools that are doing well to line-up games against the powerhouses?[/I] [B]Commissioner McGlade [/B]– What we can do is help facilitate that possibility by being flexible in the way that we put our conference schedules together. As you know, sometimes dates and getting matching opportunities are really difficult to secure; so having flexibility from the conference office (because we do put together the conference schedules) is something that we certainly would do. It will be an individual school’s decision if they decide to embark upon those types of matchups, but I think everyone in this league is committed to stepping up and there has been a great initiative that’s been started (chaired by [U]Judy Rose at Charlotte[/U]), which is a committee on athletic standards[SIZE=2]. [/SIZE] It’s a group of athletic directors committed to unifying the league and being able to, as you say, put together these premier matchups that not only help the individual institutions, but they are also great for fan interest. They also help the overall conference RPI. At the end of the day when you play those types of games in the season it only better prepares you for the NCAA post-season, which is ultimately every teams’ goal; to get in the tournament and win a national championship.
[B]CCT[/B] — [I]Are there any imminent plans for conference [U]membership changes[/U]? Saint Louis is a team that comes to mind.[/I] [B]Commissioner McGlade[/B] – Well, I would only say to you that hopefully there are no changes in our membership makeup. Two big things when you come into a position in a conference office as a commissioner are that you want to preserve your conference membership and you want to protect your conference revenue distribution and championship opportunities. They are things that are always on my radar and I would hope that we do not have any movement in that regard. Saint Louis is a great university and a great member of this conference. Hopefully we are going to stay strong together as a league and get better as we move forward.

This one sort of caught me off guard…

[b]CCT[/b] — [i]Did former Commissioner Bruno leave you with any thoughts, suggestions, or words of wisdom?[/i]

Commissioner McGlade – To be honest with you I have not had the opportunity to meet with her yet.

I did know that Bruno was gone before the official June 30th date given as her last day as A-10 commissioner. From what I can gather, she had pretty much left Philly soon after the NCAA tourney in April. Apparently no lost love on either side given the fact she and McGlade haven’t even spoken with one another.

BTW, not suprised that McGlade didn’t answer the question on league membership. I don’t think on your third day at work you go public with something that sensitive, though you can be assured it’s being discussed privately.