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From The Desk Of Randy Spetman

Florida State University Director of Athletics Randy Spetman wants to hear from you! In a new feature series on Seminoles.com, Randy will be taking your questions and providing his insights from inside the Moore Athletics Center.

Please submit your questions by Monday at 8pm and check back on Wednesday at noon to see if your question has been selected.

Crystal River: I have visited most of the ACC stadiums and many of them have permanent backrests on their seats. I was wondering if we have any plans to put in backrest in Doak. The seats that we have to buy every year are a poor subsitute.
Randy Spetman: Unfortunately, the configuration of Doak Campbell Stadium makes it impossible to install permanent backrests on our seats. We just do not have enough room between the rows to make it work. The only solution to this would be to reduce the number of seats in the stadium which is much more difficult than it sounds because the stadium floor is already tiered, which is how it is in most stadiums. In other words, you could not just remove say five rows from each section and move each of the remaining bleachers six inches back because you've got the step. As a consequence you would have to remove every other row, which would really ruin our theme of 83,000 strong in 2009.

Lance (Troy, AL): Col. Spetman, With the shape of the economy and the massive budget cuts being implemented at FSU, are you aware of which away games the Marching Chiefs will be traveling to this year, if any at all? I always like to have the Chiefs at away games I attend, as it is simply not the same without them. I figuered we will be seeing less of them in this economy. Thanks!
Randy Spetman: I think we can all agree that the Marching Chiefs play a major role in creating the fantastic atmosphere that surrounds FSU football. I can't name another stadium where the fans and band have as much interaction as do the Chiefs and Seminole fans through the War Chant, Fight Song, etc. But you are right on target with your presumption that every facet of the university is being affected by the budget cuts. You may also be aware that the athletic department supplements the budget of the Marching Chiefs making most of their travel possible. It is a difficult time since no department within the university is sure how deep the final cuts will be but we are working hand-in-hand with the Chiefs to determine what our plan will be in the fall.

Eric (Atlanta): Mr. Spetman, Will the current economic crisis prevent us from bidding on a NCAA baseball regional. Does hosting regionals as FSU has done quite often make the atheltic program much money?
Randy Spetman: Of course you know by now that we have been selected to host an NCAA baseball regional for a remarkable 27th time. It is truly a compliment to our baseball program, our fans, our university and the entire community that in that length of time our venue has been so consistently well thought of by the NCAA and perhaps even more importantly the teams that have been sent here. Without going into too much detail, programs that would like to host an NCAA Regional submit a bid to the NCAA. The criteria each program uses to develop their bid is up to the institution itself, but essentially you try to evaluate how much revenue you can make from concessions and ticket sales. But you've got to do that before you know how your team will finish in the conference tournament and which teams the NCAA will send to your regional. So, there is some risk but our long history of hosting makes it less of a guessing game for us. We do make a very strong commitment to our baseball program and fans and one that we all believe is very well deserved. Generally, we cover our bid with a small amount of surplus. Incidentally, this is one of the many FSU athletic events over the year that will pump some much needed money into the Tallahassee economy. Each of the three teams will take up a minimum of 22 hotel rooms along with pouring over a number of team meals not to mention the local bus rentals and airport service - and that is just for the school travel parties. The out of town fans will buy gas and visit local stores as well. Hope you will be here also.

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