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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.

Parker (Orlando, FL): Will Florida State play in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta in the coming years? It seems to me that we would be a great fit for this game.
Randy Spetman: Questions about football scheduling seem to always be a topic of interest for Florida State fans. There is so much that goes into scheduling games that make it much more complicated than it would appear. We have had several games over the last couple of seasons that would be of national interest that were at the final stages of becoming a reality before something changed and the whole potential game fell apart. It actually happened with a potential Classic game in Atlanta. We are not at a point where we can talk about any specific neutral site future games, but playing in a city like Atlanta is very attractive to Florida State and our fans.

Montgomery, Alabama: Will Doak Campbell Stadium ever get another stadium expansion
Randy Spetman: The additions to Doak Campbell were designed to add some of the structure that would be needed to support at least one more expansion, but I don't consider that likely in the near future. As you may have read, our season ticket sales are off as are those of most of the other schools in the country. We believe there are several factors involved that have a very tangible effect on our fans and we fully expect that once some of those situations change we will be back to a sellout of season tickets again. But until we reach a point where there is a waiting list for an extended period of time, the idea of expansion is not something we would consider. The fact is that over 82,000 seats in a stadium that requires a pretty long trip for fans coming from the highest populated cities is probably enough.

James, Crescent City Fl.: When is the appeal process going to be over? It sems that we are losing money on this and with all of the budget cuts it would seem that its sometimes better just to cut your losses and move forward.
Randy Spetman: Your question gives me a chance to clear up one of the misconceptions that has been reported in the media and chatted about on websites. I know some media reported the amount we have paid to The Compliance Group as being the cost of the appeal process and that is not correct. A significant amount of the money we have paid to that group was for an independent investigation of just exactly what had happened in terms of the academic misconduct as required by the NCAA. An institution is required to conduct its own investigation and present the findings to the NCAA and in something of this nature it is best practice to have that done independently. We went a step further and asked the NCAA to come in and sit in on many of the interviews to assure we were moving in the right direction. So, a large percentage of the cost would have been incurred whether we appealed the penalties or not.

As for your question about when the process will be over. We asked from the start of the appeal process that we have an "in-person" appearance before the final decision is made. That could not be scheduled until the penalties were announced, a decision on appeal was announced, and the rebuttals and rebuttals to the rebuttals that you have been hearing about were complete. Our appearance will likely come late in the summer with final resolution probably coming in the fall.

Don (Orlando): What's the possibility of an NCAA men's soccer team at FSU?
Randy Spetman: We are not considering adding any men's sports at Florida State in the near future. We are exploring plans to add a sport for the women in the future.

Craig Tees, Jacksonville, FL: It seems like we lack tradition compared to other schools. Every time I go to a road game, other school's fans always seem to be more involved. What do you plan to do to create some new traditions and reconnect with the fans?
Randy Spetman: It may be a case of being too familiar with Florida State because I can tell you having come aboard prior to last season, I'm not sure there is a more recognized and celebrated tradition in college football than Osceola and Renegade. Just seeing that in person was one of the things I was looking forward to as my first season approached. The War Chant is recognized around the country and the combination of the Marching Chiefs and our fans give us a great presence. Having said that, we changed the opening of the game last year and tried to involve the Marching Chiefs and Cheerleaders even more. We are always trying to build better atmosphere at home games and we are working with the Alumni Association and Seminole Boosters to give our fans on the road a central place to meet before road games.

Art V., Jax Beach: I'm trying to improve my season tickets and got a note from the boosters saying this is the year. How many do you think will get better seats?
Randy Spetman: I'm glad you asked that because a message sent from Seminole Boosters to our season ticket holders and boosters probably painted the wrong picture to a degree. I know our ticket office has been inundated with seating requests since that note went out and they are trying to respond to more than twice as many requests as they have ever received for ticket relocation.

The fact is we will end up with season tickets that will not be renewed from last year, but a very, very small percentage of those seats opening up are in Priority 1 sections. The reality is that fans are not turning in their 40-yard line seats, they are turning in seats in the lower priority areas. The few Priority 1 seats that have come open have already been filled based on the existing priority system. We could have worked better with the Seminole Boosters to word this message more clearly.

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