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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.

Logan (Perry, Fl): Hi, I have heard a lot of rumors about there being a white-out game. Is this true?
Randy Spetman: You can look right here on Seminoles.com and see the answer to your question. We are wearing all white at home for the USF game, including white game pants, and are encouraging all our fans to wear all white for that game as well. It should be noted that USF had to agreed to wear their home uniforms to make this happen so we appreciate their participation.

Our players are excited about this and I was surprised to read that some people suggested it was a money raising effort. We are selling a t-shirt, but Dekoda Watson said it best at the press conference when he said you can drag any old white shirt out that you like, but the idea is simply to get the entire stadium wearing the white.

Below is the official white-out game shirt. This shirt will be on sale here on Seminoles.com next week.

John Cary (Ocala, FL): Why have there been so many 1-AA teams on the schedule lately? We've always taken pride in Florida State's out of conference schedule, but that is tougher to do when there is a 1-AA team on the schedule every year. And two 1-AA teams in the same year should never happen again!!!
Randy Spetman: I hope that everyone saw that just the other day The Sporting News revealed an analysis by their staff of the toughest football schedules for the 2009 season. FSU was ranked No. 2 in the country so it is clear that our overall schedule is one of the most difficult. In fact, if you read the preseason magazines those that don't rate our chances in the national championship or ACC races very highly usually include the difficulty of the schedule as one of the main reasons.

To answer why Football Championship Subdivision (formerly 1-AA) opponents are appearing more frequently on team's schedules including ours has to do with the large guarantees teams are now able to require of the top schools since conference expansion really restricted the number of potential opponents out there every year. In addition, the older BCS computer formula adjusted the scores of teams for playing a FCS level opponent, but there is no longer that negative adjustment in the standings.

Fans must also realize that to get a home-and-home with Oklahoma for instance as we have coming up, both schools must make adjustments in their schedules that complicate future schedules. For instance, we may agree to play Oklahoma, which might not leave them a back-to-back hole in their schedule and many times major schools don't like to agree to play you home one year and then at their place in four years because a lot can change in that time.

Andy (Naples, FL): Mr. Spetman, here is my question - as a lifelong Seminoles fanatic, can you share your take on the role that multimedia and the availability of so much information has on your fan base? I mean, do you feel like it's a good thing for fans to have instant access to pics/vids of the their favorite 'Noles and FSU athletes?
Randy Spetman: The emergence of the internet and the 24-hour news and cable outlets is another example of just how different our society is now as compared to just a few years ago. The race to get things first and to create a story puts so much more pressure on both the media and our student-athletes and administrators. It is just the way things are now and I'm not happy that it has gone in that direction, but it is reality. We are trying to control the demands on our student-athletes as much as possible. It is not good when your players are getting calls and questions about teammates and the program before we even have a chance to tell them about it.

I don't think it's healthy and in most cases it is counter-productive to have fan sites and even media sites to a degree that attempt to have information out instantenously. The credibility of the information is much more suspect these days and, unfortunately, bad information seems to last longer and reach a bigger audience than ever before.

Having said that, we have one website that has the official information regarding Florida State athletics and that is right here at Seminoles.com. This is where we want you to come to get your information.

If you take the football scheduling question as an example, you won't find on seminoles.com any chats with folks about who we might be scheduling, but you can be assured that once we put it on there it is accurate.

Eric (Atlanta): I know that TV revenue is very important to any athletic program. Are there any rules on how long the ACC can wait before announcing a kickoff time? It seems to get worse every year in all conferences. Coming from out of town for games it would be nice to know early if a Sept/Oct kickoff is noon or nightime especially considering hotels and how hot it can be. Sometimes I wont know until a week ahead of time. Thanks!
Randy Spetman: The game times in the ACC as well as most of the other conferences are now dictated by the television contracts. In fairness to the networks, they pump a large amount of money into the ACC and eventually into our program which allows us to fund all the sports fielded at FSU. Part of the negotiating in drawing up these lucrative contracts is that we allow the networks as much flexibility as possible in their scheduling.

You can imagine why ABC and ESPN want to wait as long as possible because they are trying to provide the best game possible every week. Because they have the flexibility, they could show Wake Forest when they were emerging as a conference contender several seasons ago or they could get Georgia Tech on last year after anticipation of a new offensive scheme being unsuccessful proved wrong. All ACC fans wanted a look at that offense and the networks provided it.

The rules are that the networks do not have to declare which games they will air, which ultimately dictates kickoff times, until 12 days prior to the game. In addition, both ESPN and ABC can exercise a six-day window on occasion. In that case, they do not have to declare which game they want and the kickoff time until six days prior.

We have expressed to the conference office that the late announcement of games is particularly difficult on Florida State and Clemson because of the large out-of-town ticket holders and challenge and expense of travel among other things. But the irony is that you definitely want to be one of the games that the TV's are shooting for.

That's all we have time for this week, but we've got several good questions that we will hold over and try to answer next time.

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