Grading UW’s athletic staff

By Adam Lederer
BI Columnist

I have to admit, when it comes to intercollegiate athletics, I’m not even close to being the world’s biggest expert.

But I have to speak my mind about the current state of athletics here at UW.

While I could spend time telling you who I thought should have been named director of intercollegiate athletics, it would be pointless. Lee Moon is our Athletic Director and we have to deal with reality.

After 14 months, it’s not too late for a preliminary evaluation of Moon’s accomplishments both on and off the field.

Moon has done an incredible job at a time of tremendous change at UW both in athletics and the rest of campus. I’ll give him an A-.

Moon has been incredibly aggressive both on and off the field.

On the field, Moon took the football team to the first Eddie Robinson Football Classic against Ohio State, a game that proved to be a big pay off both in terms of finances and respect.

Off the field Moon brought Bull Riders Only to campus — helping to create excitement around the football team.

About his only misstep came in tangoing with the fraternities here on campus — he, and the administration, caved and moved homecoming to Nov. 1 against San Diego State instead of having homecoming in September.

I’m not sure what point the frats were trying to make, but the risk of a cold and snowy homecoming is a lot higher in November than in September. By caving, Moon and Co. have risked alienating a group of people important to athletics — the alumni.

But it’s also time to evaluate some of the coaches Moon has hired.

After a shaky start, football coach Dana Dimel has shown tremendous personal growth both on and off the field.

Dimel, for being a first-year coach who initially showed a bit of temper, has managed to pull together a team garnering national respect. I can honestly say that I’m proud of my football team and its showing against Ohio State University, as well as our other foes.

About my only objection comes from his interviews on television and radio. I watched the Dana Dimel show on K2 Television Sunday evening and got nothing out of it.

His comments basically fall into two different categories. The first category suggests that “we have to win home games because we spend half of the time at home.” His second category of quotes can be summarized: “Road games are important because we play seven of them.”

Maybe he’s already media savvy. If so, I feel sorry for my colleagues on the sports pages.

Overall grade: B+

Moon’s selection of Larry Shyatt to be head basketball coach was a great choice. Shyatt managed to get a respectable class of recruits with extremely short notice, demonstrating why Moon has such high confidence in the man.

Shyatt was a wee bit nervous stepping into the Bull Riders Only ring with a loose bull. Who can blame him?

He has been working wonders on other fronts, Shyatt and Co. have already made plans for Midnight Madness this fall after the Colorado State football game Oct. 18.

Last year, Midnight Madness never happened.

Shyatt earns an A for his early efforts.

Adam Lederer is a graduate student in political science minoring in environment and natural resources. He earned his bachelor’s from UW in 1996.

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