During the final 49 weeks until Kickoff 2013, we will take a moment each week to look at various aspects of the football program.


Details Matter

Jan. 19, 2013

By Tom Whitestone

What you do see:

Goalposts.  Turf.  Players.  Coaches.  A stadium. 

What you don't see:

Meetings.  Documents.  Power point presentations.

There are six different campus committees that are looking at the wide array of issues created by or required for football.  They are made up of a combination of staff, faculty, students and community representatives.   

Each meets regularly and reports to an executive committee.  The structure was set up in August of 2010 - before we had goalposts, a coach or a stadium.

And since then, there have been untold numbers of meetings, documents and power point presentations.

This week, a cross-section of campus representatives met to see presentations from several committee members and review policies and progress.  Over 60 people crowded into a classroom to discuss things like campus scheduling, parking and traffic patterns, security, merchandising, concessions, facility support and, of course, tailgating.

It was an important meeting with good dialogue, designed to expose gaps in the planning. 

It showed, up close, how the university is embracing this initiative and coming together to work through its many issues.  How many cars are expected through each entrance?  What hours will be kept at the Student Union?  What will roving concessions carts carry to tailgate areas.

Issues big and small are discussed - and for an upstart football program, these meetings are as important to a successful game-day experience as position meetings are to a successful game-day result.

It's certainly not as glamorous as the stadium and practices and scrimmages, but it has its place and its purpose.

After attending that meeting one day - I headed down to the stadium the next.

The team had already had its weight room sessions and was now on the field conditioning.  Short sprints.  Shuffle left. Touch the line. Karaoke right. Touch the line.  Sprint through. 

Group after group after group.  Shuffle.  Touch.  Karaoke.  Touch.  Sprint.  And do it again.

The team has been practicing and working out since September - and they continue to get bigger, stronger and faster.  Along the way their attention to detail grows as well.

In their stance, awaiting the whistle, a player jumps a little early. 

"Get that group again!" a coach yells as they finish.  "It was fourth and one - now its fourth and six."

Earlier this year, during the Chancellor's convocation, he reminded the campus community, "Details matter."

At workouts, in their own way, the coaching staff reminds the team the very same thing.

And somewhere else on campus, a staffer reviews the 25 TCP's (Traffic Control Points) of the Security Plan.

Just like in practice, throughout campus, folks are sweating the small stuff.

Because details do matter.