Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)
Each sport program will have two team representatives to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. This committee will meet twice monthly. It is an association made up of student-athletes to discuss, promote and enhance the image of Niagara University Athletics. The committee has an elected advisory board and an elected set of goals and objectives. The association will address pertinent issues of intercollegiate athletics on the national, campus and community level. Representatives are expected to take a leadership role in the department.
Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR)
The role of the Faculty Athletics Representative is to provide academic perspective to decisions involving student-athletes. In order to fulfill this role the FAR is assured appropriate accessibility to the Executive Vice President within the Department of Athletics, all academic records to student-athletes, all financial records of the department, and all committees related to student-athletes. The role of the FAR is to review documents whose preparation is the responsibility of other people (i.e. audits, continuing eligibility, exit interviews, waivers, NCAA violations, etc). The FAR will also meet with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Faculty Athletics Advisory Committee (FAAC)
The purpose of the FAAC is to facilitate communication and understanding between the faculty and athletic administration. To achieve this goal the committee will share information and inquiries pertaining to the athletics program. All members of FAAC serve as liaisons of communication between their particular department, college and university colleagues. FAAC meets twice each fall and spring semester.
The moderator for each of the men’s and women’s varsity athletics teams serves a pastoral role for those involved with these teams. The moderator tries to develop trust-filled relationships with the coaches and players, and those associated with those teams on-campus. The moderator offers to serve these people in their relationship with God by offering prayer formally and informally as needed and requested by the particular team or individuals associated with the team.
End of Season Survey
At the end of the sport season meeting, student-athletes will be required to complete a written questionnaire. This survey is anonymous and the information is compiled and used to aid in improving each program and addressing possible concerns student-athletes may have about their particular program or the department in general.
Each senior student athlete who has either exhausted eligibility or is graduating, is required to complete a written exit interview. It will be distributed at the end-of-the-season team meeting. As part of this program, student-athletes may be asked to have an in-person interview with the Faculty Athletics Representative, Director of Athletics, sport administrator, and/or Senior Woman Administrator.
Niagara’s intercollegiate teams generate a high level of public interest and media attention. The Department of Athletics is aware that its image affects the reputation of the entire University and urges you to exercise care when making statements to the media. You have a responsibility to the University, your coaches, and teammates to cooperate with the media whenever possible. Niagara University fans, your hometown fans, as well as fans from across the country are interested in our athletic program.
Student-athletes should never agree to a telephone interview unless the arrangements are coordinated through the Sports Information Office. If you receive an interview request by telephone or via email, ask that the media representative make arrangements through the Sports Information Office. If someone shows up at your door in the dorm, as politely as possible explain that it is not correct protocol to do an interview under such circumstances and then refer the person to the Sports Information Office. In the case of interviews with the school newspaper or campus radio station it is also necessary to have arrangements made through the Sports Information Office. No interviews may be conducted during a game with ANY media organization.
View the media as friends, not adversaries. However, do organize your thoughts before a scheduled interview. Often a verbal comment that seems innocent looks different when it appears in print. The longer you are on a team, the more likely you might develop a personal relationship with some of the media representatives regularly covering your team. While we encourage these relationships, remember that, regardless of what is said, a reporter’s first obligation is to report the news. Don’t say it if you don’t want to see it in print, hear it on the radio, or see it on TV or the web.
On rare occasions, the general tone of an interview is such that you may not be comfortable continuing the interview. Should this occur, please notify the Sports Media Information Office.
In general, when speaking to the media, be confident, courteous, and prompt. Always remember when dealing with the media to present an image that is consistent with the ideals and high standards of Niagara University. It is felt that interviews can be a very valuable part of a student-athlete’s life at Niagara University and it can serve as a great learning and growing experience for you. As an entering freshman, you may be nervous about speaking to media representatives. By the time you graduate, however, you will have become relaxed, confident and articulate. This growth and personal confidence can be carried with you into your vocation of choice.
Again, you should never receive calls or visits from the media that have not been arranged by the Sports Information Office.
Specific Tips for Dealing with the Media
Because media interviews may be a new area of responsibility for many student-athletes, the following tips may help you when dealing with the media:
1. Always be on time for interviews. Should the interview be set for a time on the phone make sure you are available and your phone is free at the agreed time. Absence from class for media interviews is not permitted.
2. Organize your thoughts before a scheduled interview so that you are sure about the points you want to communicate. Treat all interviews the same whether it be with a campus media organization or one of the local media organizations.
3. Be sure to understand the reporter’s question before answering it. Ask for clarification if the question is not understood.
4. Be wary of an “off the record” situation. It is usually not in your best interest to do interviews in this manner as it may be left open to interpretation as to what is or is not “off the record.”
5. If possible, try not to be evasive or to answer “no comment”, as it raises suspicions. It is better to answer, “I am not familiar enough with that issue to give a fair answer.”
6. Do not become overly sensitive about a particular question or a particular story. With very few exceptions, reporters who cover our athletics program are fair and are not out to “get somebody.”
7. Do not criticize your teammates or your coaches in the media. If you have concerns, share them with your teammates and your coach, not the public.
8. Be yourself. Do not be afraid to talk about things of importance to you outside of athletics.
“Conversations” make better interviews then “interrogations.” If you approach an interview with poise and courtesy, you are off to a good start. Remember, the image you project not only reflects upon you, but upon your team and your University as well. You are encouraged to contact the Sports Information Office for assistance if you feel you need help with the proper techniques for handling interviews.
Special Media Events
Monthly press conferences/lunches may be held during the basketball/hockey season. You may be asked to be available during these conferences provided your attendance does not conflict with your class schedule. Organized press conferences are also held periodically throughout the year for other teams.
Members of all teams are expected to be available to the media following their games if needed.
Student-athletes may be asked to appear locally on 105.1-FM or 1440-AM radio, the radio partners of Niagara Athletics. You are asked to cooperate with this request from your coach or the Sports Information office, provided it does not conflict with your class schedule.
In addition, a weekly television show is broadcast locally, regionally, and nationally on Niagara athletic teams during the winter. Student-athletes are asked to dress appropriately if they appear on the show. Your coach or a member of the Sports Information staff will advise individuals as to appearances.
External Relations Policies/Procedures
External Relations includes the following administrative areas in the Department of Athletics: Sports/Media Relations, Marketing/Promotions, Corporate Sales, Licensing, Purple Eagles.com, Ticket Sales, Development and Community Relations. Below are guidelines to follow in many of these areas. Questions should be directed to the Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs.
Individual marketing/imaging plans are developed for all of Niagara’s 17 intercollegiate sports programs. Individual sport schedule cards and posters are produced by the Marketing Office for all ticket-selling sports (men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey). Combined schedule cards and posters are produced for all non-ticketing selling sports. Any printed promotional material that is distributed on-campus or to the general public must be approved by the Marketing Office. Any student-athlete whose picture is used in any marketing or promotional material must sign an Athletics/University consent form. Forms are available in the Sports Information Office.
The use of any Niagara Athletics logo on any type of merchandise is permitted only after receiving approval from the Associate Director of Athletics. Anyone who produces unapproved merchandise with the Niagara Athletics logo is subject to fine by Niagara’s licensing company. Anyone wishing to use a Niagara Athletics logo should contact the Department of Athletics.
All sponsorships for Niagara Athletics must be approved by the Niagara Department of Athletics. The approval process begins prior to soliciting a business when individuals must notify the Associate Athletics Director as to which business is going to be approached and the compensation that is being solicited from the business. Following approval individuals must work with the Department of Athletics in development of the final corporate contract.