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89rabbit
07-18-2004, 01:53 AM
Here is the football specific portion of Today's Argus Story:

http://www.argusleader.com/sports/Sundayfeature.shtml

Preparing for Division I
Chris Solari
Argus Leader

published: 7/18/2004

Many challenges await SDSU's athletes, coaches


Building blocks

Coaches may rule during their seasons, but Munger molds their athletes the rest of the year. Through the 3-year-old acceleration program, Munger works with each coach to identify which skills athletes need to improve before next season.

A staff trip to UCLA a few weeks ago reminded SDSU football coach John Stiegelmeier that, "the summer, the football team is the strength coach's team."

"It's not my team, and that sounds kind of funny. But it's good in a way," Stiegelmeier said. "It's (Munger's) to develop, and we're out of their hair for a while."

This summer, the school's athletic department began to provide the acceleration program free to student-athletes. About 50 football players stayed in Brookings to participate in Munger's program, the most Stiegelmeier can recall during his tenure. Another 15 or so athletes from other SDSU programs also remained, including Eilers and four of her teammates.

"Kids know that we have to raise the bar," said Munger, who played football at SDSU from 1994-98. "Part of that is getting the kids to stay around. We've had more kids stay here than ever before.

"The biggest thing is it's going to take a lot of help from the coaches to make a big push for it. In the past, they haven't pushed for it. ... They're starting to realize it's a year-round deal." . . .

With the shift into I-AA, Stiegelmeier expects more of his players to use Munger's program in future summers. It's something that cannot be done in Division II under NCAA rules, but it is essential and necessary at the highest levels.

Division I coaches are not permitted to supervise summer activities due to NCAA restrictions, but a strength coach may establish and oversee conditioning workouts. . . .

A new learning curve

Stiegelmeier has also become a student again, as did every coach associated with SDSU. From head coaches down to graduate assistants in every sport, all had to take an NCAA-administered test as a requirement of the move to Division I. The curriculum focused on the new rules for recruiting, eligibility and financial aid that the Jacks are now subject to, and a score of 80 percent or better is required.

It's only one of many changes the department is experiencing.

"Some of the differences are inherent, with the scheduling and the flights and all that stuff," Stiegelmeier said. "But that's part of the transition."

One such rule change that the football team must abide by at the Division I-AA level comes when it begins fall practice. SDSU is only to have 90 players at the pre-class sessions, whereas Division II teams have no such limit.

Stiegelmeier said there weren't any major changes made to the program itself outside of adapting to the new rules.

"I think when we got done with the (2003) season, we said as a program, 'OK, now we're different. We're not Division II anymore, we're Division I-AA,'" Stiegelmeier said. "I think our guys, our staff members, our administrators all kind of ... I don't know about stepped it up, but had a vision of competing at a higher level."

Along with their weightlifting and conditioning, the football players work on their own to improve their timing and continuity. They often hit the practice field for 7-on-7 drills, and quarterbacks and receivers throw the ball around to get reacquainted with each other's skills.

"The seniors have made it obvious that we're going D-I and we have a lot to do," junior receiver Chris Molitor said. "They want to clear everybody's heads, and they basically said we've got to stay this summer." . . .


Great Story, everyone should hit the link and read the whole thing. Glad to see that the program as a whole is moving forward!

Go State! ;D

jackmd
07-19-2004, 07:18 AM
I hope those oppossed to the move haven't buried their (block-shaped) heads in the ground and continue to read these informative articles. The general theme being improvements for our athletes, higher expectations on the field and in the classroom, and greater opportunities. Yet, we elect guys like Clarence Kooistra to serve as our legislatures so I can't expect much.