As the weekend nears, the more details are coming to a head on several key topics surrounding Notre Dame Athletics. Yesterday word broke out about Artistic Media Partners, which had broadcast Irish athletics since 1998 on WNDV-FM (92.9) and WDND-AM (1490), had agreed with the university to end their deal. This deal included the offical pregame and postgame shows for football, as well as, all the football game broadcasts by Westwood One. Well since ISP is the new voice of Notre Dame Football broadcasts, folks in the Michiana area are wondering how are they going to listen to the Fighting Irish on Saturday's?
Well it looks like everyone will be satisfied soon enough, as an annoucement will be made as soon as next week. Word from the JACC is that the Schruz Communications' 101.5 fm and 960 am will be the new home for Notre Dame athletics. As for Fighting Irish Football games go, this could be a good thing for local fans. GameDay SportsBeat, a long time pre-game and post-game call in show, would start the day off with 3 hours before kickoff, and then have ISP's national coverage, and then ending with the wrap-up and call in show.
More details of this deal and local coverage will be made available when it becomes known.
As for the search for the new Athletic Director goes, make sure and get familiar with this name: Joe Castiglione. Currently Castiglione is the AD at Oklahoma and could be a darkhorse candidate for the vacant position.
First and foremost, Fr. Jenkins will be looking at the best possible fit for the university. With that said, it will most likely be within the Notre Dame family. But from what others have been saying around campus, Castiglione and Jeremy Foley of Florida are definitely on the Board of Trustees and Jenkins' radar.
Castiglione does not come without great credentials:
In October 2004, the Bobby Dodd Foundation named him Athletics Director of the Year. In 2003, he was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators Hall of Fame. In June 2001, he received the General Robert R. Neyland Athletic Director Award for lifetime achievement from the All-American Football Foundation. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) named him Central Region AD of the Year in 2000.
Castiglione has celebrated six national team championships and numerous conference team titles; record numbers of graduating student-athletes and record-setting grade point averages for Sooner teams; dramatically increased donor giving; huge increases in ticket sales for all sports; major facility improvements, and development and construction of new facilities. And, as aggressive as the push to improve, expand and excel has been, he has produced a balanced budget in every year of his tenure, a first since the early 1980s.
• A total of 25 OU teams that have ranked among the top 10 in season-ending polls.
• A school-record and Big 12-best graduation rate of 74% in 2003.
• Three appearances in the BCS National Championship Game and the college football national championship in 2000.
• Appearances by the men's and women's basketball teams in their respective Final Fours in 2002.
• A Division I record of 74 combined victories produced by the football team and both basketball squads in the 2001-02 school year.
• An average of more than 17 out of 20 OU teams per year represented in postseason play.
If Notre Dame decides to go outside the family, Castiglione would not be a bad second choice because of his ties with the BCS in football.