By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Director Ryan Ivey continued to fulfill the promises he made at the press conference announcing his hiring in early January by hosting the second of nine town hall meetings Tuesday night.
The first, which was held at the Sand Creek County Club on Jan. 18, was directed at the Commerce community. The Tuesday meeting focused on A&M-Commerce students and was held in the Club at the Rayburn Student Center.
More than 30 students, most of them student-athletes, provided feedback to nine questions Ivey asked. Many of the students asked for better facilities, equipment and uniforms, as well as more paid staff members for their teams.
Specifically, members of the A&M-Commerce soccer team complained about the condition of their field, which they say was improperly installed and has required maintenance by the team itself before games. Another comment focused on the scoreboard, which was erected in 2012 after sitting in the grass along the soccer fields for three years. The scoreboard, which used to operate at Memorial Stadium, reportedly no longer works.
The student-athletes praised the camaraderie between fellow athletes, their coaches, and Associate Athletic Director Judy Sackfield.
Ivey addressed questions regarding funding for the numerous needs and wants the student-athletes expressed at the town hall meeting.
“We have to be more efficient with our budgeting process,” he said. “We also have to increase self-generated revenue: ticket sales, corporate sponsorship, private fund-raising, and game guarantees.”
Ivey also mentioned looking at increasing the athletic referendum, particularly if the university wants to add more athletic programs.
The Athletic Department receives funding directly from the university, from an athletic referendum that was passed three years ago by the student body, and by a portion of the student services fee, according to Ivey.
Ivey will hold seven more town hall meetings directed at “stakeholders” and alumni in the coming months.
He will talk with the Greenville Community at Greenville High School at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21. On Feb. 25, he will speak to the Sulphur Spring Community in the Sulphur Springs ISD Board Room at 6:30 p.m.
Events are also planned for A&M-Commerce faculty and staff, as well as the Rockwall, Tyler and Paris communities.
For more information on the upcoming meetings, visit LionAthletics.com or contact the A&M-Commerce Athletic Department by calling (903) 886-5558 or e-mailing Athletics@tamuc.edu.