Q&A with @AstateFanRules
1. Looking back from year 2010 to the present, where does the athletic department stand in your opinion? Arkansas State University experienced a volcanic burst of growth from 2010 to today – and it’s not limited to athletics. Since 2010, A-State has become a completely different campus. With sudden growth comes awkwardness and pain. At the moment, Athletics appears to be dealing with that pain and yeah, it’s awkward. 2. With Tom Bowen taking over for Terry Mohajir, what have you noticed about how the athletic department is run? Terry was a highly visible, big energy presence for A-State – an alum with emotion vested in the program. Tom is more a backstage manager. It feels like he’s still trying this shoe on for size. 3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the athletic department? I’m not an athletic department insider, but in my opinion, A-State athletics has the nimbleness to experiment with new things. They get creative with funding (like how they styled the indoor facility). However, I sometimes feel like the athletic department misses opportunities to inspire. Sometimes, they’re so focused on appeasing big donors, they forget that it’s the product that sells. 4. What does Arkansas State need to do to improve fan engagement? Is it just winning? Winning cures everything. But you can’t count on wins. A-State needs to focus on rank-and-file fans. How do you improve their experience? I shouldn’t have to be a diamond donor to earn a can of beer or sit in a seat that doesn’t break my ass. 5. The city of Jonesboro is finicky when it comes to supporting sports at Arkansas State. What does the University need to do to get the casual fan more involved? I actually think the city of Jonesboro has stepped up immensely since 2010. But there’s room for improvement Jonesboro should look at Fayetteville (or even Conway) and understand how the community can build both their identity and their future by allying with the University, which brings diversity, culture, and intellect to a region that is desperate for all three. 6. Lastly, who makes the best non-alcoholic brew? This question is best answered while drinking an ice-cold O’Doul’s.