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Greyhound athletics raise money

Posted on 12.11.2013

In her tenure at the University of Indianapolis, Sue Willey, vice president for intercollegiate athletics, has seen a lot of positive change for the school’s athletics.
Among those are the new lockers for both men’s and women’s basketball, as well as new uniforms for both men’s and women’s golf.


New wooden lockers for the men’s basketball team’s locker room, installed this year, are one of many recent upgrades for teams in Greyhound athletics. Photo by Ben Zefeng

Key Stadium and Baumgartner Field both also received new sound systems, which, according to Willey, are important for the players.
“[Before the new systems] it would be like, here we have this great product, but we can’t really talk about it … because of a sub-par sound system. There were a lot of events out there, so that was a priority,” Willey said.
According to Willey, a new editing system for football was purchased last year, and next year, men’s basketball will  send game recordings to be edited by a third party in order to save time.
The men’s basketball team was also able to put together funds for its new lockers.
“That was a project that the [men’s] basketball team took on, and they basically had people purchasing a locker. It didn’t come out of our budget. A former basketball player wants to purchase that locker and have their name on it,” Willey said.
When uniforms are replaced often depends on the sport.
“You play golf in a polo shirt, [so] you’re going to have new uniforms every year. It’s not much to a uniform. Some teams rotate them. You might have a new home set every two-to-three years, and you might have an away set every two-to-three years,” Willey said.
If something extra, such as new travel uniforms, is desired but does not fit into the athletic department’s budget, the team begins fundraising or appeals to the Greyhound Club. The Greyhound Club is made up of UIndy alumni who support student athletics through donations.
The man responsible for raising donations is Matt Donovan, senior associate athletic director for development.
“Basically, I oversee our charitable giving program … the Greyhound Club, and oversee sponsorships,” Donovan said.
Donovan’s role is to raise money for the teams’ needs such as trips for special tournaments, projects and small enhancements.
The money provided from the Greyhound Club, according to Donovan, is recorded and deposited into the Greyhound Club account for the team the donor wants the gift to support. If the donor gives an unrestricted gift, the money is used at Willey’s discretion.
“That money is used for things like [rain gear], things that are above and beyond,” Donovan said.
“A lot of the time, what we’re trying to do is raise sponsorship dollars. We use mail, phone-a-thons (separate from the university’s phone-a-thon), and direct solicitation during the winter. In the spring, we look for sponsorships, which we are now executing,” Donovan said.
According to Willey, the Greyhound Club, along with other boosters and sponsors such as Pepsi-Cola, has raised about $300,000-$400,000.
Despite this amount, Willey said that the athletic department still needs many upgrades.
“I don’t think of what we have. I think of what we need,” she said. “The floor in Nicoson [Hall] needs to be replaced, [and] the turf [in Key Stadium] is two years past the expiration date.”
Willey said the money spent on the athletic department is for the good of the university.
“The university sees the benefit of student-athletes,” Willey said. “They have a higher graduation rate. We can be competitive and comparable to the bigger schools.”


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