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  1. In case you haven’t seen it yet, Jenna Duncan, a writer here at the DRC who covers North Texas from the university side, wrote a great piece of Neal Smatresk for today’s paper. UNT’s president talks about what’s ahead for the school and what has happened since he was hired back in 2013. There is always material that doesn’t make the story that is of interest. And that brings us to Smatresk’s take on athletics and their importance to UNT’s efforts to become a Tier One institution. “If we’re going to compete as a Tier One institution, our athletics teams need to compete as a Tier One institution as well,” Smatresk said. “So we need to expect to fund athletics in a way that’s consistent with success, and we need that success in turn to yield revenue streams that can support and sustain. read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/08/the-sunday-leftovers-smatresk-on-the-importance-of-revenue-sports.html/
  2. President Neal Smatresk presents his inaugural UNT State of the University Speech today at the Murchision Performing Arts Center at 3 PM. http://president.unt.edu/state-university-2014 If you can't make it, the whole event will be live-streamed; either on the linked page or below: Smatresk is very candid and personable. My old boss who's running the live-stream today informed me he'll probably be out in the crowd during the speech. I'm really interested in hearing how he addresses the financial hits UNT took at the on-set of this calendar year.
  3. Come check out the Taste of North Texas event this Thursday at the Super Pit. Over 40 different restaurants will be out along with East Side Social Club, Oak St. Drafthouse, Ben E. Keith and Miller of Denton with lots of good craft beer. $15 to get in and that gets you a sample from all 40 vendors and 2 beers. $10 for Military/student/Senior and kids 6 and under get in free. All proceeds go to UNT Athletics and Denton's Kiwanis Club. Come see me at the East Side and Oak St. Drafthouse booth and I might give you a t shirt!
  4. In a corner of land almost hidden from view lies what many big universities may scoff at: a small soccer field next to the campus of the University of North Texas at Dallas. To some, the field represents a half-hearted attempt to bring sports to the school, but to students and faculty there, the field is a building block for a robust athletic program in the future. Since it became an independent center of education in 2009, officials say, UNT Dallas has made drastic changes to develop a better experience. One way to unite the student body may be through a sports program. Although school-sponsored sports would be a tough monetary pill to swallow, UNT at Dallas has shown a lot of desire to expand itself both externally and internally. The Office of Student Life staff is 100 percent new from this time a year ago and that staff brings new ideas to the campus and student life, said Jarred Cobb, director of the office of student life. The school has done various outreach activities and initiatives to ensure a vibrant student life for UNT Dallas students. Student leadership has played a major role in helping to create an organization on campus called JagSport, an intramural group with a membership that fluctuates from six to 15 members each semester. UNT Dallas plans to offer intramurals that will allow students to compete against their peers on campus this fall. University athletics is in the master plan, but I would estimate it is much further down the line, Cobb said. UNT Dallas also offers students a small recreation center and workout room, but plans to expand the center are still in the beginning phases. First we want to develop a student focused, student developed recreation center, Smith said. It could give us a chance for students to develop into leadership roles. The university had a steady enrollment of about 2,000 students in each of the last two years, nearly 85 percent of them undergraduates. These undergraduate students will determine the future of the schools sports and student life programs with their enthusiasm to see their school grow, said Doug Smith, vice president of university advancement. Read more: http://www.smudailycampus.com/news/metropolitan/unt-dallas-promising-athletics-and-more-in-near-future-1.3042776#.UYxds8u9KSN
  5. No matter where Stephen Howard goes in the Mean Green Athletic Complex, someone stops to talk to him. Howard is a sports information director for the Mean Green athletic department the go-between for UNTs athletes, coaches and the media. While working for UNT, Howard has been mostly responsible for the mens basketball team and the womens volleyball team, attending more than 500 athletic events in the last seven years. Matt Walsh, the mens basketball teams equipment manager and friend of Howard, said people gravitate to Howard because of how he treats people. Stephen will go out of his way for you and the players, youll see them go out of their way for him, Walsh said. Its just the respect everyone has for him. Howard, 32, developed personal relationships with the players and coaches around the Mean Green athletic family. The volleyball team even refers to him as dad. Walsh said that as he prepares to graduate, he looks to Howard for advice. Even now, basketball season being over and my career winding down here, I still go to him daily for stuff, Walsh said. Stephen has given some good life lessons to myself and Roger Franklin, and given some funny marital advice for our futures. Sometimes you can find Howard at Dans Silverleaf having a drink. Its been his favorite bar since he was a student at UNT, and the place where he met his wife, Kirbie. The two hit it off over Texas Rangers baseball and Howards infectious laugh. Read more: http://wordpress1.cws.unt.edu/?p=4072
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