HPU’s Hauser studies radio options
One of the decisions that incoming High Point University athletics director Dan Hauser will face is whether men’s basketball games will return to the radio airwaves after being just audio streamed on the Internet last year.
The Panthers weren’t on an over-the-air station last season because school officials didn’t feel it would be worth the money HPU was asked to pay to have the games broadcast.
“I believe you have to have exposure in the marketplace, and the radio network is very important to creating that exposure in the state of North Carolina, potentially South Carolina and Virginia, however large your affiliate map wants to be,” Hauser said Wednesday. “And that will be an initiative for us is how we can grow our radio network and create a network that matches our alums and fan base.
“But we need to do that in a smart way. The radio model now is they aren’t paying the athletic department to be on the air, it is the other way around. And so, universitys have to make decisions — are we going to invest in certain marketplaces to get our product on the radio in those marketplaces. And those are the questions that we don’t have answers for at this point.”
If Hauser ultimately decides it makes financial sense for the Panthers to buy airtime once again, he would have to run it past HPU president Nido Qubein for final approval.
“It is my job to resource the academic community to ensure our institution is the highest quality in terms of providing academics to all students,” Qubein said. “And therefore it is my job to resource every aspect of the university, athletics being a foundational aspect. My job with the athletic director is to say, ‘I’m here for you. You come up with ideas. If you fail, I will support you. I partner with you.’ If he comes and says, ‘I think we need to be on radio,’ that would be something on which I would work closely with him. If he says, ‘we need to do A, B or C’ in other dimensions, then I would look at it with reason and a mature sense of wisdom and say ‘that makes sense.’
“We have a can-do attitude at High Point. Nothing is impossible. But what I don’t expect from him is to follow some book of ideas that I’m going to give him. I want a creative, innovative director that will come to me with new directions and new initiatives. We will evaluate them, we will see how they fit in the life of the university and we will support them and make them happen.”
BACK IN NORTH CAROLINA
Taking the High Point job provides a homecoming of sorts for Hauser. He got his undergraduate (physical education, 1992) and graduate degrees (sports management, 1996) from Appalachian State and worked in the sports marketing department at Wake Forest from 1998-2005.
Having the opportunity to return to North Carolina wasn’t a big factor in his decision to come to HPU.
“It was really icing on the cake,” Hauser said. “This job is what brought me here and this opportunity is what brought me here. The state that it is in is just a bonus.”
The HPU baseball team defeating Longwood on Saturday assures it of coming away with the program’s second winning record since 1990.
The Panthers improved to 27-19 with that win and at least seven games left (five regular season games counting Sunday and at least two games in the double-elimination conference tournament). They also have a shot at eclipsing the school’s Division I-era record of 31 wins set in 2010, when the program posted a winning record for the first time in 20 years.