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 Director of Athletics Steve Orsini will sit down to chat Friday, July 1 at 10:30 a.m.
In the coming weeks, fans will have an opportunity to chat live online with several of UCF's head coaches and Director of Athletics Steve Orsini on UCFathletics.com, the official athletics website of UCF.

Orsini will kickoff the chat circuit Friday, July 1 at 10:30 a.m. as UCF celebrates its first day as a member of Conference USA. The Golden Knights are one of 12 teams in a realigned C-USA, with members stretching from Texas to North Carolina. The realigned league includes East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Southern Miss, Tulane, Tulsa, Rice, Houston, SMU, UAB and UTEP.

Send your questions in now and check back on Friday, July 1 at 10:30 a.m. to read Orsini's answers. Fans can also submit questions during the chat session.

Other guests that will visit UCFathletics.com for the online chat include volleyball head coach Meg Colado on July 8 and football head coach George O'Leary on July 14. Later in the summer, scheduled guests include men's soccer head coach Brent Erwin, women's soccer head coach Amanda Cromwell, men's basketball head coach Kirk Speraw, men's golf coach Nick Clinard, women's golf coach Jill Fjelstul and track and field head coach Marcia Wentworth.

Check UCFathletics.com for dates and times of the guests as the weekly online chat continues through the summer.

Phil (Orlando): Do you think that the new stadium will be ready in time for the 2006 or 2007 season?
AD Steve Orsini: Good morning and welcome to UCFathletics.com for this morning's chat. Today is an exciting chapter in UCF athletics as we begin our membership in Conference USA. As for your question, it appears most likely that the proposed on-campus football stadium will be ready for the 2007 season.

Adam (Orlando): Mr. Orsini, What is the updated timeline for the athletic complex projects (minus the stadium) to include all housing, parking garages and lots, softball stadium, baseball stadium upgrades, swimming and diving center?
AD Steve Orsini: There are a total of 2,000 beds in our housing project. 500 will come online in August of 2005. The next 1,000 beds will open in fall of 2006. The remaining 500 beds will be completed by fall of 2007. We are planning to open the parking garage north of the UCF Arena in the fall of 2008. They plan on adding a parking garage on-campus one per year over the next two years. Surface parking around the football stadium is planned and would be available when we open the stadium. The softball stadium is scheduled to open in the spring of 2006, ready for Conference USA action. A timeline is still to be determined for the baseball stadium, but it is in our short term project list within the next three-to-five years to improve the baseball complex at Jay Bergman Field. As for swimming and diving, it is still to be determined, but most likely three to seven years in the future.

Winter Park: What is the current situation with Sunshine Network and UCF? Is there any chance we can get any of our games, either home or away, telivised?
AD Steve Orsini: The current agreement with Sun Sports expired yesterday, June 30, 2005. As part of our membership obligations to Conference USA, our television rights are owned by College Sports Television and ESPN. We are in negotiations to expand our television coverage on College Sports TV for the fall football season over the next 45 days.

Roland (San Diego): The new on campus stadium is a great way to increase community envolvement in UCF football. Why has the push for the new stadium slowed down? Has the school bowed to those few who oppose the stadium?
AD Steve Orsini: The state regulatory process has certain timelines that most likely will put us into a construction schedule that would most likely not allow us to finish the stadium by the 2006 season.

R. Payne (Oviedo): Coach Bergman's baseball teams are clearly one of our most successful athletic teams. However, they haven't yet been able to get past the regional playoffs. Statistics point to home-field advantage as a indicator of success in NCAA regionals and super-regionals. Have you considered using other central florida baseball stadiums to host a regional and super-regional playoffs, and what plans do you have to expand the baseball stadium?
AD Steve Orsini: The NCAA looks to keep baseball regionals on-campus and our facility is not comparable to some of the other teams in the state of Florida. We have plans to expand Jay Bergman Field to bring in additional seating which will make us comparable to some of the other college baseball facilities in the state. Our goal is to be considered for an on-campus regional every season.

David (Orlando): Does ConferenceUSA have a revenue sharing plan, and if so, how much do you think this will improve UCF's athletic programs financially?
AD Steve Orsini: Yes, Conference USA does have a revenue sharing plan. The revenue sharing plan was designed to share the conference revenues equally among its members. For us at UCF, by joining C-USA our gross revenue increases significantly by approximately one million dollars per year.

Johnnell Kemp From Miami florida: What happend last season with the knights football team and how are you guys improving it this year?
AD Steve Orsini: It was a huge transition last year in leadership in the program. I believe we are moving in a positive direction and we have seen great improvement in the class room and in the weight room by our football student-athletes. I believe in time the results on the field will improve as well.

Bob (Atlanta): Can you describe the fundraising campaign for the football stadium? And when will it begin in earnest?
AD Steve Orsini: UCF's Board of Trustees recently approved for us to start solicitation of funds in support of a proposed on-campus football stadium. There is a website concerning the proposed stadium at http://www.stadium.ucf.edu for details on how you can participate in the fundraising effort for a proposed on-campus football stadium. You can also call the UCF Foundation in learning more about how you can participate.

Matt from Melbourne: Will the 2005 non-conference football road games feature CUSA officials?
AD Steve Orsini: Each contract is different for an away game vs. a non-conference opponent. For the season-opener at South Carolina on ESPN, an SEC officiating crew will work the game. For the other two games at USF and at Louisiana-Lafayette, Conference USA officiating crews will be used. That is all the time I have today. I would like to thank everyone for submitting their questions and thank you for your interest in UCF Athletics!

 
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