JAMES J. CORBETT AWARD LUNCHEON
(Tuesday, June 11, 12:30- 2:00 P.M.)
I'm John Clune from the Air Force Academy and NACDA president. At this time, I would like to call upon Homer Rice, the athletic director from Georgia Tech, to give the invocation.
Let us pray. Father of all mankind, we ask that you give to this organization, to its members, to its leaders, the power to develop programs that will have a positive successful impact on our student- athletes and their future. We believe we will receive this power and we thank you for this gift. We
now ask that you help those who cannot help themselves and bless this food for our nourishment. Amen.
As a first order of business, I would like to introduce to you the Executive Committee of NACDA, which is located on th~ lower dias. These are the people who work behind the scenes and have been so instrumental in helping to put together and run this Convention. I'm going to introduce some individuals and ask them to stand until I've introduced everyone. I'm also going to ask you to hold your applause until the last one is introduced. They all deserve a hand, but let's give them one big hand at the end.
On my extreme right. Joe Abbey from Parkland Junior College; next to him. Troy Bledsoe from Fort Lewis College; Barbara Camp. Southern Methodist University; Bill Carr. University of Florida; Gary Cunningham. University of Wyoming; Arthur Easton. William Paterson College; Augie Erfurth. Rice
University; Kit Green. University of Washington; Bob Hiegert. California State University at Northridge; Barbara Hollman. University of Montana; Christine Hoyles. Western Michigan University; Joe Kearney. Western Athletic Conference; Betty Kruzcek. Fitchburg State College; Denis Lambert. University of Vermont; Tony LaScala. Illinois Benedictine College; Bob Moorman. Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association; Pete Pisciotta. Glendale Community College; Don Sevier. Arkansas Tech University; Jon Shillingford. Bryn
Mawr College; Vern Smith. University of Toledo; Max VanLaningham. Dodge City Community College; Charlotte West. Southern Illinois University. Doug Yarnall. Mitchell College and Mary Zimmerman. San Jose State University. Ladies and gentlemen. your Executive Committee.
And now. moving to the upper dias you can applaud each of these people individually. because most of them are paying the bills here. They deserve a hand. On my far right, Mike Cleary, the executive director at NACDA; Cy Brockway. executive Director of special events for Pepsi Cola and the sponsor of the spouses hospitality suite; Bob Vecchione. National Car Rental Manager and the co-host of yesterday's luncheon; Paul Munick. director of college sports for Madison Square Garden; coach Frank McGuire, representing
Madison Square Garden and the NIT, the hosts of today's luncheon; Jim Wergeles of Madison Square Garden network; Dave Rice the AD at Fordham University representing the NIT at today's luncheon; Dan Quilty, AD
at New York University and also representing the NIT. We are going to skip over here, a few spaces to my left because I think you'll hear more from the people we are missing later on in the program. Next. over here. Randy S. Clair, VP of Operation for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and sponsors of this morning's breakfast; Michael Millay. regional marketing director of MDS Qantel and the host of this evening's cocktail party; Dan Roney. executive VP of NACDA's insurance program and host of the women's program breakfast; Tom Jones, executive director of sales for Caesar's Palace and the host of Sunday's opening cocktail party and an ex-fighter pilot. And now our officers; Andy Mooradian. AD at New
Hampshire and NACDA's first VP; Homer Rice. AD at Georgia Tech and second VP; Dave Hart, AD at the Universit of Missouri and third VP, and the last and certainly not least, Vinnie Cullen, our secretary from Rhode Island Community College.
New we will get into the awards portion of our program and I have the privilege of leading it off.
Ben Carnevale began his college basketball career as a star player for NYU. He played in the first-ever
NIT tournament in 1938. I'm not saying that Ben shot alot, but his teammates tell me that he established
a NCAA record while he was playing, which still stands today. for the most consecutive games played without passing to a teammate. After the war, Ben coached at the University of North Carolina, where he lead the Tar Heels to the NCAA finals. I first came to know Ben at Navy. where he was my coach for four years. TheI are many stories I could tell about Ben during those four years, but I think the one that sticks out in my mind the most is when we were up playing Cornell University. We had a very good team and I think we ranked about the top 20 at the time. It. was our eighth game and we lost. The officiating. to say the least, left something to be desired. So, after the game. Ben went in and had a friendly chat with the officials in thej locker room. He questioned their ancestry and also their competency. They became quite concerned, and to get away from Ben. went in and started taking showers. This frustrated Ben. but being ever resourceful, he went into their lockers. got their clothes out and threw them in the shower after them. It was five degrees above at the time in Ithica, New York. I think. though more significantly for Ben's days at Navy. and he did coach there for twenty years. is that Navy went to five NCAA tournaments and three NITs. This 1! with a bunch of short little guys with funny haircuts. because we couldn't be over 6'4" the years Ben coached at Navy. So he did a tremendous job there at Navy.
He also has been an athletic director at NYU, his alma mater, and William and Mary, where he retired
a few years back. Ben's honors include being coach of the year in basketball in 1947, an induction in the Helm's Basketball Hall of Fame. He has also been president of the Basketball Coaches Association of Ameri< But 1 think Ben's greatest accomplishment is that he was, and 1 couldn't help but think about this when Tracy Caulkins was talking yesterday, a coach in the truest sense of the word. For those;,of us who were privileged enough to play for him, he was a mentor, a counselor and a friend. He taught us how to win. More importantly, he taught us how to lose and come back. Ben was an eternal optimist. No matter how ba~ the loss was in the previous game, there was always a way to win the next game, and we usually did. He taught us how to stand tall. He taught us how to pay a price and to set goals and go after them. 1 think one of the greatest compliments to Ben is that whenever 1 get together with some of my teammates or other
People who have played for Ben, we are not together for more than two or three minutes and somebody will ask how's coach doing? Where's Ben? What's Ben doing now? Because he cared for us and all of us still care
for him. I'm going to be very happy to report to my teammates and others who I see that played for Ben, that the coach is doing great. So it's with a great deal of pride and privilege that I can present to Ben on behalf of all that he has done for basketball intercollegiate athletics and more importantly, for those of us who were privileged to know him, work for him or play for him. the NIT-NACDA Athletic Directors Award - Ben.
BEN CARNEVALE :
Thank you, John. I think maybe I ought to just say thanks and sit down after that introduction. How- ever, I do want to thank Peter Calesimo and the NIT Committee for this outstanding honor. It's something
that I guess just comes by. You work hard and things happen. I never expected it and I want to thank the committee for their consideration. I would be remiss if I didn't ask my assistant coach and my cohort for the last 42 years to take a bow, my good wife. Agnes.
John mentioned a few stories and I think in his first comment 'regarding my ability to play the game, I think he knew how to spell the word pass. but he never interpreted it. Incidentally, if you look at
the 1954 NCAA records in basketball, John held at that time the highest game for point average in the 1954 tournament. I think the average is close to 30 some points a ballgame. and back in the first game against Connecticut, he eneded,lup with 44. This goes back 30 years ago when the scores were not too high. Before
I sit down, it's like old home week. I have two Jersey men, one on each side. former New Yorkers, probably my closest and best friend for the past 50 years. Frank McGuire is here. my former assistant at NYU. Dan Quilty is here. Jimmy Werfeles. I worked with his dad at the Garden in the 1930s. when his dad ran the Garden and it's just like old home week. But again, I thank you for this honor and it's a privilege to be here and accept it.
Thanks coach. I also set the record in '54 for the most shots taken ever in an NCAA tournament. our next presenter really needs no introduction. as he is one of the premier athletic administrators in the
nation. Among his accomplishments, Wayne Duke has served as an assistant to Walter Byers, as commissioner
of the Big 8 and is presently commissioner of the Big 10. When Wayne heard who our Corbett Award winner was. he asked to be our presenter. He was delighted, for he and Cecil Coleman go back many years. They both have shared a great many experiences in the world of intercollegiate athletics. and they both have contributed greatly. Please join me in welcoming commissioner Wayne Duke.
Thank you very much president John. As you suggest, I have been around a little while. I suspect I am one of the small handful of persons present in this room who has worked in varying degrees with all of the Jim Corbett Award recipients; from II years as Walter Byers assistant in the NCAA, to commissioner in
the Big 8, and now entering my 15th year as commissioner of the Big 10 Conference. With that privilege has come a recognition of great respect for all ADs and their important role in this wonderful world of fun and games. NACDA, in the scheme of things in college athletiGs, certainly makes the meaning and
tribute of the award named after one of my great late friends, Jim Corbett. I go back to those meetings, in 1959 and 1962 which were mentioned in your book, NACDA...The First Twenty Years, and Mike Cleary, you
and your staff should be congratulated for that great chronicle of the history of this great organization. What a book it is. The only thing I couldn't recognize in that book, honestly enough, was a picture of
Cecil Coleman in a basketball uniform many years ago. I could identify all the other Past Presidents when they were athletes many, many years ago. In fact, I go back with Jim Corbett, your first president as I've indicated, the organizer of this association and the man for whom this award was named. Jim and I were
sports information directors many more years ago than I care to remember. He at LSU, and I at the University of Colorado. Marge Fieber, Walter Byers and I opened the doors of the first NCAA offices back in 1952 and we all know it was really Marge, not Walter or anyone else. It was shortly thereafter that Walter hired
Jim Corbett, after the 1953 NCAA basketball finals in Kansas City when LSU was a participant, to become the first NCAA public relations liaison officer. Jim went off to New York and when ABC took over the NCAA television rights, Jim stayed on there and later went back to LSU as the director of athletit!s.
First born were thoughts of forming the organization, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Knowing all of that which has gone into NACDA since that time, and the meaning of this
award and of Cecil Coleman himself, I must confess to you a feeling of some inadequacy on this occasion
in making this presentation today. It's rivaled only by one other situation, which I spoke to a NACDA group back in 1969 at the Muehlbach Hotel in Kansas City when I was commissioner of the Big 8. I participated on a panel with Bill Reed, my late predecessor as commissioner of the Big 10 and Bob James, commissioner of Atlantic Coast Conference; College and Professional Athletics; Can They Co-exist? Also, on the panel were Pete Rozelle, representing the National Football League, Walter Kennedy, then the commissioner of the NBA,
and Stu Hocum, who was before that the athletic director of Northwestern, was with the White Sox Organization and representing the commissioner of baseball. Bill and I approached that session with great feeling of
inadequacy. Bill came up with the thought, "1 have an idea Wayne, I'll pretend to faint and you carry me out." I wish Bill was here today.
You've all read about Cecil Coleman's accomplishments. They are in your program and the NACDA
Athletic Administration magazine. We've seen across the country the announcement of Cecil as a recipient of this award. So I'm not going to read any of his accomplishments. He wouldn't be sitting on this dias today if those accomplishments weren't already embedded in stone throughout all the world of intercollegiate athletics. Let me tell you about the first time I met Cecil Coleman and found out what kind of a man he was. It was in the spring of 1971. He was the director of athletics at Wichita State University. I, in my role as commissioner of the Big 8 Conference, attended a NCAA regional held at Wichita State. A person in the company of his son threw a glass of ice and coke on the floor, concerned about an officiating call. Cecil Coleman immediately went over and ejected the man from the arena, and on that day, I knew right then and there what kind of a man Cecil Coleman was. Little did I realize that six months later I would be the commissioner of the Big 10 and six months later than that, Cecil Coleman would become director of athletics at Illinois, and we'd have a chance to work together.
Cecil Coleman to me represents all of that for which all of you ADs stand for today. I have said to our current crop of ADs many many times, you have the most difficult job in college athletics today. The financial considerations, everything goes with it; just that aspect of the business is heavy enough in this modern day society in which we live. All ADs come aboard principally out of strife; when a program is in trouble because of financial problems and enforcements or when it hasn't won enough. They come in when
a program's in trouble. When you're successful, the coach often supercedes the athletic director. Often the athletic director has to steer the rud of the ship through the stormy waters and through the calm waterl In my opinion, Cecil Coleman has done all of that in his athl~tic director's career. I know of no person
in my experience of 34 years who had the total perspective, more than Cecil Coleman; concern for the other fellow, the other institution, and in the vernacular, he's a team player. I have been personally blessed with tremendous team players among ADs in my own conference, the Big 10, but I've known no team player in my 34 years of experience as Cecil Coleman. That's why I'm so pleased to be here today. To put it as simply as I can Cecil, you honor me by giving me the privilege of being a part, together with all of your peers, in honoring you as the recipient of the Jim Corbett Award.
Cecil, in addition to this plaque, it's my privilege to present to you on behalf of your fellow compatriots in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, this very attractive watch.
Thank you very much, Wayne, Mr. President, honored guests and friends. Before I let Wayne off the hook, I really want to help him out some. I'd like for his wife Martha just to stand up very quickly.
This is their 35th wedding anniversary today and I really appreciate your coming here to spend it with us. There are so many people that I'd need to give thanks to, and there's always a danger in that, because you get started and people get offended. I don't mean to offend anyone. I'm going to try to hit this in the way I've kind of skipped around the country. I certainly do want to first of all though, express my
very sincere and deep appreciation to all of the former Officers, the current Officers, this Executive Committee and past Executive Committees for the great times and for the many things that we've been able to accomplish over the years in NACDA.
I'd like to thank Tim, Marion and Aiice on Mike's staff, and certainly Carolyn and Marge who come in and do so many things to help NACDA at this time to make that registration area run so efficiently. I've had the opportunity in my professional life to meet what I consider to be some real giants in the profession. Down at this end on your left side, Mike Cleary, has been a great friend for many many years. When I came to Wichita a few years ago, right after I'd gotten there, I was trying to make a great impression on those Kansas people. You know how conservative they are in that area anyhow. They were
a little concerned about someone coming from California back into the Midwest, and how he's going to fit in. Mike got up and introduced me. He said, "now I present to you Cecil Coleman, your new director of athletics, the guy in the twilight of a very medio~re career." He's been helping me that way ever since, super guy. I don't have to tell you about Wayne Duke, a great friend. He certainly ranks in that giant class; and one who probably sparks about as much controversy around the country, until you get to know him and work with him is Walter Byers. This may be a bad city to bring this up in, but I would have to tell you, I honestly believe that Walter Byers has done more for intercollegiate athletics than any person who ever lived. I truly do believe that. He's a real giant. A good friend, Neil Stoner, is here with his wife Linda and Linda's mother, happy to have them; Karol Kahrs and Tom Porter.
NACDA is sort of a unique organization. It was started with the idea that it would be a professional organization that would help th~ young athletic administrator, plus the old, learn more about the profession and be able to do a better job. It is the only professional organization existing that does just that. It has given me the opportunity to meet so many great people and to cultivate so many friendships, and really, that's what this is all about. I want you to meet the best friend I have -has been through the good times, the bad times, fortunately, there have been many many more good times than the other -my wife, Margaret; and our son-in-law and his wife, our daughter, please stand up; our two
grandsons, Max and Gregory. One of the things that I sincerly believe about this organization, is that far too often, with the volatile professional that we have, we're so intent and so obsessed on reaching the destination that we forget along the way to find out how beautiful tnis journey really is. I would hope that in the journey that I've been able to have in this great profession, that I wouldn't change for anything for the years I was in it. Along the way I took the time to make the friends and cement the friendships
that become more meaningful as the days go by. There was a Scottish poet, John Berry, who wrote, God gave
us memories that we might have June roses in the Decembers of our lives. I want you to know that all of you, as June roses, will be in Margaret's and my lives for all seasons and for all times. Thank you very much for this great honor.
Thank you very much Cecil, and again, congratulations well deserved.
Bill Raftery graduated from LaSalle College in 1963 after having led the Explorers to their first
postseason basketball tournament in twelve years. He coached Fairleigh Dickinson College in New Jersey to a 63-48 mark, before becoming the head basketball coach at Seton Hall from 1971 to 1982, and gained three NIT bids. Bill then became smart and turned to broadcasting and served as the voice of Monday
Night Big East Basketball. He is completing his third year as color analyst for NCAA basketball coverage on CBS sports, and this past season, joined Dick Stockton as a studio host of the NCAA regional semifinal and final basketball games. Bill, we are delighted and privileged that you could join us today as our guest speaker. Ladies and gentlemen, please join us in welcoming Bill Raftery of CBS Sports.
Thank you very much John. The first interview I ever did was with Wayne Duke. I don't think too many people saw it, but Wayne's had a great year, a nice easy year this year. I think he deserves a
little combat pay. I understand that he and Bobby Knight are going to open up a furniture store this year. I thought I might see Bobby here, but I see all the chairs are filled, so I doubt if he'll show.
My wife is with me. You know, all my life I wanted to play in the NBA and I fulfilled my wish by coming to Las Vegas and having a mirrored bedroom. Of course, it's just my luck that on the opposite end of the bed, and being from New Jersey, my wife's nervous, she figures there must be a camera behind the
mirrors. Billy Packer was to be the speaker, but he's at the NIT luncheon in New York, so you're sort of stuck with me.
I talked about John Clune with Ben Carnevale. Ben ran the shuffle. I know there are many coaches
out there. You shoot every half hour. It's a little like Pete Carell's offense. Believe it or not, John Clune rode an athletic supporter sidesaddle in those days, averaged about 30 shots a game. But, he's from New Jersey so we'll let him get away with it. Bob Hope recently wrote a book and for those avid
golfers out there, there are some interesting things in it. One of them sort of hit home with John. John reminds me of Dean Martin. They both gave up liquor and now they drink Windex. They wake up in the morning with terrible hangovers, but their eyes are clear. John also married a Jewish girl, and now he goes to confession with a lawyer and an accountant.
Speaking of the ADs job, I drove my guy nuts, Richie Regan. He's as sweet a human being as there could be. A couple of things struck me about the ADs job. On campus some days you're a hero and some days you're a goat. Off campus they may like you more than they like you on. You may be a bigger man off than on.
Casper Weinberger, Secretary of Defense was travelling to Versaille during that Summit meeting
years ago. He had a bolt of cloth which had been given to him and he wanted a suit with two pairs of pants made. After the Treaty he sent for the best Parisian tailor and he said, "I'd like a suit and a couple of pairs of pants." They said, it's impossible. There was not enough cloth there but for a sportsjacket.
So he went to Rome, made his visit with the Pope. The Italian tailors showed up. They said, no, onlya sportscoat. It's not big enough. He finally got to Tel Aviv, made his rounds and sent for the Jewish
tailors. They came in. He said, "I'd like a suit with two pairs of pants. They said, "how about three pairs of pants and two jackets.? He said, "wait a second, I traveled allover the world, you're the first
guys who said I had enough material." He said, "well, Mr. Secretary, in Tel Aviv, you're not such a big man."
The other story will lead me into a couple Yogi Berra stories. Back when the Mets started baseball, they played at the Polo Grounds, then they moved over to Shea Stadium. This describes all of us in pre- paring a team or preparing a staff, doing everything in your mind that you think is correct, and it just doesn't work. The shortstop was Elio Chicone, the leftfielder was Frank Thomas and the centerfielder was Richie Ashburn. Every time there was a fly to left-center, Chicone didn't speak English. He would go out
and run into Ashburn. The ball would drop. So Ashburn, being intelligent, thought maybe I'd better learn some Spanish. So he did. Next day, nola tanga, "I've got it." There was a fly ball to left-center.
Ashburn ran in, Chicone ran out. Ashburn hollered, "nola tanta." Chicone stopped short and Frank Thomas
ran over Richie Ashburn. Yogi's sons are characters, more so than he is, and invariably during the course of a year they'll come up with a new story or two. I'll use them with their approval.
Remember the era of the streakers? People would run without clothing over the campus. This never happened at a Catholic school, but this happened at a Met's game. There were two streakers. They jumped out of the stands and ran around the bases. That night Yogi arrived home at midnight and
Carmen, his wife, was waiting for him to have a cup of tea. As he arrived, she had seen on the television news that there were streakers and these particular people had trotted around as though they had hit a home run. So, Carmen said, "I saw that there were streakers at the Mets game." She asked if they were male or female? He said, "I don't know Carm, they had bags over their heads."
John mentioned my athletic career. It was not really very successful. I went down there to make them forget about Tom Gola at LaSalle, and four years later all they wanted to do was forget about me.
But I did happen to get the chance to get drafted very late and go with the Knickerbockers. It was just before the real good teams, when Willis was coming and, of course, Frazier a few years later. But that's how I really got started in doing some broadcasting. Frazier was probably the coolest human being I had ever watched or seen perform. Very understated. That group of players was very unusual; the chemistry that you always hear about. Dick Barnett was studying for a doctorate in urban development. Bradley, of course, was reading things that nobody else on the team or in the wor1d understood and DeBusschere was in the stock business. It was just a tremendous group of people.
A story they liked to tell on Frazier, and he in turn, has told it himself. He would go up to 54th Street in New York. It was a very festive restaurant by the name of Jimmy Western's. Some of you who have been in New York I'm sure have been there. It's one of Frank's former players, believe it or not. But, he would park the car illegally in the light. He had the fur coat on. The big Irish cop would
look at him and simmer. This went on for a couple of weeks. Finally, the big Irish cop walked down to him and said, "son, that car is parked illegally." He said, "Sir, I'm Walt Frazier." The big Irish
cop said, "I don't care who you drive for, move that car." As you know, it's a very stable profession we are all in. At Seton Hall, I had seven presidents in 11 years. I said to the last one, which is what made it easy to get into broadcasting, "they fire presidents faster than they fire basketball coaches around here." But w1th the AD and his coaches, there are some things to think about. Is
that coach giving you or the program an honest shot? As a boss, are we letting that man or woman come into their own? Have you given that person the tools and always try to motivate? If you can answer yes, you have yourself a pretty good shot.
You know there are many upsets in life, but you must be optimistic. I think about a story in
New York about the old Jewish gentleman in his Mercedes. Walkin~ across the street, he is struck by
a car and he's lying on the ground. A policeman ran over and took his coat and put it under the man's head. They sent for an ambulance and he leaned down and said to the little Jewish man, "are you comfortable?" The Jewish man raised his head and said, "I earn a living."
The AD is the athletic director for those of you who didn't go to Harvard. When the opponent wins with less than the quality student at best, you have been demeaned by the scribes for not turning your eyes and the coach who you hired, leaves you out to be wired. The man who has to span the test, well, the AD who else has to be at his best. Who is naked, cold and feeling old. The former coach, now AD, who has to stand bold, and hold. When Alunl's holler "win" the coach or AD, who's the first to take it on the chin?
It's a tough job because everybody wants to win. I guess the biggest question we ask ourselves is, at what price? I just hope people who run the universities enable you to perform your functions, because over the years, this has been such a solid group. I really think you have a good feel of what it takes to be the winner in God's eyes.
JOHN CLUNE :
Thank you very much, Bill, and on behalf of NACDA, I'd like to also present you with a watch. These watches were donated by Pete Finerty from Jostens.