COLLEGE ATHLETICS: WHAT LIES IN THE FUTURE?
(Tuesday, June 9, 8:30 a.m. -10:00 a.m.)
We are privileged indeed to have three outstanding educators here with us this morning to talk about college athletics and to make you take a look into the future and see what lies ahead. Obviously, this is a delicate issue to talk about, what lies ahead, and it reminds me of a story about the fellow who had a pet. He had a cat. He was a bachelor. He lived with his mother and h: brother and he loved that cat and he took that cat everywhere with him. His company sent him to El They sent him to Paris and told him he couldn't take his cat with him. So, when he got to Paris aI he got off the plane, the first thing he did was call home. His brother answered the phone and he asked, "How's the cat?" His brother said, "The cat is dead." There was a dead silence on the phOI The guy said, "How could you tell me that the cat is dead just like that? Why didn't you break it to me easy?" He said, "Well, what do you mean?" He said, "Why didn't you just say the first time called, the cat is up on the roof and we are having a little trouble getting him down. Then maybe the second time I called, you could say, the police are here, the firemen are here and they are trJ to get the cat down, but it doesn't look very good. Then, maybe the third time I called, you coulc break the news to me." The guy said, "I'm really sorry. I wish I had done that." He said, "By ti way, how's Mom?" He said, "She's on the roof."
Well, we're going to go on the roof and the first guy who's going to talk is a great guy. happens to be a graduate of Notre Dame. He also happens to be the president of San Diego Stat been for the last nine years. Dr. Tom Day earned his master's at Notre Dame in physics and tt doctorate at Cornell. From 1958 through 1978 he taught, conducted research and handled a serj very important posts at the University of Maryland. Dr. Day is married and has nine children thinks it's important that Notre Dame beat Southern Cal. Dr. Tom Day.
Thank you, Gene. Thank you all. It's always a little dangerous to be the first up on a func like this, especially when the weather is so cloudy and miserable in a city that boasts it has so of the best climate in the country. I am happy to be here to welcome you to San Diego and to sta off. I hope it will be a good discussion. I don't think anyone of the three of us are going to that much, we are going to try and encourage a lot of questions. I just want to start off and se tone a little with some definitions. An optimist in this environment is somebody who thinks these the best of times for intercollegiate athletics. And a pessimist is somebody who is afraid that right. Let me just highlight a few of the problems and then try to look ahead a little into the future. The hardest part of the future is bringing you problems that you don't see. At the pres time, as far as I can tell. talking around and thinking myself of the concerns facing intercolleg athletics. there is a crisis of credibility and integrity in the operation nationwide. From many perspectives. to put it bluntly, there is too much money involved, from the point of view of the athletes, from the point of the view of the institution, all different kinds of ways. And you ca there is too much involved either on the outgo or the income or both. Of course, that creates problems and what are you going to do about them?
There is a great deal of talk about cost-containment. Intercollegiate athletics is a very complicated operation and it is very difficult to just come in for one piece of the problem and it without shaking out many things. So. if we are going to do something about cost-containment, I think we have to do. we have to do it in a relatively organized way that takes into account ti program. Even more importantly. on the crisis of credibility with respect to integrity. that h, with the student-athlete. We have been getting a lot of coverage on that. a lot of action on it last couple of years. I'm sure a lot of action on your campuses. national league. NCAA and OthE organizations. But. I think the public just doesn't believe us. they just don't believe that ti institutions really mean what they say when they say individually and collectively that we are , concerned about the students as students. We all get hurt when a few bad cases get blown up in press and I think we hurt ourselves by not telling the good side of the story, that our student are dedicating themselves to a very tough proposition here like our student government leaders.
A large faction of students in our institution work full-time and student-athletes, byand large, are doing well academically 3S students. Some don't and they find their way into the sI pages. Unfortunately, our newspapers and our TV channels don't have special pages for academic They have sports pages, but they don't have academic pages. That is the problem that we are gc
have to deal with. I think many of these problems that spring out of cost, money, credibility gaps, integrity, are things that we have to work on individually, but we can do some things collectively. The basic problems along those lines is to make sure we don't kid ourselves about what the problems are. We talk about them among ourselves and that we really work at doing something about them.
We have alot of what might seem to be small problems, but I think are tips of the icebergs. Let me just give you one that just happens to be on my mind because the vice presidents met just a while ago and we discussed this. It turned out we spent a lot more time on it than I suppose anyone of us thought we would. It has to do with crowd control, particularly at basketball games, but also some
of the other games. I think it's safe to say, and there's another colleague here to correct me when he gets the chance, the presidents who were in that room collectively and individually felt that
crowd control was somehow getting out of our hands. It is not on the edge of being truly dangerous, although there is always that problem, but there are a lot of little things which you people as ADs really worry about all the time. The cheerleaders seem to be involved in a contest of their own getting higher and higher and all of us have heart attacks when they fall down and somebody catches them. I
think that is a kind of problem which is a problem in and of itself, but also it is symptomatic of the fact that somehow we are out of touch with our own crowd, with our own boosters, with our own
supporters. I only bring this up for two reasons. One, to indicate the kind of thing which does
occupy some presence occasionally, but also something which we do not think about very much and we
ought to. We have to get back in touch with our own people, with our own support, and make sure they understand that our institutions stand for competitiveness but they also stand for dignity and concern about students and about our own contests.
Let me now talk about some problems that are perhaps peculiar to a state-supported institution
but I suspect will also be of concern to all of you. And those are problems that come out of our legislature, legislatures in each of the states. I think California is just typical. We are getting a flood of
bills flowing through our legislature which can be only characterized as regulatory for intercollegiate athletics and it is with tremendous effort we are educating or trying to educate our legislators of
the disadvantage of that approach. We are getting new bills because people are very concerned about intercollegiate athletics. They are bills which, for example, would mandate students to have four
or five years of financial aid after they finish their athletic eligibility, or are concerned about drug testing or about academic performance of athletics. It isn't so much the problems that I am trying to put out before you as a concern for the future but the fact that state legislators are
concerned enough to get into those problems. There is no clearer symptom that we are not somehow on top of our problems. Of course, what I am saying about state legislators I could also say about the Congress; it is only a matter of time until they get equally concerned, and in fact, the Congress is concerned about some of these items.
An item that the bills don't address yet, but they will in my judgement, has to do with drugs.
We are all concerned with drugs as citizens, athletic director, presidents of institutions, parents, or anything to do with intercollegiate athletics. Drugs are a scourge, they are an epidemic in our country and they are deadly. They are not literally deadly in many cases, but they enslave human beings. They enslave the spirit and for that reason alone, they are deadly. We have got to face that problem; most of your are, I am sure, but not all of you. The Association has been facing it, but we've got to be forthright with our own public facing that problem. There are going to be a lot of concerns already expressed that are going to be pursued in that area, concerns about the balance between individual liberties and individual rights with respect to mandatory testing versus the danger to
the whole program, to the institution and, of course, to the individual. Once again, I think that we have to balance those concerns with the broader public concerns which are going to be expressed by our legislators, in our legislatures or in our Congress.
I would urge that we discuss these kinds of things even more openly than we have, taking drugs as
a perfect example, finances are another and academics are another. We have been discussing that, but we have to discuss these in a way that makes the public believe that we know what we are talking
about among ourselves, that we are prepared to come to grips with them and that we are not going to degenerate into an enormous big faculty meeting in a certain sense. I think the future of many of
these topics is very, very cloudy. The country is very concerned as I see it. The public we deal with is very concerned. They are concerned with items that are right in the middle of intercollegiate athletics, such as their size, change, money, seeming lack of ethics, lack of concern about the individual, and so forth. Intercollegiate athletics is getting a very bad rap in many cases because it is a stalking horse for the problems of society. I think we just have to face that and, in fact, convert that into an opportunity to show the citizenry, to show the public, that we are part of an academic insitution and that part of our job as an academic institution is to confront problems and try to find different solutions and to lead everybody into those solutions. I hope that I have put
a few of these problems and solutions in front of you to stimulate your thinking. As we go along, we will have a lot more questions. Thank you very much.
GENE CORRIGAN :
Thank you very much, Dr. Day. The next speaker has been the president of Colorado State Universit since 1984. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Michigan State University and has been a U.S. delegate to international conferences on education policy and planning. Before going to Colorado State, he served with prowess as vice president for academic affairs for Baruch College in New York City. He
is a professor of economics, finance and management at Colorado State. His athletic director has told me that he is a great guy, and everthing in his background says that he is a man that is definitely interested in athletics. We are delighted to have him here to speak to us. Dr. Philip E. Austin.
Thank you very much, Gene. The reference to a dead cat reminded me of a university president who died. Predictably, but still unfortunately, he went to Hell. The kicker is, it was three years and seven months before he realized he had left his office. Also, it's not unlike the mother who was attempting to awaken her son one morning. The scene went something like this. She said, "Johnny, Johnny, it's time to get out of bed and go to school." And from the bedroom came the response, "No, : not going to school today." The mother said, "Johnny, there are two points I wish to make with you. Number one, you never talk to me in that tone of voice, and number two, you are going to school. Get out of bed, take your shower, get dressed and have a quick breakfast and be on your way to school."
He said, "Mother, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to talk to you that way, but I'm not going to school today The students don't like me, the instructors don't like me, that school has so many problems." She sa "Johnny, I've heard enough. You're 60 years old, you're president of that university and you're goinl to school today." I had the flu that was going around northern Colorado a few weeks ago and I got this beautiful card from my governing board. It had a nice floral arrangement on the front and insid, it said, "We were greatly distressed to hear of your illness and on behalf of the board, we wish you . speedy and complete recovery. P.S. On the complete recovery the vote was 5 to 4."
Let's talk just a little bit about intercollegiate athletics. By the way, I wish to add a footnote to Tom Day's reference to drugs. I endorse everything he said and go one stop further.
The last meeting to which he made reference had in attendance one physician. One of our presidents i: an M.D. and he pointed out that recent medical evidence makes the use of steroids even more dastardly and repulsive than we all thought. In addition to the glandular and organic long-term negative impac of steroids, he suggests that recent medical evidence put forth the notion that the only effect is a placebo effect. That is to say, the change in musculature is really associated with the increased retention of water and these kids are increasing their performance only because of the psychological effect. They are doing this horrendous permanent damage to all of their organs. I personally invite you to become as outraged as I know the group of presidents in our conference is, and as outraged
I believe citizens generally are. It is a destructive effect, even for those kids who are not involv in the mind-altering and other destructive and enslaving type of drugs to which Tom made reference. It seems to me that in this dialogue and debate about intercollegiate athletics, we are getting snippety. We enter a conversation when the problem has just arisen or has just past and we find ourselves defending an overall program and the context of a problem, and it strikes me that the one thing that ought to be done is to reaffirm those overall principles as to why intercollegiate athleti have a place at all in universities.
Very quickly, why should we ev~n put any money or go through all this grief for intercollegiate athletics? It seems to me from my own perspective, and from an institution that has the tradition
of my institution, intercollegiate athletics are uniquely capable of providing an organized activity around which school spirit can be enhanced. It is a unique form of activity that provides a vehicle for public relations. It provides physical education opportunities not only for the individuals
who are fortunate enough to participate in intercollegiate athletics, but it induces others to becoml involved in intramural and other sports. It provides, of course, the competitive environment for th, who participate. But, from my personal perspective, the most important thing is that it provides
an educational competitive model for all students on the campus, who in their preparation for life can see week after week that the way you go through life is to understand that there are set rules and you prepare yourself physically or you prepare yourself mentally or you accumulate data and
then go out and compete. If you don't follow the rules there is going to be a referee or a county sheriff or a judge or a policeman who is going to say, "you can't do that." For all of these reason: we should reaffirm our support for intercollegiate athletics, and if you believe as deeply in it as I do, then you become even more outraged when small factions of individuals call into question the whole enterprise. They ought to be weeded out and thrust out of our midst. We are kidding ourselve if we ignore the problems we have encountered in the past few years; the academic embarrassments, th recruiting infractions, payments infractions, the cheating and point-shaving scandals and the drug- related problems are all causing us serious problems.
As you very well know, the Presidents Commission of the NCAA, rightly or wrongly, got started
a few years ago and addressed three general issues: How can we maintain integrity in intercollegiate athletics? How can we contain the cost of athletic programs and maintain a balance between those
programs and all other programs of the institutions? And, if those aren't sufficiently broad, the
third one was what is the proper role of intercollegiate athletics in American higher education? In
1984, of course, the first of those issues was addressed at the special meeting and Proposition 48 and several others were the result. Then recently, resolutions were adopted in five particular areas: the recruitment of athletes, the compensation of coaches, the length of playing and practice seasons, size
of coaching staff and financial aid. What bothers me more than anything, I believe, is that we will have a sense that we have done something, that we have cleaned up the mess and we will all go our merry way. And in three or four years the thing will blow again because a small handful of people will not have gotten the message.
I suggest that there are a couple of guiding principles that ought to be the background against which all of these discussions occur. First, that the kids who come to us are students first and athletes second. We are preparing these kids for life and we are not doing ourselves or those
individuals justice if we simply put them through a meat grinder and ten years from now they are unemployed and have a very angry reaction, not only to the institution, but to society. Secondly, I respectvully suggest to the athletic directors that the athletic departments of the universities and colleges are parts of those universities and conform to the values of the universities, and not vice versa. Gene made reference to our athletic directors. I am very pleased that during our initial conversations when he joined the university these were in fact, the two facts we talked about. Because I am comfortable that he and I are on exactly the same plane, my view is that what I ought to do is
meet with him regularly. The athletic department is the responsibility of the athletic director, just as a college is the responsibility of one of the several deans, or another part of the institution is the responsibility of the director, and I don't wish to get involved in the day-to-day activities.
This, frankly, is one of the concerns I have is the intensely increased involvement of some of the presidents on the Presidents Commission. It seems to me that it is the responsibility of all of us
to know what is going on in our institutions to be sure that the activities of the athletic departments are proceeding in accordance with the proper values of the academic institution, as I have just
suggested. But, I don't wish to get involved in the management; I think it is a mistake and it is one
of the concerns that I have about some of the leaders of the so-called increased president's involvement through the Presidents Commission that we have seen in recent months and the past several years.
So, what are some of my suggestions? One is the close relationship between the president and the athletic director. If there is not mutual respect and confidence in that relationship, there are going to be problems, no matter how deeply involved the president gets. But, I think the
athletic director must also understand the president simply cannot as a matter of course be blindsided,
and if there are problems the president ought to be the first to know, or at least no more than the second or third to know after the sports editorial writer. The chance of over-involvement, it seems to me, is becoming one of the biggest problems. The second suggestion I have is that the athletic directors should pay some attention not only to all of the rhetoric about reforming in the NCAA, but the NCAA rule book is to me an atrocity. It is so beautiful to see a 3OO-page rule book where the provision of a $3.95 T-shirt by an overzealous fan can call one before the court of the NCAA with an intensity and horror
as great as if the head football coach or the athletic director had been laundering money for a five-year period. It seems to me the qualitative differences in violations simply must be taken account of, and if we are going to get back to the principles, I enunciated a few minutes ago there is no reason why four or five sets of overall guiding principles would not serve us more efficiently in both the
reality of compliance and the perception of the public of compliance with proper rules and regulations.
I don't have any more of a crystal ball than Tom Day had. I would guess that this, too, shall pass and in 10 or 20 years the organizational structure of intercollegiate athletics within higher education institutions will be measurably different than now. Certainly, in the next 10 to 20 years, we are going to be seeing a lot of changes in television contract, and that means changes in distribution and flow of money, and the distribution and flow of large amounts of money are what provided the incentive to get into the mess that we are in. What that argues for is to insiduously pursue reporting procedures and control over budgets by the athletic director that will keep us clean. Similarly, with revenue sources different than television whether it is state sources or private contributors, it's been my experience when boosters have become overzealous and gotten us into
trouble, I have persuaded that they either didn't know the rules or they were acting in good faith.
One of the big responsibilities of ADs and presidents is to become familiar with the important rules in the NCAA lexicon and ensure that, in the case of the coaches, they sign documents saying they are aware of the rules and they are not going to do anything bad. An indoctrination or review of the appropriate rules should also be a part of every booster organization. In other words, if you really want to support this football team or basketball team or athletic program, the first things you don't do are A,B,C,D,E,F.
Recently, I read someplace a statement by Will Bailey, the NCAA president. It caught my attentj I think it is kind of lofty, but I think if you put some teeth into it, it will address some problem! that we supporters of intercollegiate athletics are facing. In effect, he was saying that intercoll~ athletic programs must have integrity, but groups in society cannot have integrity unless all the individuals within the groups in society proceed in a manner consistent with high integrity. We as athletic directors and others who are concerned with intercollegiate athletics, must insure that all those who participate have integrity or we must move them out of the game. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Dr. Austin. The next speaker has been president of California State University at Fresno since 1980. His present athletic director, Gary Cunningham, and his previous athletic direc1 Jack Lengyel, feel that he is one of the truly outstanding spokesmen for intercollegiate athletics. have had an opportunity to observe Dr. Haak working with the Presidents Commission, and I'm sure he have a few lively words about that. I think you ought to know that he is a political scientist; He his bachelor's and his master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D from Princeto] He is the author of such lively publications as I!Uptight Management,1! I!Parable of a President I! and I!Collective Bargaining in the Year 2000.1! Welcome, Dr. Haak.
Thank you very much. I was wondering who was going to be third and then discovered I was going to be third. I was wondering if I was going to have anything to say, and was becoming very nervous over there. Phil told a couple of presidential stories and I have to add one more, about the preside who was going to an interview by a search committee. He was becoming very discombobulated, and he wasn't like himself. Finally, members of the committee started asking questions and he was asked, It fella, how many days of the week begin with T?" He thought, "I know that one," and he said quickly, "Two." They said, "Well, what are they?" And he said, "Today and tomorrow." Oh no, they said, tha bad." They asked, "How many seconds are there in a year?" He responded immediately, "Twelve." "Twe they said, "How did you get twelve?" "Well," he answered, "there is January 2nd, February 2nd..." "Oh, no," they thought, "How many Ds are there in 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer'?" A small pause, then he answered. "103." "103!" "How did you get 103?" they asked. "I counted them," he said. "Da, da, da, da, dum."
I did write on collective bargaining in the year 2000 and tried to use the same way of viewing the problem for this presentation. We could take a look at what was going to happen in university
athletics and college athletics by the year 2000. The results of my labors are four predictions thc some of you may view as obvious, but I would like to go over them in any case. The first one is thc athletic programs will continue to demand more and more money with no more than occasional recognitJ that we are living in a society of limits. The second prediction is that for the foreseeable
future, and, of course, no prediction should attempt to go any further than that, there will be grec and greater financial pressure on most athletic programs, so at the same time there is more and morE demand for money there is going to be more and more financial pressure. Certainly, given those fir! two predictions, there will be greater and greater stress among three broad value systems in which athletic programs are embedded. The first value system views athletics as an educational program. The second value system views athletics as a kind of public service or community service program am the third value system views athletics as an entertainment industry. So, as the financial pressure! increase there will be more and more stress among those three broad value systems under which athlet programs are embedded. The fourth prediction is that eventually a new equilibrium will occur, but
until that is the case, presidents will continue to provide leadership, or shall I say, will contim to be over-involved in detail in terms of athletics. Until there is that new equilibrium, president will continue to be involved with athletic issues.
Those are my four predictions for the future. Let me go through each one and elaborate a bit each one. First, athletic programs will continue to damand more and more money with no more than
occasional recognition that we are living in a society of limits. One of the things I have come tc recognize as president of a university is there are certain institutions in our society that could demand all the resources of society, you could give them everything and they would still say, "We
need more." Those include the church, health, education and athletics. You try to cut any program in athletics, you try to cut your football program, and people say, "you can't do that, this is thE money machine. You can't cut me in football; if you do that, we are going to go downhill." We
support everything else while the football program is not doing very well, not doing very well because somebody else has a competitive advantage. If left on its own, I think by the year 2000 WE would have 30 coaches, 200,000-seat stadia and separate weight rooms for each different position.
For basketball,of course, you have the viewpoint of "whatever football has we have to have it, aftE all, we are the other money maker. If we're not a money maker now, we will be in the future." So, basketball needs more. As baseball supporters see it, this is a great American pastime and, what !
travesty that baseball is not treated in the same way as football and basketball. Through the years I have had some wonderful discussions with track coaches because many times you get a sort of "equal protection of the laws" because of the constitution and they say, "We have as many kids out there participating as in football, bu~ we don't have as many coaches and we believe we are being treated unfairly." So you can't touch track. Then the non-revenue sports, of course, make similar pleas and we have the impact of Title IX. In all these ways, everything in athletics is built around the mentality of we need more and more. I would like to point out that at least temporarily, everyone assume that cutbacks will be made this month in Dallas. I would say it is important to act right now because the consensus, I assure you, will be very short-lived and we will soon be back to believing we live in a society where we care more and more for athletics. So that is prediction number one, regardless of the realities athletic programs will continue tb demand more and more for athletics.
Prediction two is that for the fDreseeable future there will be greater and greater demands for financial pressure on most athletic programs. We are living much more now in a society of limits, in
the age of limits. In public universities we find ourselves living in the age of expectations of lower or limited funding when you read Chronicle of Higher Education, state after state after state is looking at how we can reduce public spending. In California we have the Gann Amendment as a typical example of a limit on public spending. At the national level we have the "Reagan Revolution," a desire to cut
back the size of government and public spending. That leads, of course, to increased pressure to cut back the tax dollar support for athletics, or at least increase tension. As athletics yell for more, more, more, we have faculty yelling for less, less, less to athletics, and have that kind of strain going on. I think it is fair to say that private schools probably in many respects face a rougher
road to hoe than the publics in terms of having difficult financial times. Compounding these problems is the growth of professional sports, with their competition for the entertainment dollar. So, prediction number two is that for the foreseeable future, there will be greater and greater financial pressure on most athletic programs.
Prediction three is given the first two predictions, there will be greater and great~r stress in the three broad model systems in which athletic programs are embedded. I mentioned athletics as an educational program, as a public service program and as an entertainment industry. Let me illustrate what I had in mind there. From the standpoint of athletics as an educational program, the focus
clearly should be on the athlete-student. By the way, I find it very, very puzzling in athletics when we talk about our interest in the students we talk about the student-athletes. We don't do that any place else in the university. We don't fool around talking about the student-musician, we talk about the music student, the drama student. The focus truly is on the student and the other is an adjective. So, let's clean up our language and talk about the athlete student, not the student-athlete. Athlete modifies student and not vice versa. From the standpoint of athletics as an educational program the focus clearly should be on the athlete student and when cutbacks are made, for instance, what should
be the focus for the cutbacks? Well, they should be to protect as many sports as possible, right? In order to maximize the opportunity for students to participate in intercollegiate athletics, that should be the focus from the standpoint of athletics as an educational program. Swimming or water polo or tennis are as important to the swimmer or the tennis player as is football to the football player. So from that perspective we should be very much in the direction of maintianing a broad array of sports in terms of emphasis on the athlete student and emphasize physical education values. That's one way
to go, given the stress on financial problems in college athletics. From the standpoint of athletics
as an entertainment industry, there are the same kinds of issues, but we come to different conclusions entirely. We go about protecting football, the big draw, followed by basketball and in a few cases, sports such as ice hockey in some locations. Why? Because it is entertainment, and that is where
the focus is, that's where the draw is. In effect, the answer for the fiscal problem is to cut back the non-revenue or low visibility sports for those persons who think that athletics is entertainment fundamentally, not educationally. Now, what about athletics as a community service or public service? Here, the program is something more than entertainment and a lot of us very much see that. Here, the athletic program becomes the principal source for community identification, community unity. Athletics take on an almost religious fervor that goes way beyond how you rank your local television show. I see this very clearly. I noticed that our illustrious athletic director introduced me here as
president of California State University-Fresno and, of course, every place else, I'm listed usually in athletics as president of Fresno State University. How many of you knew that was the same university? Why don't we change the name and print it up? Well, the official name is California University-Fresno. Occasionally, I think to myself I should send a memorandum to Gary Cunningham saying, "Will you please have the name of the athletics program conform to the name of the school?" In terms of institutional control, it makes some sense, but then I go to the game. We get about
32,000 people in a 30,000 seat stadium, so it's packed. One side starts yelling, "Fresno" and the other side starts yelling "State" and I'm sitting there thinking, "How would California State University-Fresno come across here?" Or go to a basketball game and the crowd starts yelling, "We are Fresno" and I'm thinking to myself, "Two names isn't so bad. I could have worse problems." In effect, there is a community pride factor, an identity factor, which is important. In our particular case, it is very important because we are a large metropolitan area which is dwarfed by the L.A. basin and by the San Francisco Bay area. A sense of identity needs to be developed and people hooked onto the
Bulldog as a source of identity. So, it's a public service, a community service program. But, we want to take an extremely close look at the pride factor. It compounds the decision-making process for any president and yet, handled well, that kind of pride factor can greatly benefit your universit Handled poorly, obviously, it can greatly contribute to a great deal of stress for your university and the president's office.
As long as there is plenty of money around a university can pursue all three sets of values at one time. You can emphasize education by developing counseling programs, etc., meet entertainment ne and meet the public service needs. But, if the money is short counselors come to the fore, and I. think typically the following kinds of things are done, which can be askew with the way athletics ou~ to be emphasizing the educational value more. We drop minor sports and schedule away football games against vastly superior teams in order to get big gates or in order to get big guarantees, in spite c the beating the kids might take doing that. We let our teams buyout our home games so that-as a ric team and richer school, there is a greater following or, again, to emphasize revenue. We develop bigger and bigger postseason tournaments without regard to the academic complications they might ha, for players. We are willing because television plays anytime, anyplace to maximize TV exposure and revenue. I imagine we can get two teams to play at midnight on Sunday if someone can get on TV, and so forth. We have these kinds of stresses growing and growing and growing within athletics because of how athletics relates to these three broad value systems, athletics as education, athletics as public service and athletics as entertainment.
Given my perspective as a social scientist, I guess I always make my fourth prediction, that somehow or other a new equilibrium will occur but, once that is the case, the presidents will step back, I think, from athletics, or will have the opportunity to. I'd say that most presidents I know really don't like to be involved in the details of athletics. Most presidents I know are really mucl more interested in broad academic programs. They have interest in athletics and support athletics, I don't intrinsically like to be involved in the details of athletics. I assure you, though, when the program is in trouble, everybody knows who is in charge, it's the president. And as soon as the pro! gets out of trouble, I am sure the president will be very, very pleased to step back.
There is a lot more we can say about the role of the presidents, but I would like to close simple plea to you as athletic directors. I know of no more important relationship than we as presidents and athletic directors projecting ourselves as one team working on, or being on, the wavelength if we are going to attain the kind of positive equilibrium we want and need for the of our universities. Thank you.
Thank you, sir. We have a little time here for questions, if anybody has any questions of any three gentlemen who have spoken to us. I have one that I would like to ask of Dr. Day. What is yo\ perception, Dr. Day, of the Presidents Commission, and how it would best function? You are not a member of the Commission, so you can look at it more or less objectively, from the side. How do yo\ believe it should function within the NCAA in the future?
I have very mixed feelings about the Presidents Commission. That the presidents are deeply concerned about some of the difficulties and want to get on top of some of these potential opportunil in athletics, I think, is a laudable goal. Unfortunately, from my perspective, the Presidents
Commission kind of equates some of the difficulties in the association at large. It's cumbersome. It is primarily initially more preoccupied with making sure that every potential constituency
is represented. It reminds me of a Faculty Senate Committee that has just sort of grown like topsy. I must say I am a little surprised at it, because presidents typically are not given to spending a 101 of time in debates and discussions. That's not to say presidents don't think occasionally, and they certainly all can talk, but I'm concerned that the Presidents Commission is spending too much time OJ the debate and less on getting to the problem. Maybe that will change as it ages and matures. it il still a very new thing and I guess one of the reasons for it was to try and demonstrate to the NCAA
staff and to the association as a whole, that presidents as a whole are concerned with intercollegial athletics. But, from my own perspective, even if you look at it perhaps cynically or somewhat
insulting, I hear too much and read too much, frankly, statements to the effect that presidents aren paying attention to athletics or even worse, when the ADs go to convetnions, the presidents don't knc how to intervote and they can't trust their ADs to vote. I don't mean to be insulting to all involvj I think that president-athletic director relationships, in all the cases I have ever seen, are very I They talk to each other well and they understand each other. They may not always agree, but they C81 work it out. To put together a group which even implicitly is based on the assumption that that
fundamental communication link between president and athletic director is suspect just embodies some of the problems we have in athletics.