NCAA: FEDERATION PROS AND CONS
(Monday, June 6, 9:30 -11:00 a.m.)
We are here today to discuss a topic that is very, very important to the NCAA and each one of our institutions -NCAA: Federation Pros and Cons. We're very excited about the panel we have assembled to bring this topic to you. Our procedure will be that each of the speakers will have time to bring their views to the group, and after that, we'll have an open mike area where we'll take questions from the floor to our panelists.
To start off our meeting this morning, Mr. Al Van Wie, who is jointly responsible for this with me will speak. Al has been the athletic director at The College of Wooster for fifteen years. He's the vice president for Division III and member of the NCAA Council. He's also on the Executive Committee for NACDA. Al brings many year's experience in college athletics. He's had great experience on the NCAA level and I think
we all need to have people like Al bring his views to our organization and to us; so without further ado, I'll bring on Mr. Al Van Wie.
AL VAN WIE:
Thank you, Larry. I don't want this to sound like a sexist remark, but Larry, that's a heck of an accomplishment to get three athletic directors, two of them women, and a college president together at the same time, so thank you very much.
In the development of this panel, Larry Travis and I felt that it was important that I take a few moments this morning to define the term federation and review the history of federation within the NCAA. It is interesting to me, when discussing the major issues facing the NCAA, that many people in the membership, the media and the general public relate to such issues as drug-testing, financial aid, integrity in college athletics and the problem of professional agents. However, a major topic that will affect the future of the association, federation is a topic that gains little media attention and may not be understood by a major portion of the membership. Yet when it comes to governance in the structure of the NCAA, this has to be a major issue facing the association today.
Early this year in a meeting between the NCAA Officers and the members of the Executive Committee of the Presidents Commission, the topic of federation was brought before the group. Immediately, one of the presidents raised his hand and said, "stop, before we go any further with federation, define the term for me and tell what this means to the NCAA." Hence, I feel that this topic today makes that question appropriate and I'd like to take just a minute and define federation and give a little bit of the history of federation in the association.
Federation has come to mean to the NCAA that the association membership divisions and sub-divisions function as separate units in certain important procedures, including action on proposed legislation, while remaining joined together for other purposes. The question can further be asked, "has the NCAA always been a federated association or is federation a new concept?" To answer this question, let me give a brief history of federation within the NCAA. In the mid 1950s, the association divided into university and college divisions, b~t only for the purpose of the NCAA championships and national statistics rankings. Until 1973, the two divisions were commonly bonded under the same rules. The basic three-division structure for competitive and legislation purposes was adopted by the association's first special convention in August, 1973, and was implemented in 1973-1974 academic year. In 1978, Division I established Division I-A and I-AA in the sport of football, permitting each of the new sub-divisions to act separately on certain types of legislation as it effects football.
Criteria for these subdivisions were redefined in 1981. Then in 1985, the membership of Division I-! was afforded the authority to vote separately on most of the Bylaws as they were related to their football programs. For example: the Division I-! voting membership can act unilaterally in the following areas of legislation; recruitment, extra events, playing and practice season, eligibility rules, financial aid awards, personnel limitations and membership criteria.
Division I hasn't been the only division to express an interest in subdividing. At various times Division III members have expressed an interest in subdividing based on enrollment and different philosophies within this diverse group of schools. However, legislation to this effect has never been successful. Divisional structure and legislative authority aren't the only areas of federation within the association. From the beginning of the three-divisional structure, the NCAA Council was federated in representation on a two to one to one basis; two Division I representative members for each Division II and
Division III members. Those of us who have served on the Council would agree that the Council has become increasingly federated in its procedures and deliberations.
The process of federating within the NCAA started in 1950s, but the major emphasis took place in 1973. Hence, in my opinion, federation is not a new concept, but a process that has moved rapidly forward in recent years and has greatly changed the structure and governance of the association.
Possibly some of the questions our panel will want to address today are; (I) are the NCAA divisions and subdivisions properly constituted? (2) what is the appropriate level of autonomy for each division or subdivision? (3) has federation proceeded too quickly or too slowly? (4) how will further federation effect the NCAA as we know it today? and (5) does total federation mean an end to multi-division classification?
I'm sure that you share with me an interest as our panel discusses these and many other issues relating to
Thank you Al. We were looking for persons who had varied backgrounds in the NCAA and different size programs. This panel, I think, is one of excellence because of the backgrounds and experiences that it brings to us. The first person who will speak this morning is Dr. Charlotte West. Charlotte has been a staunch advocate of broad-based programs and long-time friend of student-athletes at Southern Illinois University. She has been the acting athletic director since September I, 1987. Charlotte is the only female administrator in the nation currently in charge of an NCAA Division I program that includes football. She is the chief physical education officer for SIU's $3.5 million program which encompasses 20 sports. Nearly 450 male and
female athletes, as well as a 35-member staff of coaches and support personnel look to Charlotte for their leadership. A member of the NCAA Council who now serves on the Select Committee for Finance and Academics,
She has been well-schooled in athletic administration. She is a and a past-president for the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) and has enjoyed national promise in her field for many years.
Last year Charlotte was the co-recipient of the Administrator of the Year Award which was presented by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. In 1982, she was among the first group of sports women inducted into the SIU Hall of Fame. In 1978 she received the NAGWS Honor Roll Award for the noteworthy contribution to the growth and development of girls' and women's sports in America. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, her degrees were in physical education from Florida State, a master's degree from the University of North Carolina/Greensboro and a Ph.D from Wisconsin in 1970.
Charlotte West brings to this panel a varied background in athletics which has given her the experience which makes her one of the leading athletic administrators in the country. Let's give her a big hand as she brings her views to this panel. Dr. Charlotte West.
Thank you Larry. The question of whether or not to federate is two-dimensional. If you would think of a continuum; one, it would represent no federation. At this point, all members of the association would be subject to the same rules and regulations. The opposite end would represent full federation. At this pole, all members would be part of the single organization, but various sub-groups would operate under divergent rules and regulations which would, in turn, be subject to minimal, if any, scrutiny by the other sub-groups.
The NCAA, which already has a federated membership structure, is now at a point in its history closer to the full federation pole than it has ever been. There appears to be little sentiment to decrease the degree of federation presently enjoyed by the membership. Most support for change has indicated that an increase in the degree of federation is needed. The association has been consistently moving in one direction of the continuum.
The real question, then, in contrast to whether or not to federate, is how far on the continuum do we wish to go toward full federation. The task is to find that point on the continuum that results in the best services and satisfaction for all members. This challenge is similar to finding the line of best-fit on a scatter diagram. Through statistical manipulation, a single line can actually be placed in the given position which minimizes the distance between the line of best-fit and each and every point in the diagram. By placing the line of best-fit, the challenge for the NCAA is to locate the point of best-fit, that point on the continuum which minimizes the threats and disadvantages of divisional autonomy and maximizes the services and satisfaction for all members. Although little sentiment exists to reverse direction and return to a less federated structure, looking toward that pole may prove helpful in determining how far to move in the opposite direction.
Commonality of rules portrays an acceptance of like purposes and goals. While more commonality in rules and regulations may prove advantageous for the NCAA, through the understanding and acceptance of the
association as a strong, single voice for a collegiate sport by external entities, the internal disadvantages would be troublesome. Diversity to a point, portrays strength and the checks and balances guaranteed by a diverse membership are highly-important attributes. Pass the point, however, and diversity portrays weakness and the result can be similar to the disharmony and dissidence one hears from an orchestra whose members are playing at different tempos and worse, whose members are playing different tunes.
Institutions, like individuals, join an association to realize benefits. Invariably, the institution forgoes a degree of autonomy by virtue of the affiliation. If the rules by which the institution must operate become sufficiently counter to the rules by which the institution would like to operate, dissatisfaction
mounts and the institution soon questions if the disadvantages of membership outweigh the benefits. The more homogeneous the institutions in a given association or division, the easier it is to design a governance system where the benefits of membership clearly exceed the disadvantages. Increased homogeneity within divisions should result in increased levels of satisfaction. Introduction of some financial incentives for membership in Division II could do a lot to lessen the heterogeneity in Division I.
On a recent trip, I was having dinner with two friends who tend to view the NCAA with great disdain. One asked, "what would be the key issue for this association in the years ahead?" On the basis of the recent report of the joint meeting of the NCAA Administrative Committee and the Presidents Commission Executive Committee, I indicated the topic of increased federation. Their unsolicited and simultaneous response was, "good." Both indicated that arrival at the fully-federated pole would eventually lead to the demise of the NCAA.
I read, with increasing interest and frequency, the NCAA termed as a, "viable umbrella organization." How accurate the prediction of demise may be is, I believe, related to how in this context umbrella is
defined. Certainly the umbrella should be more than just the building to house its members, and/or a staff to serve its members. There must be a series of underlying tenants or principles which bond the divisions together. I believe we have those principles now.
If increased federation is desirable, the association must clearly define what it is that member institutions want to do that they cannot now do. We should then strive to accommodate those members as long as a change or changes do not violate the basic tenants or principles of the association, as they are the fabric of the umbrella.
If divisions choose to distance themselves, not so much too far from one another, as too far from the basic principles, then the need or benefit of a single association is diminished and will eventually be questioned. Again, a single association provides for welcomed checks and balances. A single association also provides for us, the NCAA, a strong voice, prepared to speak as more and more associations of presidents and educators, not to mention politicians and state legislators, believe they should assume the governance of college athletics. Members of the NCAA would do well to remember the old adage, "united we stand, divided we fall."
In closing, I would like to share six observations with you: I) Divisional autonomy is alive and well
in the NCAA structure; 2) the logistics of scheduling during the annual Convention may need further refinement in order to capitalize upon the autonomy presently permitted; 3) problems with the current degree of federation should be clearly defined prior to methods for increasing federation being proposed; 4) respect and adherence to the basic principles of the association are mandatory as measures are developed to increase the degree of federation within the association; 5) continued provision for recision and its judicious use will continue to sustain a strong association; 6) lastly, the point of best-fit on the federation no federation continuum will not guarantee 100 percent satisfaction for anyone member, should generate the highest composite level of satisfaction for all members. Thank you.
Thank you very much Charlotte. Our next speaker brings a wide-based background in his career as an educator, a fund raiser, city manager and chief executive officer of Livingston University since 1973. Dr. Asa Green received his AB degree cum laude from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 1951; his master's degree from the University of Alabama in 1955 and his doctorate from Jacksonville State University in 1975. In between these years, Dr. Green served as a special agent of counterintelligence for the U.S. Army from 1952 until 1954. He was the city manager of Mountainbrook, Alabama from 1957 to 1965 and held positions as director of development for Birmingham-Southern College and Dickinson College of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, so you can see he's done many things.
Dr. Green was appointed to the NCAA Division II Steering Committee in 1980. He was elected to the NCAA Council in 1983 and elected division vice president in January, 1986. He was appointed to the Long-Range Planning Committee in 1983 and re-appointed in 1986. Dr. Green has strongly supported legislation to sponsor women's athletics. He has served on ad hoc committee that drafted legislation to establish the Presidents
Commission and in 1988 was elected to this Commission. Dr. Green, as you can see, has been very active in NCAA matters and I believe understands the diversified components of this organization as well as anyone in the country. Please join with me in giving Dr. Green a big welcome to our panel.
This is the third time I've had the pleasure of appearing before you and I've enjoyed it. I'm beginning to think, though, you feel that I'm one of the few presidents that will talk to ADs. I liked it better, incidentally, when you met in Las Vegas because I won some money.
Al has taken a great part of my remarks and Charlotte fairly-well demolished the rest of them. We might briefly emphasize the rationale for federation, particularly in 1973 when the membership voted to establish the three divisions. That action acknowledged that the scope and degree of support for athletics programs differs greatly among member institutions. And because those programs are directly competitive and because there can be legitimate differences in policies at different program levels, there was need for a more homogeneous grouping of institutions and coupled with that grouping, the premise that each division should have a significant measure of autonomy in adopting its own rules. Obviously, the concept has been refined an( expanded.
We've had one major structural extension in 1978, when Division I was broken down into Divisions I-! and I-!! for football and we've had a number of refinement and expansions of the authority of each division or sub-division to act independently on particular matters. It has not always been a very smooth road. The fac that any divisional action can be rescinded by two-thirds vote of the total membership has not generally, or at least frequently, been viewed as an adequate protection against the possibility that action in one divisiol might adversely impact another division and this has sometimes encouraged debate and opposition until a particular constituency or constituencies have been assured their interests were protected.
I think the debate on financial aid is a good example of how federation can be helpful and how it can also be controversial. For several years Division I sought to increase the limits on financial aid while Division II opposed that increase. Because the definition of financial aid was in the Constitution, any change required a two-thirds vote and we were in stalemate until we worked out the compromise approved at 1987 annual meeting. It modified the Constitutional definition of financial aid to establish a higher cap within that limit, allowed Divisions I and II to establish different levels of financial aid through their By-laws which can be changed by a majority vote of each division. I think this example illustrates very w how federation has enabled NCAA to cope with the stress resulting from a very large and diverse membership while at the same time, it demonstrates the kinds of problems which federation can generate. It's also significant, I think, because financial aid was, and still is as far as I know, the last major identified in which Division I did not have autonomy via the Divisions II and III.
It seems to me that most of the present discussion of federation is focused within Division I. There 11 as Al pointed out, the on-going underlying concern with a measure of increased federation in Division III, b\ the real attention and concern currently focuses upon Division I and particularly from indications that
Division I-A institutions feel that that division still includes a large number of institutions which do not, in fact, maintain comparable programs, at least programs comparable to the overwhelming majority of Division I. As Al pointed out, the fact is that Division I-A can act unilaterally in virtually every area, accept foJ matters relating to basketball or the definition of financial aid. It can change the number of scholarships, but cannot change the limits. Whatever the reasons that our friends in I-A have to seek further federation
is, I think, irrelevant. If any individual or group perceives something to be real to be a problem, it must be dealt with as though it were real.
Division II has no particular concern with the specific internal structure of Division I, but it does have two concerns that further federation of Division I could adversely impact our interests. Obviously, there is no way for Division II or III to generate sufficient funds to underwrite the costs of its championships and I do not believe that Division II will support any prcposal for federation within Division I, particularly within I-!, unless funding for its championships is guaranteed at least at the level of the present block-grant funding. In fairness, I hasten to add that I do not sense any feeling that Division I-A is motivated by the desire to recover those funds presently allocated to the block grants, but that is simpl a concern which Division II has.
Secondly, Division II is concerned that any change in the structure of Division I not encourage institutions to move from Division II into Division I. That concern stems in part from our experience following the establishments of Divisions I-A and I-AA. The establishment of Division I-AA was supported I substantial commitment to its football championships in the hope those guarantees would persuade Division institutions which did not maintain comparable programs to move down to Division I-AA, but only a very sm; number of institutions did so in the initial three years. On the other hand, a number of Division II
institutions moved to Division I-AA in an effort to claim a share of that financial support. It was not until the 1981 special Convention when membership and classification criteria for I-A were changed that any substantial number of I-A institutions moved to Division I-AA.
A third concern is more philosophical and perhaps more personal. As I pointed out earlier, federation
has enabled the NCAA to accommodate the interests of a large and diverse membership on a wide range of issues. I really doubt, however, that we can ever fully accommodate the diversity of our membership through the formation of ever-smaller groupings. To do so, would be to fragment the fundamental unity of the association. It is a dilemma in a sense because the pressures which foster federation could also fragment the association through the establishment of splinter groups outside the organization, and that has always been one of the underlying arguments when we have made major advances in federation.
It is a matter of balance or as Charlotte described it, a matter of being on a continuum, and I think we are approaching the point where we must carefully weigh any further step toward federation and move very slowlyon it. We do want to accommodate our members but we must also protect the association because I feel that we are well served by having a single association.
There are two related matters that we must keep in mind as we consider federation. One is the problem of multi-divisional classification. The present policy of the NCAA is a compromise between those who would argue an institution should be able to classify any sport in any division and those who believe as I do, that all of an institution's sports should be in the same division. As a president, I have trouble with the notion that an institution can maintain programs in two divisions and, in effect, discriminate between student-athletes in different sports. More importantly, it seems to me that multi-divisional classification has confused the divisional structure and organization of the NCAA and certainly, it has confused the legislative process through which the association operates.
My personal view is that the most realistic approach would be to eliminate multi-divisional classification as a future option with a grandfather clause to protect those institutions which have availed themselves of the opportunity in the past. This would not be a perfect solution, but it would not hurt those institutions which have classified sports in more than one division while preventing the problem from becoming worse. It also seems to me that in considering federation we must be mindful of the proposal which may be forthcoming to establish a Division I-AAA which, as I understand it, would sponsor non-scholarship football in Division I. It would address the problems of a very small number of Division I institutions and would classify football in Division III. It would solve a concern of Division III, although that concern was eased when institutions which classified their football programs in Division III after 1983 then they were excluded from its championships. But if Division I-AAA is established, I think a significant number of Division II institutions might well move into it, converting to non-scholarship football and using the savings to enhance their basketball programs in the hopes of gaining a place in the championship. The records do not bear out this hope, but hope has never been tempered by reality.
I think, also, the establishment of I-AAA would further diminish the homogeneity of Division I. Now it would be possible to deal with this by tighter membership criteria for Division I, and such criteria are essential if I-AAA is to receive any favorable consideration from Division II.
Unhappily, I have no more wisdom than anyone else on how to extend federation, particularly within Division I to provide Division I-A with greater autonomy. Primarily the solution in that Division would have to come from negotiations within the Division I membership, but I would urge them to at least keep Divisions II and III closely informed and make certain that any proposal which they advance protects the interests of those two divisions. Thank you.
Thank you Dr. Green. Our next speaker is also one of the top athletic administrators in the country.
Judy Sweet has been the director of athletics at the University of California-San Diego since 1975 when she became one of the first women in the nation selected to direct a combined men's and women's intercollegiate athletic program. Prior to her faculty appointment to the University of California-San Diego in 1973, she taught and coached at the University of Arizona and Tulane University. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Judy is a graduate of the University of Wisconson-Madison where she served as the national president of the Athletic and Recreation Federation of College Women. She earned a Master of Science Degree from the University of Arizona and a Master of Business Administration from the University of San Diego.
Judy Sweet was elected Division III vice president of the NCAA for the 1986/1988 period. Her responsibilities include serving as the presiding officer of the Division III membership of the NCAA Administrative Committee consisting of the association's five Officers, the Council and the Executive Committee. She was also the chair of the Division III Championship Committee. In addition to her position in
the NCAA Council which she has held since 1983, Judy has been a member of the Public Relations Committee and Promotions Committee of Division III and also Division III Steering Committee. I believe I counted off her resume that Judy has been involved with 13 different NCAA committees. She serves on various state and local and national committees including the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Sports Academy and on the NACDA Executive Committee. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Council of Collegiate Women's Athletic Administration. Her biography appears in several Who's Who and in 1984 she was selected to Outstanding
Young Women of America. As you can see by her accomplishments, Judy Sweet brings to us a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience in NCAA and intercollegiate athletic matters. Let's give her a warm welcome. Judy.
Thank you, Larry. It's a pleasure to be here this morning. I stewed over the batting order that was going to be determined on the presentation; who was going to be first up, who was going to be second, who was going to be third and who was going to be clean up, but looking at the team, any position is a privilege to be a part of and consequently, I hope that I carry out my position as third batter as would be expected.
The topic for discussion today is 'Federation: Pros and Cons'. I have been asked to respond from a Division III perspective; a difficult task to attempt to represent the views of 320 member institutions of varying sizes, locales, missions, resources and attitudes. Consequently, I would like to share with you my views as director of athletics of a Division III institution and as an individual who has been privileged to serve as vice president of Division III for the previous two years. I have attempted to solicit comments and concerns from my colleagues at other Division III institutions and other members of the Division III Steering Committee. I've attempted to listen closely to expressed concerns and views of my colleagues in Division I and II. I have reviewed the history of the NCAA and the changes that have taken place in the organizational structure through the years. My remarks will take all of these'things into consideration as I attempt to focus on observations of what federation means and its potential for the future.
Each division has written its own philosophy based on principles that make sense for the members of that respective division. It is helpful to review these philosophies which appear on pages 223 through 225 of the 1987/88 NCAA Manual. While there are different statements that highlight the uniqueness of each division, there are also common threads that tie all divisions together; number one, Bound educational principles and practices and high standards of academic quality; number two, providing of opportunities for extensive participation for male and female student-athletesj number three, support for these student-athletes to reacl high levels of performance, a striving for excellence.
The differences revolve mainly around, number one, financial resources, including how student-athletes are recruited, receive financial aid and the scope of competition provided them; number two, the spectator population identified as consistent with each division's objectives. It is my belief that the NCAA, as currently structured, can and does accommodate these differences, and is all the richer as an organization ~ a result of the diversity that exists. This diversity provides the broadest possible exchange of ideas and allows for student-athletes to enjoy meaningful athletic experiences regardless of the divisional level they seek .Al though the scope of our programs may vary, we are all a part of higher education and can gain from shared ideals and experiences.
Over the past few years there has been an increasing number of discussions on federation. According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, federation is a union of organization or being united in an alliance. J the NCAA, federation has come to mean that the association's membership divisions function as separate units in certain important procedures while remaining joined together for other purposes within the alliance that . the NCAA itself. The NCAA has been a federation for many years --Since the mid 50s with university and
college divisions and since 1974 with a three-division structure.
The question then is not whether to federate, but how far federation should go. My feeling is that the answer to that question come through open discussions of all three divisions, both independently and collectively, with open communication on the goals of each division. A respect for the differences that ex i: as a result of specific philosophies and a spirit of cooperation that will allow for the membership of each division to realize its respective mission.
While it may appear that Division I representatives may be openly more aggressive in carrying the flag for federation, I believe that members in all three divisions favor various aspects of federation and have benefited from it. I also believe that all three divisions have concern about federation. My sense is that Division I members in their pursuit to make legislative changes sometimes feel impacted by the vote of Division II and Division III and even other members of Division I who may have dissimilar attitudes. I sense that Division II is apprehensive of increased Division I autonomy as it pertains to legislation in
anticipation of being competitively disadvantaged or as a result of the trickle-down effect. My sense is that Division III members want some autonomy, but also want to be a part of Division I and II discussions charting
the future of collegiate athletics in total.
There's further concern because of the broadbrush media coverage of collegiate athletics where there is shown little appreciation for or understanding of the Division III philosophy. My sense is that all three divisions are concerned about money. In the five years that I have been privileged to serve on the Council
and two years on the Executive Committee, I have been encouraged by an increasing trust and understanding that has developed among the representatives from each division. My first year on the Council was a first year of the newly constituted Council where the body went from 22 representatives to that of 46 members. Initially, the operations were cumbersome and inefficient as each Council member labored over all pieces of legislation whether applicable to their respective division or not. At times I felt there was a contagious paranoia with each division fearing that another division was going to get away with something or put one over and negatively impact the other Divisions. I cannot deny that there have been times that to fix a problem in one division, the other divisions' operations have been complicated. But, as the 46-member Council has become more efficient and trusting and understanding of the problems of the other divisions, more productive solutions have been advanced.
Divisional Steering Committees have become increasingly more effective in concentrating on important matters and providing leadership for their respective divisions, both in global perspectives and specific divisional matters. By removing certain provisions from the Constitution and placing them in the Bylaws,
each division can independently decide what is right for its membership. Recent examples of this cooperative approach include financial aid amendments as well as those on the procedures for hard and soft tickets, the financial audit, half-time give-aways in contests, reporting of coaches' salaries, academic requirements, recruiting materials and playing and practice seasons. Increased efficiency has resulted at Conventions with roundtables becoming divisional business sessions where a division's specific legislation is debated and voted upon.
Similar progress has occurred within the Executive Committee with a restructuring of its membership and the initiation of divisional championship committees. The result has been the opportunity for divisional representatives to focus on what makes sense for their respective divisions within the association's broad framework and then share these concepts with the entire Executive Committee. The block grants for Division II and III championships, while not providing the full funding for transportation and per diem as exists in Division I, have allowed Divisions II and III to more independently determine policies that are appropriate for their specific events as well as determ~ne the size of their championship fields.
While all decisions are subject to final approval of the Executive Committee, my experience on the Executive Committee also indicates a continuously increasing spirit of cooperation and recognition of the unique needs of each division. Where a few years ago I was among the skeptical viewing what appeared to be an increasing separation that could lead to segregation or isolation, I'm now a believer that as long as we can continue open and honest communication with respect for each other, and if we strive to make decisions
that are positive for all student-athletes and the institutions that they represent, the NCAA can and should continue to serve all populations efficiently and effectively under one association.
How far should we federate? That question is an important one that needs to be addressed by the entire membership. Discussions have begun with the NCAA executive director, the Council, the Executive Committee, Presidents Commission and probably with every conference and member institution in the country. Discussions will continue in Orlando in a few weeks and probably for a long time thereafter. My feeling is that there are probably as many interpretations of the word federation as there are member institutions. That causes an uneasiness. Therefore, we must first come to some common understanding of the term federation.
I would suggest that each division select three to five representatives with broad and varied
perspectives on federation to define specific concerns of their divisional membership. If necessary, a survey could be done, or another means for general input determined. Hopefully, that would allow for a gathering of views that reflect priority approaches of each division pertaining to the future structure and operations of the NCAA. I would then suggest that all nine to 15 divisional representatives meet together to share priorities and concern to identify areas of compatibility as well as those of conflict with an attempt to cooperate, understanding and accommodate each division's priorities. This approach could result in the
need for some changes or it could merely reinforce that what is happening now is most appropriate. Either
way, it should allow for everyone to be heard and sound decisions to be made. Hopefully, it will provide for any fine tuning that might need to be done to continue the increasing efficiency of NCAA operations in order to best serve all member institutions and student-athletes.
In summary, rather than try to define federation, I would like to say that F represents open and ~ debate a direction for the future. E represents everyone's participation; all divisions, all members.
It is easy to sit back and be critical. It is far more effective to share thoughts and contribute ideas. D represents the recognition of individual differences, the willingness to discuss, debate, deliberate and
engage in meaningful dialogue to address these differences. E, the second time, represents the ~ that needs to be made to improve those areas that need fixing and thus, make the NCAA as efficient as possible. R represents the need for respect for each other's philosophies and goals and respect for the resulting rules, including reform as needed. A represents the alliance that should exist as a result of agreement on the principles that apply to activities for all student-athletes. T represents ~ the crucial ingredient to make the time that we spend in charting our future together worthwhile. I represents the ideolQgY of all
divisions being both independent and interdependent as differing situations might indicate. O represents ~ communication; one association with open-mindedness toward change when needed -and N represents nQt easy. Change is not often easy, but if it happens for the right reasons, with open communication, mutual respect and trust, it can be positive. The willingness to investigate if change can be beneficial is necessary. My vote is for federation as I've attempted to spell it out. I look forward to our mutual efforts to strengthen the federation of the NCAA. Thank you.
Our next speaker is a gentleman who is well known for his willingness to speak out on matters which he feels are important to him and what he believes in. Roy Kramer has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation's top athletic administrators. He's in his third year on the prestigious NCAA Basketball Committee, which picks its 64 teams for the NCAA tournament and administrates the NCAA tournament games. He's also a member of the NCAA Committee for National Drug Testing Policy and the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Roy also has been deeply involved with Southeastern Conference matters and has served as chairman of that group for many years and also now serves on the College Football Association's Athletic Directors' Committee.
Roy came to Vanderbilt University from Central Michigan University where in II years has compiled an 83-32-2 record as head football coach. Prior to going to Central Michigan, Roy was a high school
football coach in Michigan and won two state championships, so he brings varied levels of experience to this panel. Roy added a master's degree at the University of Michigan and served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant.
Roy, has been a moving force in initiating NCAA legislation that will benefit the student-athlete and help contain the cost of intercollegiate athletics at our institutions. It is with a great deal of personal pride that I present Mr. Roy Kramer, the director of athletics at Vanderbilt University.
Thank you very much. My speech will be highly correlated with being a Division I director of
athletics because I have nothing written down and I don't have a typed speech like the rest of these people. I've just come from my 23rd meeting. In all due respect, Judy, federation to me, for those of us who serve in Division I schools as athletic directors, means one more meeting and all that goes along with it.
To discuss federation, in my opinion, as a new subject or as something that we are going to eliminate or are going to further, is a little bit cliche'. As I recall, the first convention I ever attended at the NCAA, we spent a great deal of time talking about how we were going to federate and how we were going to move some people from one division to another. We were going to have all of the various degrees of membership.
I particularly liked Al's questions with regard to federation and I'd like to address my remarks to those questions he raised. The first of which, was howare the NCAA membership divisions or sub-divisions constituted? First of all, we are going to have federation whether we constitutionally mandate it or whether we simply say that by practice we are going to encourage it because it exists. When you look at institutional athletic budgets that vary from a quarter of a million dollars or less, to those which encompass some 18 million dollars, you have already split the pot and you are going to have federation. Now within that, you're going to have a great deal of difference of opinion because there is no perfect division. There is no way to determine it. I heard this weekend a definition that might apply to this and I would twist it around a little bit and say, that within this vast number of institutions with the differences that exists, there have to be different divisions, for it is very similar on one hand with the man who has aids being concerned about the man who has dandruff. That's about the spectrum you have within this organization.
Now the heart of the issue is the criteria for the divisions. It is not what we control, but who is a part of the division and that's been the issue since we started talking about divisions. There are those who say we should not have criteria. There are those who are very concerned about the I-A criteria of the size of a stadium or the number of people that attend a game and yet, that's a very practical criteria, for that's in the real world. One of our problems always in facing intercollegiate athletics is that there are basically two ways to approach it. One is from the standpoint of the idealist and one is from the standpoint of the
pragmatist. Before I became an athletic director I was an idealist. Now I'm a pragmatist. Most of us who have to balance a budget become a pragmatist before we finish our days in office. But that's the heart of the issue and we will face that in growing amount of concern in the future.
I don't think it's bad to have criteria. I don't know of a single type of structure that exists in society that doesn't have criteria for that membership or that level of existence. We certainly do it within our colleges and universities. We have all types of associations which are predicated by the size of libraries by the research money a university brings in, by the types of laboratory equipment that exists on
the campus, by the type of research the faculty is involved in. We rate universities and we set up criteria for those universities to fit into a certain categories. If that's done in higher education, why can't it be done in athletics and why should it be such a concern?
When we talk about the appropriate level of autonomy for each division, I'm not sure we haven't already reached that. There are only four or five areas for us to legislate. We legislate recruiting, eligibility, financial aid and to some degree, we legislate compliance and the penalty structure therein. And all of those can be now addressed by the NCAA on a divisional basis. The last stumbling block was removed when we took the financial aid provision out of the Constitution and put it in the Bylaws and there is no major area that we cannot already address from a federated standpoint. So why are we talking about federation again? We're talking about federation because we're talking about who's going to be in which group, not what each group does and therein is the issue that we have to address at the grassroots level.
From a personal standpoint, I have been a little bit disappointed in our federated divisional meetings at the NCAA. We've arrived and Division I-A may have one or two issues to talk about. Division II will have a few more, but we haven't yet had the full scope of discussion in those groups that we should have as federated groups. Now perhaps Division II and Division III have done a better job. Perhaps Division I is sitting
around waiting for someone from Division III to stand up and talk against it and not realize that Division III is not in the room. But for some reason, we haven't had as much discussion in those groups as we certainly should have.
The question as to whether federation has proceeded too quickly or too slowly is a rather moot issue. Federation proceeds based on crisis. Every step we've ever taken toward federation has been the result of a major crisis --either television or financial aid, or something of that nature and the discussions of criteria for divisions in the future will come again very shortly, I happen to believe, because we have two very significant issues on the horizon. Number one, is football television and what happens when the current two-year contracts under the College Football Association and the Big Ten, Pac-lO contracts come to an end and we begin to face, once again, the issue of whether we are going to have one major television contract. When we get into that discussion, a part of that discussion will be who are the players and the criteria for federation will become very debatable and very significant. That's just around the corner. The second area will be the basketball tournament. We're currently operating under a mandate to have 30 automatic qualifiers through the tournament next year. But following that time, we will begin to address whether we
have a proliferation of automatic qualifiers and in so doing, reduce the number of at-large berths; and in so doing once again, encourage the forming of additional conferences for the purpose of getting an automatic berth, and once again, extending and causing Division I basketball to proliferate further in the future. That's a very serious question.
I happen to believe very strongly that sooner or later we will have criteria for Division I basketball. Now that's not a very pleasing statement to make, but I happen to believe it's a practical statement to make. Sooner or later we will determine what a Division I basketball program is, not by the basis of someone declaring it, but on the basis of the type of criteria we set, whether it's with regard to their gymnasium
size or the crowd they draw, their budget or whatever. Sooner or later, we will have criteria or sooner or later, we will have close to 500 or 600 members in Division I basketball. There is no alternative. Now those are tough questions. I'm not sure I want to be on that committee to set the criteria. I do believe, however, that sooner or later that criteria must be set, and that my friends is the issue in federation. The legislative process is there. We could do what we want by division. The question is, in what division do we participate?
There will be one other major crisis, and I'II speak to it very bluntly, that could cause further establishment of the federated process. We have not had this happen, but if it does happen, and there is a recension vote, which is highly put together by one of the divisions other than a division that supports a particular issue, you will have a major crisis once again and you will have a further consideration of what the criteria will be in the future for divisional voting and the structure of the NCAA. I realize that's tough talk, but I think it's very practical because that's what would happen.
I agree strongly with what Asa said; that our present structure does encourage the elimination of the middle class. We are slowly going to two classes. We're either going to be all Division I or all going to be
Division III. You'll probably then have two classes within Division III, those in Division III who want to stay in Division III and those trying to get into Division I, because that's the nature of the beast. It will continue to be a problem.
I personally think that there's a place for each of these levels, a very strong place, for the particulal institution that participates at that level. Unfortunately, as finances have become a greater and greater factor, particularly in the NCAA basketball tournament, the pressures to move from one division to another have greatly increased, not for philosophical reasons, far from it. But once again, because of an athletic director or perhaps a president who happens to be more of a pragmatist than an idealist and suddenly realizes that there's $231,000 for a berth in the NCAA basketball tournament.
With regard to the multiple division problem, I don't believe that that problem will go away. I think there will continue to be Division I schools who do not want to sponsor sports at the fully-scholarship level and that may increase in the future with the increased demand under Title IX. I happen to also agree with AsI that the real solution is not to go back and allow those schools to participate in Division III, but perhaps at sometime in the future, to develop a level I and level II participation program within Division III in order to continue to encourage a broad based program and yet still maintain the highly visible, competitive so-called major sports that have been the backbone of Division I competition through the years.
I realize I haven't made very many philosophical statements, but I have tried to be very practical as to what I see lies ahead in the future. Thank you very much.
Thank you very much Roy. I have been very excited to sit here and listen to such quality and talented people to hear their diversified views and opinion to us. It's very exciting to know that we have these type: of people involved in intercollegiate athletics. I'd like to introduce Bill Hunt who is here this morning to answer any questions during our open-floor discussions. Right now I'd like to turn the floor back over to A1 Van Wie who will handle this discussion period. Al.
AL VAN WIE:
Thank you Larry. We'd like to answer questions now so if you would raise your hand, identify yourself and identify the person you are addressing the question to, let's get some questions on the floor.
FROM THE FLOOR:
Question was inaudible.
I personally think you would have a major crisis within the structure of the NCAA today if you had a recension vote. I'll just take the example of the Pell Grant. If all of a sudden you got a recension vo the convention as a whole to override Division I's approval of the 1,500, I don't think that would happen if it happened, I think you would have such a major crisis on the floor that you would have a tremendous
for a very, almost separated, concept of the NCAA.
FROM THE FLOOR:
Question was inaudible.
A great portion of the NCAA basketball money today is shared. Forty percent goes to the NCAA itself I its operation and 60 percent goes to the participants. Let me tell you about the 60 percent that goes to I participants. Arizona State this year, and I'm using Cedric's figures here, went all the way to the Final Four which is approximately 1.2 or so, million dollars. But after their portion of the expenses, as they
share it above and beyond that, I believe that was probably less than a quarter of a million dollars. Tom Hansen took the rest of it, but most of that's money shared. I know that in the Southeastern Conference,
that's very true. The only exceptions to that, and there are very few of these anymore in Division I basketball, would be the Division I independent schools, and because of the automatic qualifier situation, almost everYbody now tries to get into a conference, so we have very few of those still within the StruCtUI
I think Roy made the point, and incidentally Roy, we're indebted to you because you got the discussion down to the nitty-gritty. I think most of us were aware of the considerations particularly on criteria, but it would not have been very becoming for some of us from Divisions II or III to lay them out, but you did it very well.
I think we have to understand that Division I, through the basketball championship, does share. There's some three million dollars which they share directly in the block grants to fund the championships in II and III. But more importantly, the enormous sum of money basically pays for the operations of the NCAA. The dues to the organization are minimal and you could not begin to do all of the things that it does for us from dues. So Division I does share a great part of the proceeds of the basketball championship and I think we ought to keep that in mind. We'd like to have more of it Roy, but we do understand.
AL VAN WIE:
Any more questions? It is my feeling that our panel has been diversified and well prepared and I think we've had an interesting session. Thank you for being so attentive.