OPENING REMARKS AND KEYNOTE ADDRESS
(Monday, June 6, 8:45 a.m. -9:30 a.m.)
Welcome to NACDA's 23rd Convention. As your 23rd president of NACDA, I've enjoyed this year very much and within about a day and a half, I can turn it over to Dr. Gary Cunningham and I know we'll have another good year in 88/89. It has been a spectacular year and NACDA has become a real entity in collegiate
athletics. Our membership is at an all-time high. We've certainly taken a leadership role on the issue of player agents and of drug education. For the first time, we're going into the National Athletic Trainers' Association and have already registered well over 300 people going to that Drug Education Workshop immediately preceding the trainers' convention. We continue to work on other educational services related to intercollegiate athletics and, hopefully, we can continue to grow and progress in the leadership role in this country where athletic leadership is needed badly.
We have a record attendance of over 865 at this Convention, which speaks well for this site and, hopefully, the leadership will be intelligent enough in the future to bring this Convention back to Marco Island.
At this time I would like to introduce our speaker this morning who is a gentleman that we are very pleased could give of his time to be with us. Dick Kazmaier is a long-time friend of college athletics and of NACDA. Since winning the 1951 Heisman Trophy for Charlie Cadwell's unbeaten and sixth-ranked Princeton Tigers, Dick has remained close to collegiate athletics.
Thirty-five years ago this fall, he teamed with Russ Hodges on the NBC-NCAA Postgame Scoreboard Showand served on the Gator Bowl Executive Committee in the late 1950s. For 12 years, until 1986, he served as president of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. In that capacity, he worked with NACDA to
help establish the Kickoff Classic. He currently serves on the NCAA Honors Committee and the MIT Corporate Athletics Visiting Committee. Prior to 1984 Olympics, he served as chairman of the U.S. Field Hockey Foundation. He has watched one of his six daughters try to score a goal for the Princeton field hockey team against her sister who is a member of the University of New Hampshire team as a goalie. Even though George Halas drafted him, Dick chose to limit his post-college competition to leading a Harvard Business School touch football team to two undefeated seasons while he was completing his M.B.A. degree, which he completed in 1954.
For most of his business career, Dick has worked in the sports & leisure industry managing a variety of companies during the last 30 years. He established Kazmaier Associates, Inc. in Concord, Massachusetts in 1975. The successful firm today owns several manufacturing, marketing and sales organizations in sporting goods and event management. On February 1 of this year, President Reagan named Dick Kazmaier the ninth chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. It is my pleasure to have him speak here this morning. Would you please welcome, Dick Kazmaier.
Thank you very much. First off, I would like to thank Carl Miller for inviting me to be with you in this role today. It is a great pleasure for me to be here, and as many of you know, and as Carl said, there are
few topics dearer to my heart than the subject of college athletics. Be that as it may, it is appropriate to acknowledge at the outset that my comments are those of a long time informed observer and admiring fan who has the advantage of being able to sit back and reflect on some of the larger issues without the day-to-day emersion. Unlike you, I am not at a firing line position in the college athletic world. I admire what you do and applaud your success.
Incidentally, when I told my wife about the invitation and the topic your president suggested, "integrity in college athletics", she reminded me of the Keynote Speaker's Prayer, "Oh Lord, please fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff and nudge me when I've said enough." Despite my faith, I've also written out my text to make absolutely certain there will be a timely conclusion.
Integrity is a national issue including, yet transcending, college athletics. Before I approach college athletics directly, let me orient you to my perspective by commenting on my new assignment and its links to college athletics and integrity. When President Reagan appointed me chairman of the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness & Sports on February 1, my exposure to Washington multiplied dramatically. This opportunity has made me more aware of the great interest all of athletics has in that city and the untapped potential for enhancement of athletic opportunity.
Too often, we think of Washington and government at large as an unapproachable phenomenon to be avoided at all costs. This view is not always warranted in my opinion, nor is it very pragmatic. An example of government at its best is the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. Eighteen volunteers serving on a part-time basis; a budget of under a million and a half dollars supporting a very competent staff of
about 20 professionals and office personnel and all their activities. And together, generating largely
private sector support of between $35 to $40 million dollars annually in exposure, publicity and programs for the laudable purpose of improving the health and fitness of all Americans, whatever their age or circumstances.
The Council has a vital mission to serve and it serves it with integrity. For instance, the only marathon which meets the Council's standards for endorsement is the Marine Corp Marathon, an event which epitomizes not only the spirit of amateurism and fitness, also performance and participation.
The President himself has a great interest in identification with sports, and I trust, so will the presidents after him. Beyond that personal presindential orientation, unfortunately, there really is very little else in the federal departments and agencies that relates to sports.
When the U.S. Information Service surveyed the jurisdiction various government agencies exercise over sports, the results confirmed the scattershot approach which has evolved. USIS found authorities spread among the Defense Department for functions ranging from use of military bases to access to weather information; the Treasury Department from Customs to stamps and coins; the Department of Agriculture, avalanche control and special use permits for high-altitude training; the Justice Department, drug education and enforcement; the Department of State from visas to counter-terrorism and perhaps, most significantly, the USIS itself, from sponsoring coaching exchanges and sports speakers overseas to facilitating American sports groups going
abroad. Understandably, a common plight of foreign sports ministers trying to address an international sports issue is discovering they have no counterpart in the U.S. There is no one person or office in Washington to deal with.
The one area which affects all sports, professional and amateur, is the arena in which Congress
legislates or declines to legislate. Notably, Congress has, by in-action, maintained an anti-trust exemption for professional baseball. The recent Olympic Coin Act will provide several millions of dollars for the USOC starting now. Tax issues, such as the recent phasing out of skybox lease deductions, along with anti-trust and communications issues all demand attention.
Recently, before visiting Australia, I called on the Australian Ambassador. One of his aides commented that the ambassador was handling his assignment very well. Particularly, since he had changed the orientation of their efforts to focus on Congress and the legislative process. You can and should do the same. Show Congress the positive side of college athletics. Help the members realize integrity is a national issue and that athletics wants to be part of a national solution. While any action you can take is long-term in nature, cultivating relationships with your Senators and Congressmen can be most beneficial. Send them a football or a basketball signed by the team. Few elected officials will turn down a photo opportunity with a university athletic official. Invite them to sit with you at homecoming and be sure to note their presence in the media briefs. Inevitably, some politician will make sure he is paged on the stadium P.A. system.
A good working relationship with legislatures and their key aides can alleviate or solve problems. Particularly when you utilize those professionals based in Washington who can guide you through specific projects and require their knowledge of the players and the rules of the game. At the very least, awareness of what is happening in our nation's capital goes well for all involved.
Fortunately, for the country, I am not a bureaucrat, and my commitment expires when President Reagan leaves office next January. So far, I have just peaked under the covers at official Washington and it appears right now that it takes something different than what is inside me to function effectively in that environment on a day in and day out basis. Perhaps my stomach is reacting to that old saying, "there are two things you don't want to watch being made, sausage and legislation." But I am a product of educationally-oriented and highly competitive sports programs as well as the entrepreneurial business world. I'm grateful for my early training and the opportunity to develop attitudes and skills well-suited to my chosen fields of interest.
One of my continuing avocational interest has been the personal benefit derived annually by tens of thousands of young people in our colleges and secondary schools through participation in a myriad of athletic opportunities, and being a business man, I can see clearly the economic issues involved with offering and maintaining these opportunities. In many respects, it boils down to a dichotomy of either too much or not enough. But either way, without a foundation of integrity, the benefits disappear for our young people and our country.
Sports revenue has snowballed over the past 25-five years, or at least since the advent of television and the insatiable appetite for sponsors to use TV to convey their message, whether it be to sell a product or service or create a favorable impression for their business generally. A more recent phenomenon is corporate sponsorship of an event, whether a bowl game, an overseas contest or even a regular season basketball game.
As a result of this abundance, there is a strong temptation for a college athletic program, particularly football and basketball, to gear itself for a big piece of the pie. This often has been accompanied by an expectation that all of the athletic departments budget be covered by the income received. In most state-supported institutions, it is required by law. Thus, income becomes the primary mission rather than the quality of the student experience, and it is a challenge, indeed, to makes dollars and integrity compatible.
The athlete is thrust into the middle of this bottom line environment. How can we not be sensitive to
the perspective of the blue-chip athlete who can literally touch the pot of gold that dangles before his eyes everyday. Consider the stark contrast between life as a 21-year old NCAA regulation-abiding student-athlete receiving a $1,400 Pell Grant and life as an average 24-year old NBA player making $500,000. How can we be surprised that some student-athletes, sometimes encouraged by others, cannot resist the temptation to dip into that pot of gold.
Way back in the early years of the 20th Century, there was great concern about the fiercely competitive win-oriented system which had developed in American colleges. As my personal observation began in mid-century, most of those sorts of problems being encountered today were then already present. Now the revenue benefits of winning have magnified the inherent problems of competition, and that doesn't begin to mention the societal changes that drugs and the long overdue emergence of women's sports have brought about.
I believe that in a very real sense, there is no better means of developing character or learning lessons needed for a whole and successful life than through athletics. In athletics one learns early that victory is the result of discipline, monumental effort and unselfish dedication; of overcoming discouragement of both self-confidence and confidence in the team. This very positive and important educational dimension of the college athletic experience must not be overshadowed by the abuses and excesses of the visible few.
Several years ago, Father Hesburg recounted this point eloquently when he defined his school's principal objective to be one of providing a significant educational experience for all students on campus.
It is hard to visualize how any program athletic or not, that operates counter to or outside of the educational institution's basic purpose, can do anything to enhance the mission of providing a significant educational experience for all of the students. It is my admittedly optimistic hope that today's athletic programs will enable each participant to look back on his or her college experience in much the same ways as I have long-viewed myown. I gained an education and we won football games with the obvious rewards. More important than winning, however, just by participating in athletics in campus-life, I learned lessons and forged friendships that have proved invaluable to date. These priceless benefits are not the exclusive property of any school, but can be present on any campus, if they are truly desired and worked for. To me it takes a far greater commitment to athletics as a part of the educational system to assure funding for all sports, men and women, intercollegiate and intramural, than it does to insist that the revenue sports provide all resources for the athletic programs. A broad-based offering reflects the conviction that each participant can receive a lifetime of benefits. I think of MIT, a Division III school usually associated with nerds not jocks. MIT offers 37 intercollegiate programs, an extensive intramural program in which 70 percent of all students participate and an aggressive community outreach recreational program. Student groups practice from 6 a.m. until midnight.
You are the leaders of your institution's athletic endeavors. To me, integrity implies the responsibility to see to it that when viewing the worlds of sports we don't just focus on that very small number of participants who reach stardom and monetary riches. There's a dramatic contrast when you concern yourself
with the broad base as contrasted with the miniscule top. Truly the tip of the iceburE attracts all of the attention. Yet, within the submerged bulk of the iceburg lies the potential for the real social and personal development of sports. The good of college athletics cannot be served by teaching and training only the few
who become superstars. And I believe those who guide our colleges and universities subscribe to this thesis. After all, the media will make certain that the top achievers on the field are recognized.
One personal observation of the obvious difference occurs for me early each December. In New York, two nights apart in the same week, the National Football Foundation scholar athletes, representatives of college football at its best, are contrasted with the Heisman Award winner. Practically everyone knows who wins the Heisman, but who outside this room can recall the names of any of the scholar athletes?
In any organization the leader sets the goals, sets the priorities and sets and maintains the standards. Peter Druckard worded it well. He said, "A leader develops people. Through the way he leads, he makes it easy or difficult for them to develop themselves. He directs people or misdirects them. He brings out what is in them or he stifles them. He strengthens their integrity or he corrupts them. He trains them to stand upright and strong or he deforms them. All whether he knows it or not." There is no immediate panacea in sight for college athletics, nor has there ever been. Play by the rules on the field, play by the rules off the field. After all, isn't living by the rules one of the great lessons taught by athletics. And the results? They are the benefits for all those who take part. Remember, the surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed. Thank you very much.
What can we do for the President's Council as far as you're concerned as leaders in athletics. I know that many of our people in physical education across the country are involved, but what can we do in the major athletic programs, in the junior colleges, the NAIA, Division I, II and III people to help you and your 18- member committee do for the President's Council?
Well, when you have 18 volunteers and 20 staff people, about six professionals and the rest support personnel, and you're trying to tackle the entire country, the one thing that becomes obvious is that you
need cooperation and support from a great variety of elements in the sports and fitness world. Incidentally, the sports role of the President's Council is one that is a participation role, not a governing body, not a involved administrative group, but rather one to encourage sports participation.
We have a presidential sports award that anyone can subscribe to. You keep the log of your activities, some 40 or so different sports that you can participate in; you submit your own log and meet the requirements and receive a presidential sports award. That's really our sports orientation is participation, so
obviously, if your programs offer to the whole of the student body an opportunity to use facilities or receiv, instruction or otherwise have an opportunity at that age level to develop good sports and fitness routines, I think that's the key area that those on college campuses could provide. We really try to work and I think
the success of the President's Council is because through the use of the Presidential identification, and it': the only sports related activity that has the President's identification and it's one of the few programs period in Washington that has the president's identification. We are able to work with groups. We
get a lot of private-sector funding, and one of the reasons is we do a coordinating role, a cooperative role, standard-setting role and obviously, then lend the identification of the President to that program. So, if there are programs that you as a body would want to develop, they could be developed in conjunction with our group of people, not because we want rights of approval or we want to put the programs in place, just so that they meet the standards.
One of the things I've learned is that you don't dilute a product and expect to have great demand for it. If you don't maintain standards for an endorsement or an identification such as that of the President's Council, you're probably going to lose the ability to have an appeal. So we work carefully with any group that wants an involvement, an identification, and it is only because of standards and a desire to have continuity that we do that kind of work. If there's anything more on the President's Council, I'd be happy to identify it. I am not a believer in big government. I am not a believer in government spending. I am not a believer in government solving the problems of people for them. I am a believer in government being a catalyst, being an aid, being a safety net, being a resource that can be called on, and to me, the President's Council fills this role with a minimum amount of taxpayers' money. Thank you.
Thank you Dick. I think your insights into our profession as a former player, as an advocate of intercollegiate athletics at its best, have given us the kind of insight to kick off this Convention.