STATE OF COLLEGE ATHLETICS
(Tuesday, June 7, 8:15- 9:15 a.m.)
I am privileged to introduce our guest speaker this morning .When Dick Schultz became the executive director of the NCAA early last fall, he made the statement that he promised that was going to be a hands-on director. I think he's been every bit of that. He's been at our campuses and has spoken to various intercollegiate athletic groups. He has brought his message and he has certainly listened to our suggestions and our concerns. In fact, he has been on the road so much that he called his office the other day from the road and the operator came on and said, "sorry, the number you called is no longer in service." So, he has been on the road a bit.
Dick has paid his dues in our profession. After he finished his master's at the University of Iowa, he spent 10 years on the high school level as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator. Then he returned to the University of Iowa where he was the assistant baseball coach. He later became the assistant basketball coach and then the head baseball coach. I first met Dick when he was the head basketball coach at Iowa.
Later he became an administrative assistant to the president at the University of Iowa before moving on to become the director of athletics at Cornell University. More recently, he was the AD at the University of Virginia. Dick has served on several NCAA committees including the Men's Basketball Committee which he chaired the last two years he was on it. In my opinion, a very important factor, he chaired the negotiations for the new television contract for the men's basketball tournament with CBS and ESPN. I think that contract has a financial impact on every member institution of the NCAA.
I was privileged to spend three years on the Basketball Committee with Dick and I can say that Dick is trulya man that I admire and respect. He's one of us. He's one of our own and we're delighted to have him with us today, so let's give a nice warm welcome to our new executive director of the NCAA, Dick Schultz.
Thank you very much, Fred .Since I met with several groups yesterday, I'll try not to be redundant in what I say, but excuse me if I do repeat myself. The things I do repeat, obviously, will be what I feel is important. I'm really pleased that it worked out so that I could be with you today. I don't really feel like a new executive director anymore. In fact, it was a year ago when you were meeting that my appointment was announced in Kansas City. Even though I didn't start activities full-time until September I, I feel like it's been full-time since that day of appointment.
It's been an interesting and exciting process to become an executive director of your organization. I followed a man who was the right man at the right time, Walter Eyers. A great administrator and really an architect of the NCAA. When I took this job, I had some concerns how that transition would go. You're following the person who has put us all together and who has been the only executive director the NCAA has ever had. Then you take a look at the seven department heads at the NCAA and the shortest tenure is about eight years all the way up to 22-years. You say, "I wonder how flexible these people are. They've worked for this one person and they're used to a management style. How will they adjust to me?"
I had some real concerns, having been in your shoes as either a coach or an athletic director for more years than I want to admit to. Would I really enjoy this job? I felt though, that it was an opportunity to perhaps give something back to something that had been so good to me for so many years. After a year now, I can tell you that the transition has been exceptionally smooth. Walter Eyers has just been fantastic. It's been a real pleasure for me to get to know the real Walter Eyers. I feel bad that most of you people have not had that opportunity. He's a great administrator, a bright individual and really understands intercollegiate athletics. The department heads have responded greatly and have helped to make this transition very easy for me and very comfortable. I hope this first year has been as positive for you as it has been for me. When people say, "how do you like your job after a year,?" my answer is, "I've enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would."
Joe Dean talked to us this morning at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Breakfast. Joe talked about discipline and commitment which were all so familiar with intercollegiate athletics. But he also said something else that is very important. "You have to be happy doing what you're doing." I'm happy doing what I'm doing and I hope you people are very happy doing what you're doing. You have a very important task to perform. Being an administrator of intercollegiate athletics, I think, is one of the toughest jobs in America today. It's a lot tougher job than I had. I have a lot of publics to serve, but my job as executive director is not nearly as tough as my job was as director of athletics at a member institution. I had constant challenges from a lot of different directions and a lot of different pressures and a lot of different publics to serve. That's the position that you're in. You have to make decisions about funding and about what the
priorities have to be for your department. Your decisions impact all the way down to the coaches and the athletes you have to work with on a daily basis. You have a tough and challenging job. I can understand that job because I've been there.
As I work with you in this association, one of the things that we're trying very hard to do is to put some personality into the NCAA and let you know that this is your association. It's not mine or the professional staff in Kansas City. We can't make a rule. We can't change a rule. We're there to carry out what you want. You make the rules and we see that the rules are carried out. But, we're also there to help make your job easier and the only way we can assist you in meeting the challenges you have is to know what those challenges are. We have window of opportunity right now because I am one of you and I understand what your problems and concerns are. I feel that I can work with you and help you with those problems and that's exactly what I want to do. It's also important that I maintain those communication lines with you over the years because I have to have a feel. We that work in the national office have to have a feel and understanding for what your problems and concerns are. We need to know what you want us to be doing to assist you in solving those problems .
I've spent a good deal of time traveling and a good part of that has been on your campuses. When I have been there, I've been there for many purposes. But, one of the major reasons I've been there is to strengthen your position. You are the true athletic professionals on your college campus. You have to be in control of those programs, not your governing boards and not your coaches. I was a coach for a lot longer than I was an athletic administrator and many of you have been coaches. Coaches can't run an athletic department. The athletic director has to run the athletic department. He has to have the confidence and support of the president and that governing board. You have to be in charge and you have to be in control. If you're not, we're going to have serious problems in intercollegiate athletics. I want to do whatever I can when I come to your campus or in my day-to-day work to support you and make your position strong. Because if we're to achieve what we need to achieve in the years ahead in intercollegiate athletics and preserve what is truly a great American tradition, you people have to be leaders. You have to be leaders in administration, leaders in direction, in integrity and you have to leaders of men and women. I want to help you do that. So, we are your organization and we are here to serve.
When we talk about intercollegiate athletics and we talk about your organization, there are certain things that we need to do and change to make it better. As I've traveled around the country and talked to so many people, I've averaged about 14 days a month on the road during this first year, I've heard a lot of concerns. I'm a very good listener. I've heard a lot of ideas. People are ready for change but, when you ask them what should be changed and how should we about that change, you get as many different ideas as you talk to people. But, that's important. It's also important that we provide some leadership and take those ideas and thoughts and pull them together and provide some direction so that you can accept what you like and reject what you dont like. But, be sure we're all traveling down that road together. The unity and the togetherness and the trust is so very important to the future of intercollegiate athletics and the directions that we take.
We do have to make some changes if we're going to be effective. Some of those changes are in the way we do business, in the procedures, in other words, the legislative process, and in our structure. We have to make those changes, basically, for two reasons. To be more effective in what we do and to make everything simpler and easier to understand.
The forum in June in Orlando is a very important one. The three most important issues that have been discussed throughout this entire national forum will be discussed there. The legislative process of the association, the structure of the association and financial aid. The format has been changed at our
insistence to provide opportunity for discussion. In my judgment, there hasn't really been an opportunity for discussion at the forums and I feel that has been a real weakness. After each topic, there will be breakout sessions and you'll have an opportunity express your opinions to debate those issues. Regardless of what comes out of the national forum, I think there's some things that we have to start and we have to start right away. We need to get started in January.
With the help of staff, I've put together a paper that was presented to the NCAA Council in April that I'll be sharing with you after the national forum. I haven't wanted to do that in advance because we have a number of speakers that will be speaking on some of those issues and some of the items in that paper may steal some of their thunder. I think it's important to hear all of the viewpoints on what we should be doing and how we should be doing it.
If we don't accomplish anything else legislatively, one of the major things we have to do is
to change our legislative calendar. You all know that we come to convention in January and we have 150/160 legislative processes that go through. Some of that legislation is good and some of it is not very good. During the current process, legislation can come in as late as November I. Amendments to Amendments can be presented by one school the day before the Convention starts and this leads to a lot of confusion and a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of bad legislation.
If we adjust that calendar, and I don't have any magic dates, but let me just throw some out for us to think about. If the deadline for legislation might be June 1, for example, so that we would have four or five months to take a look at that legislation, discuss it in our conferences, perhaps have regional seminars or
hearings in which all of this legislation could be aired, I think that a lot of the bad legislation would get out of there. Then maybe, September 1, as a deadline for the amendments to the amendments. You would have to have as many people support an amendment to the amendment as supported the original legislation. Then
you have a few months to digest those amendments so that when you come to Convention in January you really understand what your're voting on and it has been aired by everyone in your community. I think we'll reduce the amount legislation, the quantity and we'll improve the quality ten-fold. That has to be a goal that we'll all achieve. We're going through the manual revision. I think it will be much better. It'll be much simpler to understand. But let's not put ourselves back in the position of re-encumbering that whole process.
We also need to look at structure. We have a lot of different groups and representations. We have three different groups in Division I. We have Division II and Division III. Right now, much of our legislation is interactive. It effects all groups or individual groups. We still need an umbrella organization. Regardless of how federated we become, we still need an umbrella organization to coordinate everything we do in the different divisions. But, we have to get ourselves into the position where each Division can determine what they want. Division I-!! should not dictate to I-! what its financial aid procedure should be. Neither should I-!! or Division II dictate to Division III how they should run their programs. You have to be in a position where each segment can determine what their initial eligibility should be, what their academic progress should be, what their financial aid packages should be and then we have an opportunity of putting things together that will work for everyone.
We have a thousand-plus members, nearly 900 colleges and universities. And in Division I alone, we have programs with budgets that vary all the way from $400,000 to $18 million, and they're all Division I. This is why we have a I-A and a AA and a AAA, and a Division II and Division III. We have to be in a position to provide some individual autonomy for each one of those segments without damaging the whole. One of the big concerns that always comes up when we talk about federation, what's going to happen to basketball? What's going to happen to the funding? I think commitments have to be made. We're not talking about changing the basketball tournament. We're not talking about reducing funding for Division II or Division III. Our association is just like your individual programs. We have one or two events which generate the revenue that provides the resources for everything that we do. Your association sponsors 16 championships. We're not going to change that by doing some restructuring .But, by restructuring , we will give people an opportunity to go the direction they want. Two of the most important things we have to be concerned with is the philosophy of our university and its athletic programs and its financial resources. We have to be content with developing the programs that fit our own individual situation and not be concerned about what our neighbors down the street are doing. This always gets us into trouble. Let's not try to impose our way of
doing things on those who have a different philosophy and are reaching for a different direction and have a different public to serve.
This is so important. If we're going to reach our goals, we have to develop that trust and confidence in each other and we have to trust our leadership so that these things can happen. So that all of our programs can gro~ and prosper and be what we would like them to be.
I would like to take a minute to talk about compliance and enforcement. As I travel around the country, everybody views the NCAA as enforcement. That's a small part of what we do. It's a very small part of what we do. I talked about the 76 championships, but when you take a look at the whole organization and what it provides for the membership, and what it does, enforcement is a very small part of it. We have about 12 percent of the schools that are under investigation at anyone time and a good number of those are self-reported in secondary violations.
If you are careful and read the manual and understand enforcement, you find that it is a cooperative effort between the institution and the association. As you become a member in the association, you agree to abide by the rules and regulations that you make. And if you make a mistake, then it's a cooperative effort on the part of the enforcement staff and your program and your university to correct those mistakes. Put a mechanism in place that will correct those problems so that they don't happen again. It's not us against you. It's a cooperative effort. That's the way it has to be.
We all make mistakes. No one's perfect. It's like the guy that married late in life. He was still trying to make it financially. One of the things he thought would indicate that would be when his
income got to the level when he could hire a full-time maid for his wife. He finally got to that position. He conducted a 30-day search and he picked what he thought was the right person. The maid was on the job a couple of months, when he called home one mid-morning. The maid answered the telephone and he said, nI'd lfie to speak to my wife.n She said, nI'm sorry sir, she can't come to the telephone right now.n He said, nwell it's very important. You have to get her to the phone.n She said, nI'm sorry, I just can't disturb her.n He really became irritated and he said, nwell, do you realize who hires who and who you're talking to?n She said, nyes, sir, I do.n He then said, nwell, go get my wife regardless of what she's doing and bring her to the phone right now.n She said, nI can't do that. She's in the bedroom with the mailman.n There's a long pause. He asked her, nhow would you like to make $lOO,OOO?n She said, nI'd love to.n He said, nAll right.
Go into the library and in the third drawer in the desk you'll find a revolver. Take the gun out. Go upstairs and shoot them both." She said, "Yes, sir." It was quiet. A little while later, he hears, "pow, pow." A few minutes later, she comes back and picks up the phone. She said, "I've taken care of it." He said, "Fine, I'll be right home and pay you. By the way, what did you do with the gun?" She said, "Well, I threw it in the swimming pool." Again, there's a long pause. "You threw it in the swimming pool?" "Yes sir, I did." He said, "is this 924-7155?"
We're all going to make mistakes. Just don't make the big mistakes. Look on the enforcement side as something that is helpful. If you have a problem, report it. Get it behind you and don't stonewall it. If you have a serious problem, have the courage to deal with that. If you can do that, we'll be one stop closer to achieving what we all want and that is true integrity.
I think there are some concerns in intercollegiate athletics. You're all aware of the agent problem. You're all aware of the perceptions that we have in intercollegiate athletics. I think there are things that we can do collectively. Probably the most important thing we can do is to undertake a major education program with our athletes. As soon as they come on our campuses, we need to take the initiative to exert some controls, that problem will come back again. It's not a new problem. It's been there for years. It just keeps resurfacing from time-to-time.
There's another challenge to our program. That's the fact that sometime this summer or fall, the International Olympic Committee is going to make all professional athletes eligible to participate in the Olympics. If that's approved, that could have a major impact on our athletes and amateur athletes in this country. I don't know that the Celtics will allow a Larry Bird or the Lakers will allow a Magic Johnson to play in the Olympics, but there's probably a lot of pros out there they would love to have get that experience. That's going to impact on our college athletes. Not only in the sport of basketball. That's a concern that we have to working on in the future. I'm not sure if there's anything that we can do about it, but we're considering getting more involved in the Olympic effort as an association. We have sessions scheduled with the NBA and we hope that, even if this happens, with some of our programs we can reach some types of agreement with those so that there can be some built-in protection for our athletes.
We're the only nation that has a lot of highly-organized professional teams. That impact is going to impact on our programs probably more than any other international programs.
Finally, let's talk about something I feel is very important to all of us. Integrity may not be the biggest problem we have in intercollegiate athletics. There are probably some bigger than that, but, it certainly is a major public issue. If you ask the average person on the street what they think of intercollegiate athletics, they're probably going to tell you that, "well, the universities are making millions of dollars off their athletic programs at the expense of the athlete. All coaches cheat. Athletes don't graduate and they're all drug addicts." That's ridicules and we know it is. But, we have enough incidents happen and because of the visibility of our programs, that perception is being transmitted.
There's only one way that we can deal with that and you've heard me say this before. We can't
legislate integrity. That's something that has to start on your campuses and in your programs. You have to make a commitment from the very top on down to complete integrity in your programs. Adding to our enforcement staff, adding new rules is not going to solve that problem.
As a country, we have tried for years to legislate morality. Our jails are all full and we're building bigger ones. So, the only what that this is going to happen is that it be something that you want and that your institution wants. The control over those programs has to rest you and not with the coaches or the governing boards. But, with you people as the true professionals on your college campus. We have to take a look at everything that we do. We have to quite shooting ourselves in the foot and talking about all of our problems, pointing our fingers here and there.
We have an exciting product; the young people of this country. We have something that no one else has. We have that genuine enthusiasm. The pros have tried to duplicate what we do at the Super Bowl, the NBA Playoffs and everything else, but, they don't have the true amateurs. They don't have the student body. They don't have the volunteer cheerleaders and bands. They don't have those people who generate real excitement and enthusiasm. We have something that no one else has. We have something that has been very important to
the American people for years. Not only as a form of entertainment, but also as a form of inspiration. What is the state of intercollegiate today? It's superl It's greatl It's never been better!
Let's be sure that as a group, we're talking about how good it is and how positive it is. Not about the fact that I got caught, but everybody else is doing it. Or not about how bad this school is or how bad that school is. I've been talking about the great and positive things of athletics for a year. But, I'm not going to accomplish that all by myself. You've got to chip in and help with your local papers, your local programs, your own student bodies, your own alumni and they must know what a great product we have. We have to remind ourselves why we're in this business. We're not in this business to develop major league baseball or basketball players or football players. That's going to happen to some of our young people. If it happens, that's great. We're here to educate young men and women and to be sure that they are prepared to compete in life and be productive and give something of quality back to society.
We get so involved so many times in wanting to win and wanting to fill the stadium, that we start cutting the corners. We start worrying about things that are not really important. Not in the big picture. If we're going to have visible programs, it's a lot more fun to have programs that are successful rather than programs that are unsuccessful. We all know that there's going to be a lot of visibility with both of those.
Our job is not to develop professionals. The NCAA position, ever since John Toner as president
testified in Congress has been this, "That the athlete has the right to leave school at anytime he wants to."
That's a legal position. But, there is absolutely no way that we can support an undergraduate draft. When you take a look at the statistics that are provided by the players associations of all the other leagues, you'll find that the average life with a major league team, in most cases, is less than four years. What is more startling is that there is almost an 80 percent divorce rate among that group. Fifty percent of them are bankrupt when they quite playing. Is this what we're dedicating our efforts to? I don't think so.
We're dedicating our efforts to quality, class, integrityand educating young people to be successful; and to deal with the challenges of a bigger and a greater life.
Athletics is a tool and a vehicle. For some of them, it will be a profession. But, not very many.
It's just like the old Biblical phrase, "many are called, but few are chosen." Those percentages are not very good. We have to be responsive to that need. We have to be positive in what we're doing. We have to be enthusiastic about what we're doing. We have to grab the reins of leadership. If you or I don't do it, I'll guarantee you, that no one will do it. We will lose one of the greatest things that this country has to
offer. Bright young people who are competitive and are successful and good athletes. You have to join me in that challenge. When people say to you, "what's the state of intercollegiate athletics?" Let's be sure that that perception is class and quality, integrity, successful and well-educated young men and women.
That's a noble challenge. It's a tough challenge. But it's one that we all ought to assume and we all should assume it enthusiastically. Help me and let me help you achieve that goal. Thank you.
Dick, thanks so very much. I know how everyone out here feels about you and how much they appreciate the time you have given us. We're going to work hard to do exactly what you said. We were going to throw the floor open to Dick. If any of you have questions, we have a few minutes and Dick is willing to entertain any questions you have.
The next session will be here at 9:30 a.m.