NACDA/DISNEY SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARDS LUNCHEON
(Monday, June 10, 11:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m.)
I'd like to introduce ilie upper dias. The Executive Director of NACDA, Mike Cleary; ilie president of Disneyland and co-sponsor of today's luncheon, Mr. Jack Lindquist; ilie Director of Aililetics at ilie U.S. Naval Academy and past president of NACDA, Jack Lengyel; ilie director of national contracts from National Car Rental and co-sponsor of today's luncheon, Bob Briggs; ilie secretary of NACDA and ilie director of aililetics at Fitchburg State College, Betty Kruczek; ilie second vice-president of NACDA and ilie director of athletics at Ohio State, Jim Jones; our fIrst vice-president and ilie director of aililetics at ilie University of Oregon, Bi11 Byrne; our iliird vice-president and ilie director of aililetics at the University of North Carolina, John Swofford; our invocator and past president in 1987-88 from Georgia Tech, Homer Rice; ilie director of aililetics at Fresno State and past president of NACDA, Gary Cunningham; ilie director of aililetics at San Diego State and past president in 1978-79, Fred Miller; past president in 1983-84, while at Drake, Bob Kames; ilie director of athletics at Purdue University and past president in 1982-83, George King; ilie past president in 1977-78 while at Boston College, Bill Flynn; past president in 1985-86 while at New Hampshire, Andy Mooradian; past president in 1979-80 while at Wi11iam and Mary , Ben Carnevale; past president in 1967-68 while at San Jose State, Bob Bronzan; and immediately in front, Col. John Clune, ilie director of aililetics at ilie U.S. Air Force Academy and past president in 1985-86.
Introducing our master of ceremonies today, who is the retired director of athletics from the University of Washington, and now the executive vice president of the Raycom Management Group and past president of NACDA in 1981-82, Mike Lude.
Ladies and gentlemen, as we celebrate our 26th Convention, some of us have been here that long, we're both honored and privileged to have a special message from a student-athlete. Please put your eyes on the television screen for a message from the President of the United States.
PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH'S VIDEO PRESENTATION:
"Greetings to all of you athletic directors as you gather for your 26th annual Convention. I have great admiration for the work you do building programs that advance
the causes of fitness and scholarships inspiring and training young college students to reach deep inside themselves and be the very best they can. I'm speaking from some personal experience. When I look back at my days at Yale, I realize what a lasting influence intercollegiate athletics had on me. I found a newspaper clipping from one of my first
games and it reads, "After an impressive debut, George Bush, the Eli's classy ftrst-baseman, is hitting 167." I like the fIrst part of that description, but 167? But, thanks to our coach, Ethan Allen, who worked with me patiently, at the end of my last season, my average was 280. Not great, but thanks to him, better. I loved competing in sports at college. But, college athletics are different today. In some ways, you face enormous challenge and pressure to win and, at the same time, preserve the academic integrity of your institutions. We recently introduced our America 2000 education strategy calling for the return of education to its proper place at the center of our kids lives. You can help. You can insure that our kids don't lose sight of life's real priority. Priorities like education to prepare them for the competitive challenges of the 21st Century and, as you well know, priorities like the overwhelming importance of resisting any and all drugs. Our goal must be to produce scholar-athletes, proud and fit in mind and body and totally drug-free.
In the 45-years since my first game at Yale, I've often found myself looking back
at the lessons I learned at the hands of our coaches. Anything worth achieving requires hard work. There are no short cuts to excellence. Physical fitness makes for mental sharpness and when you feel good. your mind works better. Be this country's future. On behalf of generations of college athletes, thank you very much."
I think we should say, "Thank you, Mr. President." Now I'd like to introduce to you an extra special guest joining us today, Laura Desno. Laura is a fine example of the student-athlete concept. Laura was the NCAA champion in the discus in 1985 and Olympic Festival champion in 1986. She was a four-time NCAA Ali-American in the Discus, a U.S. Olympic team member in 1984, placing lOth. She graduated from San Diego State University in 1986 with a degree in sports medicine. As a member of the 129th evacuation hospital unit and working on a BS
in nursing at San Diego State, she served three months in Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Dessert Storm. She worked as a specialist, E-4, in a hospital unit. Symbolic of the great things that happened in the desert and one of our fme student-athletes, Laura Desno.
What a great luncheon. When you or I really put our minds to work to concentrate on the subject, who would be the ideal, the symbolic model to have as a speaker for this prestigious luncheon? One of obvious quality, of intellect should be just the right person. You would want someone who is a scholar-athlete himself. Someone with high visibility and someone to represent the full meaning of those two words, student-athlete. We have, through the cooperation of CBS Television and the man himself, a person who is an example of all of these fine quality points.
It is a real pleasure for a University of Washington Huskie to introduce a UCLA Bruin as our featured guest speaker. Ladies and gentlemen, a scholar-athlete himself, I'm proud to present, Bill Walton.
Thank you very much. It's truly a pleasure to be here today seeing all of these bright and intelligent student- athletes. I'm quite confident they are intelligent because not a one of them went to USC or Notre Dame. It's also an extreme pleasure to sit next to one of my old coaches, Gary Cunningham.
A couple of our recipients, Mr. Prather and Mr. O'Toole, are from the sport of football. They are from MIT and Carnegie-Mellon. I lived in Cambridge for awhile and football at MIT is going down on Memorial Drive on the
grass and playing catch on Saturday mornings. It's a little different at UCLA. I never heard of Carnegie Melon as a fruit, but I guess they do something back there.
Something that struck me today while looking over the program of award winners were the schools being honored. Again, it brings me back to the days when Gary Cunningham would always lecture me about being a student-athlete. He would say, "Bill, you're going to come to UCLA because this is a great metropolitan area and you're going to learn a lot of culture. You don't want to go to places like Minnesota, Nebraska and Carnegie- Mellon, Bucknell and Baylor. You want to come to the big-time." I said, "Coach, sure, I want to come to UCLA and spend all my time in the library and doing my work. When we go to these places to play them, I'll just bring all of my books because there will be nothing to do in these towns." I know now why we have so many winners from Nebraska and Minnesota because having grown up my entire life in southern California, I know when you get out there, there's nothing to do but crack those books.
When I was at UCLA, I was very lucky to not only work with people like Gary Cunningham and Coach Wooden, but I had great teammates. We had a great time at UCLA and I had no desire to leave that wonderful institution. I remember at college, we were winning and going to place like Oregon and Washington State, there was no trouble studying on those road trips. We had a lot of great basketball players on our team and we won so many games. The professional teams were really rating the colleges at that point. I find it very interesting that the NBA now has a stay in school program. All of the spokesmen are guys who left early. A lot of people fund the NBA who did very well in college. I see that no basketball players are honored today, and that's disappointing.
When I was at UCLA, the NBA was interested in my leaving school. I can remember when I was back in St Louis in the 1973 NCAA championships, and, as usual, the players were stuck out in a dive hotel and the coaches and AD's were down at the plush hotels downtown. During the semi-fmal game against Indiana, Coach Wooden hadn't told us that Bob Knight was some really important person, so we let him stay close to hang around and almost beat us. I was complaining to our late athletic director, J.D. Morgan, who did so much for us, and he said, "Bill, what's the problem? You're not playing worth a dam." I said, "J.D., I'm in this dusty, lumpy bed and trucks are rolling by all night." J.D. said, "No problem. You take my room downtown." So, I packed up my bags and the rest of the team stayed where they were. I went down to his hotel and checked in. He had failed to mention that I was coming and they thought he was checking out when he took his bags. Now, I'm sound asleep the night before the championship game and about 3:00 a.m. some drunk athletic director came stumbling in. They gave him J.D.'s room not knowing that I'm in there. He called the police. I'm thrown out into the lobby. There were some coaches there, who were also drunk. They asked me, "What's the problem? You've got a game in about 18-hours and it's 3:00
a.m. What are you doing in the hotel lobby?" I said, "1 got thrown out of my room and I don't have another place to stay." Some coaches helped me out. They called J.D. Morgan on the phone. J.D. calls the manager of the hotel and reads him the riot act. The manager came over to me and said, "I'm very sorry." He took me up to a three- bedroom suite, with phones in every room, televisions in every room.
After the game, some guys came up to me and said they wanted to offer me a lot of money to join the NBA. I agreed to meet with them. They came to my room and gave me a big pitch. Afterwards, I looked around my suite, and said to them, "Look what UCLA does for me. I'm going nowhere." I stayed at UCLA. Unfortunately, the next year we had to go back to Notre Dame. We lost that game and broke our 88-game winning streak. I was back at the NCAA finals this year and, sure enough, I get into the hotel lobby at 3:00 a.m. my fIrst night there. Digger Phelps is still buying drinks for those referees and it made me so mad.
When I first joined the NBA after I left college, on the first day when I was signing my contract, the owners said, "Now, Bill, we're going out to meet the press. We want you to say all of these nice things about Portland. In the NBA, it will be just like UCLA and we'll win all of the championships. But, before we do that, we want you to meet the coach." I had no idea who the coach was. They told me to be nice to him, but they were going to fIre the coach tomorrow. Here I am, a nice kid, just out of school and it was a tremendous blow to me.
I would like to say that things did get better in the NBA after awhile. After I was blown away with the incredible commercialism and greediness and selfishness of the world of professional athletics, I was able to play on some great basketball teams. Not without great sacrifice. I would like to urge the winners today as they move on in the world today, they will be faced with many difficult decisions. I faced many of those decisions, as I'm sure all in this room had to face. As you go on in your lives, don't make every decision based on finances. I was very lucky
to have great parents who taught me the importance of hard work. Every day, start over and win each and every day. The score each morning is 0-0. I was in some very unhappy basketball situations in my career. I made some moves on my own where I gave up lots of money to play on a team such as the Boston Celtics that brought back all the good things in the world of sports that I grew to know and love at UCLA. I would urge you to make your life's decisions to follow your heart and your intelligence and the pocketbook will follow.
I would like to urge the athletic directors here today to do your best to make the world of college athletics as great a place as it can be, as we had at UCLA. Coach Wooden, J.D. Morgan and Coach Cunningham created an atmosphere of trust and respect and hard work and excellence. They knew that what we were doing at that time was the most important thing. Not what was going to happen lO-years from now, not what profession we were going
into, but the fact that college athletics is such a special time in the athlete's life. If you, as the athletic director can provide that positive atmosphere where the good values we have in our world such as loyalty and team work, cooperation, friendship and trust are important. That's the kind of atmosphere we need in college athletics today. Don't glorify the lifestyle of professional athletes. Right now, there's a lot of publicity about Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, but I maintain that the winners today are the real heroes in our culture. It's the scientists, the
creators and the innovators who come up and experiment with life. Being a basketball player is easy. Being a real hero, someone who can make things, is what makes America a great place.
I want to wish each and every one of these student-athletes good luck. Luck is what you make it The harder you work, the luckier you get Thank you very much.
Thank you Bill Walton. The NACDA Foundation, along with our friends at the Kickoff Classic and the Disneyland Pigskin Classic, will annually sponsor a post-graduate scholarship for one member of each of the teams who participate in the two NACDA sponsored pre-season football games. Your NACDA Foundation is providing the funds for four five-thousand dollar grants, a total of $20,000 in post-graduate scholarships. Each of the winners is a varsity football letter winner who has completed his eligibility and has carried at least a 3.2 grade-point average. Now, we are pleased to present our fJrst recipient today.
From the University of Southern California, a quarterback with a 3.25 grade point average in Political Science and Communications, along with his athletic director, Mike McGee, here is Shane Foley. Our next recipient is Scott De Goler from the University of Colorado, who was unable to be with us today. Scott has a 3.22 GPA in Marketing. This next young man is from the big orange country of Syracuse University. He had a 3.2 grade-point average in Marketing Management and played defensive back on the Orangemen football squad. Along with the director of athletics, Jake Crouthamel, please congratulate Rob Thomson. Our fmal recipient could not be with us today. He is Charles McRae from the University of Tennessee, who has a 3.27 GPA in History. The offensive tackle was the seventh player selected the flfSt round of the 1991 NFL draft.
Now, we're pleased to join with our friends from the Walt Disney Company in presenting to you the 1991 NACDA/Disney Scholar-Athlete Awards. The program really grew in its second year, nearly doubling the roster of nominees, which this year stood at a remarkable 276. From that group, with the help of our review committee and the Blue Ribbon Panel, we're proud to present to you the top 10. Before we do that, a number of these young men and women had an opportunity to spend a day at Disneyland in Anaheim. We now present a fIlm of their day.
A big thank you to Minnie and Mickey and the good folks at Disneyland Broadcast Services who produced that video for us. Now, the winners of the 1991 NACDNDisney Scholar-Athlete Awards, each of whom has at least a 3.0 grade-point average, was an all-conference and/or all-America in their sport. In fact, the cumulative grade-point average of the 10 winners was an astounding 3.81. Each of these young men and women will receive a $5,000 scholarship for post-graduate study funded by the Walt Disney Company.
Our first recipient is Dave Edeal. Dave is a football starting center and co-captain. He earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He holds a 3.89 GPA, Nebraska's highest in mechanical engineering. In 1990,
was a GTE Academic all-America. David plans on gaining work experience as a mechanical engineer while pursuing his MBA. Along with his director of athletics, Coach Bob Devaney, David Edeal.
Our next recipient is Lynne Prey, another University of Nebraska Corn husker, and her sports are track and field. She earned a bachelor of science in biological sciences and has a 3.89 grade-point average. She was 1990's Big Eight champion in the Pentathlon and Heptathlon. She was vice-president of the Golden Key National Honor Society. Lynne will attend the University of New Mexico School of Medicine planning to study sports medicine. Once again, with Coach Devaney, one of his fine athletes, Lynne Prey.
Our next recipient is Christopher Howard from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a football halfback. He earned a bachelor's in political science with a 3.70 GPA. He was the National Football Foundation's Scholar Athlete in 1989-90. Some of us had the privilege of hearing his acceptance speech. He is one of 20 students nationally who served as a fellow with the Center for the Study of the Presidency. He will attend Oxford University. Along with his director of athletics, Col. J ohn Clune, Chris Howard.
Our next recipient is Kelly Marsh. She graduated from Bucknell University with a bachelor's degree in History with a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average. Kelly received the Presidential Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in 1988-90. She will attend law school at Harvard University. Joined by assistant director of athletics, Pete Cautilli, Kelly Marsh.
Our next recipient is Robert O'Toole. I suspect that Robert will give an introduction program to Bill Walton about Carnegie-Mellon University. Football was his sport as an inside linebacker. He earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering and he also plays on that perfect team, 4.0 GP A. An NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient for 1990, he worked on a design project for NASA to help design a robot for on-ground space shuttle operations. He will attend graduate school for either a degree in biomedical engineering or medicine. With his director of athletics, John Harvey, here is Robert O'Toole.
Darcy Prather is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology .Football was his sport. He also was an inside linebacker. He earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and science, technology and society.
Darcy had a 4.6 GPA on a 5.0 scale. He earned the Woody Hayes Leadership Award from the National Football Foundation. He also was a Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete and the GTE/CoSIDA Academic all-America in 1990. He was president of the National Society of Black Engineers. He will attend Oxford University. Darcy is joined by John Schael, director of athletics at Washington University in St. Louis, which is near his home town of Hazelwood, Missouri. Ladies and gentlemen, Darcy is representing two institutions today, Washington and MIT.
Next is Marie Roethlisberger from the University of Minnesota. She is a gymnast who earned a bachelor of science with high distinction in biochemistry, compiling a 3.68 cumulative grade point average. She was presented the NCAA Top Six Award in 1990, the Walter Eyers Award in 1991. She was an NCAA national champion in the uneven bars in 1990 becoming the first female national champ in Gopher history. She was a member of the 1983 U.S. Olympic team. She plans to attend medical school. Accepting on behalf of Marie and Chris Voelz women's director of athletics, is Mark Dienhart, associate director of athletics.
Todd Sandroni is our next recipient from the University of Mississippi. Football is his sport and he played free safety for the Rebels. He has a 3.57 GPA majoring in pharmacy. Todd's an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient. He won the 1990 Toyota/CBS Leader-of-the-Year Award. He was the fIrst student-athlete in history to address a voting session at the NCAA Convention. He is joined by my good friend and your good friend, Warner Alford, director of athletics at the University of Mississippi.
Glenn Solomon from Stanford University is our next recipient. He is an outstanding tennis player. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in public policy. 3.7 cumulative grade point average are his numbers. He was a four-year letter winner who started on three NCAA championship teams.. He is the creator and director of the 1991 Stanford National Health Conference. He plans to pursue a J.D. and an M.B.A. He is accompanied by interim director of athletics, Allan Cummings.
Lisa Stone is our next recipient from Baylor University. Track and field and cross-country were her sports. She earned a 3.935 GPA in education. She was a three-time NCAA all-America and was the fIrst Baylor woman to earn NCAA a1l-America honors and become a SWC Champion. She was a member of the U.S. Track and Field team in
1989. Lisa plans to attend medical school. With assistant director of athletics, Skip Cox, please welcome Lisa Stone.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of these top people, a response will be made by David Edeal.
Thank you. Academics have always been important at the University of Nebmska and nothing illustrates that more than an experience that happened to our quarterback last year. His name is Jerry Gdowski an academic all- American. He played quarterback with us for two years and was an all-conference outstanding player. He is now an accountant in Minneapolis. Last year at the Oklahoma game for the Big-Eight championship which was played in Lincoln, we were behind deep in the fourth quarter. There was only about 45-seconds left and Oklahoma had us pinned deep in our own territory. Coach Osbom and Jerry were conferring on the sideline and trying to determine what would be the best stmtegy to attack. So they finally decided on a sweep play to the left It worked for us all of the time. We called it, play seven. So we ran the play and it was a big gainer down the left sideline for about 40 yards. We were on our own 45-yard line and had about 30 seconds left. We were down by six. We called a time out and decided to use play number eight. It worked well for us and we got down to the Oklahoma nine-yard line and had about nine seconds left We used our last timeout
Coach Osbom and Jerry again conferred on the sideline artd the Coach looked at Jerry with a blank stare. He said, "Jerry, I don't know exactly what to run here. You've been out there and you know what play will work and what the chemistry of the team is out there right now. I'm just going to leave this in your hands and you call the play that you feel will be the most effective play." So Jerry said, "O.K. coach, I'm not going to let you down on this one." So he calls the play and runs a play we never ran before except once in the first game of the year. We scored a touchdown. In the excitement of the game afterwards, Coach and Jerry were in the locker room. Coach asked Jerry, "How did you decide to run that play? We never practiced it before." Jerry said, "Well, coach, play seven worked pretty good and play eight worked equally well, so I decided to add the two together and we ran play number 16." Coach Osbom said, "1 know you're an accounting major here and I don't want to blow your ego, but seven and eight added together aren't sixteen, but fIfteen." Jerry said, "Gee coach, if I was as smart as you, we would have lost the game."
I must say, it is a pleasure to be out here in San Diego. All of us scholar recipients are glad to be here. We had a great time at Disneyland yesterday. I want to thank you for that It was also a pleasure to get to know each other. You hear about these people throughout the year and it's a pleasure to get to know them. I feel personally honored to be selected in this group and an honor to speak on their behalf. On behalf of the recipients, I would like to thank the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and Disney for making these scholarships available and for the commitment shown to advanced degrees. Education is the key for keeping America on top. Your contribution to the financial aspect of higher education is very appreciated. In the past four years as student- athletes, it's all been rewarding for all of us. In the process of earning bachelor's degrees, we have learned the value of time management, teamwork and goal setting. Being able to balance the time needed for both scholastics and sports sometimes feels like the frusb'ation of putting a large jigsaw puzzle together. It's taken patience, perseverance and dedication, but we now know that all of the pieces will fit together.
An important factor for me in my pursuit of a bachelor of science degree from the University of Nebraska has been the resources provided by our Academic Counseling Unit As a student-athlete, losing focus on graduation can be easy without encouragement from the coaching staff and the total dedication of the entire athletic department. Within that athletic department, a successful counseling unit provides tutors for those who need them and provides career information and internship possibilities. It is also able to provide an adequate staff and facility to handle all of the athletics academic needs. Also, contacts are made for oub'each programs in the community, such as, Say No to Drugs campaigns, National Student-Athlete Day, various rap sessions and other programs dedicated to service in the community. These opportunities can be utilized by student-athletes to convey experiences and advice to this country's young people. The commitment of education in the form of these 14 post-gmduate scholarships presented today is to be commended. We look forward to pursuing advanced degrees and I'm positive this group will represent the standards and b'aditions that the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and Disney are widely known for. Thank you and have a great afternoon.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's have one final round of applause for these outstanding young men and women scholar-athletes. I think you will agree with me that this has been one of the most exciting and thrilling luncheons we've had in years, and that the recipients are indicative of what our jobs are throughout the country, and this is a product of our efforts. We join them in saying thank you for being student-athletes and I want to thank you for providing me with the privilege of being your emcee this afternoon. I'll turn this back to Frank Windegger. We'll see you in Marco Island for our Convention in 1992. Thank you so much for your cooperation.
Join with me please in thanking Mike Lude for a job well done. Again, our association thanks goes to Bob Briggs from National Car Rental and the president of Disneyland, Jack Lindquist, for sponsoring this luncheon. , stand adjourned.