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NCAA Division I Breakout
The Athletics Director in the Year 2000
(Tuesday, June 20, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)



Kathy Noble:

Good morning. I'm Kathy Noble, the associate AD at the University of Montana. It's a pleasure to be with you today. In the last couple of days, we've heard a lot about our profession in the year 2000. If there's anything that hasn't already been said, one of these six people on the panel is probably going to say it. We've got six people to get through and a limited amount of time, so the introductions, by necessity, are going to be brief.

I'm going to start with Don DiJulia. He's beginning his 13th year as director of athletics at St. Joseph's University. He's the former commissioner of the East Coast Conference and Metro Atlantic Conference. He's a former NCAA Council and Executive Committee member having given us his good service for 10 years. Don is currently serving on the NCAA Nominating Committee and as the Atlantic 10 representative on the Committee on Basketball Issues. Don DiJulia.

Don DiJulia:


Thank you, good morning and welcome. After World War II, it could be arguably stated that the culture of America was manufacturing. As we enter the last five years of this decade, it could be arguably stated that the culture of America is sports. On July 8 of this year, the men's and women's basketball coaches of America are going to start an evaluation process to look at prospective students who will be graduating in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. Children who just completed the seventh grade will graduate from our colleges and universities in 2005. The eight year olds in the second grade will graduate in about 2010. Your CEOs of the future will be products of the post-60s, post-Watergate and post-Viet Nam era. I dare say that the majority of the folks in this room right now, if you choose, will still be in the game in the year 2000.

Generation X will challenge us like none other, their impatience, their digital awareness and their attitude, which was suggested by John Kennedy 35 years ago, why not? The expectation level of the "satisfy me" generation will reach new heights. We will be ministering to coaches in high stakes, high risks in career and sometimes, personally threatening situations. Pressures and burn out will increase before they will lessen. At the Corbett Award Luncheon in the year 2015, we could be honoring the Sweets, the Smiths and the Swoffords. I dare say that the athletic administrators in 2000 and beyond will administer to the industry, the educational process, the game and the generation X in an unparalleled intensity and an openness wider than the valley that's hosting this Convention, perhaps.

The athletic administrator of the future will be from a background or path more non-traditional than the last 25 years. It will be commonplace for athletics administrators to have not come up through the system. Pay your dues, so to speak. We'll see a lot of people in and out and reenter and out and maybe reenter, if someone is going to stay in this business 25 or 30 years. They, you, me, we will need to be much tougher than we are right now. We'll be embodied with an antimonial spirit and resiliency if we're going to survive that long.

Diversity and equity will be more acceptable after the turn of the next century, both in the make up and in points of view. Compromise and consensus will replace autocrats and egos. Who will negotiate the next billion-dollar contract? Will there be networks to leverage? If health care and the cost of education have the potential to bring this country to it knees, I suggest high pressure football and basketball has every bit of potential to bring us to our knees within the next five to eight years.

The spiral is running out of air space. The legal and entrepreneurial aptitude of us or of those will be in effect in the year 2000 to 2005 will be much greater. Bilingual persons and unique and narrow specializations will be more noticeable by their presence. Prioritize and tradeoffs will be buzz words. Trustees and legislatures will be expecting and will demand a more integrated and interdependent product to satisfy their fewer subsidized dollars. Advance degrees will be expected and necessary to meet the image and perception in higher education. Long careers at the same institution will be much less.

I conclude by suggesting that Rev. Jesse Jackson may have given us some characteristics to think about yesterday. The three H's -- survivors and achievers will need a vision lined with hope; the personality of a healer and the heroism to deliver the mission of our institutions and of our convictions. Thank you.

Kathy Noble:

Thank you Don. Our next panelist is Gene Smith who claims he needs no introduction, so, provided me no material. He graduated from the Culinary Arts Institute of America and had vast experience overseas. He's this year's NACDA president and the current AD at Iowa State University. Gene Smith.

Gene Smith:

She's the worst. She sent us all a letter asking us to send our bios in and if we felt comfortable that she would properly introduce us, we didn't need to. I'm going to be very brief because I feel Don put it very accurately. I'm sure the rest of the panel members will share their perspectives and I, frankly, don't want to steal their thunder.

Our business, bottom line, in my view, in the year 2000 and 2005, will still be about people. It will be our challenge to create that environment for the student-athletes that we serve in that point of time to be successful. I think the changes that we'll face on an annual basis will come from different pressures, internally and externally. Changes that we feel today we may need in the future. How do we manage those changes that we will face? Our efforts in managing people, managing dollars, and all of the things that we're ultimately responsible for, will be impacted by our ability to continually manage the changes that we'll face. Generation X will represent the most significant challenge that we face in the year 2000.

I called my daughter and said, "Lindsay, I just got your report card. I'm really concerned. When I left Michigan, you were at the top of your class. You had a 4.0. Now, you're at the bottom of the class." She said, "Why are you concerned, Dad? They teach you the same thing at both ends." That's representative of what we may face in the future. Why not? I'm okay with what I'm learning. I think that is exactly what we'll have to deal with. There's a reason there's been a change in the leadership that you see in athletic directors. That will change even more because we have to prepare ourselves to deal with our industry in a corporate way. We will have to be strong managers and visionary leaders. That's why I think a lot of presidents across this country have taken the position that they're going to hire people from different industries who have demonstrated those particular skills. I think we need to, through NACDA and other professional organizations, continually put forth the type of programs to allow our people to develop so that they are always on the cutting edge.

The year 2000 will be about managing change in all the areas of responsibility that we will deal with. I wanted to share those thoughts with you before we began our panel discussion. Thank you.

Kathy Noble:

Thank you Gene. Larry Travis brought almost 30 years of coaching and administrative experience gained at seven NCAA Division I schools when he arrived at Western Carolina University. Seven. He served as football coach at Florida, Kansas, Ole Miss, Louisville and Georgia Tech and in athletic administration at Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Navy and Western Carolina. During his athletic administration career, he served in several peer elected positions including the NACDA Executive Committee and the College Football Association's Athletic Directors Committee. He currently serves as President of the NCAA Division I-AA Athletic Directors Association and chairs the Southern Conference Men's Basketball Committee. Larry Travis.

Larry Travis:


Thank you very much. An opportunity to speak to you reminds me of a story. A rich gentleman had a daughter and he was trying to find the proper suitor for his daughter. He invited a group of young men to his huge home with a large swimming pool. He filled the swimming pool with alligators. He got all of these young men together who were the best and the brightest. He told them he was looking for someone that's capable of being a good suitor for his daughter. He said he would give one million dollars and a vice presidency in his company and a home worth one million dollars. About that time, somebody hit the water. He swam to the other end and got out. The man said, "You must be the person. You had the gallantry to jump in and prove yourself." He said, "No, I just wanted to find out who pushed me into the pool."

In the year 2000, I'll be five years closer to retirement. I'm not so sure that might not be the best thing. I think the athletic director in the year 2000 has several things they'll need to continue to do. We face these issues now, but at this point in time, the athletic director has to be a business person. The number of dollars coming into our programs and our institutions makes our jobs harder. We, as athletic directors in the year 2000 and beyond, are going to have to take the minimum dollars that we get and push them to use every dime of that money to get the most out of those programs. Our dollars are being stretched so much, so we've got to find ways as business people, to make those dollars generate more dollars. The dollars that we do have, spend wisely.

You have to be a public relations expert. Those of us who have come up through the coaching profession didn't have the training in some of the areas that the young people are coming out with now. You have to be someone who can shake hands and sell your programs to your constituents. All of our programs are based in different areas. We live in different geographical areas and our environments are different. The athletic director in the year 2000 is going to have to know the environment that he or she exists in. We live in a small area in North Carolina. I've had to learn how to deal with mountain people. If you live in a big city, you have to learn how and what it takes to sell to those people. As a public relations person, you can't sell something that you don't believe in. You can't sell something when people can't relate to you. It's very important that we, as athletic directors in the year 2000, have a public relations theory.

We have to be a management specialist. Management is a science of getting things done through people. As we go through our careers and what we're doing in our departments, we have to learn how to manage people. We have to figure out the students. How do we manage the students? How do we give those people that we bring into our programs the necessary things to make them better, make them more marketable? When I was at Georgia Tech, Coach Rice gave me the opportunity to get involved in the Total Person Program with our student-athletes. That was a total environment for the students, how we could make them more marketable to people once they get their degrees. That's something that we have to be able to do. We have to be able to manage those students to give them the best opportunities they can while they're in our care. They're in our care for a very short time. While we have them, we have to make sure that they are able to achieve all of the things they need to make them more marketable. Very few of our athletes at our level are going to go on to the pro sports. We have a few, but not many. What we do with those kids is the most important thing we can do. We need to focus on the fact that they are the reason we're doing the things we're doing. They have to be at the forethought of our planning.

We have to try to provide less stress. We live in a stressful environment. In other words, winning and losing is important. It's not like the physics professor when he flunks half his class, nobody knows about it. But, if a football coach or basketball coach loses half of their games, everyone knows about it. We have to teach those people how to handle the stress of the job. Give them the opportunities to do the things they do not based on fear. Do your job. Do the best you can. Have goals for your coaches besides winning and losing.

We all have to be a personnel director. We have to be able to manage the people who work for us. As we go through the year 2000, we're going to have to have more of a team approach in our athletic department. We're going to have fewer people doing more things. We won't have one job sitting over here and one over there being done by two people. We may have to combine some of those things. We're going to have to know more things about Affirmative Action. We're going to have to know more things about Title IX. Being a personnel director is important.

Most important now is fund raising. As we, as institutions, lose more state supported dollars, we have to find ways to raise dollars. The significant contributions that we're going to make in the future are those people who will make the most successful programs. People are giving more to charities today than they are to athletics or educations. Again, it's going to be important for the athletic director in the year 2000 to find things that people can identify with and they'll give money.

We have to be a strategic planner. Look beyond what we're doing next year. Look out to five or 10 years, be goal setters and strategic planners. We must be future thinkers. We have to think about the problems and be pro-active, not reactive. You do that by being future thinkers. We must be looking at what our needs will be in the year 2000 and look at what our needs will be beyond. Student-athletes are going to change. Our departments are going to change, our constituencies are going to change, so we'll have to be able to change.

In the year 2000, the athletic director won't have to change much, only the thinking that goes into being one will have changed. Thank you.

Kathy Noble:

Thank you Larry. Our next speaker is Vivian Fuller, who is the director of athletics at Northeastern Illinois University and has been for the past three years. She's also served at Bennett College, North Carolina A&T and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Vivian has published numerous articles on a variety of topics related to athletic administration and served on a variety of committees. She has degrees from Fayetteville State University, the University of Idaho and Iowa State University. Vivian is a nationally known speaker on topics of women in sports, academic support programs for student-athletes, academic advising, women in management, gender equity and the importance of networking in the profession. With a background in these important areas, Vivian should be prepared to lead us into the year 2000.

Vivian Fuller:

Thank you Kathy. Good morning to all of you. It's important that we start planning for the year 2000. You've heard a lot of comments of what to look forward to. You're going to see a more active role in the student-athlete. You're going to see community leaders take involvement in athletics administration. I feel we've already done some things in the profession to help us. I also believe that intercollegiate athletics is going to change just like higher education.

As professionals, I think we need to understand the demands and the time commitments of athletics. I don't think they're going to change in the year 2000. With the restructuring of the NCAA, you're going to see college campuses begin to restructure their athletic programs and also restructure their missions of higher education. That's going to be very prevalent. I also think the demographics of the student-athlete are going to change. Demographically, we're going to look at how we schedule programs. We're going to look at the programs we offer and at what issues pertaining to athletics are going to affect our campus.

Arthur Levine wrote a book called When Dreams and Heroes Die. In that book, he said that by the year 2000, we're going to meeting with students in higher education and we're going to ask them what was important to them. You're going to ask them who are some of the people they like. You're going to ask them what they remember about 1968, 1954. Most of those students are going to tell you that they don't know what you're talking about. If you tell them you were born in some of those years, they're going to tell you that you're too old to understand what's going on today. If you tell them that you lived through some of those years, they're going to say you're weird. But, those same students are the ones we'll be inheriting in our programs. If you ask those same students what's important to them today, they're going to say video games or anything that's deals with television.

As a director of athletics, there will be areas where you'll have to be efficient. One is going to by fiscal integrity and fiscal management. We're going to have to look at gender equity, racial equity and diversity. When we look at gender equity, racial equity and diversity, I think we've got to look at race, class and gender. If you take out one of those areas and you don't correlate, class and gender, you'll always have a cataract in your program.

In the year 2000, you're going to see diversity in athletics, but I don't think it's going to change any more than what it is now. I've been in this business almost 13 years and the complexion of the athletic administrators hasn't changed that much. The only things I see are people who have now gotten either bald or grayer over the last five years. We, as administrators, have an opportunity to go out there and look at our athletic programs as they relate to gender, diversity and racial equity. If you have student-athletes from different ethnic groups in your programs, it is your responsibility to find role models for those student-athletes and it's not the same person. We're not doing that now. Our athletic programs are going to become more federated by divisions. I don't know how much more federated we can get, but we're about federated out. Even in conference meetings, we meet on federated issues.

You're going to see a lot more restructuring within an association that's going to affect the institutions. Institutions are going to start reorganizing their programs. You're going to have five and six people doing five and six things in athletic programs. There is not one person that will have a specialty. It's going to be a broad-based individual who will understand every aspect of intercollegiate athletics. Remember. I'm not mentioning any money coming with that.

You're going to see a lot more professionalism in our business. It used to be a transfer from a coach to athletic director. Now, you're seeing managers. You're seeing people who are trained in the business aspect or people who have gone through the ranks of sports management and learned how to manage programs. You're going to have to learn how to be managers. And with being a manager, it will take people skills and organizational skills.

You're also going to see more people in the private entity in athletics administration. That's going to come with the fund raisers, the corporate sponsorship. It's almost going to be like our council of trustees. They're starting to make decisions about intercollegiate athletics where before, we could make those decisions. We're going to see more presidential control of intercollegiate athletics. Presidents are going to be involved, not only at the conference level, not only at the institutional level, but on the national level. That's coming for the year 2000 and I think for some of our programs, that's a good opportunity.

You're going to see regionalization in sports. You're going to see people, because of gender equity, diversity, and racial issues that deal with sports, looking regionally at what is offered and find individuals that can participate in that sport. You're going to see student-athletes in the year 2000, start talking about unionization. You're already seeing it with graduate students on college campuses and you've seen what's been happening in the last six months where graduate students have protested and said they were not going to work without more money and benefits. We're talking about some of those things now.

You're going to see more pay for play. That's not going away. The issue of whether or not you pay the student-athlete, and believe me, I don't advocate this, but it's an issue we're going to have to look at. You cannot look at a student who is now coming in seeing the football programs and television contracts not knowing what's going on. Students know more about what is going on than you think. The pay for play issue is not going to go away and it's going to be coupled with the unionization.

You're going to see institutions begin negotiating television contracts because fund raising is going to become more important. When they start negotiating television and radio packages, it's going to be more with a region. Instead of ESPN doing some of this, you're going to see institutions doing this more in the year 2000. You're going to see, I hope, by the year 2000, that conference solidification will have solidified. This has just started. You're going to be able to target football conferences, basketball conferences and volleyball conferences. People are starting this trend that whatever somebody else does, that's fashionable. That's how we got into the problem with the NCAA Manual and all of the legislation. We don't trust each other, so we figure the way to control each other is with more legislation. We're going to see more deregulation, so we can get past some of that and it's not happening now.

Student-athletes are going to be more involved. I predict in the year 2000, student-athletes will be on the council of trustees, your presidents' commissions, intercollegiate athletic boards on your campuses and they will have their own organization, like what's going on now, but there will be a leadership.

I hope the environment in which we work in the year 2000 will be more sensitive to women and more sensitive to cultural and racial differences. I hope by the year 2000, we still don't have to listen to the sexist jokes. In closing, if we don't manage our athletic programs, some of us will be deciding whether we will be Division I, Division II or whether or not athletics will be in existence at those institutions. Thank you.

Kathy Noble:

Thank you Vivian. Andy Geiger is currently the athletic director at Ohio State University. He has formerly served as athletic director at the University of Maryland, Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University. Andy is the former assistant commissioner of the ECAC. He's had a variety of committee assignments including the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee and the Special Committee on Cost Containment. I give you Andy Geiger.

Andy Geiger:


Thank you Kathy, and good morning everybody. Don DiJulia said the athletic director in the year 2000 will be somebody who doesn't have a long tenure at the same university. I've been practicing that. I've been athletic director at five different places and five different kinds of places and have enjoyed a very happy and, I hope, somewhat successful career development in my trade and my profession and one that we all love very much. I will say that in the year 2000, I'll have been married 38 years and our children will be 13 and 12, respectively. Eleanor and I are an unusual couple. We're members of the AARP and the PTA at the same time. If you're following the current debate in Washington, we're leading a psychofrensic existence right now, really concerned about the AARP issues and awfully concerned about the educational issues as they are being defined at this time.

I feel that by the year 2000, public financing of education, whether it is research grants at private universities or a direct subsidy federally, statewide or community-wide for public universities, that financing will be declining. Philanthropy will be very stressed. Competition will grow even more greatly than it is now. The zeal for communities to build arenas and to promote expansion of the major league professional teams will have an effect on us. Discretionary dollars will decline. The athletic director in this era, since 2000 is only four years away, we're pretty much there. I agree with something Patty Viverito said yesterday and that is that things aren't going to be all that much different. This issues will be a little more acute, but we'll be facing them very clearly.

The athletic director in the year 2000, as is now, is going to have to be very much involved in his or her community. We are going to have to be participating in charitable efforts across the community so that we can make the contacts and have the friendship raising. The first thing you do when you fund raise is friend raise. We're going to have to be out there working on this far more aggressively and far more diligently than we ever have been in the past.

In the area of technology, I think there's going to be some very interesting changes as we catch up with cyberspace and all of the kinds of capacities that are starting to exist today. We, at Ohio State, will have all of our athletic information on two on-line services. Our Alumni Association has a contract with CompuServe and we're going to have a University Gateway Program that's the university's own. Both of those will have new kinds of coaches and athletic directors' shows, if you will. Our coaches will be expected to be on-line one-half hour per week, or so, responding to comments and questions that come over the Internet or whatever on-line service that the people will be using. I will be expected to do the same thing. Our sports information office will be disseminating more information through on-line services and technology than they will through press releases and other things that we've known in the past. All of our media guides and statistics will be on-line.

We will be involved in producing highlight films on CD Rom. We will be sending those kinds of things up on satellite and we will be doing most of our news conferences and coaches' shows by satellite making them available throughout the state and the region and, when appropriate, nationally. It's a very interesting time that's coming ahead. All of us in at least a Division I-A situation will have to be hiring that level of expertise, if we haven't already done it, so that we'll have the technology capability within our organizations to deliver those kinds of services.

I think in this day and age, it's really important for us to have some key campus linkages. We have to be much closer to student life and student affairs than we have been in the past. At Ohio State and at many other universities, the athletics department is part of the student affairs division of the university. Students are our future customers as well as our current customers. We need to be aware of campus issues. We need to be aware of the kinds of problems that exist in the heart of our campuses as we strive to normalize as much as is possible, the life of the student-athlete. We'd better be aware of how abnormal campus life is and how difficult a time students have socially and otherwise on our campuses. We sometimes take things for granted about our nice communities and the life of higher education today. It's a very difficult life for many of our students. We have to be part of that in a much greater way than we have been in the past.

We heard a wonderful presentation yesterday from our first panel hosted by our president, Gene Smith. Rev. Jackson spoke about decline in public education and the growth of the underclass in this country. That is very real and very true. He spoke about Washington, D.C., and having lived on the outskirts for four years, I know how difficult life there is. There is a growth in the underclass and those are our future students. Those young people who are growing up in our inner cities and in some of our rural areas and now, even in some of our suburbs, are suffering from the decline in public education and a decline in public investment in this country. So, we're dealing with some very real preparation problems.

At Ohio State University this past year, 27 percent of the freshmen class and I'm not talking about athletes, I'm talking about the entire freshmen class, failed to qualify for college mathematics and were placed in remediation programs in mathematics. Similar statistics exist in English skills. So, our student-athletes are not alone in facing a preparation gap, at least some of them, particularly in our public universities.

We need to work very hard with our student-athletes to help debunk some of the stereotypes that exist. We have 7' tall young people coming in. Women are 6' 4" tall. If they're African-American, walking around the campus and they're of a huge size, they're carrying around a lot of self-esteem baggage. They may have a lot of bravado and a lot of confidence when it comes to the practice field and the game field, but when they get into the campus life, they have real self-esteem problems. We have to work very hard on connecting the idea of athletics and academics in a very meaningful way. Vivian talked compellingly about the need for understanding diversity on our campuses. That means a lot more than race, gender, ethnicity, religion and those kinds of issues. It means gifts. It means that our student-athletes have a gift in athletics. They express their intelligence through bodily movement. Musicians have a particular kind of intelligence. There was a time not so long ago, that if you wanted to play the tenor saxophone in a jazz idiom, you had to find a bar some place to go play. It was all in the night clubs and the seamier side of life. You can major in it now in our colleges and universities. Yet, we've not gained the same kind of acceptance and the same kind of reality for our young people, for the people who express themselves through athletics. We've got to find ways to make the athletic experience for meaningful for our young people by providing for them academic experiences which they understand and connect with and which relate to their joy and their love and intensity for their college athletic experience.

Ironically, the peak for many of our athletes is when they are 17 to 21 years old, certainly, the developmental peak for them as athletes. That window coincides with our higher education model in this country. We need to be working with our sports management people and our physical education people. We have to remarry physical education. We went our separate paths several years ago. We've got to get back with those folks and spend time with them and find wonderful opportunities. I don't mean bogus academics. I mean things that are serious sociological, historical, scientific relationship with athletics. We can do it and we should do it. We have been lazy in this. There are faculty people who are interested in this and we should encourage a direct connection between the academic and athletic life for our gifted young people that come to our universities.

We need to be close to our physical education programs and our recreation programs so that we have a better understanding of what's happening in our club sports programs. If there's a way that's creative to deal with the issues that we're facing in meeting Title IX, it could be through a closer marriage and relationship with our club sports programs.

We're moving toward a more participative management process in this country. There are lots of management books that you and I have all read. There are lots of efforts on college campuses on continuous quality and improvement or whatever you might be calling it on your particular campus. These are very important movements and ones that we should celebrate and participate in vigorously and get our staffs to participate in. Continuous improvement is important and continuing education on management issues are very important ideas.

I recommend two things to the young people who come in to see me. A lot of young people come and say, "Boy, I'd like your job. I want to be a college athletic director." I recommend that they take two Tylenol and lie down until the feeling goes away. Other than that, when they ask me what they should do to prepare, I encourage them to get involved a little bit in coaching. Get involved in an internship while they're in school and get a combination of the law and MBA degree or a law degree and sports management degree, because I think the combined disciplines are very important. I don't mean the law so they can be up on the issues of the day. Study the law because there is a human growth in that process and a development of discipline that I think is extraordinary.

It's a really big issue for us to get our coaches involved in management. They are managing human organizations. They know, as a group, less about management than almost any other group I can think of that is involved in management. They don't like to think of themselves as managers in a corporate sense, but they are managers in this day and age in a corporate sense. They are dealing directly with human beings on whom those human beings are enormously dependent upon. There is no relationship in a young student-athlete's life when they're in college that's more dynamic than the relationships they have with their coaches. We have seen more abuses and more horrible things happen because coaches simply don't understand some of the modern thinking.

At Ohio State we will soon have 34 sports. We're adding women's lacrosse and women's rowing to our program. Thirty-four varsity sports, a $32 million budget, a huge physical plant to take care of, a staff of some 200 people and 36 holes of golf. Our program may be different from a lot of yours, but the fundamental ideas are the same. The issue that we must be on top of in the next decade is that we're managers of the human organization and that's a huge challenge. We manage one of the most difficult, volatile human organizations I can think of. We must never forget, however, that our product isn't the bread and circus. Our product is the education of our students through the athletic experience. It's very important work and it was true in 1950 and it's going to be true in the year 2000 and I hope it's true in the year 2050.

Thank you very much.

Kathy Noble:

Thank you Andy. Eve Atkinson is director of athletics at Lafayette College, head of physical education and professor. I wonder what she does in her spare time. Eve was a 12-time all-American in swimming at Westchester University and an honors graduate. She also competed in lacrosse and field hockey. She's a member of the Westchester Athletic Hall of Fame and received the university's Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a past member of the NCAA Executive Committee and Council. Eve also served as the chair of the NCAA Women's Swimming Committee and has held numerous other committee assignments at the national and conference level. Eve also has athletic administration experience at Hofstra and Temple Universities. With her wide-ranging experience, Eve must have a crystal ball to see into the future of intercollegiate athletics.

Eve Atkinson:

Thank you very much for such a kind introduction. First off, I want you to know that the panel to my right and left are my distinguished colleagues. Their role today was to present the more serious issues facing the AD in the future. They were on the intellectual level. My job is to bring a little levity to the situation. So, first off, if you're not in the mood to laugh a little, there's the door. Get up and walk on out. I guarantee you that laughing is encouraged. Today, we're going to use the show and tell approach.

The AD in the future will need what's called the technological tube of tricks. This is very similar to what the current AD's bag of tricks would be. My first is Barry, the baseball player. Barry, what do you think the AD in the year 2000 is going to have to be like? "Well, my advice is pace yourselves. You ADs are always on the go. You're always putting an eighth day in a seven-day work week and you're always trying to jam 30 hours into a 24-hour work day. If you don't pace yourself, by the year 2000, you're going to end up looking like my friend, Raggedy Ed." Now, what was that, Barry? Barry said that the AD in the year 2000 is going to need to juggle a lot of balls. Another thing the AD in the year 2000 will need, not just in juggling all of the things you do presently in your job, but in the job of the future, you're going to need a crystal ball. So, every year from 2000 on, make sure you have one.

Really invest in the magical eight ball. We will use this to answer some questions like, "Magical eight ball, what will the AD of the future be like? Will that person have a physical education background?" "My answer is, it is too soon to tell." Well if it's too soon to tell, and I should say these are random answers, I really don't know what's going to come out. "Magical eight ball, will the AD of the future have a sports management degree?" "It is so." The eight ball says, it is so. "Magic eight ball, will the AD of the future have an MBA?" "My answer is, maybe not." All right magic eight ball, help me out on this one because we'll dealing with a lot of them this day. Will the AD of the future be a lawyer?" "It is definitely possible."

Well, we don't know exactly what the AD in the year 2000 is going to be like. But, we can guarantee you, like your jobs today, the AD of the future will have to wear many hats. Of course, the first one is, we're all working in higher education. So, keep those academic credentials current and make sure you work extremely well with your faculty, not only just now but in the year 2000 and on.

Every AD is going to need a combat hat. You will need this because you'll need to be ready for combat duty every day you roll out of bed and go to work because we all know, just like today, in the future, bombs will be going off all of the time. You'll also, in the same line, need a fireman's hat. You will have to be excellent at crisis management. You will have to be putting out fires all of the time. You'll also need another hat. You'll need a construction hat because your current sports palaces of today will not be current in the year 2000 and on. So, please make sure that you're in tune with all of your architectural techniques in building those new facilities. The AD of the future will need an Indian head dress. The reason you'll need that is because the Indian head dress is to show rank. The more colors and feathers you have, or for today, the more accomplishments you've achieved now and to the future, the more rank you'll have in your department. After all, we do want to be the chief of our athletic department.

Also, the AD of the future will have to be a great television negotiator, so build up your friendships with CBS. We hope they continue to be very friendly with all of us in the NCAA and keep the bucks rolling in.

Another thing we'll need is the golf hat. You're going to have to reduce that stress somehow on the job, so you're going to have to get some R & R on the golf course.

Now, those are just the hats. The AD of the future will need a telescope. That is so you can be an expert in strategic planning because you'll certainly need that. The AD will have to be an excellent communicator. You'll need a telephone small enough to carry anywhere.

Another thing you'll need is a computer of the future. Imagine how your eyes will be looking at this screen. You're going to have to be really adept in budget management. You're going to have to know how to surf the net. You're going to have to be on-line. You're going to have to be able to carry this wherever you go.

Another thing you'll need is a tool that can fit into your briefcase, first of all, a magnifier. As you get older, your eyes get worse, so you're going to need that. Secondly, a double magnifier because after using that little computer, it's going to be even worse for your eyes. You're going to need binoculars because you're going to need to see the problems before they arrive. You're going to need a compass so you can chart the course for your department and for your career. Last but not least, on this optic center, you will need a signal mirror. That is to send an SOS emergency message for help when you desperately need it.

Finally, the group of items that you will need as that future athletic director is a gavel. First off, you'll need to get people's attention. You'll need to be a judge and jury. You're going to have to make decisions every day. You're going to have to be legal minded with all of those lawsuits you have to deal within contract law, liability, Title IX issues, students' rights and due process.

You're also going to need a set of dice. Every day, our jobs are a crap shoot. You will roll the dice and take your chances in what happens every day at your job. You will need a police badge because you will be the cop of compliance. You'll need a pair of handcuffs to keep your student-athletes, coaches and fellow workers or even spectators in line.

Another thing you'll need is what we call the groan stick. This is so you can prepare yourself at night before your staff complains to you. Now, after they're done complaining to you, you're going to need a magic wand. The reason is because is someone gets a DWI or if a student gets arrested or a staff member is groaning, just wave your magic wand and the nightmare goes away.

You'll need a sword. I didn't bring a gun because I don't believe in violence. Plus, my luck would be, I'd get arrested at the airport. This is to fend off those zealous alumni boosters or sports agents. You'll also need a hatchet. Unfortunately, we all have to fire people. After that, we'll need a stethoscope because we're going to have to check our blood pressure. You know whenever you go through those uncomfortable times of replacing someone, you care about them and you're upset and your blood pressure goes up.

Last, but not least, every AD needs aspirin in their bag of tricks. That's to take care of all of those future headaches you're going to have. This is mainly for the women who aspire to be a director of athletics. During an interview, I was seriously asked by a search committee member, how was I, as a woman, going to be a director of athletics at a Division I program and sit behind closed doors and negotiate football contracts with the cigar smoking, old boys network. That was a true, honest to God question. I can tell you, Lafayette's football schedule is almost complete to the year 2011. I plan on retiring in the year 2013. I carry around this cigar to job interviews just in case that question should ever come up again.

Another thing, athletic directors of the future will need is a rabbit's foot. You will need a good luck charm. Now, in closing, I hope you've all had some fun with this. My colleagues have brought out some very serious and intellectual issues. My job was to make light and, hopefully, keep you in the profession with some sense of humor. We all know we need a sense of humor in our job. Finally, in closing, I would like to say and I hope no one takes offense, but sometimes, "blank" happens. When it does, sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. Thank you.

Kathy Noble:


Eve is a tough act to follow. If there are any questions from the floor, please give our panel your questions.

Joan Garr Hamrick:

Joan Garr Hamrick from the University of Oregon. I'm anxious to get this answer from the panel. What is the one thing that you see as the most positive thing about your job in the year 2000 or the thing that you'd look most forward to?

Gene Smith:

I think the last comment that Andy made will still ring true in the future. Our job is about people. It's about what we do for student-athletes and for those of us who had the opportunity to participate in athletics, know the things that we gained from that participation. The joy that I receive now and the joy that I know I'll receive in the future is the fulfillment that a student-athlete has developed themselves through sport participation. Seeing kids develop, bottom line, is something that we should all be thankful to be a part of.

Andy Geiger:


I'd like to echo that. That's my joy. I really enjoy the games, but I almost enjoy more going out and watching practice. I like to see my faculty, coaching staff, do their thing and do it well. I like to see the student-athletes progress and grow in lots of different ways. That's what the business if all about. Unfortunately, some of the problems that we have to deal with are working hard to try and make it possible for them to able to do this, so it draws us away from the very thing that we got into the profession to do to begin with.

I always relate what I do as an athletic director to the experience I had as an undergraduate athlete. I was an oarsman at Syracuse University and that still remains the most important experience I've ever had in my life. It changed my life and I got into this business because of what happened to me in that process. The joy for me is hoping that I'm helping make that happen for other people.

Vivian Fuller:


I echo everyone else's sentiment, but in addition to the professional growth and the enhancement of the athlete, it's also the development of coaches. When you see your coaches from stages A, B, C to D, and also see that they're in a win-win situation where they can be successful, their professional goals and objectives have been enhanced, is very rewarding. As athletic administrators, we've got to go back down into the trenches, work with some of our coaches to teach them how to deal with conflict, time management, interpersonal skills. A lot of people don't know how to do that. When you can see those things happen, it makes this business worthwhile.

Larry Travis:

The positive for me is that I know each one of our athletes personally because of a program our size. The relationships that I have with them are a real plus. I would not want to do this without having that kind of relationship with our kids. They are, without a question, the best and the brightest. They give you ideas. They pump you up when you're down. And, you help them. The greatest thing about our job is to know our kids and it's important that we take the time to do that. Do things with them and let them know you're there to help them.

Cleo Bower:

I'm Cleo Bower from California State University Fresno, mostly known here as Fresno State. I'd like to have you address what you see for a couple of new things that the NCAA is asking many of us to do and that is the Student-Athlete Advisory Committees and the CHAMPS Life Skills Programs. A lot of us have some version of that, but it's becoming a larger emphasis. I'd like a little more vision on where that's going.

Andy Geiger:

I think the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is a very important and a very good idea. It's more important to develop from that as the students get comfortable with that process to get the student-athletes involved more directly in actual governance of the department. We have students on our Athletics Council at Ohio State, but they're not student-athletes. I think that's a mistake. It's important to have non student-athletes on the council, but it's important to have student-athletes participate. I also think coaches should be on the council at the same level. Having the student-athletes talk with each other and amongst each other about issues is very good, but it needs to go further.

The Life Skills Program is a very important idea. There is a controversial movement that we've talked about yesterday about trying to develop. As Vivian talked about time management, a lot of skills that young people need to deal with, the pressures and stresses they have as student-athletes, can be taught through Life Skills Programs, whether it's dealing with the media, dealing with their coaches, dealing with their classes, whatever it might. We need to help our student-athletes especially, because of the demands we put upon them. Outreach components are also very important. Sending our youngsters into the community is important and good work. Through the Life Skills Program, we're doing that and it's very popular. Our student-athletes love it. I encourage all of you if you don't already have an active, vigorous Life Skills Program or CHAMPS, do it, because it's certainly not the wave of the future. It's happening now.

Vivian Fuller:

Another thing important about the Student-Advisory Committee is that it's the voice of the students. Even though we'd like to believe students that are 17 or 18 years old coming out of college, their biggest dream was to participate in sports, the demographics of students have changed, whether they come from an urban area or a rural area. Some of our students are already parents and already married. That's a good avenue where students can tell us what we need to do because, for so many years, we planned for the students. The language that students communicate with each other changes almost on a daily basis. I didn't know until last week that to button your shirt wrong is hep. If you have your shirt lined up, you're square. We have to learn how to communicate with our students.

Students also need to understand that we are real people too, just like they are real people. The time management, the adjustment to college, life after sports, how to take out an insurance policy, how to write a check, what do you do when you have a roommate problem, these are things that if it were not for the Life Skills Program or the CHAMPS program, we wouldn't discuss with our student-athletes. Those are very valuable lessons that come out of the program.

Larry Travis:


One of the best things about the Student-Advisory Committee on our campus is that it's a communicative thing. Not very often can you get all of your athletes together. We meet the first Wednesday of every month. The kids have a chance to share with us what is going on, not only with themselves, but the rest of their teams. Some good things have come out of that meeting. One good thing was that we found out they hated our Awards Banquet. Instead, they wanted a picnic where they could play volleyball, basketball, etc. Now, they come and they love it. We also found out that we had a letter jacket they didn't like. The committee got together and we gave them a jacket they really appreciate.

What that did is give the kids a chance to communicate with us and us with them. Our program deals with job interviews, market interviews, etiquette, dress, pregnancies, all kinds of things. It's so good because the kids interact. We need to listen to them and have vehicles by which we do that. Our Student-Advisory Committee lets us do that.

Gene Smith:

There aren't many incubators left like we have in college athletics. Extra curricular activities are being eliminated or are being taught by people who aren't with our students every day. In intercollegiate athletics, we have a unique opportunity to have hired professionals who live in that profession, whose careers are based upon the development of our kids. There's very few areas in our society that are like that anymore. There are very few places where students who aren't involved in some type of structured extracurricular activity could have the type of experience like we provide in athletics. They can go and get good counseling and the whole personal development is dealt with. That's the interconnectedness that we need to create. Young men and women should be able to come in and learn everything they need to know in order to be the best person they can be. That's the true benefit of the Life Skills Program or any other activity that we create that allows our students that experience.

Kathy Noble:


If there are no other questions, please join me in thanking our panel today.