NCAA Division I Breakout
College Athletics in the Year 2000/A Divisional Look at the Future
(Monday, June 19, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
The format of this session is going to be different from the format of the last session. First of all, each speaker will not speak as long as the speakers before. Secondly, it will be very important that you ask questions when we're finished, because otherwise, we'll be finished in a half hour.
Our charge here, after listening to those stimulating and thought provoking presentations from such a diverse and respected group of individuals, is to look at college athletics in the year 2000 from the perspective of us, as administrators within Division I programs. We know that there's been a tremendous amount of change, as was pointed out earlier, just in the last decade. I now can have a perspective myself of looking at it through four decades. There have been reforms, in fact, in some areas there have been two or three different reforms at different various times.
We have three highly respected administrators, all highly qualified with outstanding track records of success. All three have served as head coaches of sports programs. One is still serving. I will introduce all three of them to you now. After I have introduced them to you, they will make a presentation and afterwards, open up the floor for questions. All of those who spoke earlier had some wonderful things to say, but none of them are in the position that all of us are and that is, as administrators, as we look to the future in the year 2000 and what athletics will look like.
The first presenter will be Dr. Jim Jarrett, who has served as director of athletics at Old Dominion University for more than 25 years. Before becoming the athletic director in 1970, Jim was an instructor in health, physical education and recreation. He's moved Old Dominion from a Division II power to prominence in Division I. During his tenure, Old Dominion has won 19 national championships and has an 85 percent graduation rate for its student-athletes, which is an enviable record. In 1974, he became a national leader in offering women's scholarships which has resulted in three national women's basketball championships, seven in field hockey and two in sailing.
Jim has been very active in the NCAA and was a charter member of the NCAA Women's Basketball Committee from 1981 to 1989 and he currently serves on the NCAA Student-Athlete Committee and the Committee on Restructuring.
Our second presenter is Cathy Beene. Cathy currently serves as associate athletic director, senior women's administrator and head tennis coach at the University of Texas -Arlington. Cathy previously served for eight years as the very successful tennis coach at the University of Houston. She then moved up the administrative ladder to senior women administrator and associate athletic director. She started a coaching career in high school and spent eight years at that position. Her first college coaching job was at the University of Texas at Austin.
Cathy was a tremendous tennis player, an all-American in 1973 after winning the NCAA Doubles Championship. As an administrator, Cathy has served as the chair of the Southwest Conference Women's Basketball Tournament Committee and is currently serving as chair of the NCAA Tennis Committee.
Our third presenter is Mike McGee. Mike will be starting his fourth year as director of athletics at the University of South Carolina. Mike was an all-American guard at Duke University. He was later elected to the National Football College Hall of Fame. He played pro ball for a few years before going into the coaching profession. Mike served as head coach at both East Carolina and his alma mater, Duke, before starting his administrative career. Mike served as the director of athletics for four years at Cincinnati before moving to California where he served as athletic director at the University of California for eight years.
He has served on the NCAA Council and several NCAA committees. A highly regarded administrator, he, along with the athletic directors in business schools of North Carolina and Notre Dame, founded the Sports Management Institute to train future college and professional sports administrators.
So, this is your panel. We will start with Jim Jarrett.
Thank you Vince. On Sunday, June 25, 1972, I attended my first NACDA Convention, by coincidence, at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. I went back and reviewed the 1972 Convention agenda and found some of the following things -- Bud Wilkenson, Wayne Duke, Don Canham and Bud Jack were on the agenda. The familiar cocktail parties on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were embellished by Bloody Mary breakfasts on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Those are long gone. Eastern Airlines was a sponsor for NACDA, as was the Sahara Hotel, at that time, one of the priority properties in Las Vegas. Agenda topics included women in intercollegiate athletics moderated by Frank Merritt, the athletic director at the U.S. Air Force Academy, club sports in relation to intercollegiate athletics and student affairs.
Twenty three years later, I ride past the Excalibur, the MGM Grand, the Mirage and Treasure Island, all new properties, on my way to the NACDA meeting at the Sahara. The changes in Las Vegas since 1972 caused me to reflect on the changes in intercollegiate athletics. There have been significant changes leading to incredible progress as well as the challenges we experience today. We will all benefit from stopping to reflect on the positive progress we have helped to create. This progress includes improving student-athletes' support services and sports medicine, strength training, academic support, life skills and scholarship allocations, championship expansion, tremendous growth in women's athletics, quality TV coverage, increased revenue distribution and facility and equipment improvements are but a few of the areas where we can take a great deal of pride. It's important to maintain an awareness of this progress as we attempt to focus on the challenges of today.
We have made progress in gender equity and Title IX, more than the strongest supporters of women's sports will admit. I also believe that football is alive and well and has not been wounded by support for women's sports in the Division I level. College football today is better played and more popular than ever. It would seem helpful, however, to develop a strategy for Title IX compliance that is more middle of the road than either the Women's Sports Foundation or the College Football Association are willing to accept.
In the mid 70s, James Michener wrote Sports in America. His insight into the football issues seems important today. I quote, "It is quite obvious that intercollegiate football and basketball, as now played, are semi-professional sports in most schools and professional in others. This should be publicly acknowledged. I see nothing to be gained by denying it and much to be lost. My concern, therefore, is how best to administer a professional entertainment program within the normal guidelines it now operates under and I would wish to hear no complaints that things oughtn't to be this way in a self-respecting institution of higher learning because they are that way and our society intends they remain that way. We are faced with fait accompli, but we can administer it somewhat better than we are now doing. " I think we have done that since the mid 70s.
For those who strongly support women's sports, to continue to take the position that football must provide funding for gender equity and who fail to recognize the strong social and political support for college football, is a mistake that, if perpetuated, could lead to a college sports curriculum that is, at best, need-based for non-revenue sports or one that could be more like the club sports program we know today. Likewise, to take the position that a women's crew program with 75 participants solves gender equity and Title IX participation is nonsense. Given the economics of higher education and the cost containment necessities of today, we must provide a reasonable solution or face a very difficult and less desirable level of college athletics for men and women that we enjoy today.
I'm a member of the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics, an athletic director at Old Dominion, which is a I-AAA university with a strong commitment to women's athletics and Title IX. We have good gender equity goals and values. I do, however, believe that we need to reexamine the football exemption issue in order to find a realistic cost attainable solution to our Title IX gender equity problems.
Twenty three years ago, black athletes were just beginning to play a major role in the colleges in the southeast. There were quotas on the number of African-Americans who could start, the amount of playing time, etc. Academic standards were prostituted. Significant numbers of black athletes failed to graduate and social and role modeling opportunities on the campus were less than ideal. Fortunately, we have made great strides in this area as well. The progress has been wonderful to observe and gives great promise that we will continue to solve problems of the minority athletes and to provide reasonable employment opportunities in the athletic work place.
With regard to NCAA governance, we must continue to address the diverse problem of the membership. I believe the current restructuring proposal will assist in this by providing greater federation by division. It is important that committees be federated and that the expertise needed in committee membership not be impacted by a selection process that sets quotas ahead of expertise. We can and will accomplish our diversity goals without compromising expertise.
The dominos continue to fall as conferences continue to reorganize. Michener again, quotes his favorite character, Coach "Honest" John Taggard, who in 1951 had a winning team, 10-1. With the leverage this provided, he dropped the first shoe. He proposed that Jefferson quit the piddling conference he was in and move into one of the big time conferences that had an opening. Michener goes on to describe the difficult times created by this move and the difficulties that many of us face today. I do not pretend to know when the dominos will stop falling. The best hope on this issue is that universities and conferences will make reasonable decisions and factor the impact of a move on the welfare of the student-athlete in addition to television coverage and revenue.
In closing, I'm excited to return to the scene of my first NACDA Convention. I've just completed my 25th year as director of athletics at the same university under six different presidents. I believe there is far more good in intercollegiate athletics than we are given credit for and that the challenges ahead are solvable if we work together and do not let the extremists pull us apart. Thank you very much.
College athletics in the year 2000 will be focused on the needs of equality of the student-athlete with an emphasis being placed upon academic standards. All entities involved with athletics will need to work together for the betterment of all concerned. Everyone must stop, look and listen at all issues and somehow try to be objective on how problems are resolved. Focus is lost too many times because isolated problems tend to create situations where we all forget the overall picture. For athletics, as we all know it today, to survive, we must all have an open mind and possibly make concessions, compromises and commitments as needed.
Institutions will be held accountable for providing equitable opportunities for all. The ratios will improve, not only with student-athletes, but within every area of the athletic department. Not because it will be mandated, because in this day, everyone has come to realize that it's fair. Bonds must be formed at all institutions in order that no student-athletes lose any additional opportunities in the future. The media, institutions and the NCAA can help change the attitudes regarding civil rights and equal rights.
Some of the money made off the business of college athletics needs to be reinvested into the promotion of sports, men's non-revenue sports as well as women's sports at all levels. Due to a lack of long range planning and national and/or institutional cost containment measures, some institutions are choosing to achieve gender equity by shifting funds from men's sports to new or upgraded women's sports while still fully protecting football and men's basketball. The suggestion has been made to place a cap on the number of walk-ons in men's sports while trying to generate more interest in women's sports.
One of the reasons young girls don't continue to participate at higher levels is that there is a perception that the interest is no longer there. Young girls do not see enough women in coaching positions, administrative roles or media roles. In some views, it is still socially acceptable enough for women to hold careers in athletics. Promoting sports must be extended to all women's sports. Supposedly, there is not enough interest in women's sports for them to come on TV, in the newspapers or on the radio. The media must assist in generating interest for us. As the media gets more involved and on the band wagon, interest will evolve in the general population. Business dollars generated by our per se, revenue sports, must be put into promoting the sports. Hopefully, in the future, with the consensus of everyone, women's sports will be self-supporting too. As time has passed, the women's Final Four in volleyball and basketball has generated more and more interest. People have begun to believe in women's sports, promote them, invest in them and the rewards have been beneficial by seeing sell out crowds.
Men's sports need not be dropped to achieve gender equity in our institutions. The problem is not that males do not support Title IX, they oppose gender quotas. We have to solve the numbers problem in the most positive way possibly. Male and female student-athletes both deserve the opportunity to experience college athletics. But, numbers primarily associated with football must somehow be addressed. Women's sports must find a means to increase walk-ons in their sports by promoting their sports and making athletics a more desired profession which, in turn, would draw more women into it.
Fund raising will also be a critical issue to address in the future of athletics. Institutions must be creative in marketing all sports with coaches assisting in the promotion of their individual sports. Communities are drawn to athletic programs, obviously, by success, but coaches and student-athletes must be used as drawing cards. Funding has become one of the primary topics in all athletic departments, therefore, the marketing of each institution has become critical. We have to be proactive in our efforts and not sit and wait for others to promote for us. Marketing must be a team effort within every athletic department and all sports must be supportive of each other's fund raising efforts. Marketing and fund raising are vital to the existence of all athletic departments, therefore, a high priority must be placed on new and innovative methods. Promotion and publicity help create a more equitable athletics environment on campuses and within the community.
Academics will be a primary focus as well, with athletic departments continually increasing graduation rates as a priority. As hard as it is on athletic departments, recruiting will be more selective and, in fact, will possibly limit opportunities for some prospective student-athletes. In some ways, students are hurt when high schools do not prepare them well, while on the other hand, students learn at an earlier age what being a student is all about.
We, as a group in athletics, have mandated tougher academic standards and, for the most part, this is a move in a positive direction. Academics will prepare our future student-athletes for success in their athletic endeavors. Academics are a mainstay in our future, for as we progress in this area, athletics becomes more recognized as our student-athletes are beginning to pass the GPAs of the general student body.
College athletics in the future will, as we all know, be financially driven. What we do with budget constraints will immediately make us all aware of how innovative we will have to become. Finances will dictate many avenues and as they do, we will all need to work harder to promote our programs. We have to fight for what we believe in and if we all want our programs to be successful, working together is an ideal place to begin.
Priorities have to be in all sports to gain recognition and all sports have to be important, not just one or two. Finances will be additionally critical as we proceed to our future, therefore, we must start planning our strategies now. In essence, blaming each other is not, and will not, be an answer to resolving the important issues in athletics today. Administrations in athletics must join forces to resolve the complex issues facing us. Support for each other is vital if success is to be achieved in the future of athletics. Advocates of equal rights must work together in offering ideas and taking action. Problems can only be solved when the majority of our time and efforts are best used in positive, constructive and innovative ways.
The days of blame are behind us. The time is now to move forward and demonstrate the true meaning of the term team in athletics. Thank you.
Thank you Coach, Jim, six presidents. My secretary at South Carolina has served eight ADs. I am the eighth, so that longevity is, indeed, impressive. Coach Dooley, I appreciate the introduction and the bio. I had an opportunity to introduce Vince Dooley at a meeting some time ago and, in an effort to do some research, I talked to his wife, Barbara. As you are all aware, Coach Dooley is an outstanding speaker. What I found out in talking to Barbara though, was that he believed that practice made perfect. When he was a young coach and a head coach who just moved into a small community as a head coach in a high school, realizing that there were not going to be many opportunities to get some speaking experience, he put the word out that he'd be willing to speak on subjects other than football. After all, he was an educator. The local women's club approached and, somewhat reluctantly, they were having trouble finding a speaker who would be willing to speak to them on the topic of sex. They asked him if he was willing to do so. He was a little reluctant, but after all, this was another form of experience and he agreed to do so. Several days later in the evening, he was at home working on this. His wife, Barbara, came in and asked him what he was doing. He told her he was working on a speech for the local women's club. She asked him what he was speaking on. Well, he was embarrassed to reveal it, so he said, "I'm speaking on sailing." She was puzzled by that, but didn't think anything of it. Several days later, after he had made his speech, she ran into one of the ladies in the women's club who was raving about his comments. The thing that was so impressive about his speech was how knowledgeable he was on the topic. Barbara said, "So knowledgeable? He's only done it twice. The first time he got sick and the second time, he fell off." Sorry Coach.
Trying to look ahead to the year 2000 and beyond, given the winds of change that we have experienced over the last five to 10 years and likely to face in the future, is like viewing a sail boat tacking into the wind. The final course is difficult to predict with any degree of certainty. It might prove helpful if we look back at some of the major events that have affected our current course, however dynamic a framework, that helps as we look ahead at the process and issues that are really going to be consuming our time and attention in the year 2000.
In 1982, the University of Georgia and Oklahoma took the NCAA to federal court to break the NCAA's monopoly on institutions' broadcast rates. Their success stimulated a period of change which will likely continue through the 90s. In 1985, as those of us who were there can recall in the New Orleans Special Convention on Compliance, the newly formed Presidents' Commission first flexed its influence bringing about a form of a block vote, which has also quickened the pace of NCAA regulation. In 1986, the first major reform in initial eligibility in 15 was enacted. That reform has been followed by a series of increasingly complex eligibility and administratively taxing requirements. Joe Crowley's comments, I think are just a small case in point of what we have done to ourselves.
The NCAA Ad Hoc Committee's approach to problems which had been, more or less, the traditional method of operating, has been supplemented by a very active and, some would say, overly active standing committee, which is, obviously, subject to increasingly effective advocacy groups which have produced a raft of new legislation and regulation. The Council and all of us, share in the responsibility of what one might call rampant, unintended consequences of cost cutting, leveling of the playing field and resolutions that seem to reappear as NCAA regulations. Best example I know is what happened last week. The restricted earnings coaches' fiasco. It comes at a time when all of us now must scramble and deal with the budget implications that are brought about by that.
In 1990, the Division I Conference Commissioners initiated what might be construed by some as reactionary and others as visionary, when they successfully, by crafting academic legislation that was overwhelmingly adopted by the Presidents' Commission, formed the Conference on Conferences and developed a Division I-A agenda that most recently succeeded in the Alliance Bowl Group. They seemed to have overcome the distrust between certain Division I-A conferences. I've been on both sides of that issue. I was at the University of Cincinnati as a member of the CFA. I went to the University of Southern California for some eight years and heard their side of it. I then went back to the University of South Carolina and back into the CFA. I know there has been, between the Big Ten, Pac-10 and the CFA, a good deal of conflict and distrust. This Conference on Conferences, at least in the Division I-A, seemed to have successfully overcome that distrust and conflict. They, along with their other divisional colleagues, have developed and led the restructuring which, if successful, will result in a totally revamped representative form of governance in the NCAA. More to the point, this will not only change the way we reach a consensus and legislate, but the way we do business institutionally.
We will probably see a significantly reduced NCAA Standing Committee structure and regulation, decentralized into conference and regionalized process. Such functions as compliance and legislative services could be handled by the conference offices. We, at the Pac-10 for instance, had a very effective means of dealing with compliance over many years.
The certification process could become a conference function. Clearly, fellow conference members have the largest stake in insuring many of the objectives of certification. One can imagine other continuing and dynamic issues and concerns in the year 2000 and beyond, not surprisingly to anyone in this place. There will be continuing financial pressure to maintain the programs as we know them today.
The cost of operations will not abate, but subsidies that involve tax payer support or ticket revenue involving student fees will. Also, not surprising, revenue will not match the escalating costs that we face. For instance, regular season television contracts coming up for renewal in the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, will likely be hampered by the vastly increased regular season exposure that we are now seeing in college football. As we have all seen, the example of what's happened in regular season basketball over the last four to five years. When counter to this trend encouragingly, is the expanded market for women's sports.
The final word in the conflict over the definition of proportionality is that it is based on the make up of our student body or, on interests of our women students and participation. I need not tell all of you that the impact and implications, both for our revenue and Olympic sports and finances, are enormous.
The competition with professional sports, whether it is for the discretionary entertainment dollars of our fans or, inches in the sports page, has got to be a major concern. That's true, not only for revenue sports, but also for emerging sports and for women's sports. What about the student-athlete? Will they share in some form of the athletic department beyond the grant-in-aid? I agree with Dr. Crowley's assessment that I certainly hope not. But there is, obviously, the pressure that we all face in that area. There's a movement a foot when students are identified either by their number or their names that there be some sharing of income.
Training programs, both in service level and in higher education programs, both in the undergraduate and at the graduate level, are encouraging to see some institutions who are beginning to provide strong graduate programs for athletic administrators in our business. But, there's still a vast opportunity here for those of us to take on a more general training and those areas need to be expanded.
As we look today at the progress that Vince Dooley has mentioned and Jim had mentioned, I look back on the 15 years that I've been an athletic administrator and it is clear to me that the professionalism and capabilities of entering middle and senior management are far more advanced than it was 15 years ago. I look forward to the period ahead and to the year 2000 and beyond when opportunities and ethically led programs, as was mentioned by Grant Teaff and so eloquently by Jesse Jackson, are widespread for our student-athletes. Diversity and women in leadership are central to the way we do business in our departments.
I appreciate the opportunity to be with you today. I'm excited to have the opportunity to look forward as we enter this period of real change and continuing development in the NCAA in all of our programs. Thank you.
I would like to ask Mike a question. What do you see in the year 2000 in intercollegiate athletics for sailing and sex? While you think about that, I'll ask a second question of Jim Jarrett. Jim, I thought you mentioned that it may be necessary at this time, because of the revenue and cost factor as we look to the future, that we need to reexamine the football exemption. Would you elaborate on that, or did I misunderstand you?
Well I don't have a solution, obviously, or I'd be in that forum this morning. I just feel that we have gotten polarized significantly on this issue that they're not sitting down and talking at the table about ways to come up with a solution that is better than what we have today. You heard them talk about statistical equity in the Brown case. I don't think that what we're about is statistical equity. I think we're about fairness for student-athletes, be they men or women. If we can get our leaders, some of them on the extreme position and, hopefully, more of us in the middle of the road positions, to sit down at the table and come up with some solutions that are better than statistical equity, I think the courts and everybody else will buy it, if we could agree. But, as long as we have these two polarized lightening rods out there banging at each other, it's going to drag us down. I don't have a solution.
I had someone tell me that if we, in college athletics together, as we face the concerns of the future, would come up with something that was reasonable and made sense as far as going to Congress and to the legislature about having a different approach of all of this, that the mood in Congress right now, is to look at something different from the direction that we're going now. That direction is going to be a concern for all us. It could be if somehow or someway we could get together and decide on a new way, a better way, to address this problem, the opportunity is out there.
Cathy, you mentioned that there's this concern that there is not enough women coaches. I even heard some stats that there's been a decline in the number of women coaches. If that is the case, what is the way to correct that and encourage more women to go into coaching.
One reason for the decline is, as you hear and as you talk to people, years ago there were a lot of women that got into coaching and tended to get out because they felt the pressure was too much for them. Additionally, probably the largest reason women get out of athletics, especially coaching roles, is due to the travel schedule. Many women want to have families, which is great. The ones I've talked to that have gotten out and were great role models, have gotten out for that reason primarily.
As we progressed in time, women have become better role models. You're seeing more and more women going into sports administration. You see some, as women have been good role models as coaches now, you see more student-athletes following that trend. So, the curve is on the way back up. You have a lot more role models right now, that young female student-athletes look up to. Hopefully, in the future, you'll see more and more.
You mentioned one other thing that I want to ask you about. You see in the future as the non-revenue sustaining sports being able to be self-supporting. Could you explain that a little bit?
Hopefully, that's going to happen. As we progress in athletics, you see more and more sports more or less standing on their own. Promotion and marketing have helped that. You see a lot of your marketing efforts now going toward all sports. We have a lot of good student-athletes serving as role models and, as you do that, the media gets interested, the community gets interested so, you see a lot of interest and promotion now going into all sports instead of football and basketball. I'm a big advocate of those two sports, by the way. I just think it's important that we try to promote all sports. We have a lot of wonderful student-athletes that we need to use because they are the ones that can promote for us.
A question was asked about the concern of sports agents. How real is it? How much of a concern is it to the athletic departments?
That's one of those areas that actually wakes you up in the middle of the night and you wonder about what's going on and you try to develop programs and procedures and levels of communication with student-athletes, whether from the coaches, to counselors, to administrators in an effort to address the problem.
We saw, in our conference, one of our member-institutions most recently has had a real problem in the area of sport agents. I'm sure that's not even the tip of the iceberg. How we deal with it, frankly, beyond what we're doing right now, is something I don't have any other ideas on. It is discussed and has been for a long period of time. Some of the action that has been taken via the NCAA and the state courts as far as agents are concerned, has been helpful. Registration and those kinds of requirements have been helpful, but it's the unscrupulous agent that is approaching in the dark of the night, that I'm not sure we can go beyond what we do except continue to penalize those individuals who are involved, whether it be the agent or the student-athlete.
The only thing I can add to that is the education of the family members of the student-athletes is very important because many times, this happens through them. We need to try to do a better job of having an education up front program rather than a penalty program after the fact.
Our thanks to Jim Jarrett of Old Dominion, Cathy Beene of the University of Texas-Arlington and to Mike McGee of the University of South Carolina. Thank you all. Good job.