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NCAA Division III Breakout
Sears Directors' Cup Update
(Tuesday, June 20, 10:30 - 10:50 a.m.)

Elaine Dreidame:

I'd like to thank everyone for coming. I'm Elaine Dreidame and I've been serving as chair of the NACDA Sears Directors' Cup Committee. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Sears is going to sponsor the same total Directors' Cup Program as we currently have in Division I for Division II, another one for Division III and another for the NAIA. It's going to be starting this next academic year, so it's not something that's way down the road.

I'd like to tell you a little bit about the program. We all recognize the Directors' Cup. There will be four Directors' Cups that look just like this. It's Waterford crystal. It's all handmade and it's a beautiful piece. We've got one made up here that says Division III. It's this piece of crystal that will go to the Sears Directors' Cup winner in Division III next year. We'll be announcing it at the banquet next year.

Sears has a family of trophies in sponsorships and postgraduate scholarships that they've been awarding. Currently, at all divisions including the NAIA, they have been presenting conference champions with a Sears/NACDA trophy in recognition of excellence. Starting with next year, as part of the Directors' Cup Program, each of the Division III championships, and there's 24 NCAA championships in Division III, each winner will receive a Waterford crystal vase as representative of that championship. Their institution will be given a $1,000 postgraduate scholarship which they will get to select the recipient of. The recipients for the Sears Postgraduate Scholarships are student support service workers. Your sports information assistants, team managers, trainers, band members, cheerleaders, any students who are in a support role for your athletic programs, that's what this postgraduate scholarship program is all about. So, they'll be putting, not only the crystal vases, but $24,000 in scholarships there for you.

The institution who wins the Directors' Cup will receive a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship and they'll select a recipient of that award. Again, this is a support service award. We also have, as a Sears program, a postgraduate scholarship that's open to the entire division. Each Division III school will get a nomination form and you will be able to nominate one, or more, of your students who serve in a support role. The only rule is that you can't nominate more than one from a given area. Like you could nominate a student trainer and a student manager and a sports information assistant, but you could not nominate two student trainers.

We have two committees. We have an Oversight Committee which takes the whole group and gets it down to 15. We have a Selection Committee which will select four individuals and those four will each receive $5,000 postgraduate scholarships. In addition to the Sears Directors' Cup, we've got $25,000 in postgraduate scholarships.

We're very pleased and proud. Sears is walking their talk. They said it's equity in sports, equity in sports levels, equity in gender and it's all about providing for everyone. Their commitment to do this across the divisions is going to make that happen. At this point, I'd like to introduce Brian Kelly from Sears. He's going to tell you about their goals and objective for the program and why they're doing it.

Brian Kelly:

Thank you Elaine. I'm curious, how many folks in this room have won some of the conference champion trophies? That's great. That's important. It's especially important with Division III. The objective this coming school year is extending the Directors' Cup, is really to fulfill our objective in college athletics. That is, to engage our stores at a local level with the trading area and the community. It's your institutions that you represent that are a very important part of our objective in establishing a relationship with our communities. You might know a little bit about Sears over the last five or 10 years. We went from a very decentralized organization to a very centralized organization. Retail, like politics, is really all local. At the end of the day, a successful store is based upon the relationship it has with the constituents in its trading area.

Participating in college athletics at the Division I level is very beneficial to establishing brand equity across the country. But, when you're a store manager and you open your doors each morning and turn on your lights, that national equity doesn't mean a lot to you if people aren't coming into your store and you don't have the relationship that you so need with your trading area. As a result, the conference trophies have been very important to us in fulfilling that aspect of the program.

What that really means for us is that we're able to fulfill our objective, our mission statement for the program which is school equity, sport equity and gender equity. Sears, in the last two years has identified the female head of household as our target audience. We know that if we don't have a special relationship with the female head of household, we're not going to be successful going forward. To that end, we feel that rewarding positive role models as identified through participation in collegiate athletics and excellence, and recognizing that excellence, helps to reward that female head of household by providing role models for her family. That might seem kind of high faluten, but we feel that for us to be successful going forward, we have to take a leadership position. We have to begin to establish some standards. We feel that this program allows us to achieve that.

You've heard a lot of big numbers. We're giving away of lot of scholarships and a lot of trophies, but as a bit of a worn or overused advertising claim, we try and do it one at a time. To that end, it's very important for us and Elaine and for NACDA to get your input to make sure this program works as hard as it can for you. Really, this trophy is called the Sears trophy, but it's the NACDA trophy. The equity that we're able to build in the trophy is equity that becomes NACDA's. The registration of this is a trademark of something that NACDA ends up owning is NACDA's equity. That somehow can fit on your balance sheet. However, you can help us in the field to reinforce the importance of this within your school, your conference or within your community, works in a win-win situation. It works for us because it helps our store managers establish a relationship with the community. I believe it helps NACDA because you have a program which transcends all other programs in collegiate athletics.

Collegiate athletics is heating up. The marketing of collegiate athletics is heating up. I see that by sitting on the Corporate Partner Committee of the NCAA. We're a corporate partner, as well. There's a huge opportunity here for NACDA. I feel very strongly that at the end of the day, it's yours. We are fortunate to be able to participate in it with you, but we believe that when we look at this, in the final analysis, it has to work for NACDA.

When I talk about building equity in the program, how Sears is going to do it is through an integrated marketing mix that includes sales promotion, public relations and advertising. USA Today is a crucial part of that program in helping to get the word of the Directors' Cup into the market place. But, in order to augment that and extend our reach beyond readers of USA Today, we'll run advertising. National advertising raises national awareness of the program. That awareness will permeate into all levels of collegiate competition. That's why we're approaching and that's how we're taking on the collegiate marketing at Sears. That's the role it plays in our objectives in repositioning the store as we approach the year 2000. It also, hopefully, clarifies how a big national retailer like Sears needs to be successful at the local level.

Again, if anything comes up or if you have any thoughts on this, please let us know because we really want to make this work for you.

Elaine Dreidame:

Thanks Brian. I want to mention that we have two Division III members on the Sears Directors' Cup Committee. Judy Sweet and Louise O'Neal are going to be representing Division III on that committee so that you will have ongoing input. Also, tomorrow we're going to be available at the round tables. If you have any questions, suggestions or thoughts, Laurie Garrison and I will be sitting there hoping somebody comes to talk to us.

From the Floor:

I just want to say thanks to Sears and NACDA for making Division III more cooperative members in all respects in the NCAA. A lot of times we struggle to get recognition that we think Division III deserves and this will really help. I have felt that we have been lightly regarded over the years, but our athletes put in just as much time and our coaches put in just as much effort and I feel that it's really great to have Sears' and NACDA's support in recognizing our equal partnership in this operation. Thank you.

Elaine Dreidame:

I'm now going to ask Laurie Garrison from NACDA to go over what the core sports and the wild card sports will be for Division III. At all levels, we're setting it up the same with the 64 points for the champion in all sports, having designated core sports based upon percentage of participants in that division that participate in sports and then the two wild card opportunities on the gender side. Additionally, when we leave, we'll be leaving with a handout that you can read later. If you have questions after doing that, come to the round table session tomorrow and we'll address them. Thank you.

Laurie Garrison:

Thanks Elaine. We have set up all four Directors' Cups to operate on the same scoring structure. If anyone is familiar with Division I, it will be easier to follow. We have set up core sports and wild card sports for each gender. For Division III, the committee decided to go with eight core sports for men, eight core sports for women and two wild cards sports for each. This decision was based on the participation numbers that were available in the last NCAA report.

For the men, the core sports will be baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis and outdoor track and field. We have a situation with track and field where we allow points for indoor or outdoor, but not both. We have an automatic scoring criteria where wherever the most points come in, that's what you get. So, if you score both in outdoor and indoor, we award the higher points in one of them. For women, the core sports will be basketball, cross country, softball, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, outdoor track and field and volleyball. The wild card sports for men are, ice hockey, lacrosse, swimming and diving, indoor track and field and wrestling; for women, field hockey, lacrosse and indoor track and field.

Those are the divisional championships. The national collegiate championships can also be used as a wild card sport. So, if a Division III school participates in water polo, goes to the national championship and receives points, water polo will be used as one of your wild cards. We're not eliminating those. For men, those wild cards would be gymnastics, water polo and volleyball; for women, golf and gymnastics. That would also include the coed sports of fencing, rifle and skiing. For the wild card sports, since you are allotted two wild cards, we will automatically, if you score in a fall wild card sports, give you the points. Nobody has to contact the office and ask us to do that. It's an automatic. The second wild card sport that you score in for the same gender, those points are automatically awarded. Then, if you score in a third wild card, we look at where you scored the higher points in and those are the points you receive. If it was in one of your fall sports, you maintain those points. But, if you score higher in a spring wild card than you did in the fall, you don't lose out. We just subtract out those fall points we gave you and give your spring points.

Where indoor track and field becomes a wild card is if you score higher in indoor track and field and you only have two wild cards, then we'll use indoor track and field and not use your outdoor track and field because if you only have two wild cards, you're not losing any sports. This sounds complicated and, as time goes on, if you need to learn more, I'm happy to answer questions for you. What is being handed out to you is a basic scoring structure which will be expanded upon over the summer with more detail for you. It will be mailed to all athletic directors and sports information directors in Division III prior to the start of the fall season.

The sports which do not count towards the Directors' Cup points are any of the sports I did not mention. If the NCAA does not offer a championship, then it is not recognized as a NACDA sport. To keep everything consistent with what we've already started, first place in every sport receives 64 points. We then go 64 to wherever the field size stops. If there are 32 teams, we go 64 to 33. Even though Division III does not have a field size of 64, all the national collegiate championships start at 64 points, so we wanted the point structure for all sports to be the same. Where there are ties in the sports where there's a bracket, such as basketball, we take the ties nine through 16, take those points and split them evenly among those schools.

The standings will be published periodically in USA Today and will be sent to the schools. When you receive this update in the fall, it will include a list of when we will be updating the standings so that you know when we're going to do it. We won't be doing it weekly. We'll do it two or three times during the seasons. Also in this, you'll have a listing of the Division III championships and participation numbers for your information.

Thank you.

Elaine Dreidame:

Again, in concluding, I want to publicly thank Brian and Sears for what they're doing for Division III and all four-year schools in NACDA. Thanks Brian.