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All NACDA Members
Restructuring...The Big Picture
(Tuesday, June 20, 8:30 - 9:15 a.m.)



Jim Copeland:

We have a fine panel for you this morning. The format will be some introductory remarks from everyone here followed by comments and/or questions from you who will be participating in this morning's session. Joe Crowley, president of the University of Nevada-Reno and immediate past president of the NCAA, has agreed to be the moderator for today's session. You know him, I'm sure. Let's give him a round of applause for the great job he did yesterday and welcome him here today.

Joe Crowley:

Thank you Jim. As you may know, I have the dubious privilege of chairing the Oversight Committee on Restructuring and my job this morning, apart from moderating, is to give you an overview of the work of the Oversight Committee and do it very briefly. The Oversight Committee has the task of assembling the reports of the divisional task forces and the task of trying to bridge the gaps, reconcile the differences among the division task force reports. Also, to plan and provide education to constituents of the NCAA and that's in part, what we're up to this morning. Just to remind you, the focal points of the effort to restructure the association include the preservation of the association and its core purposes, increased federation, presidential control, clearly established with appropriate accountability a clearer understanding derived from that as to who governs in the association, a greater authority for those institutions who receive the most public attention nationally and who devote the most resources to intercollegiate athletics, consolidation, simplification, more federation of the committee structure of the NCAA, constitutionally guaranteed a minimum budget allocations.

As far as reconciling differences is concerned, the principal effort to date has been to deal with the executive committee, that umbrella committee, which is intended now as a result of a series of compromises, to exercise certain authority over budget and staff and other matters to be made up of representatives from all three divisions with a predominate role, again, for Division I. As part of that series of compromises, to take a further look and provide further enhancement in the area of constitutionally guaranteed minimums.

Diversity remains a central consideration. I'm not sure it's an issue at this point, but it's an area which has received a lot of attention and in which there is a lot of remaining interest. The title and authority of the executive director are an issue not yet resolved. The question of movement among and within the division, the question of growth, especially as it affects Division III, though it's not exclusive, how the cabinet and committee structure is going to work in Division I, the question of availability of chief executive officers to do the work which this new structure is all about are all issues on the table. Finally, there's a lot of details, some of which I've just described, and other matters of detail that are intended to be handled in the transitional process. I suspect other members of the panel will be discussing those issues this morning and we welcome hearing from you.

I'll introduce all of the panelists and ask them to come to the microphone without benefit of further introduction. Three of the four people here, and myself as well, are members of the Oversight Committee. Dan Bridges, who is the athletic director at the California Institute of Technology; Chuck Lindemenn, the athletic director at Humboldt State; and Jim Jarrett, athletic director at Old Dominion, will be our panelists and you all know Jim Copeland, the athletic director at Southern Methodist University and your first vice president. We'll begin with Dan Bridges.

Dan Bridges:

I'd, first of all, like to thank my colleagues on the Oversight Committee. I can report that the committee has done a wonderful job. The negotiations were done very professionally and in the right spirit of maintaining an association and with great respect for all of us who make up the association, that is, the NCAA.

Just briefly, I'd like to touch on a few of the keys from the Division III prospective.

First of all, when we went into this restructuring effort, we were asking for three guarantees that we felt were essential to these negotiations. One, was continued membership services as provided by the NCAA national office. Another, was continued access to national championship competition and, of course, the third, was continued access to the NCAA's catastrophic insurance coverage. All three of those guarantees have been provided in the current package and the Oversight Committee is very comfortable that those three concerns have been addressed.

In terms of governance, the Division III Task Force and the Division III membership, at our last NCAA convention, spoke out loud and clear and wanted to maintain some representation on the Executive Committee. They were also concerned about the role and responsibility of that Executive Committee and, once again, through good faith negotiation on behalf of the Oversight Committee and the Division I, II and III Task Forces, we have come up with an overall governance of the association that does address the Division I and II needs, as well as the Division III needs, and it allows enough federated autonomy at the lower levels below the super structure to allow Divisions I, II and III to structure, basically, anyway we wish below that super structure. From a Division III perspective that was quite attractive because it does allow us to maintain many of the same characteristics of our current governance structure and it does give us the executive committee representation. We're quite pleased with that.

Another area we were concerned about was the committee structure in the NCAA. Our objective from the beginning was to maintain as much of an association as possible. While we recognize that our committee structure has grown to a point where it is a bit cumbersome and we do have too many nonfederated committees in the NCAA, we did feel there are certain issues that we all share, certain objectives we all have as an association should remain common interests and, therefore, should be represented by common committees. Once again, those details are still left to be identified. We feel that we've made significant progress in that area and do feel that the three Task Forces and the Oversight Committee have come together very nicely on those.

The overall restructuring effort is an effort to accommodate our differing philosophies in the NCAA. Clearly, there's a wide gap between Division I and Division III. In some sense, that gap is widening. We can do with that what we wish. We can fight it. We can argue about it, but what this restructuring effort is really trying to do, is accommodate that growing diversity. Allowing different divisions, including Division II, the autonomy to structure, to govern, to operate in a manner that's most consistent with its own philosophy, while keeping us all under the same umbrella of the NCAA. Once again, maintaining those common areas, emphasizing those common areas of agreement, common areas of philosophy, on which we all agree and on which we all determine to work. Maintain our work in those areas and allow room for us to branch off in our own various ways depending upon our differences.

I'd like to conclude by encouraging as much feedback as possible. That's one of the reasons for this session and other breakout sessions. We really need your input. This is not a done deal. It is not, by any means, a settled issue. We need to hear from the membership. It has been particularly helpful for those of us on the Division III Task Force. We have heard loud and clear from the Division III membership and they've done a good job of keeping us informed. I encourage all divisions to speak out and to give as much input as you can leading up to the January convention. Thank you.

Chuck Lindemenn:

Good morning. Like Division III, Division II was very concerned about maintaining service and access, maintaining our sense of association and, at the same time, acknowledging the differences that exist within the institutions. Prior to the time that the Division II Task Force undertook this review of structure, we had the opportunity to survey the Division II membership and to meet with the membership, both here at NACDA and later after we had started, at the NCAA convention.

There were two messages that came across from the Division II membership loud and clear. The first was, that for Division II, governance had to be inclusive, not exclusive. That meant for Division II, one institution, one vote had to be maintained. For Division II, access to all levels of governance had to be a part of the restructuring process. What Division II members asked for, was a seat at the table. Not necessarily a majority vote based on membership, but at least a seat at the table.

There was a concern about balance and participation by conference, by job category, meaning ADs, senior women administrators, faculty athletic reps, commissioners and, of course, CEOs. There was a strong concern that we do whatever we were going to in terms of restructuring in a context of both ethnic and gender diversity. As a result, as the Division II Task Force moved forward, it asked for an executive committee that did provide a seat for each division and subdivision at the table. Once again, not an interest in having a majority, not an interest in having more than one representative, but certainly, a seat at the table. Within the Management Council and the Presidents' Council, the concern was that there be a diverse enough representation to where we'd be able to meet all of the criteria I mentioned.

As a result, the Management Council was structured so that we'd have both full conference representation and so that the conferences would put forward a slate of officers comprised of an AD, SWA, faculty athletic rep and, if they wished, a commissioner. From that group, their representative could be selected. That was the way of achieving the balance we wished. Within the Presidents' Council, the balance would be achieved by representation by region, but the regions would be balanced based on the number of institutions in each and there would be at-large slots in order to help achieve diversity.

The second message that came across loud and clear in Division II was we needed greater independence rather than dependence, particularly, as it related to regulation and adherence to philosophy. I believe, in Division II, there's a sense that we have followed Division I's lead, particularly in legislative matters, sometimes to our own disadvantage in that we have adopted legislation because Division I adopted legislation. Sometimes it did not apply and was not warranted in Division II's case. I also believe that there's a sense, in the membership, that we have been tied to a Division I philosophy for the administration and finance of championships and endowment funds, largely due to the fact that, once again, we patterned ourselves after Division I. As a result, we believe that further divisional federation regarding adoption of legislation was desirable and could be achieved through restructuring and a guaranteed budget allocation for championships and enhancement to be administered by Division II would provide us to administer our monies in a manner that was consistent with the Division II philosophy.

I believe the Division II membership is optimistic about restructuring. I have to say there are concerns. The most strongly felt concern is that we not become so federated and so independent that we lose our common bond of collegiality and our sense of a common purpose, principles and goals. Our speakers yesterday were very eloquent in identifying the commonality of what we are engaged in and that is something that is very important that we not lose through restructuring. Thank you.

Jim Jarrett:

Good morning. I'm going to attempt to break down quickly two parts of the presentation I feel are important to complete this whole picture. Number one, we in the Division I Task Force just appointed a subcommittee to study the transition issues and the nuts and bolts issues, if you will, of putting this restructuring package together. The first committee conference call will take place on Thursday. I want to encourage my Division I colleagues to give us input, if you have it, in that what has already been said, this is not totally completed. We're still working on it and we need your ideas. The people on this subcommittee are myself; Jim Copeland; Tom Hansen from the Pac-10; David Jamison; Jeff Orleans, commissioner of the Ivy Group; and Lynn Parks from the University of Memphis. We would be more than happy to have your input into the concerns you might have or to reinforce the positives that you feel good about as we look at the specific details of transition.

President Crowley went over some of those issues. Quickly repeating, one of the things we're going to look at carefully on the subcommittee is the committee structure as it relates to Division I. We are working toward a cabinet approach, a streamlining of the committee work. Obviously, one of the critical concerns with that committee work is who's going to be represented and how in the diversity issues. We will be working through that. As was brought up in one meeting yesterday, how far we should go with those specifics before the January convention is a tough call. It's a gray area, but what we're hoping to be able to do is present to you in January a concept and a package that has enough details to make you comfortable to vote in the direction that we're going, but not get so bogged down in detail that we divide up the constituency to the point where if we don't have 2.2 percent of somebody on something, I'm not going to vote for it. We're trying to stay away from that type of thing.

We're still open to input. We want it, so take the opportunity and give it. I would like to commend the process that has been used to get out to the conferences and different groups, such as NACDA, to reach the membership and communicate the process in this oversight with the Oversight Committee proposal. It's important that the future governance of the NCAA do this and this restructuring is designed to do a better job of that.

I want to talk about the I-AA, I-AAA people. Division II and III have eloquently talked about the protections they wanted and what their concerns were going into this. I personally believe that I-AA and I-AAA had more potentially to lose going into a restructuring package that took away the one institution-one vote concept. In order to give that up, we thought that it was important to have some protection for our constituencies. I believe, as you read that proposal, and you look at the 5/8 override procedure that is outlined in the proposal for Division I, it will make I-AA and I-AAA people more comfortable. That's 62.5 percent of the Division I membership that was negotiated very hard. If there was one line in the sand drawn during the negotiations that was probably it. We waffled back and forth and finally, 5/8 made 62.5 percent and it worked for everybody. I do feel comfortable with it and I hope my I-AA and I-AAA colleagues do.

I would be glad to help answer questions afterwards and I appreciate your attention. Thank you.

Chris Hill:


Good morning. I think, looking back on the process that we went through in Division I to come to this point, there's two phrases that will continue to stick out in my mind that became something we laughed about a few times, but became very important to us. One was, who is the head patootie and will it play in Peoria? What we wanted, after discussing a number of things on the front end, and you should know that in our Division I discussions, we threw out initially what we wanted as a governing body down the road for Division I. There wasn't much discussion on it. It was determined fairly quickly that we wanted to remain in the NCAA and just looked at how we can restructure within that. There were people who threw out a Division IV. Again, we discussed it, did not spend a lot of time on it and continued to go to where we are today in the restructuring process.

By who is the head patootie, it seemed to be the consensus of the people in the room that we needed to know who to go to for answers. Who was going to call the shots on certain parts of the day-to-day things that affect each one of us as athletic directors and CEOs? From that came our realization and consensus that the presidents had to have, in whatever restructuring we came up with, at least as strong a position as they now hold in the NCAA. None of us in the room ever felt that we would back off of that, nor should we back off of that.

We also felt that it needed to be better defined and it's not better defined at this point as I see it, the role of what is now the executive director of the NCAA and the staff. How strong a position will they play in the future? That was something that we discussed. We did not come up with an answer for that to this point, but certainly, it is part of the discussion that will be going on with this Task Force.

We thought that the legislative process needed to be streamlined to become more efficient. That's what led to the representative form that we now have on the table for the restructuring. Can we do business better than we have to this point? That remains to be seen. That's where we need your comments. We need the questions. Is this really better than going to convention and voting as we have for the years past to make legislation? Is the representative vote going to make us any better or more efficient than what we are to this point?

Will it play in Peoria? What did we need to do in Division I with I-A, I-AA and I-AAA to make it work and acceptable to people? What guarantees did we need to make? Access to championships is very important and was an issue that we had on the table. Dollars, obviously very important, not only to Division I, but also, within Divisions II and III. What kind of guarantees would be there?

I feel very good and I'm surprised that we've gotten as far as we have as quickly as we have. Division I, I see, is a radical departure from the way we have done business. So, we have to be very careful as we consider this from here on out. It is a departure. Is it better? We need to have people ask the questions to give us all vision. What's it going to be like when we operate with this set up five or eight years from now? We spent a lot of time in Division I on determining votes and majority votes between I-A, I-AA and I-AAA. We've come to an agreement to this point, but is that the way we want it five or eight years from now? Those are the things we all in the room have to think about, give input today, hopefully, as well as to your representatives in your conference meetings.

Dan Bridges:

Well, you've heard a lot about sending loud and clear messages, so you have an opportunity to send some here in the next few minutes.

Don DiJulia:


Don DiJulia from St. Joseph's University. This may not be a loud and clear message, but a couple of gray questions. In the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees and Management Council structure, will all of those be divisional across the board? Or, will there be a subdivision within Division I autonomy in any of those three groups? Secondly, that conferences and its representation will be the makeup of these groups, how will it be handled, if at all, from a constitutional end about conferences with diverse makeup? If there's a I-A conference with not all I-A members, do those non I-A members count or, another type conference that might have I-A members? Where, if at all, will they get a voice at your end?

Jim Jarrett:

On the first question, we have just the three primary bodies in Division I and it's already been stipulated how those bodies will be determined by I-A, I-AA and I-AAA membership numbers. But, there's just one Presidents' Cabinet and one Management Council and then, the cabinets below that. The cabinets, as well as the committee make up is one of those things in flux at this point.

Panelist:


Don, the issues as it relates to conferences with mixtures of I-AA and I-AAA and I-A, as well as independents, is a difficult one. I'll take the Big East as an example because it meets the criteria of having all three of the areas. They will be one of the conferences that started out being called equity conferences and we're still searching for whether that's right or wrong, but at any rate, they'll be one of those eight key conferences that are guaranteed positions.

Where we are at this point, a St. John's would be a I-AA member and would be eligible to represent the Big East Conference if their conference so nominated a representative from St. John's. It's going to stay within the conference to determine who represents them. My conference, the Colonial, that has one I-A member, East Carolina, if the Colonial decides that the East Carolina representative should be the one on the board of the Management Council, so be it. But, it's going to be conference-oriented. Whatever conference you end up in, is where your vote is going to be. There are some loose ends that still need to be worked out.

Jack Lengyel:

Would you please elaborate the pros and cons as you reviewed them with regards to the board making the decision in Division I-A as opposed to one institution-one vote type of process.

Panelist:

To phrase it another way, Jack, why do we go to the representative system? It was more for efficiency and timeliness than anything else. The process we have set up, the legislation can have its inception in any one of three bodies. The Presidents' Cabinet has the final authority to say yes or no to the legislation. But, in the process, say it started at the Management Council, it would then be proposed to the membership, feedback from the membership, then taken, if it was still, by the Management Council's decision to take it to the presidents, take it to the presidents for their final approval and decision.

Panelist:

One of the major issues with that is who has the voting strength in Division I? Obviously, with the one institution-one vote approach, when the entire Division I membership votes, Division I-AA and I-AAA can outvote Division I-A. While I've never thought that was done in any harmful way, there are a number of people in I-A who feel that because of the revenue streams and the reasons that are articulated in the document, I-A should have a voting control. And, a way of getting voting control was to set up the Management Council and the board of directors with a I-A majority. That, in my opinion, is where it comes from.

Fred Gruninger:

Fred Gruninger, from Rutgers. Is the time schedule one that's on time tracking wise, or has there been some deviation relative to the fine-tuning concept?

Panelist:

The notion of fine-tuning was to get the transition teams for each divisional task force at work as soon as possible. We talked about the transitional team just appointed by the Division I Task Force and I believe there are transitional groups as well, at work in Divisions II and III. The intention has been, right along, to allow an ample period of time for those transitional questions to be dealt with. Collectively, the determination was to take to the convention in January a legislative package that would deal with the concepts and add some flesh to the conceptual bones, if you will, but then to allow a period of 12 to 18 months to get all of the transitional questions, or at least many of them, resolved and providing further legislative opportunities at the next January convention to deal with some of those matters. That's the track we're on. So far, there have been no derailments, but those could occur.

From the Floor:

Was there any debate or discussion or any kind of concern that the Executive Committee and Management Council have 100 percent of CEO representations? Was that widely discussed? Could we find enough committed CEOs? I think, just in Division I, we're going to need 20 or 30 committed to get this done. Is there any window of discussion still going on that maybe that can be changed?

Panelist:


The Presidents' Cabinet is, obviously, 100 percent CEOs. There was discussion relative to ethnic and gender diversity as to whether or not we wanted people other than CEOs on that cabinet. But it was finally determined in the committee that they should be CEOs. Management Council has no CEOs. We did discuss the time involvement. The decisions that were being made by that body and presidents being willing to give the time is a concern that I think has been expressed coming out of the conference meetings.

Panelist:


I think it's a significant concern. It may be one of those where the proof of the pudding will be in the tasting thereof, but to this point, that subject has received a good bit of attention and it's a question on the table. No answers have been forthcoming to deal with. If you look at the make up of the Division I Board of Presidents and of the overall Executive Committee of the association, you'd note that most of the presidents who sit on that Division I Board are going to be involved in some way or another in the Executive Committee. Will there be enough institutional presidents in Division I who will be willing, able and eager to give the time necessary to those responsibilities? I don't know the answer to that, but I know it is a concern.

Chuck Lindemenn:

One other thing to note with regard to that is the three chairs of the Management Councils would sit on the Executive Committee as non-voting members. That was an effort to try to provide the executive group with the kind of expertise that those Management Councils could provide.

Dan Bridges:

It's a question that is tied to the matter Jim Copeland raised which, speaking in the argot of the Division I Task Force, focused a lot on the question of, "who's the patootie?" That is a term of art, I am told, in southern Illinois. This goes to the heart of that question. This structure now is focused on the patootiness of it all and the presidents are the people who will be in charge if this restructuring process if enacted by the membership. Will that be able to work is a question we'll all be interested in seeing the answer to, won't we?

John Harvey:

I'd like to ask if Division I-A is really open to the possibility that some committees could function better, more effectively, more beneficially to all divisions by still being joint committees? I know that Division III has benefitted a great deal from the interaction on those committees with Division I-A and Division II, as well. Is there the possibility that some of the those would be acceptably joint committees with Division I-A?

Jim Jarrett:


That is something the Task Force can take up between now and the fall. Certainly, as I listened to people to this point, I think there will be what we call common committees across all division lines. However, having said that, Division I is very interested in having many of the committees federated because they feel there are special concerns that need to be addressed by Division I people. We'll, hopefully, within the next couple of months out of our subcommittee, be able to come out with, not only a list of committees as we see it to be federated and others that would be common across the board with the idea that the federated committee, if it existed in all three divisions, because it was federated, would not mean that at times they couldn't get together and talk about common issues, as well. We're hoping to go a little further than that and establish the four cabinets. We want this structure in Division I and appropriately place each committee in Division I under one of those cabinets, some of which could be common. We've got to work out the details of that.

I think there is value in some of the committees being, across the board, common committees.

Jim Copeland:


Thank you for being a part of this and thanks to the panel for their efforts.