All NACDA Members
NACDA Scholarship Awards Luncheon
(Tuesday, June 11, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.)
Welcome to the 1996 NACDA Scholarship Awards Luncheon. I would like to introduce the head table. To my right is Mike Cleary, NACDA executive director; Art Eason, AD at William Paterson College and NACDA secretary; Fred Gruninger, AD at Rutgers and NACDA 3rd vice president; Vince Dooley, AD at the University of Georgia and NACDA 2nd vice president; and Barbara Hedges, AD at the University of Washington and NACDA 1st vice president. Vince, permit me to congratulate you, your coaches and your athletes on that 12th place finish in the Sears Directors' Cup this year. Let's have a hand for the NACDA Officers.
Today's master of ceremonies is Bill Raftery of ESPN. The former head basketball coach at Seton Hall University, Bill serves as a college basketball analyst for ESPN. His regular assignment is to call Big Monday Big East telecasts. He also works various other ESPN college basketball games.
He joined the network as co-host of NCAA Tonight during the 1980 NCAA basketball tournament. He has been a cornerstone on ESPN's college basketball telecasts since the 1981-82 season. Ladies and gentlemen, Bill Raftery.
I was expecting a warm greeting knowing that I had many a cold evening keeping your programs happy and delighted with the ineptness of my Seton Hall teams. Most of the ADs out there, during the course of my limited time at Seton Hall, always wanted to book us just to get healthy. It's always an honor to come to something where there's such dedication. As noted, I did start at ESPN and a lot of people, particularly youngsters on college campuses, asked how I started and my response generally is, I lost as a coach and was looking for work. At ESPN, there was an opportunity where, in November, ESPN wanted to plan their March show for the NCAA. They wanted to make sure they hired somebody who would not be busy in March with his basketball team. Of course, I was the guy selected.
Art Eason and I are from New Jersey. We're the only two people from that state that haven't been indicated. Most of you notice by the New Jersey turnpike exits, I'm the odor on the right as you go up to the Meadowlands and Art's the odor on the left.
Before we start, I'd like to mention that your president's university, Southern Methodist University, placed 14th in the Division I Sears Directors' Cup standings with 536.5 points. We are pleased to present you with the 1995-96 NACDA Preseason Games Scholar-Athlete Award winners. Through this year, $350,000 has been awarded in postgraduate scholarships. This year, 306 nominations were received. Through the outstanding work of the Review Committee and Blue Ribbon Committee, we have arrived at our 10 winners.
Each of the winners of the 1995-96 NACDA Preseason Games Scholar-Athlete Awards had at least a 3.0 GPA and was an All-Conference or All-American in their sport. When I coached, my team combined had a 3.0. Each of these young men and women will receive a $5,000 scholarship for postgraduate study funded by proceeds from NACDA's two preseason football games, the Kickoff and Pigskin Classics.
We will be introducing to you the award recipients who are with us today. The old joke the coaches used to say, "I had a youngster who played for me and he had three F's and a D and I brought him in and said, 'what are you doing?' He said, 'Well coach, I guess I'm spending too much time on one subject.'" This is the exception here, I assure you. Complete bios on these individuals and the other scholarship recipients who could not be with us today are in your luncheon program.
Our first recipient is Adam Burgasser, a diver from the University of California-San Diego, which placed second in the Division III Sears Directors' Cup standings with 718.0 points. Adam earned a near-perfect GPA of 3.97 in physics.
Next is Elizabeth Crone, a member of the crew team at Brown University. Elizabeth earned a GPA of 3.91 in development studies.
Our third recipient is Amy DeVasher, a swimmer for the University of Alabama. Amy earned a GPA of 3.94 in biology.
A football player from the University of Southern California, Jeremy Hogue is our next recipient. USC finished in tenth place in the Division I Sears Directors' Cup standings with 598.5 points. Jeremy posted a near-perfect 3.90 in political science.
Our next winner is Ebony Robinson, a track and field athlete at the University of Florida, which earned a third place finish in the Division I Sears Directors' Cup standings with 731.5 points. Ebony earned a GPA of 3.52 in psychology.
Our final recipient is Jonathan Zerger, a member of the football team at Bethel College. Jonathan posted a perfect 4.0 in physics and mathematics.
Let's have a big round of applause for these fine student-athletes.
Most ADs have heard all of the jokes and stories. Years ago, we used to send questionnaires to the players. During my 16 years, different responses would come back. For instance, church preference, a kid would put red brick. Length of residence would be 170'x80'. Boards, 12 a game. This one kid that I sent the letter to answered the question sex, and you would expect male or female, he wrote down once.
Now, to present the NACDA/NIT Athletic Directors Award, Jack Powers of the NIT. At Manhattan, they have very high standards. When Jack would recruit a kid, he would put him in a room, put a caramel on the desk with the wrapper on it. He would leave him alone for a little bit. If the kid took the wrapper off and ate the caramel, he got an academic scholarship. If he ate it with the paper, he got a full athletic scholarship. Jack Powers.
Staying in on Marco Island is a wonderful opportunity. I had a chance to play golf yesterday with Raftery. It's a pleasure to be here and to introduce this year's 1996 NACDA/NIT Athletic Directors Award winner. A good friend from St. John's University, John W. Kaiser, better known to his friends as Jack Kaiser. Over the last 20 years, he's served as the vice president and athletic director at St. John's University. He's been associated with the school for more than 40 years. He started at St. John's Prep and went all the way through. He played football, basketball, and of course, the sport he loves so much, baseball. He continued his education at St. John's where he was named All-American and he was Player of the Year in the Varsity Baseball magazine. In 1952, he was appointed as head baseball coach and assistant basketball coach. I imagine he had to make a few dollars in those days.
He was head coach for 18 years in the baseball program. He won six Metropolitan Intercollegiate championships and earned 11 NCAA postseason tournament trips and three trips to the College World Series. He is president of the American Baseball Coaches Association, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and very active with the summer league NCAA baseball programs. He was one of the founders of the Big East Conference. He's past president of the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association and he worked with Pete Carlesimo in the early days when the NIT had their games in Madison Square Garden. He came up with the idea of having the first rounds on the college campus and the semifinals in Madison Square Garden. He proposed legislation to the NCAA Convention to start the preseason NIT. Jack has done it all in athletics. He's a dedicated guy.
He has officially announced his retirement, but he is still involved in many projects. Jack, I would like you to come up and accept your award. The cup reads "The 15th Annual NIT/NACDA Athletic Administrative Award in appreciation for the many years of encouragement, endorsement and support of the NIT and NACDA." Thank you very much Jack.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm thrilled to be here, as you probably are aware. NIT means basketball. I would like to thank my colleagues and friends on the NIT committee, the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association for considering me for this award. When I looked in the booklet at those men who have received this before me, I'm actually in awe that I'm in their company.
The NIT, of course, has been with us since 1938 when they established the postseason tournament, one year, incidentally, before the NCAA tournament was founded. I'm proud that in all of those years and in the years I've been involved that we have been able to present championship opportunities for coaches and athletes as a reward for working hard and coming up with a wonderful season.
I'd like to congratulate all of the other reward recipients for a job well done. That's why you're here and that's why you're being honored. As you know, to get anywhere in life, you can't do it all alone. You need a lot of luck and hope that your timing is right. I'd like to introduce someone who is important in my life, my best friend and the love of my life, Alicia, my wife.
Of course, with the NIT, since 1938, we've added the preseason tournament and an all-star trip every summer to give further opportunity to coaches and players for a good competitive experience. That brings us to NACDA, this organization. I'm amazed at what's going on. Since it's been available, St. John's has been a sustaining member. We believe in the organization. We believe in the things you are doing, so keep up the good work. We need you to steer a course during these days. The presidents, of course, have become very active. We have a lot of high visibility coaches and they should have their place and input, but the directors have to be the captains and steer the ship, so keep going.
Then, of course, it was mentioned about the Big East Conference. That was one of the highlights of my career. I always feel that it was. I had a call from Dave Gavotte in 1978 when the NCAA decided to change the rules a little bit on whom you must play and not play. At that time, we were all independents in the ECAC, and very proudly so. We wanted to do our own thing. But, the NCAA told us to have an ECAC bid to the NCAA tournament that we must play everyone in our geographical region. We had the first meeting in my office at St. John's and out of those discussions a year and a half later, the Big East Conference was born. That was a major contribution to college basketball. It's a fine conference and I saw many of my colleagues here during your meetings. It was great to see them. I know the conference and college basketball in the Big East is in wonderful, safe hands.
Finally, St. John's is where I came from. I started as a coach there in 1952 and finished up this past June. I have to say that it was a wonderful opportunity given to me by that university to coach first and then to be an administrator and to help young people. I see tremendous things on your program during this Convention. Great things that need your assistance and help in solving the problems in the intercollegiate world today. Please, and I ask you this from my heart, continue like you've been doing, in teaching honesty, integrity and that people should keep their word and work together, love each other, respect each other and great things will happen in the future. God bless you.
Now, to explain the Sears Directors' Cup program, Elaine Dreidame, the senior associate director of athletics at the University of Dayton and chair of the Sears Directors' Cup Committee. Elaine.
We are pleased to join with our friends from Sears in presenting the Sears Directors' Cup trophies and Postgraduate Scholarship Award winners. We are very proud to be honoring winners from all levels of the NCAA -- Divisions I, II and III -- and the NAIA. This is the first year in which all levels of four year intercollegiate athletics programs have been included in the Sears Directors' Cup program. Coinciding with the trophies are the presentations of the postgraduate scholarships. Each recipient was required to have at least a 3.0 GPA and served in one of the athletic department support categories, such as athletic trainers, cheerleaders, band members, team managers and the like. There are four scholarships per division and one also for a student at each institution which wins the Sears Directors' Cup trophy, for a total of 20 scholarships. Each of these young men and women will receive a $5,000 scholarship for postgraduate study funded by Sears. We received more than 200 nominations and through the outstanding work of the Sears Directors' Cup Committee, we have arrived at our four postgraduate scholarship winners from each division. Not all of our winners could be with us today, but their complete bios are in the program. We will be presenting to you those students who could attend today to receive their award.
Now, to speak about the Sears Directors' Cup program, I would like to introduce the sponsor of today's luncheon, John Costello, senior executive vice president of marketing at Sears, Roebuck and Company. Incidentally, he started at Michigan State as a center, they moved him to wide receiver and he got a little ticklish.
In my dreams, I was a wide receiver. I was a wide receiver until I was about 11 years old and realized there were people who were going to grow to about 6' 6" and 300 pounds that tackled wide receivers and I said I needed to find some different sports. I'm happy to be here for a couple of reasons. The first is, if you live in Chicago this time of year, you're happy to be anywhere. It's gotten to the point where I actually like to play golf in the rain. When there's a light drizzle, we think it's a good day.
More importantly, the Directors' Cup is a real source of pride to all of us at Sears. Meetings like this are a lot of fun because it's an opportunity to see some old friends, to meet some new people and also to reflect on the past and think about the future. It was just three years ago that Mike Cleary journeyed to Sears and we talked about a vision NACDA had about a program that was very unique among student-athletics. It was a program that, not only recognized and celebrated achievement, but it also recognized participation. More importantly, it was a program that was really built on breadth and equality, gender equality, sport equality and school equality for the first time, whether you were in a large university or a small college, whether you played men's sports or women's sports, whether you were on the point or helping behind the scenes, that really tried to reinforce what each of you was doing day in and day out. That is, recognizing the benefit of providing a really rich experience for the student-athlete. With that teamwork and partnership with all of you, it's been a real source of pride to us in terms of how much we've accomplished together. Some of the statistics are amazing as Elaine touched on. For the first time, the Directors' Cup is available to all four-year universities, large and small, which is a tripling from the early days.
Obviously, more than 1,200 universities are eligible. What's interesting to show the breadth of that is, this year 909 universities actually scored points in the Directors' Cup to show that it really is providing that opportunity to participate and be recognized.
Second, was scholarships. Over the last three years, more than $300,000 worth of scholarships were given back to students in those universities to help with their education. As you can see, a lot of our student-athletes are here. I'd like you to give them a round of applause. All of you who came here thinking you'd work on your tan, big surprise. There's a chance to get some wind burn this afternoon.
The third aspect, as part of recognition, is trophies. With the expansion of the program, we're going to provide more than 1,200 trophies to colleges and universities, everything from men's and women's sports across the universities, down to that local level. The local level is a real source of pride to us as well. You can think of us as a $35 billion company, but really, our strength is getting close to our customers in your neighborhoods. We couldn't do that without our stores organization. If fact, we've got a number of our Sears store managers here today that I hope illustrates to you just how important this program is to us.
I would also be remiss if I didn't thank our media partners. From the early days, USA TODAY was here and helped us generate the awareness of the Directors' Cup and create that excitement. In fact, in tomorrow's USA TODAY, you're going to see this ad which says, "You're looking at the toughest trophy to win in all of college sports. Congratulations to the four universities that won this year's Directors' Cup." When you look at the breadth of sports, the inclusion of men's and women's sports, as I talk to a number of you around the country, it's clear that this is evolving and perhaps the most challenging recognition program in which to excel.
Finally, ESPN is here covering today's awards, but more importantly, to showcase what you're doing. On July 7th, ESPN is going to run a program showcasing this year's Directors' Cup, the goals of this program and this year's winners.
It's exciting to talk about the trophies and the coverage. It's exciting to talk about the press releases, but to me, one of the most exciting things about the Directors' Cup, as I talk to many of you, is it really doesn't lose sight of the most important thing and that is, the work you do day in and day out with student-athletes. That's the thought I'd like to close with. Your profession and student athletics has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. It's a broader experience. It's a more enriching experience, but with budget cuts and a tough environment, it's also a tougher experience than anything before. There was a college coach who had an interesting quote that has become one of my favorites, "When all is said and done, more is said than done." The point he was making is that there are talkers and doers. You've illustrated that you are doers. We don't lose sight, as proud as we are of being associated the trophies and Directors' Cups, more importantly, we're proud to be some small part of what you're accomplishing at your universities and colleges day in and day out. So, while it's with a sense of pride that I stand up here, it's more to say thank you. It's exciting to watch this program grow. It's exciting to be able to provide this recognition to the students and the colleges, but it's very clear that without NACDA and the work that you do, nothing would be happening.
Let me thank you for letting us be one small part of a very exciting program. Thank you.
Sears video is shown to showcase the Directors' Cup.
We will begin with the Sears Directors' Cup for the NCAA Division III. Our first Division III postgraduate scholarship recipient is Tracey Jones, a team manager for the men's basketball team at Norwich University. Tracey posted a GPA of 3.89 with a double major in English and communications.
Our next recipient is Victoria Buter Kubert, a sports information assistant at Cornell College in Iowa. Victoria maintained a GPA of 3.76 in psychology.
And now for the first time, NACDA and Sears are proud to announce the inaugural Division III Sears Directors' Cup winner. The champion this year is Williams College from Williamstown, Massachusetts. The Ephs accumulated a total of 782.0 points. Williams won two national titles, in men's cross country and men's soccer; and had 11 additional top 10 finishes, including a second place in men's outdoor track and field. The Ephs
recorded points in seven men's and seven women's sports. Here to accept the trophy is director of athletics Bob Peck.
I'd like to congratulate the other winners who will have their chance to say something from UC-Davis and Pacific Lutheran and Stanford, and all of the student-athletes who are getting awards today. I'd particularly like to thank Sears and NACDA for sponsoring the Directors' Cup and especially for including the other divisions in the competition this year.
We are proud of winning this first award for Division III. The credit, of course, goes to our 1,000 student-athletes, which is one half of our student body and especially to our coaches. From our whole community, we thank Sears and NACDA for conceiving this award.
I would like to introduce our nominee for the scholarship because he is here and that is Graeme Scandrett. He's designated as Williams' scholarship winner. Graeme was an executive editor of our student newspaper, a student SID and broadcaster and winner of our Frank DeFord Award as the outstanding student. He'll be going to graduate school in economics.
It's always great to be part of establishing a new, and what I believe, will be a fine tradition which I trust will go on for a lot of years. Williams was involved at another time in establishing a tradition in athletics, as well. In 1869, we played the first intercollegiate baseball game versus Amherst College. Amherst was a newer school that Williams people helped to establish in 1821 after our president took half the library and half the student body and went over the mountain to establish Amherst College. We lost this first baseball game to Amherst, 73-32. Our closer just couldn't finish it off. There was a chess match also in conjunction with the game, and unfortunately, we also lost the chess match. But, we've corrected these wins and loses over the last several years.
At any rate, I should like to again thank Sears and NACDA for sponsoring this Cup. We're delighted to have been the first winner and hope we can be here again sometime in the future. Thank you very much.
Thank you Bob. Bob is an old friend of Richie Regan, my former AD and was a friend of mine before he corrected my pronunciation. Please Bob, convey my apologies to Ephram when you do see him.
We would now like to present the Division II scholarship recipients. Our first winner is Laurie Wallace, an athletic trainer from Barry University, which earned an 18th place finish for the Sears Directors' Cup with 299.0 points. Laurie earned a GPA of 3.62 in sports medicine/athletic training.
Our next recipient is Joacquina Waters, the women's basketball team manager at the University of North Florida which placed 12th in the Sears Directors' Cup standings with 335.5 points. Joacquina majored in psychology and posted a GPA of 3.40.
Our first Sears Directors' Cup Division II winner is the University of California-Davis with 610.0 points. The Aggies entered the race in 17th place in the fall standings and moved up to fourth place in the winter. They recorded seven top 10 finishes, including a third place in softball. Both the women and the men scored in six sports. Here to accept the trophy is Director of Athletics Greg Warzecka.
I'd like to start by thanking John Costello, senior vice president for Sears Company, for having the vision to start the Sears Directors' Cup, but most importantly, for including Divisions II and III and the NAIA institutions for the first time. The Sears Directors' Cup recognizes those institutions who, not only sponsor and support a broad-based intercollegiate athletic program, but those who excel in it. It's important to recognize institutional commitment to excellence at every NCAA level and within the NAIA because of the different philosophies that are in place within the memberships. Money should not be the driving force behind determining or even recognizing success. The educational process and the program philosophy should be the determining factor. So, it's important to recognize those institutions who choose to support intercollegiate athletics in different way with varying levels of financial support. It obviously helps UC-Davis to have the same philosophy in place that Sears chooses to recognize.
At UC-Davis, we believe in providing a wide variety of sport opportunities for our students and we demonstrate it by offering 20 intercollegiate sports for men and women. Next month, we'll add three new intercollegiate sports, men's crew, men's lacrosse and men's water polo, raising our sports sponsorships to 23 sports.
We're fortunate also to have outstanding students that compete in athletics at Davis and also a great coaching staff. It's a coaching staff that considers themselves to be teachers first, but most importantly, the kind of teachers that allow our students to be students first. We are proud of our students and coaching staff for what they've accomplished this year and how they've represented the university. We're also thankful to all of the parents who, not only entrusted their sons and daughters with us, but instill the value system in these young men and women that have prepared them well for the academic and athletic challenges of college life.
On behalf of the students at UC-Davis and the coaching staff, university administrators, I accept this trophy. We are truly honored to be the first winners of the Division II Sears Directors' Cup. Thank you John, NACDA and the Sears Directors' Cup Committee.
In the NAIA, our first scholarship recipient is Nichole Boy, a student coach for the women's basketball team at Friends University. Nichole earned a GPA of 3.50 in biology.
Our next recipient is Brian Davis, a team manager for the men's basketball team at Transylvania University. Brian posted a perfect 4.00 GPA in physics.
Our next recipient is Barry McKee, an athletic trainer at Hardin-Simmons University. Barry earned a GPA of 3.80 in exercise science.
Let's have a round of applause for these students.
We would now like to present the Sears Directors' Cup to our NAIA winner. This year's NAIA champion is Pacific Lutheran University from Tacoma, Washington, with 571.0 points. The Lutes started the competition in third place and advanced to second by the end of the winter season. They recorded seven top 10 finishes, including a third in women's swimming. The Lutes scored in five women's and six men's sports. Sitting on the dais is the incoming director of athletics, Paul Hoseth. And here to accept the trophy is Director of Athletics David Olson. Twenty-eight years, what a great distinction!
Thank you. I've enjoyed some great retirement parties during this year, but this certainly tops them all. Thank you all for attending. They've not been satisfied with an acceptable performance, but have really gone on to be the best they can be. This award is so very meaningful to us because it symbolizes so much our athletic philosophy. There are no minor sports and every woman and man who competes in our program also contributes in our program. The athlete, not the award, not the university, not the program, is really number one. Each athlete contributed to this honor and my hope is that, in the process, we might have contributed to each of our athletes.
The theme of our sports program is the pursuit of excellence for the joy of sports. This award suggests we might have enjoyed some success in the pursuit of excellence. I hope for our athletes, and certainly for each of yours, they experience the joy inherent in athletics. Congratulations to my colleagues. I thank you so much for this honor and to the Sears Company and all of you for being here. Thank you.
All of our Division I scholarship recipients are with us this afternoon. Our first winner is for Stephanie Brauner, a member of the academic support staff at the University of Nebraska, which placed ninth in the standings with 623.0 points. Stephanie posted an almost perfect GPA of 3.96 in finance.
Our second recipient is Elizabeth DeKelver, a member of the band at the University of Wisconsin, which finished 15th in the standings with 530.0 points. Elizabeth recorded a perfect 4.00 in psychology.
Our next recipient is Robyn Gray, a cheerleader for Penn State University, which placed eighth in the standings with 626.0 points. Robyn earned a 3.84 GPA in human development and family studies.
Our final at-large winner is Eva Noll, a member of the academic support staff at LaSalle University. Eva earned a GPA of 3.97 in computer science, much like myself in my undergraduate days.
Ladies and gentlemen, your Division I scholarship recipients.
It is my pleasure to present the third Division I Sears Directors' Cup. The winner of the inaugural Division I Sears Directors' Cup was the University of North Carolina. Winning last year was Stanford University. And now, it is my pleasure to present the 1996 Division I Sears Directors' Cup, once again, to Stanford University. The Cardinal recorded 961.5 points. They won two national titles, in women's swimming and men's tennis, and added 11 more top 10 places, in men's cross country, field hockey, women's volleyball, women's basketball, fencing, women's and men's gymnastics, men's swimming, women's and men's golf, and women's tennis. The Cardinal scored in 10 women's and six men's sports. Here to accept the trophy is Director of Athletics Ted Leland.
Obviously, I rise on behalf of the student-athletes and the coaches at Stanford University. We are absolutely thrilled and honored to win this award. We did notice that a band member had just won one of the scholarships. We nominated a number of our band members and they keep sending them back to us. So, we'll know when this committee has really opened its eyes and one of our band members will receive one of these awards.
We were surprised to see that ESPN has played such a large role here with Bill's presence and the television special and some interviews. We've been in an all-out war with ESPN at Stanford for the last six or eight weeks. ESPNet, their computer outlet, decided to have a 16-mascot vote-off. They chose 16 mascots around the country and why they chose our Tree, we don't know. At a certain point in time, you could dial up ESPN on the Internet and you could register a vote. Lo and behold, ESPN people, not big thinkers in some way, opened this up and the voting started. In the first six minutes, Stanford had registered 356,000 votes. It didn't make anybody very happy. They moved back and found that our students had rigged the computer to vote this thing automatically. So, they've suspended the tree for a couple of years which we think is something of a Civil Rights issue. The biggest problem we've had with it is our president has initiated a new program of undergraduate studies and we're working very hard to make sure the quality of our undergraduate education is top notch. So, during all of the controversy about the Tree, somebody from the Associated Press called the student body president and asked him how come crazy stuff like this always happens at Stanford. Our student body president reported nationally, "Well, that's what happens when you get a lot of bright people together and they don't have much to do."
I want to congratulate the other winners. Two things we all have in common; one, is that we all have a commitment to a broad-based athletic program, and secondly, we all have a commitment to excellence in academics along with athletics. A lot of people wear the Stanford academic tradition, but I can promise you that UC-Davis, Pacific Lutheran and Williams College are at the very top of the quality of education they offer. The fact they've been able to combine that with excellence in athletics is quite a compliment to them.
Since our band member didn't win one of these awards, we did bring along a student. Many of you remember last year, we had a student accept this on behalf of Stanford because it's our students and coaches who have won it. Today, we brought along a local native, one of our football players to represent Stanford University. He's here to demonstrate that this is about students. This isn't about trophies and athletic directors. John Haskens, if you could stand up. He's with his mother and grandmother.
It says it all for me if you read the signs on the side and back. It says, "Recognizing Participation, Celebrating Achievement." Clearly the Sears Directors' Cup trophy does that. We're proud and honored to be part of this program and the NCAA. I'm personally honored to be part of NACDA. Thank you.
A few years ago, Mike was nice enough to bring me to Las Vegas. Going out on the plane, I jotted a little poem. I don't have that, but with the same idea, I wrote a few notes down. It's basically, "The Athletic Director." They must get their funds, charm, win and entertain. When there is an intercollegiate slip, they must show restraint. When coaches and players give the institution fame, it's their infrastructure and road map that saves the game. Their worries are great to keep that championship date. Did we observe all of the rules and behave properly from the September starting gate? Are my coaches focused on what's good for Old State U? Are we pulling for one another from within to avoid an eternal stew? Between support groups, compliance, to the money concern, the ADs' love of their school and their students continues to burn. The time expended for their program can't be calculated. Rules must be governed and programs must win. Graduation rates must be high and, yes, be physically stable or they alone are devastated.
I was fortunate to work for some wonderful guys. I'm from Hudson County and the biggest thing in Hudson County years ago was when they all got out to vote Democratic for John F. Kennedy. An old family friend who owned a family restaurant always wanted that no-show job. Finally, they gave him the job as commissioner of weights and measures. At the swearing in, after he put his hand on the Bible, a writer in the back said, "Barney, how many ounces in a pound?" Barney said, "Give me a break. I just got the job." Well, you people show every day. You people are dedicated and this past year, firsthand, I had the opportunity to watch the NCAA function. As you know and, unfortunately, we in the media don't know, that you are the NCAA. You people advise Ced Dempsey and assist him. I saw the ADs work with the Final Four and the preparation that takes place the seven or eight years before it arrives at a facility. Professionally, you're above reproach. The dedication is utterly incredible. There are knocks because they get headlines. People will say some things about athletes and you and I both know, it's a very small minority.
You have been a credit to your profession, obviously, but I just hope players can understand and appreciate the total involvement you and your family have. Time doesn't mean anything to an AD. I think it's the hardest job, next to the president quite possibly, on the campus. You're to be commended and I thank you for your assistance when we do come on campus.
I would like to congratulate the outstanding students you see before you today for their outstanding achievements in the field of athletics and in the classroom. This is an exceptional group of young men and women. I would also like to commend Stanford, California-Davis, Williams and Pacific Lutheran for their sustained excellence in winning the Sears Directors' Cup trophies. Thank you for having me.
Bill, you have made this celebration of achievement a really joyous occasion and we have a little something for you. Please accept this memento on behalf of NACDA for serving as our master of ceremonies.
Now, John Costello, if you could please join me on the podium. This has been one of the best partnerships any of us could have dreamed up. John Costello has taken it and been a great partner and supporter and made it even better. Thank you so much.
Just a few housekeeping things. Please remember to browse the exhibit hall and drop your business cards in the boxes at each exhibitor's booth. The winning card will be chosen in the Business Session. So, make your rounds this afternoon. The grand prize consists of round trip airfare for two and accommodations for four nights in Paris, France, compliments of International Sport, Inc., located at Table T and represented by Deborah Dunston.
Remember our round tables tomorrow. We have a number of excellent topics that are always the highlight of the Convention. Look at those in your program. Tonight's reception has been changed to Ballroom Salons E through S beginning at 6:00 p.m. Thank you for attending. We stand adjourned.