NCAA Division I - Breakout
Workings of the Cabinet
(Monday, June 15, 10:15 - 11:00 a.m.)
Good morning. My name is Lee McElroy and I am the director of athletics at American University and a member of NACDA's Executive Committee. At this time, I'd like to welcome you to our NCAA Division I Breakout Session entitled, "Workings of the Cabinet." Our purpose is to examine the first year of the new structure of governance through the observations and comments of representatives of each of the four cabinet committees. Our plan in this session is to hear from each of the cabinet members and then open the discussion to your questions. We also have a special guest, Steve Morgan, from the NCAA. He will be available to provide any other information we may need when we get into the last session.
First of all, allow me to introduce our panel members. Kathy DeBoer, the associate athletic director at the University of Kentucky and chair of the Business and Finance Committee. Kathy, welcome. David Knight is the professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and faculty athletics representative and chair of the Academics Eligibility Cabinet. Welcome, David. Harold "Chappy" Menninger is the director of athletics at Mount St. Mary's College and chair of the Strategic Planning Cabinet. Last, but certainly not least is Bob Marcum, the director of athletics at the University of Massachusetts and a member of the Championships Competition Cabinet.
To begin our discussion, Kathy will review the initial workings of the Business and Finance Cabinet. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the University of Kentucky. She coached volleyball and was involved in administration at Ferris State before arriving at Kentucky in 1984 as volleyball coach. Kathy won three conference titles in the National Invitational Championship and was named associate AD. Kathy.
Thank you Lee. I do have to make one correction in the introduction. I am not the chair of the Business and Finance Cabinet. That privilege goes to Gary Cunningham who sends his regards. He is representing his family at the graduation of his daughter. The Business and Finance Cabinet, very quickly after we got together, divided into two different groups. We probably do 60 to 70 percent of our work in the two groups. We have two committees, one, called the Finance
Committee, of which I am the chair, and the other one is called the Marketing Committee. Darlene Bailey from Wichita State is the chair.
The Finance Committee's main charge is putting together a recommendation for the annual budget for the association. Keith Martin of the NCAA, if our main liaison. One of the things we found out in going through the budgeting process is that many of the major money issues in the budget are done by mandate. For instance, there are block grants to Division II and III that are all part of the structure set up in terms of the formula. There's a set formula for the distribution of revenue from sports sponsorships, academic enhancement programs for the needy student-athlete fund and the Grants-in-Aid programs. And, of course, there is a set amount that is payment to teams and conferences for participating in the championships. There really isn't a lot of that huge NCAA budget that the Finance Cabinet is working with because much of it is done by mandate.
We had major discussions on several of the issues. One that we just dealt with recently was the catastrophic medical insurance coverage that was up for review after a three-year term. Irv Cross, the director of athletics from Idaho State and part of our committee, chaired a sub-committee to put together a new catastrophic medical insurance coverage policy. Championships enhancement has been an issue of major discussion for us and I'll deal with that in a moment. The issues of the Clearinghouse and the costs of the Clearinghouse, which, as most of you know, have escalated much more rapidly than any of us had anticipated. We also have discussions on initiatives for programs for ethnic minorities. Women come to us. I will tell you that the restricted earnings lawsuit has tempered many of the discussions of the Finance Cabinet and seems to come up relatively often, as it should, in terms of our discussions of the budget. You know as much as we do right now on where that issue stands and that it is going forward on appeal.
We're called the Business and Finance Committee, but might be more appropriately named the Marketing and Finance Cabinet. The Marketing Committee's main charge is to oversee the marketing activities of the association, specifically dealing with corporate sponsorships and with individual sports initiatives. There are four sub-committees to the Marketing Committee -- men and women's basketball, Olympic sports, women's sports and international initiatives. The sub-committee that has been most active in this the first year, has been the Basketball Marketing Sub-Committee. As most of you realize, about 95 percent of the dollars that the NCAA uses for operating come from the CBS contract for the men's basketball championship. There were some areas of serious concern over the last several years. One of them, being declining student attendance on our campuses. Another, declining ratings for the championship which, fortunately, was reversed this year. The third, declining ratings for regular season television.
The initiative the Marketing Committee was trying to explore is how to create an NCAA brand name similar to some of the initiatives that have been adopted in football and to assist with an NCAA basketball brand name like the NBA has done and to assist us on our campuses with the regular season promotion of the game. ESPN Chilton was hired to do marketing research on both men's and women's games and the marketing research was done, some together, but much of it independently as the issues facing the two games are significantly different right now. Now, the Marketing Committee is at the implementation of those recommendations and initiative stage. There's been close interaction on that with the NCAA committee and the coaches' associations.
I'd like to close with a couple of observations as to the challenges of this new cabinet structure. One of them that is still in working process and unclear as to how it will shake out exactly, is the relationship of the cabinets to each other. The cabinets in the organizational chart are in the same part of the food chain. The Finance Cabinet, even though we're asked to evaluate the recommendations from the Championships Cabinet, we've tried to be fairly sensitive about not becoming the Championships Cabinet. Those things will still have to shake out.
Second, is the relationship of the cabinets to the sports committees. Obviously, the sports committees are filled with those who are extensively experts on a particular sport and, certainly, are clearly more experts than this gathering of cabinet. Particularly, on the issues of marketing and the marketing of specific sports, how does the Business and Finance Cabinet interact with the Men's Basketball, the Women's Basketball Committee or any of the other NCAA committees out there with an agenda?
We went to have a representative form of government. That's what this new structure was supposed to be and it is very loosely representative. As we find on many of our campuses, there are people coming into our cabinet structure with a variety of different agendas and a vast variety of different backgrounds in terms of where we work in intercollegiate athletics and where our experiences have been with it. I will tell you that more than once the whole process has struck me as being comparable to trying to herd a group of cats. It's a working process and will continue to be that as we find how we are to interrelate, how we are to feed things up through the food chain of the organization and how we are to accomplish the goals that have been set for our various cabinets. Thank you very much.
Thank you Kathleen. To discuss the Academics Eligibility and Compliance Cabinet is David Knight. David is a graduate of the University of Louisville and Duke University and is in his second year as president of the Faculty Athletics Representative Association. He is the first and only FARA at North Carolina-Greensboro. Mr. Knight.
Thank you Lee. I'm very pleased to be here and attend a NACDA Convention and to talk to you about the workings of the Academics Eligibility Compliance Cabinet. I'll take just a few minutes to talk about what we do and how we do it. Our responsibilities turn out to be very broad. The workload has kept us on task and very busy. We have responsibility for coordinating the administration of all of academics, all of compliance and all of eligibility in Division I. We carry out functions that were previously done by at least 11 committees in the previous structure and we oversee the application of at least six bylaw chapters, plus parts of others in the Manual.
In our first year of operation, we've been very interested in establishing a process by which we can carry out our responsibilities efficiently and in a timely manner. We have divided the 34 members of the cabinet into six main sub-committees that represent the main areas of our involvement. Two of these deal with academics. These are the initial eligibility issues and continual eligibility issues. We have a group that deals with amateurism and agents; one that deals with student-athlete reinstatement issues. We have a sub-committee for legislative review and interpretations. The last is the sub-committee on recruiting. There are other committees that report directly to the cabinet. Two of these are hold-overs from the previous governance. That's the Financial Aid Committee and the Division I members of the initial eligibility Clearinghouse Committee. We have also established three groups that deal with various kinds of waivers and appeals process that report directly to the group.
Our work comes to us by referral from the Board of Directors, from the Management Council, from the other three cabinets and from conferences. As well, the Management Council has authorized the AEC Cabinet on occasion to initiate discussion on voting propositions in areas of our competence. As a matter of course, all of our work passes forward to the Management Council for their consideration and potential ratification.
What have we accomplished in our first year of operation? I'll point out three areas where we have made a significant start. We have overhauled the waiver and appeals process. That's the first task we undertook last summer. You may recall that in the last couple of years, the volume of waiver and appeals requests had bogged the council down and made it very difficult for them to be efficient and timely. We think we have streamlined this process and the membership is getting the benefit of that, as these issues are generally dealt with very promptly.
We have also completed a refinement of the definitions of core course curriculum and involving various national groups of associations of high school administrators. We have recast that language that describes core courses in terms that high school administrators understand. If you look in the Manual for mention of core courses, you'll find there are few and they are very terse. It was very difficult for high schools to know what was expected of them in this area. Now, we think we have language about what is and what is not a core course that high school principals can understand. They are now in a position to certify in their institutions that of their courses meet the NCAA core definitions. That process has been in place since February dealing with the recruiting crop coming in August. By all accounts, it seems to have been an improvement.
We have also completed a long and complicated set of discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice and have concluded a result in the signing of a consent decree regarding NCAA accommodations to prospective student-athletes with learning disabilities. As chair of the Cabinet, I would like to publicly commend the members of the cabinet and the members of the NCAA staff who worked long and hard on this process. The NCAA, now, is in a much better posture in this area and achieving the consent decree is a major accomplishment.
What are the issues we're dealing with? What are the issues the membership will be seeing with interest? Well, having overhauled the waivers and appeals process and having redefined the core curriculum, the cabinet has now turned its attention to the initial eligibility regulations themselves. Several remarkably useful demographic databases are maintained by the NCAA research staff and are of help here. I'm speaking particularly of the Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse database that has entries of thousands of students. Two other longitude studies that are ongoing are the academic performance survey and the academic performance census. This is information we never had in hand when the present initial eligibility regulations were crafted. We are in a position to know what the effects of our initial eligibility rules are on people with names and addresses. Next month, the cabinet is going to send to every Division I member institution a written educational piece describing this statistical information so everybody in the membership can have the same information the cabinet is using as we discuss possibilities of changing some of these regulations. You can be alert to that. It will be coming your way. There is no consensus at this time within the cabinet as to whether these regulations should be changed. It is very much a live topic and will be on our agenda in September.
Another area you are certainly aware of is the current discussion regarding the men's basketball recruiting model, especially in summer recruiting. We are undergoing the study of this change to try to improve and increase the influence of high school coaches and other high school personnel in the decision-making processes of prospective student-athletes. At the same time, to minimize the influence of commercial interests in this area. It's an issue of importance.
I want to mention a study that has been done by the Financial Aid Committee at the request of the Management Council to consider the impact of Title IX of other aspects of gender equity matters on scholarship limits. Particularly, scholarship limits in women's sports, both head count and equivalency sports. That is, obviously, an issue that is very important and will be of interest to the membership.
As you see, we're very busy in lots of areas. I'd be glad to elaborate on any of those.
Thank you David. The chair of the Strategic Planning Committee is Chappy Menninger. Chappy is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University of New Mexico. He coached soccer at the University of Southern Maine, was a director of athletics and directed the athletics program at the University of Seattle before becoming the director of athletics at Fairfield in l986 and Mount St. Mary's in 1995. Mr. Menninger.
Thank you. The Strategic Planning Cabinet is a group of talented, qualified and dedicated colleagues who were well chosen for this particular cabinet. Thus far, we have met several times and probably the most meaningful meeting to date will come at the end of this month. In the beginning, I would characterize this cabinet as the least specifically defined cabinet. When you think that some of the permanent committees that report to this cabinet involve women's athletics, Olympic sports liaison, minority opportunities and interests, ethical conduct in sportsmanship, National Youth Sports Program and research, you can understand why the members had a difficulty grabbing, initially, even though they had a legislative mandate, as to where this cabinet was going to go.
The first discussion we had was about how was this cabinet going to provide meaningful direction in the planning process. This cabinet is not the sole group of people who will be planning the strategic plan of Division I. We're going to do it in concert with a lot of other people, with the cabinets that sit here with me, the Management Council and the board of directors. The struggle we went through the first couple of meetings to understand and put into a reasonable charge was what we finally have a good hold off now and we're going to move forward.
We operate a little differently from the other cabinets in that we have no permanent sub-committees. When we have a topic that needs to be discussed, we simply form a sub-committee and when that work is done, it's disbanded. When we have vacancies on our cabinet for all of those permanent committees, we revolve the members of the cabinet so that we get a complete participation of everyone towards selecting candidates to fill those vacancies as they come aboard. There is no administrative committee as part of this cabinet. Everybody is a functioning member and no one group or no one person is of more importance than the others.
We are working on two major things. One, is the Division I strategic plan which probably will have its fine-tuning done at the end of the month and will be made available. As you remember, the Board of Directors and the Management Council identified 33 problem areas they wanted to make sure were in this plan. This was further synthesized to about 10 emphasis areas. From these emphasis areas, goal statements are being generated and they will have two kinds of activities that will come in those goal statements. One will deal with the cabinets here who have legislative mandates on specific areas of which our cabinet does not. The second will be any specific subjects the Management Council wants us to deal with. The 10 are being fine tuned and we will be asking many different groups, the sports committees and the permanent committees of each of the cabinets to become involved with this.
The second major problem we are working on now is communication. We have two sub-committees currently in operation. One is on membership communication and one is communication amongst the members of the NCAA. We are working with the liaisons and with the national office in terms of trying to find an effective way to communicate. One of the things that has come about as the result of putting the structure together is that it is going to demand a reliance on technology that most people are not used to. That challenge is going to be out there. I would also like to echo what Kathy said with reference to the interdependency of the cabinets in terms of being able to work together and communicate. We've already had two conference calls because we have found there have been issues and things that come up that the cabinets need to be in touch with each other and to find out what the other members and conferences are thinking.
The third issue out there was the discussion about research. Who was to do the research? Was the Strategic Planning Cabinet to do research, was it the Research Committee? Are sports committees allowed to do research that will be separate and distinct? Who's going to control the research? Where's the money going to come from in order to pay for some research that's necessary?
Those are three issues that will have to be dealt with and I think the process is moving, maybe not as fast as everyone would like, but there are hard-working people out there that you've elected to be part of this. Thank you.
To conclude our cabinet review, Bob Marcum, a member of the Championships Competition Cabinet. Bob is a graduate of Marshall University and the University of Akron. He began his career in administration as associate AD at Iowa State and then became the AD at Kansas and South Carolina before assuming the position of vice president and general manager of the Atlanta Motor Speedway. He was named athletics director at the University of Massachusetts.
Thank you so much. I'm substituting for Chris Hill from Utah. If you have any suggestions or complaints, please forward them to Chris. I know he'd be more than happy to receive them. I'd like to spend a little time to let you know how our cabinet works. First of all, we spend a great deal of time for nominations for the various sports committees. This is an important function. It's an important function for your conference, the institutions that you represent. Sometimes we get nominees that the paper work is not completed. It's embarrassing to the institution, to the individual, as well as the conference they represent. Please spend time with the conferences and the institutions making sure the paperwork is formal. Also, not all of you can be nominees for the Men's and Women's Basketball Committee. We only have about 500 for each committee and it takes a lot of time to go through them.
We spend a lot of time with the sub-committee reports. For instance, a very hot topic now is exempted games, both in football and in basketball. If you have a position in regards to it, or you represent a special interest that's involved in exempted games, then really, the position needs to be forwarded to the cabinet and to the various sub-committees so we can have the proper information to work with.
We do spend a lot of time with the recommendation from the sports committees. This information is the basis of making a lot of the decisions in the Competition Championships Cabinet. For instance, the last meeting, we expanded the brackets for various sports. Of course, this expansion provides more opportunities for our athletes to participate in the championship experience. I might add, we really have no money. The recommendations we put forward that requires funding, goes to another cabinet. At the same time, we do endorse the expansion of various brackets to enhance that competition.
We just completed the Football Issues Committee meeting. There's a number of issues there that are important to college football, whether it's skill instruction, exempted games, the 12th game, the recruiting calendar and a number of other items coming from the Football Issues Committee that, later on, will be forwarded to the Championship Cabinet. In turn, there are things passed on to the Management Council, and ultimately, to the Board of Directors.
This is a real working committee. There are 34 of us. I think the group gets along very well and they represent our organization. Keep in mind that it's your committee. It gives you an opportunity for input, for competition in championships and we want your input so we can do a better job. I also might mention that every now and then something special takes place in regards to the cabinet that we have to deal with. I can think of the sport of wrestling this past season. It required the cabinet's involvement in assisting the wrestling coaches in the country to do a better job conducting their sport.
Again, we want your input and I'll be happy to answer any questions.
Thank you Bob. I'd like to pose a question. Do you anticipate any changes in the annual NCAA convention that will assist the new methods of doing business?
The Strategic Planning Cabinet has been asked to look at the Division I programming at the convention. Clearly, the NCAA convention is substantially altered by this new structure. We've gone from the town hall meeting to this representative structure which really doesn't require the members to come together and cast votes which was, obviously, a primary motive to come to the NCAA convention. We're trying to figure out how to use the convention to take advantage of the work of these four cabinets and keep the membership informed of things that are being developed and get membership input through some kinds of forums to help the cabinets and the Management Council form formal recommendations for action by the Board of Directors. How to best do that is still a work in progress.
We've seen the Management Council and Board ask the Strategic Planning Cabinet to take a look at some things we might do in the way of forums and programs. So far as the governance structure has looked at the survey it got back from many of you about their views of last year's convention and their thoughts for the future NCAA conventions. The Management Council and the Board members thought we got some mixed signals from them. One thing we did see, there is still pretty much full attendance by the Division I membership. That is, most every Division I school is represented. Pretty close to the same number of schools represented we've seen at the traditional convention, but a lot less people. Instead of sending five, six or eight people from the schools, they're sending one or two, so the attendance does come down dramatically.
One of the problems we face is anticipating how the convention will change in the years when there is a vote because if there is an override request for an action taken by the Board or, if there's a proposal by the Executive Committee to amend some of the basic principles of the constitution, we'll be back in the business of casting votes. We have to anticipate how to have sufficient convention space for those years when people may come in large numbers to vote and those years when those numbers may be down for the forum.
There are a lot of things to look at. Again, we've heard references from all of the chairs about this structure and their cabinet work being a work in process. Clearly, we're still a work in progress as far as the convention goes. We need continued input through the governance structure. Talk to you conference representatives about how to make those meetings more effective. We want something different than what NACDA does for you professionally, but something that does give you a chance to interact with people across the country who are fellow Division I members.
From the Panel:
At the end of June, there is item number 101 on our agenda and that is recommendations on the 1999 NCAA convention. We are going to review the surveys that were sent to everyone and I hope everyone took the time to do that. We are going to solicit ideas from all of the different conferences and members. The last thing we will most likely do is develop a sub-committee of the Strategic Planning Cabinet to try to get this resolved as fast as we possibly can.
Bob Marcum, how many major football playing institutions are represented on your 30 plus member committee?
To answer that a little further, there are 18 I-A representatives on that cabinet, one, at least, from each of the 10 conferences. As Bob correctly answered, the eight conferences with two representatives, all of them have at least one major football program administrator who has a grounding in football involved.
Mike, I will tell you and this is something that I try to allude to is because of legitimate concerns of representation in terms of senior women's administrators in terms of divisions, in terms of parts of the country, in terms of very legitimate concerns of ethnic minority representation, the number of agendas that come to the table are very diverse. The number of experiences that people come to the table with are an interesting mix. In all of the cabinets, it is an 18-16 ratio by representation, but the easiest way to describe it is very loosely representational.
Let's give each of our panelists who brought to us the workings of the cabinets and good information that we can take back to our campus. Thank you for your attention.