||35th NACDA Convention|
June 11-14, 2000
All NACDA Members
Opening Remarks and Keynote Address
Monday, June 12, 8:00 - 8:45 a.m.
Dave Hart, Jr.
Good morning. I'm Dave Hart, Jr., the director of athletics at Florida State University and this year's president of NACDA. It's my pleasure to open our NACDA Convention. This is a very special Convention in that we are celebrating our 35th anniversary with this particular Convention here in Orlando. I'm pleased to announce that again this year, we've set yet another record for attendance at NACDA Conventions, which we also did one year ago. This year, we have the largest attended Convention in the history of NACDA with more than 2,200 administrators going through the week with us. You could sense that when you got here, that we have a large contingent and that's what this Convention is all about.
From Friday through Sunday, NACDA hosted the ninth annual NACMA Workshop, the seventh annual NAADD Workshop and the second annual NCLA Workshop. All three of these Workshops produced outstanding attendance in their own right.
As many of you know, NACMA, the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators; NAADD, the National Association of Athletic Development Directors; and the NCLA, the National Collegiate Licensing Administrators, are all administered under the NACDA umbrella. If you are responsible at your institution for any of those areas and have not yet joined any of those particular associations, I encourage you to become an active member in each of them. Additionally, on Saturday and Sunday, NACDA hosted the annual NATYCAA Convention for the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators. We're very pleased to have all of these groups under the NACDA umbrella. Next year, CABMA, the College Athletic Business Management Association, will also join NACDA and it's affiliate associations and we're very happy to have them coming aboard next year.
I want to remind you that tonight we will host the Honda Awards Dinner. We have been doing that for three years. At the Awards Dinner, as most of you are well aware, there will be the presentation of the Honda-Broderick Cup. This is the third year NACDA has had the honor of hosting this very prestigious event and we encourage everyone to attend this evening.
As in the past, there are many auxiliary groups who will be holding meetings with us this year. A complete list is available in your Convention program and we'd like to welcome all of these groups and encourage you to meet with them as the week progresses.
We have an exceptional lineup of speakers for you. This Convention, and the many people who worked to plan the Convention, is one that you will truly enjoy. The program includes informative sessions for athletics administrators at every level. In addition to the general sessions, we have breakout sessions and round tables, which have been very popular with NACDA. We have a variety of topics to accommodate the needs and interest of virtually every administrator who has joined us for this Convention.
We're also pleased to have with us more than 180 outstanding exhibitors. I encourage you to please take time to go through the exhibits and visit with them. They are very important to each of us and to our Association. They are located in the Coronado Ballroom Salons J through L and also in the foyer and outside in the Porte Cochere. Our receptions will be housed in the exhibit hall so you can spend time with our exhibitors.
The grand prize drawing will be held on Wednesday morning during the Business Session. To qualify, go by all of the exhibitors' booths and drop your business cards into the yellow boxes. The exhibitor from whom the grand prize will be chosen will be announced on Wednesday morning. This year's grand prize consists of two round-trip airfares and four night's accommodations in Athens, Greece, along with a tour of Olympia. I hope I'm eligible for that particular drawing. Our grand prize is, once again, sponsored by International Sport, Inc. in booth 322. Deborah Dunston will be there to greet you so please stop by and say hello to Deborah.
I want to take a moment to thank all of our sponsors also. It is through their generosity that we're able to have such outstanding social programs, through the luncheons and the evenings and we're very appreciative for what they've meant to the growth of this Convention. This Convention has experienced dramatic growth over the last 10 years.
I'd also like to thank personally our first vice president, Debbie Yow; second vice president, Bill Bradshaw; third vice president, Joe Castiglione and Tim Gleason. In particular, I'd like to thank Mike Cleary, our executive director, and the entire Executive Committee and NACDA staff for planning such a top-notch Convention. I'm sure you're going to be pleased as each day progresses. On a personal note, I want to take this time to tell you that it has been an honor and a privilege for me personally to serve as your president this year. I've enjoyed that very much. To represent colleagues in a profession that I really care about has truly been a distinct honor for me.
Just a couple of housekeeping items before we begin our program. For those of you who are registered to play in the golf tournament, please be sure to check in at the South Registration Desk. When you come Wednesday, come dressed for golf. You can have your clubs stored in Coronado G. Don't be hesitant to come to the session dressed for golf on that particular day.
This year's Spouses' Hospitality is located in the Porte Cochere area in the Outback Trophies Suite. Please inform your spouses that is available to them and encourage them to participate in that.
Now, it is my pleasure to move forward with the program. I came in this morning and the first thing I see are two big OU insignias up there, no Seminoles, nothing. The reason for that is very obvious. We are honored to have a speaker whom Joe Castiglione will introduce.
Thank you Dave and thank you for the great leadership you've provided our Association, especially this year as president. I do see some people sitting in the back and I would encourage you to come up closer to the front. It is truly a pleasure for me to introduce our Keynote Speaker who, not only distinguished himself as a student-athlete, but continues to garner respect as one of our nation's bright new leaders. Born the fifth of six children, he wasn't different from many other kids trying to grow, develop, identify their niche in life and develop dreams. One day something happened to chart the course of his life. He stood along a parade route watching dignitaries go by. This one car approached and paused for a minute and spotted this young man in the audience. The three people in the car, each an all-American at the University of Oklahoma named Lucius Dewey and Leroy also known as the Selman brothers, pointed to him and said, "Some day you're going to be the starting quarterback at the University of Oklahoma."
As stunned as he was just to be spotted in this crowd, you can imagine the indelible impression that left on him. Growing through his high school years and continually watching college football on Saturdays, he thought, I can do that. When he got the chance, boy, did he ever do that. He went on to be the starting quarterback at the University of Oklahoma, led his team to consecutive Big Eight Championships, consecutive victories in the Orange Bowl. The latter earned him a place in the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor.
After a successful pro career, he returned to Oklahoma to become a youth minister, only to expand his role in serving people, his community and the state. In 1994, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican in a predominately Democratic district. He won again in 1998, which was followed soon after by his election to a major leadership role as a Republican Chairman of Conference in the House. He's consistently being measured for even more prominent roles nationally, probably because of his reputation, which he passionately expands upon daily, on behalf of education, balancing the budget and improving our national defense.
Today, however, is not about Republicans or Democrats, the University of Oklahoma, or about the sport of football. It's about young people and life's lessons. It's about their desires, their hopes and knowing they come to our campuses with special dreams. Each of us every day are in a position to encourage or inspire young people. When we do our job right, as many of you do, we get a chance to watch special young people grow before our very eyes and to develop into people like our Keynote Speaker.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming one of our country's bright young leaders, J.C. Watts, U.S. House of Representatives.
Joe, thank you very much. I'm delighted to be with you here this morning. I'm appreciative and honored that NACDA would think enough of J.C. Watts, Jr. that you would extend an invitation to come and be with you this morning. This is a special weekend for me because I don't get to travel with my family very much. I get back to the district every weekend. Usually, when I'm on the road, I'm alone, but this weekend, my wife and three of our five kids are here with me. I'm delighted to be with you this morning.
Joe called me a couple of months ago and shared your Convention with me. He asked me if I believe in free speech. I told him I certainly do. He asked me to come and give one in Orlando, so here I am. I am delighted to be with you today. I was in Tallahassee a couple of months ago and talked to Coach Bowden. I didn't get a chance to see your stadium on the inside, but what a beautiful facility you have there, Dave Hart. We're delighted to have Joe Castiglione in Oklahoma. Joe and Coach Stoops have got us talking about a national championship again. Joe has done a wonderful job. Coach Stoops and Joe have been with us for two years. He isn't at the point where he's saying, "Y'all" yet, but he's settling in very well. We are working on this.
Joe mentioned to you that I grew up in the eastern part of Oklahoma in a small community. I'm going back there tomorrow morning, unfortunately, for a funeral of a 17-year old young man who drowned. I grew up in the home of Selman brothers. Leroy, Dewey and Lucius were quite the heroes of many kids running around that wanted to make it athletically. The three Selman brothers were not only good athletes, but were also very good students. Lucius dated my sister in high school. I wanted to be like Lucius. Seeing him in my front room, on the football field and on the basketball court was quite a fascinating thing to me. I remember the coaches wanted me to play quarterback, but I wanted to be a fullback because Lucius was a fullback. I had no interest in being a quarterback. About the middle of my sophomore year, I was moved to quarterback and the rest is history. I've had the great privilege of playing for the Sooners in 1980 and played professional football in Canada for six years.
Upon retirement, I became a youth minister. I got involved in politics in 1990 and won a statewide race. I was elected to the Corporation Commission, which is the agency that regulates public utilities in oil and gas for the state of Oklahoma. I served as chair of that commission the last two of those four years. I was elected to Congress in 1994. Never in their wildest dreams did my parents think that their fifth child of six children born to them would someday grow up to be called Congressman. This is America and those things can happen. Dreams still come true in the most wonderful nation in all of the world.
Everything I've accomplished over the last 42 years of my life has come from hard work, common sense and my faith. Athletics has taught me a lot of valuable tools. The lessens, the values and principles I've learned in athletics I have applied those things to whatever I'm doing or where I am. Athletics, football, basketball and boxing and in business, regardless of where you are, what we learn in athletics can be applied to any arena that we participate in.
I grew up in a rural area of about 2,000 people. I've been in Washington for a little over five years and what a fascinating place it is. I've often said to my friends back home that if God gave me five years to live, I'd want to live them as a Congressman because they've been the longest five years of my life. They've been an interesting five years and I've learned much about how to get legislation moved. I worked on a piece of legislation about five years ago that targets poor communities and underserved communities, rural communities, for home ownership, savings, to allow faith-based organizations to get involved in helping to solve America's social ills. I started working on this five years ago. The President and I had a press conference about two weeks ago. We passed it, the President vetoed it. I went back to the White House in January and asked the President to work with me to get this done. He agreed to do that and we finally negotiated a settlement about two weeks ago. We announced this legislation. I'm now traveling around the country talking about this legislation.
Again, I started working on this legislation five years ago and it was finally completed a few weeks ago. You learn a lot about patience and getting things through the process. You go out every day and chip away. You need to understand that, in politics, you're going to have a whole lot more three-yard gains than 50-yard gains. I was talking to Coach Osborn and he was considering running for Congress. I told him the major thing coming from the athletic arena is that we could go out every day and because of film and technology, we could measure our success. Surely, after every game, we could measure our progress and success. In politics, because you have a lot more three-yard gains, sometimes you think you're not moving the ball. The fact is, if you'll understand and bring that attitude of understanding, delayed gratification in politics, you can really accomplish a great deal.
I've also learned how to think on my feet. It's nothing to come out of an Armed Services Committee Meeting when we've discussed some hot spot around the country and the weaponry we need to purchase, the research and development we need take on. When we come out of these meetings, a reporter will stick a microphone in your face and ask you some dumb question you haven't been briefed on. You learn to muster a pretty good recall and try to answer the question.
Everytime I come out of one of these meetings, I'm reminded of a story. A young man worked at a grocery store and every night at 900 p.m., they would lock the door. This particular night, they forgot to lock the doors. The young man was standing behind the counter and in walks a elderly lady. She said to the young man, "I need to buy a half head of lettuce." The young man said, "A half head of lettuce. Two things, we're closed. I forgot to lock the door. Two, we don't sell a half head of lettuce." She said, "Well, I need to buy a half head of lettuce." He said, "We don't sell a half head of lettuce." She said, "Young man, I need to buy a half head of lettuce and I'm not leaving until you sell me a half head of lettuce." He told her to wait and he'd see what he could do. She was adamant about it. He walked back to the produce department and told the manager there was an old hag out there who wants to buy a half head of lettuce. He turned around and this lady had followed him back there. He looked and put a big smile on his face and said, "This dear lady wants to buy the other half." After she left with her half head of lettuce, the boss came out and told him how impressed he was with him. He said, "I saw that entire ordeal. You were so good on your feet. Where did you learn those skills?" The young man said, "Aw shucks, I'm from Ufallo, Oklahoma and there, all you have are old hags and football teams." He said, "Young man, my wife is from Ufalla, Oklahoma." He asked, "What position did she play?" You do learn to think very quickly in Washington, if nothing else.
As I said, everything I have learned, everything I've accomplished, I've learned from a fellow that spent two days in the seventh grade, a fellow by the name of J.C. Watts, Sr. Daddy spent two days in the seventh grade and that is the extent of his education. Daddy did pretty well for himself. He accomplished hard work, common sense and his faith.
I was graduating from the University of Oklahoma back in 1981. I was about 41 days from graduation and I didn't have spring practice anymore. That part of my life was over. I could go home on the weekends to Ufalla. As we would often do when I got home, Daddy and I would sit in the front room and solve all of America's problems according to the book of Watts. This particular night, we were sitting there, it was about 200 a.m. and it was time to retire. Daddy said something to me that I'll never forget even if I live to be 150 years old. He said, "You know, Junior, I think I want to go to college." I said, "Why, you're 57 years old, you're a double by-pass heart patient, Mom is diabetic, you've got these cows, these rental properties and you're pastor in the church. Why do you want to go to college?" He said, "I'd like to see what makes you guys fools after you get out. You guys seem to lose your ability to use common sense."
In the arena of politics, common sense always serves you well. In the athletics arena, common sense will serve you well. Common sense should say to us that if we're not prepared to go out and play the game, it's not going to work. The same thing applies to the game of life. I was taught the principles in athletics that have served me well in all of my adult life, hard work, common sense, sacrifice, commitment, treating people the way you want to be treated, having the right attitude. Friends, I have learned in athletics and in politics about attitude. There are only two kinds, a good attitude and a bad attitude. I don't want people around me in athletics with a bad attitude and I didn't want people in the huddle with me with a bad attitude. Let me tell you, I don't like hanging out with people in politics with a bad attitude. In Washington, it baffles people when they see you with a smile on your face. In Washington, you get the impression when people walk around touring the city, you get the idea that if you smile, it will break your neck. You don't see a lot of smiles in Washington.
I hope that all the virtues, the values and principles that we teach in the athletics arena, I hope and it's my prayer that you don't get yourself and don't involve yourself in the political correctness of life to the point that we water down hard work, common sense, sacrifice, commitment, attitude, treating people the way we want to be treated. It's a fascinating thing in politics that we often like to encourage people to leap frog over all of the things that really make a difference and contributes and helps people to grow and mature and be the best they can be. We say, forget about the hard work, the sacrifice, the commitment, we'll go out and pass some law that will help you accomplish what you want to accomplishment. I don't care what your skin color, I don't care what part of town you grew up in, I don't care what your gender, I don't care if you grew up in a single parent home or a home with two parents, the key to success is going to be hard work, understanding sacrifice, treating people the way you want to be treated and having a good attitude. Friends, it's hard to replace those things. You can't legislate those things.
It's been fascinating over the last seven or eight months listening to the gun debate, the youth violence debate. It has been fascinating watching the debate concerning youth violence. In my opinion, it's a whole lot more important that we ask why kids do what they do rather than how kids do what they do. In my opinion, trying to blame guns for youth violence is about like trying to blame chains for slavery. We do need to concern ourselves with what's making these kids do what they do. We've gotten away from the basics. In athletics, we're taught every day to go out and do the little things. You run hard, you play hard, you understand sacrifice and commitment and you treat people the way you want to be treated. You condition and get yourself in shape. There are certain things, no matter what athletics event you're in, that you're going to have to do. If you don't do those things, you can't expect yourself to go out and play well and compete well. It's not going to happen. Again, we cannot concern ourselves with leapfrogging, leapfrogging over all of the basic things in life. When we leapfrog over the basic things in life, the things that really matter in a young man or a young lady's lives, we're going to find ourselves dealing with some of the crisis that we're dealing with in America.
Those are just some basic things that we ought to be concerned about as parents and as a nation. I hope that if I ever send any of my kids and I would hope that all five of my kids will associate them in some way with athletics or the military because of what they teach. The values and principles they teach are important. As a parent, before I send my child to you and say to you make them a man, make them a women, there are things that I have to ask myself. As parents, are you guys having dinner with your kids every week? Are you having dinner with your kids four times a week, minus CNN, minus ESPN, minus the sports channel? I love to go home on the weekends and sit down for dinner and say, I won't watch it, just leave the sound on. My wife says, "No, turn the television off." It's amazing what you'll learn about your kids when you have dinner with them several times a week with no music, no radio, no television, just you, the wife and the kids. When you do that, they focus on each other.
I wonder what would happen in America if all of us would have our children in at least one religious service per week. Why is that important? Don't get into this religious thing. Having a child in a religious service at least once a week teaches them that there is something greater than you or them or me.
Do you check your children's homework? What are we telling our kids when we check their homework? We're telling them that we're concerned about their education. We're concerned about them.
I wonder what kind of America we would have today if all of our kids participated in team sports? J.C., why are team sports important? I hope my kids, all of them, associate themselves with athletics in some way. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me if they're the first team or the fourth team. I knew people in my athletics career when I was in high school that never set foot on the field, but they came out every single game. I know guys who I played with at the University of Oklahoma who never played a down. Many of them walked off, but they came out every year. Why do I think it's important for kids to participate in team sports? Because of the camaraderie, the fellowship, learning how to get along with other people, how to treat other people. There is something to this team sport thing that I think we're missing in society.
The men and women in this room, you, all have this tremendous opportunity to impact society as we start the 21st century. As a matter of fact, your arena of athletics is still the one arena that, for the most part, your success is going to be determined by hard work, sacrifice, and commitment. You don't involve yourselves a lot with political correctness in society, attitude. All of the things I learned starting out with Little League baseball, fourth grade, friends, have served me well. Those athletics values and principles and virtues have served me well every single day.
I want to close by sharing with you three lies that are on the streets of America. In whatever community you're living in today, they are in your community. One of the challenges for us as a nation is to help our athletes understand these three lies. The first lie is, I'm entitled to one mistake. Friends, we make mistakes, but we're not entitled to them. If we live our lives feeling that we're entitled to mistakes, we'll have young men and women bouncing from wall to wall with no substance or direction in their lives.
I can't help but think of the story of Len Bias. Several years ago, Len tried crack cocaine. His heart did not respond to it. It killed him in a matter of minutes. Pete Rose violated the rules by gambling on Major League Baseball. All of the things we have seen unfold in the athletics arena over the past 12 or 15 years, I've often thought how some of those young men, if they would have had the presence of mind to say, I am human, but I can't use that as an excuse. I make mistakes, but I'm not entitled to mistakes. That one mistake could cost a young man or lady's life. Athletes have to understand that we're not entitled to mistakes.
The second lie we have to be concerned about is, it will never happen to me. I wish I could take back all of the dumb things I did as a high schooler. It will never happen to me. How many of you have been in situations where you never thought it would happen to you? I heard Magic Johnson talk about his story. I came home and my favorite basketball guard, 215-pound, 6'9" point guard for the L.A. Lakers, was standing in a national press conference. I'll never forget Magic say, "I guess I was na´ve. I never thought it would happen to me." You see friends, it can happen to us, to the best of us.
The third lie that I hope all of our athletes would understand is a lie that we all like to tell ourselves and that is, I've got plenty of time. I'm going to a funeral tomorrow morning for a 17-year old athlete who had everything in the world to look forward to. He was 6'1", do it all kind of athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He had everything to look forward to. It was a swimming accident last Thursday. He was 17 years old. We tell ourselves we've got plenty of time. Tomorrow or next week, I'm going to look at my kid play basketball, I'm going to his baseball game. Friends, I travel a lot. I've almost concluded that if you get too busy for your kids or your family, you're just plain too busy. We make time for things that are important in our lives. I guarantee you that if someone came to me and said they would give me an all-expense paid trip, everything taken care of, I guarantee you folks, I'd find some way to take advantage of this offer. We find time for things that are really important to us.
You are influencing and impacting the way society will look 20 years from now as directors of athletics. We have to see kids as they can be, not as they are. I learned that in my youth ministry. There were times I wanted to choke some of those kids. I often had to see them as they could be, not as they were. I'm proud of the chapter in my life that I spent in athletics. It gave me a foundation a base. It gave me a springboard to accomplish things in my life. To all of those coaches and directors of athletics that impacted my life, defended me, gave me a word of encouragement, I am eternally grateful for their impact and influence in my life. You never know, where that young man or young lady might end up.
Thank you for what you do for our athletes. Thank you for being a source of encouragement, a source of energy for all of them. This place that you and I call home and the rest of the world calls, America, is a pretty fascinating place. Thank you for playing your part of helping us sustain the greatness of the most wonderful nation in the entire world. Thank you for having me.
Dave Hart, Jr.
J.C. please accept this plaque as a small token of our appreciation for what was a very inspirational message. It will put a smile on all of our faces as we begin this Convention.
Again, that was inspiring and an opportunity for us to bring back to memory why we do what we do and why we're in this profession.