||36th NACDA Convention|
Salt Lake City, Utah
June 10-13, 2001
NCAA Division I Breakout Session
Town Hall Meeting: Powerful and Insightful Conversation
with Multiple Perspectives Topics:
Arms Race, Basketball Issues, Football Issues, Governance,
Monday, June 11, 9:00 - 10:45 p.m.
Good morning. My name is Joe Castiglione and I'm the director of athletics at the University of Oklahoma and 2nd vice president for NACDA. Before we begin, I'd like to recognize Southwest Recreational Industries, who is sponsoring the audio-visual portion of this program.
Our session this morning has really been created in a response to what you, the membership, has requested. Many times during the last few years, comments have been made during meetings, in the hallways, through evaluation forms, requesting a Town Hall Meeting format. Sometimes it's been people lamenting the loss of the forum or the opportunity we used to have as a membership in association with the NCAA convention. With the multitude of issues we face in this industry, particularly those that are becoming more and more concerning to all of us, we thought this particular session would, at least, begin to start the dialogue as we move through the program this morning and we listen to the presenters, as they articulate a perspective.
I know some of you have come in here expecting Tommy LaSorda. As you know, he's scheduled to speak tomorrow morning. I was the closest and the only Italian they could find in Salt Lake City. Any other Italians here? In any event, we want this to be participatory. This won't work if people just listen and do not come to the microphones, which are strategically placed throughout the room, to make a comment. When you do come to the microphones, all we ask is that you identify yourself with your name, title and university or organization you represent. Feel free to direct your comments to a specific presenter or to any of the panelists as we move through the program.
We have assembled a great group of panelists. David Berst will be up first as the chief of staff for the NCAA in Division I; Mr. Bob Bowlsby, the director of athletics at the University of Iowa; Chris Plonsky, the interim director of athletics at the University of Texas; John Genzale, editor-in-chief of Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal; and Bob Minnix, associate director of athletics at Florida State University. Up first with the presentation of look at Division I athletics finances is the chief of staff for the NCAA in Division I, David Berst.
Thanks Joe. I'm going to try to review some data with you in a very speedy fashion, the data we have collected through the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, EADA. We've done some comparative analysis of the data from 1993 to 1999. 1999 is the most recent data we have available at this point. I'm going to show a few pieces of information related to revenues and expenses that are intended to see if it peeks your interest. Some would say these are the best of times and others would ask, are you sure?
The first thing is the average revenue, and this does not include institutional sport by sub-division. You'll see the red is I-A, the blue is I-AA and green is I-AAA. You see that revenues are increasing since 1997 fairly rapidly in I-A, while things are pretty much business as usual in I-AA and I-AAA. When you look at expenses, you'll see something that looks very similar. For those of you who are graphically challenged, if you go back and forth, you'll see that when I hit upon the expense side, those things jump up a little bit. Where you want to be looking is out at the right edge because that's where we are nearer to today. There hasn't been anything that's changed since this analysis was made. The 2000 data will be very similar as well.
Although we have revenues going up, and specifically in Division I, and I-A going up significantly, we have expenses going up as well in all three sub-divisions. This is what you report as the profits and deficits in those various sub-divisions. There's a wide variance, as you can see. The top line and bottom line both are I-A institutions. That means that you have a number of I-A institutions that are exceeding expectations and you have a number of I-A institutions that are not performing very well in regard to deficit. The zero line across the middle is the breaking point. Everything above that is reported as a profit. Everything below that is reported as a deficit.
You'll see that if you break down by quartile, for example, the sub-division I-A, which has 104 institutions, you break that into four pieces, you'll find that those institutions that are in the top quartile have revenues between $14 million and $37 million, yet expenses between $5 million and $16 million. They end up making profits in the area $2 million to $22 million, so there's even a wide variance in the top quartile of institutions, but 100 percent of those institutions are creating profit and this is largely related to football, I might say.
The major revenue streams that have changed have been in the area of marketing and television contracts that have been available. On the other side, when you get to the expenses that also have a line, that points in about the same direction or at least keeping the same pace. On this level of I-A, you'll find that it's basically facilities and salaries and costs for student-athlete performance due to the nature of having a more national scheduled involved.
You'll see, when you go to the bottom line, you have I-A institutions as well that are finding themselves with revenues that range between $400,000 and $2.5 million, expenses between $1.6 and $6.2 million dollars. They are performing at a profit level of minus $3.8 million to about $100,000 profit. There are a few institutions in that fourth quartile that, actually 7.7 percent of about 25, that actually make a profit.
In quartile number two, we still have about 96 percent of those institutions creating a profit. They have revenues of $7 to $14 million, which is considerably below the top quartile, but still doing fairly well. They have expenses of between $4 and $9.5 million and profits ranging in the minus half a million dollar range for a few to $7.8 million dollars in profit. Ninety-six percent of them are still doing very well. That gets you to around 60 of the 104 that are creating profits that are measurable.
You find the same trends at least with the I-AA institutions. You have some making minimal profit and you have some operating at a loss. With the I-As, however, you'll see that that bottom quartiles exceeds the deficit spending of the I-AA institutions. The message there is that in evaluating the data, the revenues produced by the top quartile of I-AA and the bottom quartile of I-A are about identical. You'll find that expenses for the I-A, however, exceed I-AA by a little more than a million. That accounts for why that line will go a little further down on the deficit side. This also means there is significant pressure on institutional support which provides two-thirds of the revenue for I-AA and I-AAA and a significant amount for I-A on those little quartiles, as well as game guarantees. That seems to be the way that institutions both in the third and fourth quartile find their way along here.
I have several slides, but I know we're trying to create an environment here for you to talk about. I'm going to take you to the final slide, which shows you a comparative analysis. In 1999, the snapshot taken shows you a comparison of where quartiles 2, 3 and 4 in I-A are compared to the top quartile in Division I-A. You'll see revenues are increasing and that's not all bad. We anticipate or expect that revenues will increase, but expenses have been increasing, as well. The question is, whether those two lines will cross at some point, not only for the quartiles three and four, where it's already occurred, but as well for quartile one and two.
I could take you to some other slides and other comparisons. I'll stop back at the graph, which has a picture of everything that you may want to make comments about or ask questions about.
This particular approach is going to be a take on the financial view's perspective. While David has provided some information, there is an opportunity to ask any of the panelists questions from any one of their perspectives or for you to offer a comment, a question or a thought about financial issues related to Division I. Following up one of the comments that Cedric Dempsey made at the convention six months ago, only 18 percent of the Division I institutions are finishing their fiscal year with any measurable profit or breaking even. Since that time, I have heard that figure dropping closer to 15 percent. That, obviously, is alarming to every one of us.
Debbie Yow from the University of Maryland. Dave, a couple of things. One is that I find it interesting that in the chart in the analysis of financial aid, it doesn't appear that you include any institutional subsidy, but for those of us who accept from the institution a certain amount of money in exchange for our student body having "free" tickets to both football and men's basketball games. Could you talk a minute about the rationale of why that would not be included? Because on the other side of the coin, there are schools in Division I who do not have a subsidy. They are, in fact, generally charging students to come to those events. That money would be recorded in the analysis that you have while those of us who do not manage our business that way do not have that included. We would end up on the deficit side if you were not including the university funds. They are not giving us money, they are trading. They choose that as their way of better insuring that the student body is involved in the life of the athletic program.
Part of the answer relates to the available data and trying to make sense in managing it. The data can be separated in a variety of ways. One of the ways is to actually show what kind of institutional sport is necessary in order to make sure everyone is back at zero again. Depending on the philosophy at a particular university, that may be well and good or it may not be. There are a number where it's expected that an athletics department can be self sufficient and actually contribute to the institution and there are a number where it's expected that there would be some institutional contribution, whether it's in dollars or not. The significance is it appears there is growing pressure on quartile three and four to recapture the gap that's widening from the institution. That can be demonstrated a couple of different ways. This slide shows the comparison of revenues which actually shows the area that has to be made up basically by an institutional support order to get well. You can see that the pressure seems to be growing on those second two quartiles.
That's a great chart. It's very interesting, but I just recoil from the concept of institutional subsidy. It is usually a trade, if you will. Here is a certain amount of cash to help you balance your budget, but what we want in exchange are 11,000 tickets for every home football game for our student body to get into the game for free.
The only other comment I have is just a disconnect that I personally have with the concept of the on-going expectation. The paradigm we have right now that Division I athletics programs should, in fact, be self-supporting units on our campuses is the extraordinary pressure, extraordinary, that is putting upon all of the athletics directors across this country to try to figure out how to get this done. Joe Castiglione said it best at a meeting we had earlier this morning where the concept that if you fill your football stadium and you have sponsorships and you're just going great guns, then you're too commercial. On the other hand, if your stadium is half full, then you're not creative, innovative enough to get the job done. This is such a strange paradigm we find ourselves in the year 2001. I don't know how we're going to continue to move forward with this level of expectation and the pushes and pulls upon us in every direction.
Those are very good points. I wanted to report to you that, along the same lines of pressures you're talking about, the Knight Commission will come out with its report. As you might expect, it will say things like too much commercialism, concern about academics and the escalating costs of intercollegiate athletics. I haven't heard anyone suggest answers to that other than don't do as much of it. That seems to put athletics directors in a very awkward, if not impossible, position.
Jack Lengyel from the Naval Academy. I've had the good fortune to be at several universities as athletics director. In almost like a truth and lending proposition, at one university, I asked the institution to give me credit for faculty and staff discounts and also for student discounts that were not fair proportionate with regards to the cost of the expenditure. One institution agreed to allow me to use that as a credit back against services they were charging for the institution. Yet, when I went to another institution, they said that's a great idea, you're right, but we're not going to do it.
The point being, in our budgets, in order to be equitable, there is no common denominator in all of our budgets. Each institution treats the athletics department differently. Some charge for services. Some charge for snow removal, etc. There are times, for instance, when we use our stadium, and we are a 501C3, at graduation exercises, the admiral assumes we're going to give that free of charge. Yet, I turn around and I'm being charged on other areas because they need the revenue in their particular area. There are a lot of nuances within all of our budgets, whether it is bartered, where we use to create additional opportunities for ourselves that are not reflected in our budgets. There are other things our universities require us to do, faculty discounts, etc., that are not reported in this that really give you a total picture of what our costs are and many times we're used to give benefits to their particular operation that are not reflected in our budgets.
The only concern I would have as we report our systems and report our budgets, we try to get a handle on all of those types of services. I know it's going to be a difficult job, but there ought to be some credence given to the support elements we provide, either free of cost, or create a barter situation that is truly reflected of our expenses and our revenue. Thank you.
Thank you Jack. I'm sensing that the innovative idea of the committee has not really been a good one.
From the Floor
One quick overview. We came to campus for two reasons, money and students; we either recruit them to play on our teams or we present the image of the institution that brings non-students. That whole aspect of our marketing somewhere gets lost in our budget. The fact that we bring in 400 athletes then, with our money, we pay the tuition. All of that goes to the university. As a business, we're good business for the university. I guess we're just poor politicians on our campus and we need to let our presidents and people understand what our value really is.
Thank you. We're going to move on. I'd like to invite Bob Minnix, the associate athletics director at Florida State University and the current president of the Black Coaches Association. He will talk about hiring and recruiting issues.
Good morning. Every year, there is a lot of movement among our institutions in hiring coaches and athletics administrators. As the number of minority student-athletes now exceed more than 50 percent in the sports of football and basketball, I'm finding that the number of minority coaches and administrators have stagnated and, in some cases, have declined. I'm finding that the problem runs across both race and gender lines. Women of color comprise 40 percent of the female Division I basketball and track athletes, yet only two percent of all coaches are African-American. On the administration front, there are more than 1,000 NCAA schools. Only five have African-American female athletics directors. In addition, only 1.5 percent of all senior athletics administrators are women of color.
The sport that has caught the attention and fancy of the media is football on the Division I level and its lack of African-American head coaches. Of the 114-115 Division I-A playing programs, there are only five African-American head football coaches. You all know those numbers. In 1993, there were nine. At the start of the 2000 football season, there were six. Today, there are five. There were 25 head football coaching vacancies at the end of the 2000 football season and only one African-American coach was hired as a head coach, though many African-American coaches applied across this country.
Now, if all this is true, shouldn't we, as administrators, be concerned? I would suggest the lack of minorities in the position of authority raises the issue of student-athlete welfare. I say this because in the sport of football, more than 50 percent of the participants are African-American student-athletes. Only a few of these individuals, as you know, will have the opportunity to participate on the next level as professional athletes. So, what happens to the rest of them? Many of these African-American student-athletes really do want to become coaches or athletics administrators as their livelihood. On our campuses, there are very few mentors and very few individuals in athletics administration that look like them.
The key word in this dilemma is diversity and commitment to diversity. There must be equal opportunity for everyone. Now, when I talk to the coaches who are members of the AFCA or coaches of the BCA and ask them exactly what they feel is the problem and what they would like to see happen, all they are asking for is an opportunity and a fair shot at the jobs out there. They're looking for the opportunity to make the pool, an opportunity to be taken seriously, an opportunity to be able to come in and face the athletics director or the president or the committee making the hire face-to-face.
I often hear the complaint that there are so few qualified minority candidates. If there are, in fact, a small pool of minority candidates, then there is a real need for some honest dialogue today. We need to find out why. You, as athletics directors and administrators, need to have an honest dialogue to talk about why that is true. Minorities have been on coaching and administrative staffs for more than 35 years and are still struggling to be in position of authority, even though they may start at the same time and at the same position as their white counterpart. The question is, who should be held responsible? Is it the athletics directors? Is it the presidents? Is it the university?
Finally, I read an article recently where a former professional football player asked his son to consider the racial make-up of the coaching staff and administration staff before choosing the school he would want to play at. This is a developing situation that could become a problem in the future among parents and future prospective student-athletes. I feel the people in this room have an opportunity to make this a non-issue with some bold and immediate action.
Awareness and fairness are the operative words in solving this problem. We all need, as administrators, to step up and make our student-athletes be a priority by hiring with diversity in mind. Thank you very much.
We'll go on and listen to the rest of the presenters. The next person I'd like to introduce is currently the editor in chief of Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal, certainly a publication that many of us use a lot in the last year. I'd like to ask John Genzale to come to the podium and speak about a perspective from our external constituents, specifically the media and the business world.
Thank you Joe. It's great to be here in Salt Lake City. Obviously, Joe's words were external. That means I'm the token outsider on this panel, but I feel comfortable. I want to make a couple of observations about sports and apply it to colleges and just give us some food for thought about where we might be going industry-wide and how it might affect some colleges. I don't know that I have the answers to some of this, but I'm hoping that we provoke some thinking.
I was asked to lend some of my thoughts in two areas, media and the business or commercialism. I know that commercialism is a very bad word. Let me start with media. You all know that ratings for sports have been down and going down consistently. In fact, for the last five years, the number of people who consider themselves sports fans has declined from the high water mark of 1996. It's meant a lot to the industry. Where it hasn't meant a lot is in the fees being paid for television rights. You'll notice if they go up in inverse proportion. Why is that? Something is going on out there in the field that we have to think about. It doesn't take a great college AD to figure it out.
With fragmentation in television, the audiences of the future are going to get smaller and smaller and smaller. The question is, can those audiences deliver the right demographic for the person paying for the commercial message, the person funding the bills for the television program? To me, that presents a great opportunity for college sports. I think, as we have more choices to view college sports, we can hone that sport or that message to a particular audience. The value of that audience will go up even if the numbers go down.
In my own company, Street & Smith's, we are spending some money, putting some effort into college lacrosse. Think about that for a second. Is there a commercial value to college lacrosse? Guess what? We find we can capture the Internet market for lacrosse. It also means something to the loyalties of your alumni. I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. I live in North Carolina. I'm starved constantly for information on how the Bears did in any of the sports. As we go into the future, I'm going to have more availability either by television and/or the Internet to be able to follow my sports and follow them as a true fan. It's something that you, knowing that you have that captured audience at least one time in their life, can capitalize on in the future. There are great opportunities out there for college sports.
I want to talk about something else that you need to think about for a second. When Pete Rozelle and the networks created what we know as sports television, it was for the NFL. It delivered the message of Madison Avenue in 30-second spots. It worked and it worked very well. In fact, it's worked for 40 years. Think about when you're watching your pro football game and on comes this image of a beer. It's cold, it's frosty and you can almost taste it. You know what? It does drive you to your refrigerator and it makes you want that beer and drink that beer. It does create brand loyalty. That's the sports experience we've gone through television for the last 40 years, like I said.
When packaged goods were the prime mover of our economy, this works without question. When intelligence or information becomes the prime mover of the economy, does that work anymore? That's a serious question to think about. When I watch football or sports on television these days, I see ads for Cisco Systems. You, because you're on the college campus, all probably know what Cisco System is, but I don't. I don't know how to buy it, I don't know how to use it and I don't know what it comes in. This message doesn't relate to me in any sense. The great example I'm trying to reach is Sun Micro Systems. Sun Micro Systems decided to spend $2 million two years ago for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl. After it bought that spot and the spot aired, it decided it wasn't going to do football anymore or at least in that message. The message is too complex to deliver in 30 seconds. The message here is that sponsors, as we go further and further into a complex world, are going to look for different ways to get at an audience. I've got to tell you that college football or college basketball, the whole college experience, could provide a wonderful opportunity for commercial interests in sports to get messages out. Weekends on campus, whole events associated with football games, that sort of thing.
I'm talking about commercial messages. I just finished a book by my pal, Andy Zimbalist, who implies throughout that commercialism is bad. Deborah Yow spoke and I hear it through the halls. Commercialism in college sports is bad. I'm sorry, maybe I'm a little dense, but I don't see why it automatically has to be bad. Yes, I understand it puts some pressures on us to win. But, God knows everyone of your programs has enough pressure to win. I'm not sure that it changes it substantially.
I taught editing at Arizona State University. Because of my association with the school, my company, Cox Newspapers, bought computers for a whole lab at Arizona State University. All students can now edit on a computer. In the modern day, editing has to be on computers. I went back to the school just two weeks ago and I noticed there is plaque outside the laboratory that says, "Equipment donated by Cox Newspaper." That does not offend me. I don't think any of those educational programs in that lab are going to be affected by commercialism, not even the least. That might be a very small and unsophisticated example. I think the fears of commercialism in college sports are just overblown. You all ought to get over it, to be honest with you.
I want to talk about sponsorships and think about how it relates to college sports. We have been in a world in the last three or four years where the demographics of the sports fan nationwide is changing dramatically. Demographic is going up. The reasons are, of course, luxury suites, skyboxes, premium seats, PSLs, ticket prices. I went to a hockey game the other day and it cost $150 for tickets. When I was a publisher in Jacksonville, I had four corporate seats that cost $150 a seat. That is $600 for four seats per game, plus parking, plus concessions, plus everything else in the world. They were corporate seats and they were going to be corporate seats. I couldn't afford to take my family of four to a game for $600 plus. It can't be done.
What's happening is the sports fan is changing. If you go to a football game in North Carolina where I live and work right now, you can see it. These fans are less passionate. They are in the ballpark to create friends, to woo clients and to do business. Football in that stadium happens to be just the reason to get there, but it isn't even the focus of their attention for some of those people. I went to a game that was one point different and in the middle of the third quarter, people started to leave. It's a changing process.
To illustrate it better, I'll tell you this, Visa is increasing its sponsorship in sports, particularly the NFL. You know why? Because it's getting the corporate audience. Their association with the NFL is getting to the people they want to get to with corporate cards. Coca-Cola, on the other hand, has stopped in-stadium advertising in the NFL. Just completely obliterated. You know why? Because it doesn't deliver the fan it used to. Target told us a story we put on page one about a year ago that they've stopped their sponsorship of the NFL because the people who go to NFL games don't shop in their stores. It's a changing demographic out there. I think that opens up great doors for local sponsorships, local interests and for associations at the college level and at the community level to acquire new sponsors that cannot get their message out in any other way.
That's a lot of food for thought. Thanks for your attention folks.
Thank you John. It provides a good transition. It has been said, earlier this morning and again here in John's presentation, as many of you know, the Knight Commission, in their report will tell us that commercialism is going to be a primary target. Obviously, they are being very critical in generalizing about commercialism, but we don't know how detailed or what focus they will take or put on commercialism. It's interesting to me, because intercollegiate athletics, like many other aspects of the sports industry, have really done a great job in trying to offer opportunities for corporate sponsorships and partnerships, etc. It's been going on for 15 or 20 years. Now, we see campuses getting more actively involved in bundling core rights or telecommunication rights to create revenue for the campus at large. Perhaps some of the athletics programs are involved in the bundling of those rights and some aren't. Soon, the campuses are going to be put in a position to have to face the same issues we're about to be criticized for in the next few weeks.
Our next presenter is probably one of the most experienced people coming through university perspective. Chris Plonsky will now talk to us about the campus perspective.
It's been a tough morning. You wake up and it's Timothy McVeigh and college athletics spending. We need to lighten it up a little bit. It seems like most people in this room find it a delight to come to NACDA because you see colleagues that, at one point or another, you see in a different life almost. Many of us have shared many different pasts. You get to the chair where we are today and, in some cases, some of us started out as publicists or business people or coaches. Personally, I've had a past from PR to fund raising and revenue responsibilities and now on to a different role of administration at Texas.
What we're talking about this morning is so historical. We have always been a self-sourcing enterprise. It's just the numbers have a lot more zeros and a lot more commas today than they ever did before. One of my first jobs was at the University of Texas in the women's athletics department. I still have the T-shirt that says I survived the Donna Lopiano era. It was a highly intense, terrific time in history. Our media colleague, Mr. O'Toole, reminded me this morning that the NCAA is about to celebrate its 20th year of holding women's athletics championship. I vividly recall, in the 1981-82 academic year that Texas was one of the few schools that did not jump into the NCAA bailiwick immediately and it was all because of budget. Donna summoned us to her conference room and said, "We're not doing this right now. We're going to take some heat. I need to tell all of you and it should stay in this room for awhile, the reason we're not doing it is because of money. We don't have it to compete at the NCAA level right now." She looked at Jodie Conradt, our women's basketball coach, and said, "Your recruiting budget this year is $6,000. Next year, to do what you do under NCAA rules, it's going to cost us $24,000." This was a financial leap just in that one category. If you multiply that by eight sports and the number of personnel we had, it was tough. Again, this was a 1981 story, but today we're talking about the same thing that happened 20 years ago. It's all about perspective. Maybe you're right. Somebody up here said we're not politicians. Maybe we're not staying on message about what it is that we do and how it is that we do our jobs. Maybe we need to become better politicians and publicists, so for the time being in this little speech, I'll keep my PR hat on.
Every day, when I come to Texas, I try to drive by a different academic building. Sometimes I purposely run into the areas where students are crossing the traffic walk. I do that to remind myself everyday that despite what the demands of the job are in my area, which is external services and fund raising, I want to remind myself of where I work. I need to see a student or a student-athlete to remind myself of where I work. We're in an academic environment and we should never forget it. However, we're a very different operating unit on campus. Few entities on campus have to exist under the same duress and pressures we do. We are self-generating and self-funding.
We had the good fortune in Austin to do a symposium on athletics in general. We had several esteemed panelists on the symposium agenda. One was Barbara Jordan. Barbara was never an athlete. You all know her as a great orator and a great politician. She gave a wonderful comment about sports and there were several individuals on the panel who thought sports had gotten out of hand. This was in 1994 and we weren't in the Big 12 Conference yet. Some of the issues, the academic issues and the graduation rate issues, were out there in the media. Barbara said, "Athletics are good. In fact, they are essential." I remembered that word essential. Barbara reminded all of us that sports brings, without any note of gender or race or background, people together and it brings people together to push and to find out what their role is in a team setting and to find out what their potential is.
Again, mindful of all of that, we've got to go out and fund these endeavors. Everyday, we fund opportunities for kids, for student-athletes, for young men and women. We don't talk about that enough. When we fill our stadiums and we play games at 11:00 on television and we sell spots for the radio and we have media guides that are 194 pages thicker, we've got to fund those endeavors. We got to be mindful that when we're out there describing what we do, we have to remind people of the world we live in and why we do what we do.
When I returned to the University of Texas after seven years at the Big East, one of my first appointments in town was to go talk to a female executive with a very prominent telecommunications firm in Austin. My colleagues reminded me that this lady was a hitter. Be ready and be prepared and I walked in. We started a conversation and remember, I was there to ask for money. Ask anyone who knows me that asking for money was the last thing on my mind when I got into athletics. I had trouble asking for money to buy a sandwich for lunch. I'm just not comfortable asking people for money, but that's why I got hired. I sat in a room across from this woman. She asked me why I was extorting her for these really good football tickets. She used the word extortion. I looked at her and asked her what she meant by extortion. She said, "I'm willing to pay face value for these seats, but every year you ask me for this other money. What is that for?" I sat back and thought I have a big job to do now. I went back and reviewed some of the collateral materials that we were using in all of our publicity efforts about what it was that our annual giving unit was doing.
In all of the materials, we described our big facilities and how many games we play and what times. I had to search real hard for a kid story in that material. It was buried at the back somewhere. Who is it that we're funding with all of these annual gifts from these 10,000 plus people? Why is it that we're asking 12,000 or 15,000 people to buy season tickets? It's for those young people. Why do we go out and ask corporations to give us their dollars, which, by the way, are discretionary dollars. In our state, we compete with the pros. We don't have them in Austin, but we have them in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. When we meet with corporations, we ask them if they would consider a package with the University of Texas in college sports. In some cases we're pitching co-mingled packages with other institutions that we compete with for rivalry games. We know they could spend their money anywhere. They could spend it with the American Heart Association. They could spend it with the Dallas Cowboys, the Spurs or the Rockets. What really gets them about why we need their dollars, inevitably, it gets down to their funding opportunities for 530 young men and women who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to get an education at the University of Texas. We don't even need to talk about attendance figures. That's ancillary. It's almost value added.
Those individuals are at our table because they believe in the enterprise. They believe in the agenda and they believe in the mission. Sometimes we get caught in our messaging. We get caught up in how we deliver our messages. Its needs to be a buy-in by the total athletics department about what that message is. We can be easily accused of raising money to continue to stuff money into coaches' pockets or to build better facilities, but you always need to have the right answers for those accusations. Why do we spend money on facilities?
I would contend that there are a few more meaningful things to the young people that wear our uniforms than to have fans in the stands. There's nothing more devastating for a young person to walk into an empty facility when you're doing what you love to do and you've busted your soul for 20 hours a week and more to practice and compete and there's no one in the stands. it's our jobs to give our patrons something really nice to sit in, good food, cold water fountains, nice seats and clean restrooms. So, when we talk about spending millions or bonding money for our facilities, track it. Yes, there are a certain number of customers that want to sit in luxury suites, in club seats. But, there is also the Joe Q fan that needs a good experience if he's going to consider spending that dollar to go sit in your stadium for five hours, rather than a pro facility. Again, it's important for our kids that we have good attendance in our arenas. That's why we're spending money. To capitalize facilities so that you, the fan, after you leave, will not be saying it was a miserable day. It was hard to park, I couldn't find a good seat, it wasn't clean, etc., etc. Again, it's on message.
You can talk about the reasons why these young people stay and are retained on your campus for the five years that is usually takes to get a degree. They stay if you have great coaches. If you raise money, you can keep very good coaches. Turnover is the most miserable thing in athletics. I talked to an athletics director this morning that said he has 12 positions to fill this summer in his athletics department.
You can retain student-athletes and have it at the highest level if you can provide great services and support in our academic areas and in your sports medicine areas. That's why we're asking corporations to help fund us. That's why we're asking fans to buy tickets even with escalating prices. It's an easy equation, but sometimes we don't describe the equation.
I would contend also that we don't near treat the corporate sponsors on a college level the same way that we treat our donors. Donors have been historical. College sports have always been self-funded. We've always depended upon private donations. When a corporate sponsor decides to spend dollars, again, they have a choice. They don't have to. It sometimes takes campuses a long time to decide that a parking pass for a corporate sponsor, or good tickets or nice letter once a month to thank them for their support isn't nearly as important as it is for those ticket buyers and donors. I would contend that if your entire department doesn't treat those people the same way you treat your individual donors or endowment providers, you won't have those dollars in the future. Somewhere along the line you're going to have to pinch, drop a program and drop a service. That's the other reason we need corporate funding and outside support. If you don't have it, you will drop something that you provided in the past and there will be heat when that happens.
DeLoss is a wonderful man. He was quoted in the media when somebody asked him about the Arms Race and keeping up with the Jones' when he said, "We are the Jones'." I look at our budget numbers every year. We just turned in our budget for next season. it's a lot of zeros and it's scary. At every staff meeting, DeLoss reminds us and our vendors that we wake up scared to death every day. We wake up scared to death about our finances. What it comes down to is that our finances result in an experience for young people. We've been asked to provide the best we can. The day we can't do that, we're all going to feel real bad at night when we go to bed. When we wake up in the morning, that's all we think about. How can we go out and provide the funding we need and want for the expenses that continue to rise? As Jack Lengyel noted, far out of our control, tuition, housing, parking, the things that come with being on an institution's property. We can't control this. We do know this, we're all accountable for it.
As I take on the women's athletics director's duties next month, I've reminded our coaches of that conversation that Donna used to have with us in the early '80s. She told us we're fortunate to be here, but we've got to pull our own weight. We've got to learn to raise money so we can pay for our programs. There are no handouts here. We've talked to our coaches again about going to the back to grassroots approach. Our coaches are all making very nice salaries. They have full-time assistants. I ask them every week, have you made a contact out there that can help your program? As you go out to dinner or talk to the Rotary Club, have you made a concerted effort to find someone who can help your rowing program or your tennis program with a scholarship or to join the foundation? It's an all hands on deck call and it's essential. Again, they are not going to be able to succeed in those endeavors if they don't stay on message as well. The message is about the young people we are trying to serve.
I thank you for your time and for getting up early this morning for this session. I look forward to any questions. Thank you.
Thank you Chris. The point that has come out from each of our presenters to this stage of our program has been about the message related to mission, purpose, values, of course. But, what message are we sending? What message is being received? More importantly, what is the meaning of the message? What are we doing with it or about it?
The ultimate outcome of this particular session this morning is to give everyone who desires an opportunity to speak about those issues and concerns that are important to them. Not just leave it at that, but let us in the membership hear you loud and clear so we can better define the issues, more importantly, the message and what we're doing about it.
Our next presenter has been one of the most effective ADs we've had in our business. He's been a member and then the chair of the Management Council. He's been an athletics director at the Division I-AA level and, most recently, has been the athletics director at the University of Iowa. As we look at all of the issues before us, we recognize the role of the AD. There's a topic somewhere in one of our sessions here about the diminishing role of the AD. We look at the role of the AD as a leader, and someone that could be the most effective agent for change. To speak about that perspective is Bob Bowlsby, director of athletics at the University of Iowa.
I think this was intended to be a little lighter than it's been this morning. We hope the questions and comments and interaction might take care of that. I've been a director of athletics for almost 20 years. There have been some recurring themes and you've heard many of them this morning. I think there are also some invigorating and enlightening things about our business. Our conventions and meetings, more than anything else, as I look back at what they've meant to me, they allow you to get into a room with a bunch of other people and you realize you don't have the corner on the misery market.
There is a lot of it around. There's nothing better than standing around at a cocktail party and having somebody come up to you and say, "you are not going to believe what happened to me on our campus this time." We're all in the same boat. We spend our time in an enterprise that's as entrepreneurial as any on campus. We have one foot in an academic environment. We have one foot in the private sector in large measure. We're inviting people to participate in our program at a variety of different levels and you've heard about many of them today.
One thing that has been consistent and will continue to be and that is, if things are going well, the coaches are going to get credit for it and if things are going poorly, the athletics directors are going to be holding the bag. That's an entry assumption that's not a particularly enjoyable aspect of our business, but I would suggest to you that it's factual and it's not going to change anytime soon.
We also were caught in the crossfire with great frequency. At times, you feel like you're being portrayed as the gatekeeper of hell. We've got all of these terrible things supposedly going on in intercollegiate athletics and yet, I agree with Chris. This continues to be one of the best undertakings on any college campus. It continues to be the best leadership laboratory that is available on our campus. We have a highly willing and highly motivated learning and student out there and we have a highly prepared and passionate teacher. What better educational environment could there possibly be than to blend those two together with the desire to resolve. It's just hard to imagine.
We do need to continue to go back to our core business. As much as everybody likes to portray it to the contrary, our core business is about taking an 18-year old adolescent and helping them move to 22- or 23-year-old adulthood with a great collegiate athletics experience. An outstanding student-athlete experience includes getting a good education and having an opportunity to participate. If that ends up being an opportunity to participate in our Olympic enterprise after college or during college and becomes a professional career, that's wonderful. That's terrific. We want to do everything we can to foster that kind of personal growth. It can't be a fundamental concern of what we do. Our fundamental principle and our fundamental role of responsibility is that of educating and providing a great post high school participatory opportunity.
As I said, we're all caught in the crossfire. I think I saw Gene DiFilippo in the back of the room earlier. One of the things he gave me at one of our I-A directors meetings was a wheel that had all of the various constituencies that are stakeholders with directors of athletics. I didn't bring it with me, but I've looked at it a few times and when you start thinking about it, there are dozens and dozens of people that think they should have something to say about what we do. All of those people have competing priorities. They have different perspectives.
Somebody once told me when I got my first directors job, that I heard the whole truth for the last time. When you think about it, I don't think you're talking about the whole truth in absolute terms. As directors, when things reach our desk, typically they have reached a heightened stage of temperature. Other people have had their hands on it. There are people on both sides of any particular issue, sometimes several different perspectives. In many measures, the truth is a matter of perspective by the time it reaches that juncture. We answer to alumni, to students, to student-athletes, contributors, parents, conference office people, NCAA staff, coaches, faculty, administrators, presidents, trustees, regions, media and media partners, student government representatives and on and on and on.
It is as close to an all-out crossfire as you're going to find. The recent Knight Commission discussions will be positive. They will give us some real cause for discussion and some opportunities, but there are a lot of ways in which presidents have helped to put us in the situation we're in right now. I don't think it's fair for them to be talking about riding in on the white horse and fixing all that's wrong with athletics. Indeed, it was in the late '50s and early '60s with the advent of television and full stadiums and the post war baby boomers that were willing to commit to six Saturdays during the fall, they caused that light to go on; for administrators to realize that perhaps this athletics enterprise could be self-supporting. A lot of these commercialism issues could be solved with $4 or $5 million worth of institutional money. Sure, we could all afford to walk away on principle but with the absence of that, it would be discontinuing services of sports and other things.
We have a reliance on outside income. We have institutions that, through the years, have been all too willing to hire people that have violated rules at other places and then somehow get re-circulated into the process. Those things don't happen without presidential involvement. Most ADs that are in the room right now have had very little to do with the current state of athletics affairs in terms of from a structural standpoint. That's particularly true of the larger I-A programs.
Many believe that we're going to have even less to do with fixing the enterprise. That's a sad commentary, in my opinion. I don't think this should be presidentialy driven, although there has to be a terrific participation. I don't think it should be as a result of media clamor and a need to generate the news to sell newspapers. I don't think it should be the threat of unions. It needs to be driven by athletics professionals, people in this room and others like us around the country that are willing to get involved.
If you don't think there are lots of positive things going on in intercollegiate athletics, take the time to attend the Honda Awards Dinner tonight. You'll have an opportunity to see an outstanding group of young women who are doing all of the right things. It's not just in women's programs, there are terrific young people throughout our enterprise. Unfortunately, some of the negative stories are the ones that get most of the play.
After being in this business a long time, I have to wonder to myself if 300 institutions that really are not all that homogeneous in their make-up and in their administrative structure, budget and in their competitiveness, can really coalesce around ideas that will allow us to govern ourselves in ways that will change some of these difficult situations we're in. I wonder if the Arms Race can be solved with relief from anti-trust laws and without opportunity for us to truly collaborate and to put in place a model that works without fear of legal retribution and extended and expensive litigations that we've been through recently.
I wonder how long we can continue to tell student-athletes that we don't have enough money to pay you grant-in-aid that goes up to the actual cost of attendance, but we have enough money to pay coaches $100,000 a year plus to run our programs.
The things I don't wonder about, however, are the impeccable integrity I think is represented in our profession. There's a tremendous work ethic that's there in athletics directors and you can't do the job unless you're willing to spend the time and do the work. There's exceptional vision, but because we're in the crossfire, that vision is mitigated by what's practical and by those dozens of constituents that feel like they ought to have some input into it.
I don't doubt that there's an uncommon commitment. If we're called upon, we'll do the things that it takes to make this a better venture for young people and for those of us who populate it. For directors and aspiring directors, I think we all have to pledge to make it a better profession. We have to continue to attend to our core business and to our values as Chris said. We have to cling to those principles above self-interest. We've done that at times pretty well over the years and at times we've been dismal failures.
We've got to lead rather than react. Unfortunately, we talked in a meeting earlier today, we are in a reactionary mode. We all go back and we're 100 miles per hour with our hair on fire on campus. We don't spend the time to do the things it takes to be fully effective from a political standpoint nationally. We've allowed conference commissioners, in some cases, to take a lot more responsibility for what goes on because we haven't been willing, and neither have our presidents been willing, to spend the time it takes to do that job properly. We all need to go back and carve out the time it takes to do the job nationally even though it takes away from some of the things locally.
I couldn't be anymore excited or enthusiastic about the people I work with, the people I call colleagues, here and around the country. I do think we've got a lot on our plate. We have some problems that are profound. There are things that are going on that would be embarrassing to institutions if there was a light of day put on them. Having said that, we are the people that ought to be doing the job to make things change. We're the best qualified to advise the presidents and we're the best qualified to work with coaches groups to move the things forward that attend to our core values.
We've got a terrific group of people that are at this for the right reasons. By collaboration and working together, we will make it better and we will work through some of the things that we've heard about this morning and some of the things that we all face everyday. Thank you.
Thank you Bob. There is so much to think about, talk about and learn about in this session.
Brad Davis, associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. Hearing some of these comments, specifically from David Berst, some of the facts and figures, I would be interested in knowing your reaction to the latest proposals to redefine the membership requirements for Division I in light of this Arms Race. I was just interested in hearing what you have to say.
I'll respond in a couple of ways. What we're talking about is part of the football study that's under way. There's an effort by the membership sub-committee of the Management Council to more clearly define what a I-A institution is. The follow up to that will eventually be how do you define conference, how do you define Division I member institutions. As you know, we're in a membership moratorium right now.
The targets for Division I-A are slightly higher than they have been in the past. Some would say if you're talking about expenses and spending, is this working completely contrary to that viewpoint. I think the answer to that is, no, at least from my perspective. It seems to me that what we can do is identify more clearly what kind of commitment is necessary to try to be a performer that can make it on a Division I-A level. Those criteria we're talking about are in the discussion stage so there's nothing in concrete at this point. The various factors would be to require that I-A institutions fund football at least to the 80 grant level annually. Over the year, in all sports, there would be an average number of grants-in-aid and it would be 200 or thereabout. I-A institutions would have 16 sports, no fewer than eight for women and that they be funded at a percentage to show that there is a commitment to that sport. Right now, the requirement for Division I is to have 14 sports. This would move to 16 and the percentage of commitment for grants-in-aid, I can't tell you yet. We have to evaluate the data a little more, but it will probably be somewhere between 50 and 75 percent. Finally, that institutions be required to schedule five home games versus I-A institutions and show average attendance figures, people at the game, of 15,000.
Those are the areas that are being discussed. This is very preliminary. We are not at the point where we have legislative proposals ready for review. Hopefully, we will have them by the time we get to the October Management Council. At least at this point, these are the kinds of things that have been talked about by the Membership Sub-Committee as well as a task force of commissioners and others who are involved in the governance process to evaluate the data.
Judy Rose from UNC-Charlotte. I would just open this question up to anybody. As coaches' salaries on the collegiate level continue to escalate, are we setting ourselves up for criticism from the corporate community we're going to or maybe even a decrease in participation as they begin to compare us to the professional leagues?
If they want to get in line to criticize us, they should get in line with everybody else. I think we are. I don't think that's what corporate America chooses to invest in. As those numbers get higher and as there is more clamor for grants-in-aid up to the actual cost of attendance and additional support for student-athletes and programs, as the deficits continue, if they do, all of those things cry out for control of expenses where they can be controlled. Those are always going to be the most glaring of the expenses we deal with. They get the most column inches and they will always get the most column inches.
From the Panel
I always find something very peculiar in sports that is inconsistent in the rest of the business world. That is, that uncontrolled salaries run programs with sports teams into red ink. It seems to be a mystery. There are plenty of businesses out there failing, but not necessarily because they can't control their own salary spending. Sometimes they have problems with unions, but we all know that. Yet, on the pro level owners will talk to me and I talk to a lot of them on a regular basis and they will criticize all of the other owners about paying such a salary. Then, you say, "Well, Bob, didn't you sign the contract for one million dollars with Kevin Brown?" He'll say, "Yeah, I guess I'm in the group. I guess I'm criticizing myself but that drive to win sort of supercedes that drive to be solvent sometimes." I submit to you that this happens primarily in sports and in college as well. You guys want to present winning programs and the chief key to that is to hire coaches and good coaches and good coaches are expensive and sometimes dredge a program into the red.
There ought be some responsibility. Judy, you're absolutely right. The corporate world will say, "Hey, wait a second. I don't know that I want to pay that much for a coach." I'm sure you don't want that.
I'm Bucky Wagner from Georgia Southern. I have some questions concerning the Football Issues Committee. Being in this business as long as most of us have been, we've seen when we got the basketball million dollar contract, we went back in to reorganize Division I to eliminate 75 schools out of that division. That was the underlying purpose. It was to make Division I more homogenous and it was a complete failure. Everyone that was supposed to drop out just increased their commitment to their program. It was all of the people in your fourth quartile of people that were concerned about it. They said they can't afford it. They can't afford not to be in Division I because that image is part of the business of the institution. It's not just athletics; it's the politics with the alumni. It's how you recruit students.
Whatever you put that level at, those Division I-A teams are going to make it somehow. You're just going to ask those who are putting more institutional money into it to put additional institutional money into it. Anytime we've had reorganization in football or the NCAA, it's been driven by two things, either money or television. In 1978, when we set up I-AA, it was to make a smaller group of schools to enjoy the television benefits. It's also been a matter of control. When we reorganized the NCAA, it was a matter of control, equity conferences wanting to control their own destiny. This is neither one. It's not money. The equity conferences have all the television money. Division I-AA and the small I-As don't get it. We don't care about it.
We've got to have that image. We've got to be able to develop an image for the institution. It's not power. Equity conferences have all of the power. You look at the committee structure for the Football Issues Committee. We thought it was a I-AA issue, but there are no I-AA votes. As I look at it, we're not controlling anything there.
You need to look at it completely different. The old theories didn't work. They didn't work when we did them for basketball and they're not going to work now.
If we can have the freedom to market at the level that we're at and if we can be called Division I, let us market it. You've got all of the power and the money. All we're asking is the freedom not to be second class citizens and be able to market it as our market will take us. Thank you.
That certainly is part of the dynamic in all of this. You hit on several different points. It is true that the Football Issues Committee at this point, is looking at continuing to leave the designations of I-A or you can call them something else if you want, but distinctions between divisions. Whatever the final answers are about that, that bades the question of what is the quality of the opportunities available to the other levels of the institutions, I-AA, etc. and what kind of programs can they have? All of that is caught up in the discussion at this point.
You are quite rights, the equity conferences have established a governance structure where they have the votes and that really is taken care of. At one point, there was a mentality that what we really need to do is separate a few conferences from everyone else and pull the ladder up behind. That really didn't make any sense and it was subject to legal challenge as well. Now, there is much more of an effort to try to figure out what it is, what those distinctions are that make the programs at the upper level look alike compared to the others. And others, how do we enhance the quality for those institutions as well. I do think all of that is involved.
Demitrius Marlow from Michigan State University. I'm the associate athletics director for student-athlete support services. I'm also here representing the National Association for Academic Advisors with our esteemed president. My question has to be with student-athlete support services in costs and providing services to them, recruiting awards and building the next best and greatest support center, having the most tutors, coordinators, learning specialists. As institutions begin to invest more money in this, how do you, as athletics directors, view us in the service we provide? Do you see us becoming a big cost to you, a necessary evil, so to speak? How do you see up contributing or taking away from how you might be able to save money and even provide better quality?
Clearly, it's an area that is of the utmost importance in our athletics department. It's one of those areas, again, it's a component that we have to fund. It has to provide the most broad services, probably other than sports medicine, of any other unit within our department. It's the most incredibly accountable area within our athletics department. It's easy to count wins and loses, but the tracking of a student-athlete's progress, summer school issues, on track toward degree, graduation rates, are part of our public relations picture right now.
We need to do a little bit of creative financing. I would guarantee you that there's no closer component within athletics to the academic sector that exists on the rest of our campus than our student services area with academic counselors. As we go out and talk to companies about how they can fund our enterprise, areas like sports medicine and academics can be viewed very positively in a context by corporations or private donors because of the direct impact they have on the lives of our student-athletes.
An example that will be an issue for all of us is the sports medicine component with the trainer's certification. None of our schools have a curriculum in athletics sports medicine or athletics training. We also can't fund it directly from athletics due to NATA policies. I guarantee you that there is a way to combine, with an academic unit on your campus to go seek support for that academic component so that you can have a curriculum that prepares young people that want to be athletics trainers in the future. Athletics could take the lead to assist that academic component.
Gene Smith from Arizona State University. First of all, I'd like to applause Chris for her comments. It's imperative that, in our business, we begin to move from that transaction of ordering that type of business to more of a transformational type of business. People contribute to our organization for their own reasons. Hopefully, one day we'll get there Chris.
I'd like to ask Bob, in your conversations with minority coaches throughout the country as you try to assess the situation, did you find that many of the minority coaches who apply for jobs were applying at all levels or were you necessarily shooting for major Division I-A jobs? I'd like to know your perspective on that.
The majority of the people I've talked to and who are members of the Black Coaches Association are primarily Division I coaches. I have found the majority of coaches applying for jobs are on the Division I and II level. I'm not familiar with Division III. I know a number of occasions where I've been asked to be a reference and make phone calls for a lot of these coaches. I think the majority who are applying for jobs are on the Division II level, realizing that is a large number of individuals.
We have to keep in mind that the individuals who are applying for jobs are not necessarily concerned about being head coaches as they are concerned about having an opportunity to be in the pool for an interview at any division. That's the problem. It's getting into the pool, having the opportunity to talk to someone about the job. A lot of times, it just isn't happening.
In my remarks, the emphasis I would try to make is that a lot of our minority coaches or administrators are simply not making the pool for consideration for positions. Until that happens, everything else being head coaches or coordinators is secondary.
Phil Dane from the University of Tennessee-Martin. A large majority of athletics programs here represented at NACDA receive significant support from their institutions as a line item in the student services function of the budget rather than as an auxiliary enterprise, like a lot of programs spoken on today. In many cases, that support is the single greatest line item in our funding plan. On our campus, we say and a lot of campuses like ours say, that we exist to enhance the total collegiate experience for our student body and to draw interest in the university from other stakeovers.
It's important that as we do that and we talked about the numbers, we as an organization, find a way to talk and use something different from profit and loss. It sends up red flags and signals. On my campus, the academic vice president and the faculty senate president receive the NCAA News. They see the number of programs that are "losing" money. We don't see it as losing money. We see it as making an investment in the mission that we are there to support.
Before I left campus to come to this meeting, I received a publication called Student Poll. I don't know much about the organization that put it out, but the whole publication was on a research paper that was done to show that, from their perspective, the quality of the athletics program, the classification they're in, the number of wins they have, etc., have very little to do with student choice in selecting an athletics program. I don't believe that, but I think it would behoove us, as an organization, to do things to challenge that kind of thinking so we can sway the public opinion of other people on our campus to understand that we're there for another reason than to make money. If UT-Knoxville got the support from their budget that we get percentage-wise, they'd have another $25 million to spend. I don't understand why, on those campuses, there seems to be such a concern about the spending when there's not that investment coming from the campus itself.
We need to counter that kind of thought and I think it would help if we talked about it in our own publication in terms other than profit and loss.
Bill Bradshaw from DePaul University. Joe, first of all, I want to applaud you on the panel for a terrific presentation touching on a lot of issues that we're all thinking about. My question is more for David. I go back to what Jack Lengyel said, in surveys a lot of times, there's not a common denominator. Some people have fees that they charge all their students. There's a great variety in what tuition, room and board and fees are. Some people count tuition waivers. It's very difficult to do it. No matter how you look at that board, there's some great disparity in revenues and expenses. My question is, for many of us, only football and men's basketball are the sources of revenue to pay for all of the sports. Who has a greater commitment to intercollegiate athletics? Those schools in the first quartile who have revenues of $37 million and budgets of $38 millions, or institutions who every year are only going to get to about $5 million in revenue of spent aid? Their institutions are spending $3 or $4 million, not making them.
I certainly didn't mean to imply anything other than what the numbers represent in terms of the commitment to student-athletes. I think it was put well in talking about taking an 18-year-old, turning him out into society, that's what you're all here for, I hope. That's why we're all wedded to the academics as well as the athletics in the system we're in. That's something I believe in very much. I certainly don't mean to imply that somehow the first quartile institution has a greater commitment than the institution that has the biggest deficit in either of the other sub-divisions.
Mike Alden, athletics director from the University of Missouri. I'd like to talk about the assistance for us from administrative roles and trying to identify pools of candidates to make us more inclusive and more diverse in what we do. I applaud Ron Stratten, Rochelle Collins and the folks at the NCAA for the leadership workshops that are going to be taking place over the course of the year. I've had a number of conversations with Ron relative to this topic area. Bob, that may be between trying to identify who are some of those "candidates" out there amongst all of us throughout the country that can provide us with the pool. I don't question that any athletics director or any athletics administrator in this room is anything less than seriously committed to trying to make us more diverse in who we are as athletics directors, and particularly, who our senior administrative staff and administrators are on our campuses. My question to you is, can you assist us in telling a little bit more about the resources that are going to be at our fingertips to assist us to be able to go to those pools so that we can continue to be committed and more diverse in what we do administratively? This is not necessarily from a coaching standpoint, but administratively.
Much like you, I've been in contact with the NCAA and working directly with Ron Stratten. As a matter of fact, Ron was kind enough to attend our Executive Board meeting of the BCA a couple of weeks ago. We talked extensively about establishing a database-type situation in which everyone can use to identify those individuals who are qualified. This would help everybody in this room to expand their pool of individuals. The BCA has, for a long time, had a very significant database also. It's our plan, through the BCA to work with, not only the NCAA, but the men's basketball association and women's basketball association, as well as the AFCA, in terms of trying to coordinate with them this database to make it more comprehensive. We realize that for a lot of you in the audience, it's a question of awareness of going somewhere to find where these qualified individuals are, not just in the area of coaches, but coordinators, entry-level positions and administrative positions. That is task number one for us at the BCA.
We certainly hope to be able to publicize that, market that to all universities and conferences around this country sometime in the very near future.
We are also working with the NCAA on developing a mentor program. That includes administrators primarily and that is also an area we're interesting in and working with the NCAA on, again, in terms of being able to identify those individuals who are qualified to come to your school and maintain the high level of efficiency you deserve. This is an area of high priority.
Thank you Bob. I'd like to thank all of you for attending our session this morning. Before we depart, please join me in thanking our panelists, Bob, John, Chris and David. There will be approximately a 15-minute break before the next session begins. Thank you.