Background on the Kickoff Classic
Sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics
Key people involved in the origination of this game were Bill Flynn, of Boston College, NACDA's president in 1977-78; George King of Purdue University, NACDA's president in 1982-83; John Toner of the University of Connecticut, then the NCAA's secretary and NACDA's president in 1980-81; and Mike Cleary, NACDA's executive director. The game also received the backing of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA).
One of NACDA's primary motives for the founding of the game was to assist the College Football Hall of Fame in Kings Island, Ohio, (now located in South Bend, Indiana) which needed financial assistance to retire mortgages on the Hall of Fame buildings.
Proceeds from the Kickoff Classic go to the National Football Foundation, NACDA and its foundation, the AFCA and the participating teams. As a result of the game and the NACDA-sponsored Pigskin Classic, close to $500,000 in postgraduate scholarships are awarded annually. This includes a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship being awarded one student-athlete from each of the four institutions participating in the preseason games. Since 1983, the NACDA Foundation has provided more than $10.2 million in postgraduate scholarships.
The NACDA Foundation provides educational assistance to NACDA members and to student-athletes. The Foundation annually sponsors workshops and clinics to continue in the educational efforts of its member athletics directors, assistants and associates. This includes workshops for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), facilities and fund raising workshops and seminars on the administrative issues of interest to athletics directors. The Foundation also sponsors an internship program for aspiring athletics administrators. Currently more than 100 students from more than 50 NACDA member institutions have benefited from this program, spending from six to nine months working at NACDA's national office.