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February 15, 2000

adidas America To Provide Funding For NACDA's John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards

CLEVELAND -- The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) has secured the support of adidas America in providing funding for the recently formed John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards.

adidas America will contribute $10,000 a year for three years, a total of $30,000, to the program this year. adidas joins the team of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Host Communications and Sears, Roebuck and Co.

The awards will be presented to minority senior students who intend to pursue a graduate degree in athletics administration. Each of the five annual recipients will receive a $10,000 grant. The program will be administered by the NACDA Foundation. NACDA initiated the program with funding of $250,000 from proceeds from the Kickoff and Pigskin Classics.

"We at adidas are proud to be teaming with NACDA on the John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards," stated Tom Mercer of adidas America. "These scholarships will help provide students whom otherwise might not of had the chance to pursue opportunities within athletics administration, those opportunities."

adidas America is a leading U.S. retailer of athletics shoes, equipment and apparel. For more than 50 years, adidas has been linked to virtually every major sporting event. With the acquisition of top brands Salomon and Taylor Made, adidas has become the second largest brand in the sporting goods industry. Despite the success in numbers, the goal today remains the same as it was in the beginning, to be the best sports brand in the world.

Nominations will be solicited for the inaugural year of the program, in 1999-2000, with the first recipients receiving their awards at the NACDA Convention, which will be held in Orlando, Florida at DisneyWorld in June 2000.

Among the criteria will be (1) full-time status as a senior at the time of nomination; (2) minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale); (3) official classification as a minority as defined by federal guidelines; (4) intention to attend graduate school to earn a degree in athletics administration; and (5) involvement on the college/university or community level.

Top administrators in the field of athletics will vote upon the finalists, while a panel of leaders in the fields of business, sports, entertainment and politics will select the overall winners.

"We are pleased adidas has joined the effort to provide funding for the John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards," says NACDA President Dave Hart, Jr., director of athletics at Florida State University. "This scholarship program will serve as a catalyst to assisting minority students secure the education necessary to work in the field of athletics administration. Students who benefit from these scholarships may one day be running collegiate athletics departments and working in administrative capacities at companies such as adidas."

In addition to the scholarships, one recipient each year will be offered the opportunity to serve a nine-month internship in the NACDA office.

The scholarship is named for John McLendon, who is the person responsible for the integration of college basketball. He was the first Black coach hired by a predominately White institution when he was selected as the basketball coach at Cleveland State University in 1966. Throughout the years, he has served as the head basketball coach at North Carolina Central College (1940-52), Hampton Institute (1952-54), Tennessee State University (1954-59), Kentucky State University (1963-66) and Cleveland State University (1966-69).

As successful McLendon has been as a coach, his administrative responsibilities have been equally as impressive. It was his service on the National Athletic Steering Committee, which McLendon founded in 1949, which had a large impact on the integration of basketball, and eventually, all sports. While serving as the basketball coach at North Carolina Central, McLendon was also the athletics director, a post he held for 12 years. At Hampton, he had additional positions as the assistant director of athletics and physical education. At Tennessee State, McLendon was appointed director of basketball operations from 1954-59 and director of the department of health, physical education, recreation and athletics from 1962-63.

The NACDA Foundation, founded in 1982, sponsors internship opportunities for aspiring athletics administrators at NACDA's national office and administers the distribution of NACDA?s scholarship programs. It also provides educational opportunities for NACDA members through a variety of workshops, clinics and seminars. Since 1982, the Foundation has awarded more than $7.6 million in scholarships. Funding for the Foundation comes from the Kickoff Classic and Pigskin Classic, whose proceeds also help fund the National Football Foundation and the American Football Coaches Association. These two games annually generate close to $500,000 in scholarships.