June 11, 2001|
NACDA Convention Features Division I Town Hall; Corbett Award
The Division I Breakout Session featured a Town Hall, where leaders in athletics discussed current topics including the facilities/financial arms race, basketball and football issues, governance and student-athlete welfare. The panel included David Berst, NCAA Division I chief of staff; John Genzale, editor of the Street & Smith SportsBusiness Journal, Bob Minnix, associate athletics director for Florida State University and Chris Plonsky, senior associate director of athletics at the University of Texas. Joe Castiglione, NACDA second vice president and director of athletics at the University of Oklahoma, served as moderator.
The Monday luncheon featured the presentation of the James J. Corbett Memorial Award, the highest honor one can achieve for athletics administration, to Jack Lengyel, director of athletics at the U.S. Naval Academy and NACDA's president in 1989-90. In accepting, Lengyel said, "Nothing is more certain than change. However, nothing is also more certain than the fact that the critical elements of success are the loyalty, dedication and commitment of those you serve." He also reflected on his time as head football Marshall University, where he revived the program after a tragic plane crash killed many of the team, administrators, coaches, staff, boosters and community members. "Winning in life requires a greater degree of perseverance and hard work than does winning on the playing field."
Also presented at the luncheon was the NACDA/NIT Athletics Directors Award, to Arnie Ferrin, retired director of athletics at the University of Utah; the SportsBusiness Journal Athletics Director of the Year Award to Ted Leland, director of athletics at Stanford University; the NACDA Merit of Honor Award to Ben Carnevale, retired director of athletics at the College of William and Mary and NACDA's president in 1979-80; and the NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year Awards. Serving as luncheon emcee was Todd Christensen of ESPN.
The James J. Corbett Memorial Award is presented annually to the athletics administrator who "through the years has most typified Corbett's devotion to intercollegiate athletics and worked unceasingly for its betterment." Corbett, former athletics director at Louisiana State University, was NACDA's first president in 1965.
The Merit of Honor Award recognizes an individual "whose superior integrity is displayed in tireless commitment to the highest ideals of athletics in general and intercollegiate athletics in particular."
The NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year Award is in its third year. The program was created to highlight the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities. The program honored 24 regional, and one international, winners. (Please refer to the separate, attached release.)
The Convention continues on Tuesday with a Keynote Address by Tommy Lasorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2000 Olympic baseball manager and the NACDA Scholarship Awards Luncheon. At the luncheon, four postgraduate scholarships will be presented to football players from NACDA's preseason football games, the Kickoff and Pigskin classics; five scholarships will be presented to the inaugural winners of the John McLendon Memorial Postgraduate Scholarship Awards; while 16 postgraduate scholarships will be presented to athletics support personnel as part of the Sears Directors' Cup program. Additionally, the highlight of the luncheon will be the presentation of the four Sears Directors' Cups, one each to the champion of champions in NCAA Divisions I, II and III and the NAIA.