The McLendon Foundation Announces the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Mentoring Award|
Oct. 11, 2007
Cleveland, OH - In conjunction with the inaugural induction of the Legends Class into the first Hall of Fame that will honor minority collegiate and professional athletics administrators, the McLendon Foundation Steering Committee comprised of the 15 minority Division I-A athletics directors, unanimously voted to name the annual Mentoring Award in honor of Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig.
"When our committee looked at the body of work created toward diversity and equality for minorities on Commissioner Selig's watch, this became an easy and obvious choice," stated Kevin Anderson, the Division I-A McLendon Steering Committee chair and director of athletics at the United States Military Academy. "The Allan H. (Bud) Selig Mentoring Award will be given annually to a deserving athletics administrator who has been at the forefront of creating opportunities for young minorities looking to get into athletics administration."
Selig, who has served as Interim Commissioner and Commissioner since September 1992, has placed diversity and equal employment opportunity as one of his top priorities throughout the years. In 1989, it was estimated that minorities held just two percent of all front office positions in Major League Baseball. Today that number is in excess of 22 percent.
Minority participation throughout MLB is on the rise. Thirty nine (39) percent of all on-field coaching positions are held by minority group members, and female front office representation throughout baseball is 34 percent.
Under Selig's tutelage, numerous advancements in diversity and equal opportunities have been made throughout MLB:
1989 - The Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities (RBI) youth outreach program was established to increase participation and interest in baseball, encourage academic participation and achievement, increase the number of talented athletes prepared to play in college and the minor leagues, promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game, and develop self-esteem and teach the value of teamwork. It is managed in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which became the official charity of MLB in 1997. Since the RBI program began, more than 175 participants have been drafted by MLB clubs.
1997 - On the 40th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's entry into the major leagues, MLB retired his uniform number, 42, throughout baseball, marking the first time this honor was bestowed on any athlete. April 15th is now known as Jackie Robinson Day throughout MLB.
1998 - MLB established the Diverse Business Partners Program, an economically-driven business initiative established to cultivate new and existing partnerships with minority and women owned businesses, by increasing opportunities for minorities and women to participate in the procurement activities of MLB. The league has spent more than $400 million with diverse businesses since the program was created.
1999 - MLB became the first sports entity to adopt an equal employment opportunity policy. The MLB policy requires clubs to interview minority applicants for openings in five senior club positions. This year also marked the creation of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), MLB's joint initiative with the Players Association that has awarded more than $10 million in grants to both rural and urban communities throughout the world.
2006 - MLB launched the Executive Development Program, a two-year rotational program targeted to accelerating the pipeline of high potential candidates to the role of assistant general manger as well as other business areas. The MLB Urban Youth Academy also began in 2006 on the campus of El Camino College, Compton Center, in California. The Academy hosts clinics for baseball and softball instruction, umpiring, grounds keeping and sports photography.
2007 - MLB played its inaugural Civil Rights game in Memphis, TN, and will host it as an annual event.
Commissioner Selig, by placing these initiatives on the frontburner of Major League Baseball, has helped raise the awareness of diversity issues that occur, not only in the board rooms of professional organizations, but in the day-to-day occurrences of conference offices, colleges and universities.
In the future, the people that win the Allan H. (Bud) Selig Mentoring Award will be those in our profession that have gone over and above in creating equal opportunities for minorities in athletics administration.
The 2007 recipient of the Selig Mentoring Award will be announced at the end of October.
About Major League Baseball: Major League Baseball (MLB) is the highest level of play in professional baseball in the world. More specifically MLB refers to the entity that operates North American professional baseball's two major leagues, the National League and the American League, by means of joint organizational structure which has existed between them since 1903. On an organizational level, MLB effectively operates as a single "league," and as such it constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of North America.
About the John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Foundation: The Foundation Scholarship Awards are presented to senior-level minority students that have maintained a 3.0 grade point average and demonstrated academic excellence as an undergraduate, who intend to pursue a graduate degree in athletics administration. If you have any questions regarding this program, please feel free to call or e-mail Alana McClanahan (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the NACDA office, 440-892-4000.
About NACDA: NACDA founded the McLendon Scholarship Awards program and the McLendon Foundation. NACDA is in its 43rd year and is the professional and educational association for more than 6,100 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 2,000 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, NACDA administers 10 professional associations for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics director.