The current state of the economy has people buzzing not only in Washington, but around college campuses all over the country as well. As institutions are coping with decreasing state aid and dwindling endowments, tough decisions are being made on every campus and athletics has not been immune. To date, six Division I institutions have officially dropped a total of 10 sports for the 2009-10 academic year. Unfortunately, the dropping of sports will only increase as institutions process the realities of their FY10 budgets.
If you look at the Division I institutions that have officially announced the dropping of sport programs for FY10 [Portland State, Wagner, Pepperdine, Northern Iowa, Vermont, Iona], none of these schools are considered Division I powerhouses. Couple the fact that they all have limited budgets and resources with an economic downturn, and you create a recipe for needing to make tough and radical decisions. Having been involved in the wrestling community most of my life, I am certainly not an advocate for dropping sport programs.
I hope all of you were able to watch and enjoy some of the great basketball that was played in the Georgia Dome last week. First hand, I can tell you that it was some of the most intense and hard played basketball I have seen. Just as in 2001 (the last time ACC was in Atlanta) Duke stole the show and came out on top.
Leading up to the tournament, we had a few things going against us. First, the economy is truly affecting our industry. This was the first year that the ACC released tickets for public sale for their Men’s Basketball Tournament. Typically the tickets are divided by the schools to be given to boosters and donors. This year, a certain amount of tickets were sold in packages for the entire tournament. No single game tickets were sold through the conference or the Georgia Dome. However, the ACC’s preferred secondary market ticket vendor -SeatExchange was selling single game tickets. This only created a minor problem when fans of teams who lost early wanted to sell their tickets away. In this situation we needed to be accommodating to the fans. Realizing that this event is so astronomically different than any other- we could allow controlled selling of tickets on the concourse just inside the gate area. We certainly did not want it to be seen in the seats or main concourse areas. Continue reading
This time of year is exciting for college sports fans across the country as March Madness is in full swing. One of the perks is it puts men’s college basketball into some of the most famous venues our country has to offer like Madison Square Garden and the Georgia Dome. Each conference has different criteria for choosing the sites of the tournaments, and each provides different results for spectators and television viewers alike.
Regular Season Champion On-Campus Site
The classic method for choosing a tournament site is allowing the conference champion to host its basketball championships. This method is used most often by low-major conferences that either lacks the fan base or the funds to host at a neutral site. This method has both upsides and downsides. The main strength is its rewarding of home-court advantage to the regular season champion, giving the best team in the conference the best chance of receiving the highly coveted automatic bid. This also guarantees a large fan base if the host advances to the championship. This also leads to the most glaring negative, which is a significantly reduced fan base if the host is upset on its way to the championship. Continue reading
On March 11, 2009, President Barack Obama released an Executive Order establishing a White House Council on Women and Girls. The Council (comprised of top leaders of various governmental agencies) has been given 150 days to address areas in which gender inequities still remain and to develop recommendations for consideration in the form of a Federal interagency plan.
Q: How might this relate to collegiate sports?
A: This blogger’s prediction is that the debate over the use of email surveys in assessing Title IX compliance will resurface and that a recommendation to close the loophole may be forwarded. Continue reading
I’ll admit before I even get going that this is slightly off topic, but hang in there reading it because it is definitely sport related. Many of you have probably experienced something similar so I thought I would share a story that happened to me tonight.
Let me set the stage… I have been in San Antonio for a few days at the Sport and Recreation Law Association Conference, which was very very cool by the way. Today (March 7th), I flew from San Antonio to San Francisco where I am speaking to a class at Berkeley on Monday. In San Antonio, I was surrounded by some very smart people (attorneys, professors, and attorneys who are professors) who are totally up-to-date on current sport law and pretty much everything else that has to do with youth, intercollegiate, professional, and international sport. I’ll have to write about specifics of the conference another time. Continue reading
The process of hosting the ACC Tournament (and others like it) is a long one. The bids for host city for the 2009 tournament were completed in 2006. The conference set a date for the bids to be submitted from approximately four cities. After receiving the bids, the conference decided which city would suit them best for this year. The winning bid is essentially what is written into contract.
As I said before, the tournament success hinges on the collaboration of several different entities. This collaboration starts with the creation of the bid. Each entity is responsible for its own special offering to the tournament. In this case, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau is responsible for providing hotel and travel information for the bid. This is a vital piece of the bid because it assures the conference that Atlanta has the hotel, restaurants, and entertainment to ACCommodate thousands of fans traveling to the city. In many cases the ACVB creates relationships with certain hotels to provide the conference with discounted hotel rooms, team restaurant packages, or discount packages to attractions such as the aquarium, museums, etc. Continue reading
Earlier this year, many fans experienced what is considered to be one of the biggest events in the college football calendar year. Unfortunately, I’m not referring to the BCS national championship game. I’m also not referring to “The Grandaddy Of Them All.”
Arguably, National Signing Day has become as revered by college football fans as any other event during the season. Occurring on the first Wednesday in February each year, National Signing Day provides fans with a glimpse into the future of their favorite college football team.
Recruiting has turned college football into a year round sport. Accordingly, coverage of high school recruiting has become a lucrative business for website networks, mainly Scout.com and Rivals.com. Per NCAA bylaws Coaches and institutions cannot comment on or release information regarding committed recruits until a Letter of Intent is faxed in on signing day; however, team websites on these networks provide extensive information on recruits and their intentions. This information is provided to fans at a cost, approximately $100 a year for a premium subscription. Continue reading
I’m working on a book for which I came up with the idea in 2004. (I finally convinced a former professor to join me in writing it.) As part of the research, I’m interviewing quite a few successful people in the sports industry. I recently interviewed a classmate and he brought up a very good point that I think is worth writing about here, especially considering the emails I get asking how to break into the sports industry.
If you want to be a doctor or an accountant or a teacher, it’s pretty clear what steps you need to take to get there. Even when you’re in junior high or high school, you have an idea of what you need to do. At that same age, you may know that you enjoy sports and want to work in the sports industry, but what’s the career path? The answer is that there’s not one clear career path. There may be similarities, but there aren’t any hard core specific paths. Continue reading