Everything College Sports

For those interested in all things college sports

Networking Heaven

This past weekend a group of 10 first year Ohio University MBA/MSA students attended the NCAA convention. Christina Wright, a former NCAA intern, did an excellent job planning the weekend by getting everyone an NCAA mentor, setting up several meetings with people from the NCAA, Athletic Administrators from around the country, and organizing an incredible weekend for her classmates. I can’t thank Christina enough for everything she put into planning this weekend and providing us with such great opportunities. The weekend certainly didn’t disappoint!

After having had time to sit down and reflect on the weekend, I have realized just how much my classmates and I have taken away from the weekend. In my opinion the most beneficial part off the weekend was the one on one time we were able to get with several successful individuals in the world of college athletics. To put it in perspective, over a 3 day period we had the pleasure of meeting with Bernard Muir (Georgetown Director of Athletics), Steve Watson (St. Bonaventure Director of Athletics), Craig Keilitz (High Point Director of Athletics), Troy Watson (Longwood Director of Athletics), Keith Gill (American Director of Athletics), and Athena Argyropoulos (American Associate AD/SWA. To have the opportunity to meet with that many successful individuals in a 72 hour period could only be possible at the NCAA convention. The best part was, that only scratches the surface.

In addition to the above mentioned people we were able to meet with several other alumni who are currently working for Universities and Conferences around the country and many people from the NCAA. From their career paths to their professional advice and knowledge, we picked their brains every chance that we had and learned a great deal.

Not only did we have the opportunity to network but we were also able to attend several education sessions put on by the NCAA. We learned about the process of adopting or overriding NCAA legislation, saw the State of the Association Address, listened to the inspiring Billie Jean King speak, and toured the amazing Museum in Washington D.C. There is no doubt in my mind every individual that attended the NCAA convention benefited a great deal from it. Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student looking to get into college athletics, the best $50 investment you can make is to register for next year’s NCAA Convention in Atlanta.

Lastly, spending the weekend with nine of my classmates was the most fun I have had in a long time. I learned a great deal more about them and enjoyed sharing such an amazing experience with them. I guess nothing really brings a group together like a walking around a hectic Washington D.C. to see the monuments and listen to Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seager rehearse for the concert for President Obama’s Inauguration on the steps of Lincoln Memorial in a 10 below windchill.

January 21, 2009 Posted by | NCAA, Ohio University, Sports Administration, Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | Leave a comment

An NCAA Homecoming

As the former diversity and inclusion intern at the NCAA, I knew sharing the 2009 NCAA Convention with my colleagues as a professional development trip opportunity would help strengthen their network and define their direction in the industry, especially as we search for summer internships. For me, being able to experience Convention as a delegate rather than a staff member was an interesting twist to my young professional career.

Due to our MBA class schedule and responsibilities, our first day at Convention was Thursday. After attending NCAA educational sessions, checking out the vendors at the Trade Show, listening to the State of the Association speech, watching Billie Jean King receive the NCAA’s Gerald R. Ford award, and attending the Honors and Delegates Celebration at the Newseum, I was already overwhelmed with nostalgia and a sense of homecoming. This time last year I was working with the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in Nashville, Tennessee.

Friday presented another full schedule. The Division I Issues and Legislative Forums, lunch with alumni, and a meet-and-greet reception with various professionals filled our day. I was able to share a unique experience with my colleagues on how Division I legislation is passed or overridden. Most people think that the NCAA has the power to create and implement legislation. False! It’s actually the membership who drives legislative decisions and now I have 9 other graduate students as witnesses.

Anyway, for the fourth consecutive year, Division I was faced with another override vote regarding men’s basketball coaches observing nonscholastic events in April. High profile delegate, Damon Evans (chair of the Division I Leadership Council and University of Georgia athletic director) led the discussion on why Division I delegates should oppose the override. Army athletic director and chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Issues Committee, Kevin Anderson, and Kerry Kenny, outgoing Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, also opposed the override. As a former Patriot League student-athlete, seeing Mr. Anderson and Mr. Kenny be two of the four speakers on the floor persuading the other delegates to oppose the override made me proud. Mr. Anderson’s statement, “We have to send a message, and if we don’t send a message we might as well take the ‘student’ off ‘student-athlete,’ ” reaffirmed why I believe there is magic in intercollegiate athletics.

As a young professional, I have found a common theme in working in intercollegiate athletics: service. If you are in this industry and aren’t in it to serve, you will have a short-lived career. With that mindset, we spent our Saturday morning helping NCAA staff finish up the Division II and III business sessions. We spent the evening touring the monuments and dinner in Georgetown with athletic administrators from my alma mater, American University. The city was buzzing in anticipation of the Presidential Inauguration events. We even saw the dress rehearsal for the actual event at the Lincoln Memorial.

Continue reading

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Basketball, College Sports Business, NCAA, Ohio University, Sports Administration, Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | | 1 Comment

Ohio Univ. Students Grab Attention at NCAA Convention

Check out two of our own, Christina Wright and Sean Phifer at the 2009 NCAA Convention. A huge thank you to the NCAA staff and the NCAA Double-A Zone Blog for featuring these graduate students in their video. More about the Convention later.

January 17, 2009 Posted by | Ohio University, Sports Administration, Uncategorized, Working in College Sports | Leave a comment