Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Athletic Budget Update #63

Pat Forde looks at concerns that the number of schools sponsoring Men's Olympic Sports could continue to dwindle as more and more resources are absorbed by men's basketball and football.

UT Arlington added women's golf.

The Horizon League committed to full cost-of-attendance stipends for men's basketball and an equal number of female athletes.

Cardinal Stritch (NAIA) announced they are dropping five athletic teams including baseball, men's and women's bowling, dance and cheer.

The Vermont Cynic (a student run paper) is calling for the reinstatement of baseball and softball, which were dropped in 2009.  They reference support from the student government and Vermont legislature as well as the presence of club programs as part of the rationale to reinstate the program, although there doesn't appear to be any funding associated with desire to reestablish the programs.

The Ohio State University - Newark is dropping their entire athletic program.

Three-time university president Peter T. Mitchell presents a plan to save Sweet Briar College, that he believes should be applied to many other liberal arts colleges to save themselves from a similar fate. The proposal includes the elimination of intercollegiate athletic programs, suggesting it would save $1 million dollars annually.  Omitted from the article is an acknowledgement that the student athletes - who make up 10% of the student body - would likely leave and take with them their academic interests, diversity and intellectual contributions as well as their tuition revenue (approximately $2.5 million annually using his estimate of a $25,000 fixed tuition price) when they depart the Division III non-scholarship institution.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The One-Day Contract by Rick Pitino - A Book Review

Jim Fiore, president of Dynamic Sports Marketing, recently sent me a copy of Rick Pitino's book "The One-Day Contract: How to add value to every minute of your life."  The 260 page book reads easily and takes about as much time to consume as a book half its length.  It presents a good opportunity to pause (in a busy industry that never seems to have pauses) and gain some some meaningful insights that can indeed make a difference in your productivity and performance.

I've not personally met Coach Pitino but he is obviously a driven, motivated and intense person.  His book covers ten areas that can make a difference in both your short term and long term success. The themes that emerge, by chapter, include:
  1. It begins with humility - Underscores the importance of being humble in a profession filled with egos.
  2. The force of focus - Reiterates how crucial it is to focus on your objectives and eliminate what doesn't contribute to that focus.
  3. The trap of technology - Expands on the concept in the previous chapter and points out how truly distracting technology can be if it isn't harnessed and utilized to achieve your goals.  
  4. When adversity strikes - Looks at his personal situations when he and others close to him faced adversity and what he learned from those situations.
  5. The one-day contract - I found this to be the best chapter of the book.  Act as if you are on a one-day contract.  If you don't produce that day and meet the desired expectations, you won't be back the next day.  A powerful concept that can help you get more from your day.
  6. The power of the positive mind-set - Makes the point that positive thinking is more than new-age navel gazing and telling yourself you're good enough.  You embody a proper mindset because you are prepared.  It's far easier to be positive when you are prepared and know that things have a better chance of going your way because you've done the work.
  7. Heeding the signs - Be observant and listen to those who are invested in your success.  Be coachable and surround yourself with people who won't simply tell you what you want to hear. 
  8. Meaningful distraction - Find places in your life that are outlets that are not work related where you can rest and recover.  Balance and meaningful healthy escapes are important and help your creativity. 
  9. Prospering from pressure - Use pressure as an avenue to concentrate and execute, and become aware of the effort necessary for success.  
  10. Building your bridge - Success is all about making personal connections and helping the people around you achieve their goals and dreams.
These ten simple concepts, especially those in Chapters Five, Six, and Ten, can make a big difference in your ability to focus and achieve at the highest levels.  They can help you overcome inertia and get started, or move you closer to fulfilling your short and long term goals.  While I'm not sure the book can add value to every minute of your life (only you can do that), it can certainly make your hours and days more productive with some easily implemented ideas and give you the feeling that you're valuing your time and elevating your decision-making to a higher level.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Athletic Budget Update #62

Wisconsin legislators and University leadership have discussed the possibility of selling the University's golf course to help address a $300 million budget cut to public higher education in the state.

Also in response to the Wisconsin state budget, Wisconsin-Oshkosh is dropping men's soccer and tennis and eliminating two cross country and track coaches in order to help the campus close a $7.5 million budget gap.  

Additional budget news from Southern Illinois as they consider the possibility of dropping 1/3rd of their graduate assistants and having the football team move from charter aircraft to bus travel to reduce expenses.  

Glendale Community College dropped their wrestling program.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Athletic Budget Update #61

In Athletic Budget Update #57  UltimateSportsInsider.com began to track intercollegiate teams that are being dropped. There are new additions to the list including:

  1. Cleveland State announced that they will "defund" wrestling unless the program can raise $800,000 in the next year and then establish a $5 million endowment. They are also starting a men's lacrosse program - March 31, 2015 
  2. IPFW announced they will be dropping men's and women's tennis after this year, resulting in savings of $450,000 and reducing their sport offerings to the NCAA Division I minimum - March 29, 2015 
Other recent budgetary news includes: