Higher education and Division I college athletics are both big business. Because of this emphasis, higher education’s culture, norms, and structure are under significant pressure. And these pressures will continue. For those who view athletics as a business, their sponsoring institutions are even bigger businesses and that means increasing financial expectations for the AD regardless of the background the person brings to the table. Increasing revenue and understanding the business of college athletics isn't a separator, it's an expectation. But those expectations can vary depending on the institution and prompt some important questions you should ask yourself as you consider your path to becoming an athletic director.
I was invited to speak last year at the NACDA Convention in Orlando, Florida and present a talk entitled "Moving from the business office to the athletic director's chair." Since that talk a number of people have asked me for a copy of my comments and notes. Since these requests keep coming, I have created a multi-part series that recaps and expands on the NACDA talk. I am far from an expert, but I hope my experiences make this series valuable and thought provoking.