- What are the first things you should do regarding the media, the coaches, and the other athletic department administrators?
- If you were Marisol, would you involve anyone else in the decision-making process? If involving other people, who would they be and why would they be an important part of the process?
- Identify and discuss three significant legal issues Marisol absolutely must consider.
- What types of information and data does Marisol need to collect in order to make a decision on how to handle cutting $4 million from the athletic department’s budget?
- What are some potential solutions in terms of budget reduction? What are the possible ramifications surrounding these decisions? If you choose to eliminate programs, what criteria would you use to determine which teams are eliminated?
- What types of communication need to take place and how would you go about sharing this information?
Provide at least four academic references to support your positions.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide
The Role of an Athletic Director
Marisol Gómez has thoroughly enjoyed her job as athletic director at a NCAA Division I institution. She has always enjoyed the day-to-day activities of managing a $40 million dollar athletics budget, overseeing 25 sports program (well beyond the minimum 14 needed for NCAA Division I membership), and interacting with the 15 assistant and associate athletic directors. But when she came into work one Monday morning, she knew some very difficult days were ahead of her that would test her legal, managerial, financial, and communication skills.
At the softball game on Saturday, the university chancellor approached Marisol to let her know of an emergency meeting held by the state legislators on the previous day. The governor was forwarding, with the legislators’ endorsement, a budget that called for a 10% reduction to the university’s budget starting July 1. The chancellor, in turn, told Marisol that she would need to reduce the $40 million dollar athletics budget by 10% (or $4 million). Word spread quickly of this impending budget cut, and three head coaches (men’s soccer, men’s swimming, and women’s volleyball) came to her office to see her. Marisol has always employed an open door philosophy encouraging coaches, student-athletes, students, and faculty members at the university to stop in and talk to her whenever they had a question or concern. Marisol could tell by the faces of these three coaches that they were worried that their sport programs, and their jobs, would be eliminated as part of the budget reduction.
Marisol invited the coaches into her office and began to listen to what they had to say. The men’s soccer coach was concerned that his was a low-profile sport and therefore was easily expendable. The men’s swimming coach was concerned that even though he had been modestly successful over the years, the pool was in drastic need of repair (an expense the university could not afford) and therefore he felt it made the men’s swimming program a target for elimination. The women’s volleyball coach was concerned because of the high cost of volleyball (a fully funded sport at the university), and the huge potential savings that was achievable by cutting just this one sport program. Also, volleyball was not as popular in the region and therefore was not drawing a lot of fan support.
As Marisol was talking to the coaches, her administrative assistant interrupted her to tell her that the local newspapers had been calling for a comment, and a local television station was camped outside the basketball arena interviewing coaches as they came into work. The administrative assistant overheard one of the questions being asked by the reporter about whether the D1 football program, which had been running a deficit of between $2.9 million and $3.6 million per year over the past couple of years, should be dropped completely.