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Dr. Kevin White spoke to students at the 2009 Ohio University Sports Administration Symposium

Dr. Kevin White spoke to students at the 2009 Ohio University Sports Administration Symposium

During this past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2009 Ohio Sports Administration Symposium. The annual event held every year invites alumni back to campus for a round of speakers and networking opportunities. This year’s weekend saw speakers such as Alice Petzold, Consultant at Wasserman Media Group; Dr. Kevin White, Director of Athletics at Duke University; and 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Len Perna, President and Chief Executive Officer, Turnkey Sports & Entertainment.

From a college athletics perspective, Dr. Kevin White provided a good deal of knowledge stemming from his 37 years of experience in the industry. Instead of focusing on a specific topic, Dr. White addressed many aspects of the college athletics industry. Speaking with a deep passion for the student-athlete, Dr. White spoke on the importance of “delivering what you sold them.” He commented that current student-athletes are savvy consumers who get offers from many schools and compare visits throughout the nation. Therefore, it is crucial to provide for your current student-athletes the experience that was promised them in recruiting as current student-athletes sell the school to prospects.

Hidden in this observation is the ability for development to impact a student-athlete’s experience. As coaches tell the recruits about the university and the current direction of the program, the ability to enhance their time on campus with new facilities, gear, and nice travel amenities will be crucial to attracting top recruits.

Dr. White also spoke specifically to students and young professionals, commenting that everyone should put in three to five years of solid work at their first job. If they do this, working hard every day and delivering of their employer, they will never need to apply for another job. People will recruit them away from their current position.

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