Monday, February 05, 2007

Hayden Fox: A Precursor?

By Jeff Konya, Associate AD for Compliance & Student Services

Last week, I had some insomnia spells, which led me to channel surf at 5 a.m. On USA, they were showing a 1994 episode of the show “Coach” with Craig T. Nelson (see cast picture). In this particular episode, Coach Hayden’s team was coming off a championship winning campaign and the new season was just starting. During the summer he hired a personal PR consultant to get his name, Hayden Fox, to become as popular as Taco Bell, and he took lessons in “spinning” (where he could answer any questions from the media in a positive manner through the art of deflection). The plot centered on how Hayden unsuccessfully tried to balance his personal fame with the needs of his struggling collegiate team. In the end, the question that was left unanswered was whether the public perceived Minnesota State football simply as the “Team Coached by Hayden” and nothing more. In effect, he had become more important than the institution, or the student-athletes that represented that very institution. And just last month, a NCAA institution hired a football coach for $5 million per year.

Of course, in watching the TV show, I also spotted a would-be NCAA violation involving extra benefits (i.e., Dauber (played by an actor, Bill Fagerbakke, that attended SMU, BTW) giving an athlete money so he could take his girlfriend out). But, I want each of you to have this unique “violation spotting” ability, so the Office of Compliance Services has digitally “re-mastered” the SMU compliance website. I invite you to take a look at the enhancements here. The objective was to make a user-friendly website not only for the Mustang fans, but also for SMU coaches, staff, athletes, employers, and boosters. In this regard, you can see the same compliance forms, rules, issues, etc. that invade college athletics on a daily basis.

Like the website, please also note that the Office of Compliance Services Staff has been modified recently. Broadus Whiteside has been promoted to the SMU Director of Compliance. He was a former football student-athlete at Newberry College and received a Master’s Degree from Troy University. He has been working at SMU for several years as the Assistant Director. Also, Jackie Babich has been hired as the new Assistant Director of Compliance. A former diver at St. Bonaventure University and graduate student at Marshall University, Jackie brings a wealth of athletics and compliance experience to the office. I am excited to work with such a dynamic staff.
In the words of the immortal Hayden Fox, “This is all I can give you at the moment, and it better have been enough.”

Last Music Download – “Karma Police” by Radiohead.


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