Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rocky Mountain High? (Wasn’t John Denver from West Virginia?)

by Jeff Konya, Associate A.D. for Compliance & Student Services

Around the office, you hear that summer is “down time.” Well, in my world, it is “conference time.” Last week, I attended the NCAA Regional Seminar for Compliance in Denver, Colorado. It’s like a NCAA Rules Trekkie Convention without the weird costumes (Side note - I never got Star Trek. And I don’t get the Harry Potter of today either. Maybe I’m too fixated on reality where a Wizard School seems so freakin’ lame).

But, there we were in Denver, about 1,200 strong with free beverage coupons and three days of attending seminar after seminar. I did catch a Rockies game with about 50 of my closest friends and get this, the Rockies actually won. Coors Field must be the new witness relocation program. Anyway, the most important session to attend is the yearly update on the recently passed new rules (i.e., text messaging ban) and how that will fit within the context of other NCAA parameters. The SMU Compliance Team now has the task of making sure all SMU constituents (i.e., coaches, staff, athletes, boosters, campus folk, etc) are abreast of the changes.

Denver was just the first of many compliance related Conferences for me. June will bring the C-USA regional meetings in “Historic Las Colinas” where I am presenting a “Compliance Best Practices” discussion and the NCAS Annual Meetings in New Orleans where I have just been named a Regional Director. This is a very important distinction because I will be able to bring national issues in sports to the campus of SMU and help foster the on-campus life skills imitative for our student-athletes. In July, I am also presenting at the Annual NAACC Meetings in Austin, Texas (this is a specific association for compliance individuals). And in between, I have to fit in a wedding and honeymoon. No problem. Yeah, something about down time . . .

Finally, when I was in Denver, I got word that SMU received an NCAA award for our compliance educational efforts on the issue of gambling awareness. I love basking in the glow of accolades (I mean who doesn’t?) but I would be incredibly remiss if I did not mention the other members of the compliance staff who greatly contributed to this end. Both Broadus Whiteside and Jackie Babich have done yeomen’s work on this, and several other compliance issues, and all the while they are able to put up with my, how do I say this, “quirky” personality. I am looking forward to working with them as the 2007 academic year gets rolling.

Sad to see Happy Gilmore co-star Bob Barker leave the Price is Right. Was there a better game than Plinko?

Last Download - “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley


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