Perspectives at Play in College Athletics
Elon Sport Management Virtual Symposium
The Department of Sport Management hosted its annual symposium virtually on April 28, 2021. With a theme of “Perspectives at Play in College Athletics,” the symposium kicked off with a conversation with Oliver Luck, an influential sport industry figure, as well as three panel discussions featuring individuals and student-athletes in collegiate sports. A full recording of the symposium can be found above.
Keynote Speaker – Oliver Luck
An American business executive and former NFL football quarterback, Oliver Luck was the CEO and commissioner of the XFL until operations were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, Luck was the director of intercollegiate athletics at West Virginia University for four years and served as an NCAA executive in charge of the organization’s regulatory functions. Luck played five seasons for the Houston Oilers.
Panel I – #NotNCAAProperty: Inside the NIL debate
As a sports business reporter/analyst, Dosh has reported on topics from collective bargaining to endorsements to the finances of pro and intercollegiate athletics for outlets such as ESPN, Forbes and Bleacher Report. She is the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com and formerly served as ESPN’s sports business reporter. Dosh is the host of The Business of College Sports Podcast and author of “Saturday Millionaires: How Winning Football Builds Winning Colleges.”
Gabe Feldman is the director of the Tulane Sports Law Program and Tulane University’s associate provost for NCAA compliance. One of the leading voices in sports law, Feldman serves on the board of directors of the Sports Lawyers Association and an editor of the Sports Lawyers Journal. Since 2011 he has served as the on-air legal analyst for the NFL Network. Feldman received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and juris doctor from Duke University.
A graduate from Elon University with a degree in sport and event management, McKay is the assistant director of athletics for student-athlete development at Washington State University. Her responsibilities at Washington State include working with students and administrators to help student-athletes navigate their collegiate careers. McKay completed her master’s degree in higher education administration at George Washington University and is currently pursuing her doctorate of education, high education administration, from George Washington as well.
Panel II – Unlevel Playing Field: The Gender Gap in Athletics
Amy Yakola is the deputy commissioner – chief of external affairs for the Atlantic Coast Conference, where she has handled several positions over the past two decades. Her positions with the ACC have ranged from media relations intern to senior associate commissioner. She graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
Amy Perko has led the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a panel of American academic, athletic and sports leaders, since 2005, serving as executive director until October 2016 when she was named chief executive officer. In 2012, she received the NCAA’s Silver Anniversary Award, which is given to six former college athletes on the occasion of their 25th anniversary from college participation in recognition of their civic and professional contributions. Three years later, she was named a “Game Changer” by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal. She is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame, and was honored as an ACC Legend in 2005. Perko graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1987 with a degree in history. She worked at the NCAA for more than six years, before transitioning to the University of Kansas as associate athletics director and senior woman administrator, where she served on several Big 12 Conference and NCAA committees.
Debbie Yow, AD emeritus at North Carolina State University, is an American college sports administrator and former college basketball coach. She was the director of athletics at North Carolina State University, and held the same position at the University of Maryland and Saint Louis University. She previously served as the head coach of the women’s basketball teams of the University of Kentucky, Oral Roberts University, and the University of Florida.
Panel III – The Student-Athlete’s Point of View
The third panel included perspectives and opinions from current student-athletes representing different sports, divisions and institutions. Participants were Emma Seif, Wofford College women’s lacrosse; Devin Merritt, Averett University football; Chris Holliday, University of North Carolina football; and Natalie Cummins, Elon University volleyball. Cummins moderated the panel.
The event’s programming was free, but donations were accepted to support the Positive Attitude Youth Center in Burlington.