Perspectives at Play in College Athletics

Elon Sport Management Virtual Symposium

The Department of Sport Management will host its annual symposium virtually on Wednesday, April 28. The event will run from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. For information regarding registration, visit the symposium’s Eventbrite page

The event’s programming is free, but donations will be accepted to support the Positive Attitude Youth Center in Burlington.


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

Dave Blank
Now in his 15th year as the athletic director at Elon University, Dave Blank oversees the financing, organizing and growth of the university’s collegiate athletics. He has been the leading influencer for many of Elon’s facilities including the Schar Center, Alumni Field House, and the Hunt Softball Park at BB&T Field. Blank served as director of athletics at Drake University from 2000-2006.

Gabe Feldman
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.

Shelby McKay
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
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
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
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

Symposium virtual backgrounds