Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 15, 2016

BUSINESS LUNCH Sports Management majors dine with NCAA professionals. Photo courtesy of Professor Sun King.

NCAA Interns Share Insight with Sports Management Students

Kody Smith

Students from Spartan Sport Management were recently given an opportunity to listen to a lecture from professional interns from the NCAA. Zach Lange, who works with the compliance and eligibility of Division I and Division II athletes, and Michael Hupf, who works with the compliance and organizational support of Division I athletes, spoke to Manchester students in the ESS 307: Sport Organization and Leadership class. The topic was based on the governance structure of the NCAA.

“We were in the week where we covered the inter-collegiate athletic system,” said sport management professor Dr. Sun Kang. “We covered how the structures of the NCAA worked together with the board of directors, with Zach and Michael covering what they did on a day-to-day basis. Not only was eligibility of the athletes discussed, but everything that goes into the NCAA athletic system.”

A primary source of discussion was a new structural concept in the NCAA, which sees student-athletes in major Division I conferences having a say in how the teams are governed before, during and after athletic seasons. Students received a hand-out of the official document regarding the announcement, with Lange and Hupf breaking down what went into the decision-making process.

“New people were added into every single committee,” Kang said. “They discussed a new weight system in the governance policy where bigger Division I schools have more of a say in decisions than smaller Division I schools, with the larger institutions, such as Texas A&M getting four points per one vote, while smaller schools get one point per vote.” Students would then talk about the potential problems surrounding the big schools garnering more of a say in decision-making processes in Division I. However, the changes could have been seen as necessary due to the influences the school has on other surrounding schools.

Following the visit from the professional interns, Dr. Kang does not see any assignments or projects to follow, instead just letting the students enjoy what was available to them in class. “It is difficult to get officials from the NCAA to talk about what they do internally for the organization,” Kang said. “Having someone come to Manchester from the NCAA opens up the possibility of different channels of discussion in class.”

Six students enjoyed an informal lunch with Lange and Hupf to further dive into the subject following the class. “It was a great opportunity to not only further cover the contents, but to also network with the individuals from the NCAA,” Kang said. “A lot of students have a vague of idea of what goes into jobs within the organization, and they were able to see what exactly individuals accomplish as a person, and it was great for the students to get that experience second-hand.”