U of M News
U of M Will Host Conference on College Sports Issues University News
For release: March 25, 2008

For press information, contact Deborah Southall

The University of Memphis will host a four-day event April 16-19 focusing on important issues in college athletics. Sonny Vaccaro, former director of basketball operations at Nike, Adidas, and Reebok, will deliver the keynote address.

Sonny Vaccaro
Sonny Vaccaro

Vaccaro, who signed Michael Jordan to his first major endorsement package, has revolutionized the world of sports marketing with shoe endorsements, team affiliations, and other groundbreaking promotional partnerships. In so doing, he has helped propel the fortunes of countless athletes.

Issues to be explored at the conference include such topics as sportsmanship and the behavior of student-athletes, the stresses faced by college athletic directors, the impact that an NCAA Final Four appearance can have on applications and enrollment, the effectiveness of major infractions penalties in NCAA Division I-A football, and the legal considerations of coaching contracts.

Panelists and speakers scheduled to participate include experts from the University of Memphis, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Wisconsin, University of Alabama, University of Tennessee, and University of Florida.

The event will begin with the second annual “Tee Off for Tigers" golf tournament at 8 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, at Galloway Golf Course. The fee for each four-person team for the shotgun start is $400.

On April 17, the Issues in College Sport Symposium will kick off at 8:15 a.m. at the FedEx Institute of Technology on the U of M campus. The day, which will begin with Vaccaro's address, will also include three panels of experts who will discuss current issues in college sports. It is free and open to the public.

The symposium continues April 18 and 19 with a forum for academics, practitioners, and students from around the country to present current research in the field of college athletics.

Hosted by the College Sport Research Institute (CSRI) in the Health and Sports Science Department of the U of M's College of Education, the conference is an experiential learning project developed and executed by students. Proceeds from the conference will allow students in the sports management program to attend professional conferences, workshops, and job fairs.

The conference will also provide funds to develop an educational lecture series and offer opportunities for students to network professionally, garnering national recognition for the university.

For more information, contact Deborah Southall at 901-678-2462 or djsothll@memphis.edu

Information is also available on the Web at http://csri.memphis.edu


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