WASHINGTON, D.C. — The LEAD1 Association (“LEAD1”), which represents the athletics directors of the 130-member schools of the Football Bowl Subdivision (“FBS”), hosted its annual fall member meeting on Tuesday, September 24, and Wednesday, September 25, at the Conrad Hilton in Washington, D.C.
With approximately 100 athletics directors in attendance, LEAD1’s annual meeting is one of the largest gatherings of FBS athletics directors nationwide. During its meeting, LEAD1 athletics directors engaged in discussions pertaining to some of the biggest issues in college sports. LEAD1 also named Clemson University Director of Athletics, Dan Radakovich, as its new chair of its Board of Directors.
NCAA Working Group members on the topic of name, image, and likeness (NIL), including Gene Smith (Working Group Co-chair), led a discussion on possible changes to NIL rules. During this discussion, 37 athletics directors provided feedback to the Working Group members.
LEAD1 also released the following statement on California SB 206, signed today by California Governor Newsom, which would allow student-athletes in the state to earn money from use of their NILs:
“At our recent meeting in Washington, D.C., our approximately 100 athletics directors who attended had substantive discussions on the topic of name, image, and likeness (NIL). We fully understand that this is a complex issue, and continue to learn more about the intricacies of the topic. As we eagerly wait the results of the NCAA’s Working Group final report due in late October, we will continue to discuss this very important topic and work within the NCAA governance process in the coming weeks.”
Other meeting discussions included some of the NCAA’s new changes with respect to institutional accountability and enforcement. Members of Congress, including Roger Williams (TX), Cheri Bustos (IL), and Donna Shalala (FL), discussed the interests of the federal government in college sports issues. NCAA President, Mark Emmert, and other NCAA staff, also provided updates on issues such as NIL and pending NCAA health and safety litigation.
Joan Cronan, who served as Tennessee’s athletics director for nearly three decades, also received the Homer Rice Award, presented annually to an FBS athletics director who has made significant contributions to college sports.
“I am honored to chair LEAD1 and have the opportunity to work with Tom McMillen and his staff, said Radakovich. “Our outstanding Board represents FBS athletic programs across the country and we stand ready to provide guidance and feedback to the NCAA on the critical issues facing college athletics.”
“At our meeting, we engaged in substantive discussions on some of the biggest issues facing college sports,” said Tom McMillen, President and CEO of LEAD1. “Our athletics directors provided important feedback that will help grow our association for years to come.”
About the LEAD1 Association: LEAD1 represents the athletics directors of the 130 member universities of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Key to the LEAD1 mission are influencing how the rules of college sports are enacted and implemented, advocating for the future of college athletics, and providing various services to our member schools. For more information, please visit www.LEAD1Association.com.