SBJ/December 5-11, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Kevin White, athletic director, Duke University

Kevin White
Athletic Director, Duke University

Part 1: White talks about conference realignment, the NCAA and what he thinks about paying student athletes.
 
Part 2: White on plans for Duke athletics, from facilities to revenue generation to building a winning football program.
 
Part 3: White talks about running, hanging ten and the gadget he can't live without.

Conference realignment has been front and center in the news.
White: “My sense is it’s still a pretty fluid environment out there.”

Where do you see the conference realignment headed?
White: “Four or five major consortias with 14 to 16 institutions.”

How has your conference benefited from it?
White: Adding Syracuse and Pitt is “a home run for the ACC.”

What has Duke’s role in the expansion process been?
White: Evaluate, vote, but Commissioner John Swofford “does all the heavy lifting.”

What have you learned about the NCAA’s Mark Emmert?
White: “He’s a consummate leader [with] the ability to move an agenda.”

What about the plan to pay student athletes a $2,000 stipend?
White: It’s reasonable. Student athletes’ share “hasn’t really changed since the ’30s.”

What’s new at Duke on the facilities front?
White: Looking at “a pretty dramatic face lift of Wallace Wade [Stadium].”

Football has been a greater challenge than basketball. What’s your vision?
White: “To become pretty darned competitive, in the ACC” and nationally.

Can you find additional revenue in football before the victories come?
White: “It is a bit of a chicken-and-egg game.”

What about balancing preservation and revenue generation at Cameron Indoor Stadium?
White: “Preserving the authenticity of Cameron is absolutely critical and non-negotiable.”

You teach a sports business class. What do you tell students?
White: “It’s an industry that’s absolutely exploding.”

What kinds of technology have you embraced?
White: “I am an absolute Black-Berry freak. … I’d be a great commercial.”

You were a sprinter in college. Do you still run?
White: “That’s probably a misnomer. I’m a bad jogger.”

Is that when you do some of your best thinking?
White: “It’s the time … when nobody else can get to you.”

Where do you run?
White: “I’ve got trails around Duke” and the house, plus the treadmill.

What other forms of entertainment do you like?
White: “I’ve had a great love affair with the sport of surfing.”

Where could people have seen you catching a wave?
White: “The Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific and Hawaii and everyplace else.”

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