SBJ/March 3-9, 2014/People and Pop Culture

What I Like: Duer Sharp

PROFESSIONAL

What I Like …

The 10-team SWAC tips off its postseason basketball tourneys next week at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Photo by: WILF THORNE
An insight: A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

An influential person in my career: Robert Vowels, director of athletics at the University of Detroit Mercy.

A timeless idea: Saying “please” and “thank you.”

A business deal: Moving the SWAC football and basketball championships to Houston.

A sports facility: Reliant Stadium; Camp Randall, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

A sports event: 1983 NBA Finals, May 31. Sixers won the world championship, sweeping the Lakers.

DUER SHARP
Commissioner
Southwestern Athletic Conference

Where I'm from: Camden, N.J.
Where I Went to School: B.A. and M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison.
My First Job: Newspaper delivery. My paper route was on a bike, and I delivered the Courier-Post (South Jersey and Philly).

A strategy: Whatever project, no matter the level of relevance, do it with ethics, excellence and the end in mind.

A hire: Larry Scott as commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference.

A brand: Nike is the brand I admire most because of their marketing vision. They were way ahead of their time.

A pro league or team business initiative: The $310 million redesign and renovation of
Reliant Stadium
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Rupp Arena.

A story that bears watching: The NCAA is at a critical point in regards to how we run as an organization. There are rules that not just the big five conferences must follow, but all of us.


What I Like about …

My job: Transforming the SWAC over the past six years and creating an atmosphere of accountability, compliance and fiscal responsibility.

Sports: Competition creates an opportunity to showcase natural ability while developing character, mental toughness and resiliency.

Sports business: Allows sports business-minded sports enthusiasts to live out their dreams by combining something they are good at with something that they love.

Sports technology: Has changed the way we do business. Information is a click away, so decisions affecting our day-to-day operations can be settled within hours instead of weeks.

Competing: If you’re not getting better, the other conference is. Competition fuels me like nothing else. It is what makes you stay up late and get up early.

The future of sports business: Build a better in-game experience to get the fans to attend the events live and in-person.


What I Would Like To …

Change: The opportunities that rising minorities have in gaining athletic administration experience. The numbers are staggering in regards to how many minorities are in decision-making positions.

Change in what I do: Be more aggressive in regards to building our brand.

See: My son happy and smiling.

See less of in sports business (collegiately): Less division between high- and low-revenue entities.

See different: More financial support for HBCUs and other limited-resource institutions.

Eliminate: Unsportsmanlike celebrations. Taunting, etc.


What I Don’t Like …

In general: Complainers.

Pet peeve: People who text while driving.

In sports: The source who wished to remain anonymous.

In business: People who are not men or women of their word.


PERSONAL

What I Like …

That would surprise those who know me: That I wanted to teach history before I got into athletics.

About myself: I’m serene — never too high, never too low. Always cool and calm.

Heroes: Parents and grandparents.
Derek Jeter
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES

Players: Derek Jeter, first class from day one and was “clutch” when needed.

Teams: Wisconsin Badgers, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls.

Possession: My collection of Air Jordan sneakers and a ticket stub from my first Bulls game when Jordan was playing.

Memento: My banner from the inaugural Big Ten basketball tournament.

Time of year: Summer, because I get to take my son swimming.

Books: “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,” by John C. Maxwell, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” by Patrick Lencioni and “How I Play Golf,” by Tiger Woods.

Magazines: Harvard Business Review and GQ.

Apps: Google Maps, Fuel Band and LinkedIn.

Hobbies: Reading, watching old movies and keeping up with my 3-year-old.
Mary J. Blige
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES

Movies:“The Color Purple,” “Road to Perdition” and “The Outlaw Josey Wales.”

TV: “True Detective,” “My Wife and Kids” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

Concerts: Jill Scott, Justin Timberlake and Alex Bugnon.

Artist: Dana C. Chandler and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Dessert: Apple pie.

Drink: Mean Green (just getting into juicing).

Singer: Mary J. Blige, Nina Simone and Laura Nyro.

Quote: “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”

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