What I Like: Duer Sharp
What I Like …
The 10-team SWAC tips off its postseason basketball tourneys next week at the Toyota Center in Houston.
■ 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.
■ 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
■ 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.
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.
■ 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
■ 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.”