Over spring break, the Notre Dame Career Center runs “career treks,” which are externships for the more rare career fields like graphic design, industrial design, and my favorite: the sports industry!! The Sports Career Trek was a four day trip to Indianapolis to visit three companies in the sports industry, and the best part… the trip was entirely paid for by the Career Center. So I applied and was selected as one of six students chosen to go on the trek. On Sunday of break, the six of us and our Career Center host piled into a minivan for the three hour drive from South Bend to Indianapolis. We stayed right in the middle of the city at the Embassy Suites.
After unpacking, our group had dinner at Champps, a sports bar right across the street, and watched the Irish women’s basketball team beat Duke for the ACC Championship. It really set the tone for the amazing three days to come.
Day 1: The NCAA
We arrived at the NCAA bright and early at 8am with a full day of 13 scheduled presentations. We might had in the building five minutes when who do we run into, but the President of the NCAA, Mark Emmert! Our NCAA coordinator, Kristi, who was also Notre Dame grad, explained to President Emmert about our career trek and we each introduced ourselves to him as well. After that we met our two hosts, Allie and Jamie who were interns with the Eligibility Center department of the NCAA. The rest of the day followed the same pattern: we would go on a tour of each department and then listen to a presentation given by the interns of that department.
The presentations showed me how little I actually know about the NCAA. Previously when I thought of the NCAA, the two things that came to mind were the National Championships and then all ridiculous NCAA violations and penalties. But as I quickly learned, what the media reports about the NCAA is far from accurate. Here is a list of interesting, true facts which I learned during the day.
Katie’s Collection of Facts About the NCAA
- The NCAA does not penalize institutions. All penalties are suggested by the NCAA as appropriate responses to violations; however, it is up to the institution to carry out the penalty.
- The NCAA does not even make the rules! In fact, the NCAA is a membership of schools, and those schools create and vote on the rules.
- A college athlete needs to maintain a 2.3 GPA to remain eligible.
- The NCAA Eligibility Center (EC) monitors every high school’s curriculum to ensure an even playing field.
- The decisions made this summer on pay-for-play and autonomy could drastically change college sports.