'Expert Opinion' takes on sports dynasties, dollars, NCAA direction

March 11, 2010

University Park, Pa. -- Every year, only a few programs earn the right to call themselves champions, and even fewer sustain their success year after year. How do certain athletic programs stay on top, and how much does it cost to run their programs, especially in a tough economic climate? These topics, as well as the top issues facing the NCAA's next leader, are the focus of three new March editions of "Expert Opinion with Graham Spanier" on the Big Ten Network.

Spanier, host of "Expert Opinion" and president of Penn State, welcomes a panel of three experts for each one-hour episode to examine the show's topic in depth.

For the "Building Sports Dynasties" edition, experts include Eugene Smith, associate vice president and director of athletics at Ohio State University; Russ Rose, head coach of Penn State women’s volleyball; and Suzanne Yoculan, recently retired head coach of the University of Georgia's women's gymnastics team.

Smith oversees 36 fully funded varsity sports with a total of more than 1,000 student-athletes. Chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee, he received the 2008 National Football Foundation John L. Toner Award honoring athletic directors. Rose, an 11-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, has coached his team to more than 1,000 wins and four national championships. In addition to coaching volleyball, he teaches sports ethics at Penn State. Yoculan coached for more than 26 years, guiding her teams to 10 national championships, 16 SEC titles and 22 Top 3 final standings.

"Building Sports Dynasties" airs at 3 p.m. Eastern time Monday, March 15.

"The NCAA's New Era" addresses today's high-priority issues -- ranging from infractions to academic integrity, from gender equity to cost containment -- and considers the organization's future trajectory during the next decade. Spanier is joined by experts Wally Renfro, vice president and senior advisor to the president of the NCAA; Judith Sweet, consultant to universities for Title IX and gender equity initiatives and former NCAA senior vice president for championships and education services; and Harvey Perlman, chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Renfro has spent more than 40 years in public affairs and media relations, including 38 years with the NCAA. He has given Congressional testimony regarding issues in intercollegiate athletics. Before Sweet joined the NCAA, she was director of athletics at the University of California, San Diego for 24 years. Perlman, a former dean of law, has been recognized by the American Bar Foundation for outstanding dedication and commitment to the highest principles of the legal profession.

"The NCAA's New Era" airs at 3 p.m. Eastern time Monday, March 22.

Experts discuss budgetary decisions during the "Economics of Collegiate Athletics" edition of "Expert Opinion." Spanier hosts experts Tim Curley, director of athletics at Penn State; Sally Mason, president of the University of Iowa; and Mike Slive, commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.

Under Curley's leadership, Penn State athletic programs have secured 17 national championships and 56 Big Ten titles. Earlier in his career he was the University's football recruiting coordinator and was active in compliance and the development of academic support services for student-athletes. Mason is in her third year as president of the University of Iowa. She has spent her career at public universities with great sports traditions, including the University of Kansas and Purdue University. In addition to his role as SEC commissioner, Slive has served as the coordinator of the Bowl Championship Series and has chaired the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Committee. Early in his career, he served as assistant director of athletics at Dartmouth College and director of athletics at Cornell University.

"Economics of Collegiate Athletics" airs at 3 p.m. Eastern time Monday, March 29.

All show times listed are Eastern time; check local listings. To view previous episodes of "Expert Opinion," visit http://expertopinion.psu.edu/ online.

  • Russ Rose, Penn State women's volleyball coach, is one of three panelists on the March 15 edition of the Big Ten Network's 'Expert Opinion with Graham Spanier.'

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010