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NCAA: "Going pro...other than sports"​ (3 of 4)

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn in an effort to help save Olympic Sports at the NCAA level. This is Part III of a four part series.


I continue to be impressed with who the city of Indianapolis and the NCAA have partnered to host tournament. By hosting it at one city location, they only had to get through one week and by the end of that week, only 16 teams would be left and could be housed in one hotel. What I observed was they kept the traditional “pod teams” on different courts or locations from one another to promote bracket integrity. Heck even the Great 8 was held on two different courts within Lucas Oil Stadium. Finally, they had 90 minutes between games at a location to ensure time to clear out fans. This also had the by product of increasing revenue because tickets are usually sold for two games. Some would be cynical about that. I am not, that’s smart and makes the most of a bad situation. With only one team lost to a COVID case, bravo.

So, I was wrong in my first article here. The NCAA is STILL promoting athletes going “pro in something other than sports.” One thing I am immensely proud of is my teammates successes. First, let me start with two high school teammates. This past month, Brian Powers, CEO and Founder of Indianapolis based PactSafe, announced that PactSafe and it’s leading clickwrap transaction platform would be joining Ironclad. Brian was swimmer at Syracuse as well. Another teammate, Jason Brooks is the CEO of Ft Wayne, IN based Chromasource. You don’t know the name but you’ve all used their products. They make color cards and fan decks for paint companies / retailers (take a few extra – they don’t mind!).

During my four years at MSU, here is a sample of some of the college teammates that I swam with during my four years and what they are doing today:

Finally, last but certainly not least is John Maxson, who “didn’t get the memo” about turning pro in something else and is using his amazing talents as a diver in the Las Vegas Cirque Du Soleil “O” show. Move over Tom Brady & Adam Vinietari – who says you can’t be an athlete well into your mid-40s!

MSU swimming & diving has also produced some impressive post graduate success. Of course, this isn’t the only measure of success but it’s safe to say that swimming & diving produces post career success and drive that is above average. Why? I believe it’s because it takes incredibly long amounts of effort for just one or two swims (most of those are under 2 minutes) every six months. As a work colleague once described it “It’s based upon individual effort in a team sport.”

We thought we were pretty smart at the time but I know our team didn’t have a 3.87 team GPA number #1 in the country like these current Spartans. So what do you think Amanda Ling, Scott Piper, David Zoltowksi and the rest of their teammates will do?

We need to continue to invest in sports and not just the big ones.

Despite my background in finance and accounting even I know you shouldn't measure a program solely based upon it's dollars and cents impact (which is profitable anyway). What is the impact of the program beyond when you have for four or so years? To my teammates I say: I can't tell you enough how proud I am of each and every one of you. I marvel at your successes. Spartans Will.

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