Tag Archives: Department of Athletics

Tim Russert on Kevin White’s Bookshelf

I met with Kevin White, Duke’s first-year athletic director, Monday morning and started talking about books, as we did in our last conversation in June. White told me he had time to read two books on his way to and from Beijing, where he watched Mike Krzyzewski in the Olympics for about five days. He read Jim Nantz’ “Always By My Side” there and Tim Russert’s “Big Russ and Me” on the way back.

White had some nice things to say about the late Russert, as he became friends with him through–what else?–Notre Dame Football. I’ll let the man speak for himself in the clip below:

–by Ben Cohen

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Duke Promotes Kennedy, Hires Corrigan’s Son

Director of Athletics Kevin White promoted veteran Senior Associate Director of Athletics Chris Kennedy to deputy athletic director in a statement Tuesday. Kennedy, an English professor and Duke athletic department member since 1977, served as interim athletic director after Joe Alleva left for Louisiana State University and before White was hired from Notre Dame. Kennedy will still be responsible for day-to-day operations, compliance and academic support.

In other athletic department news, White announced the hiring of former Notre Dame staffers Stan Wilcox and Boo Corrigan as senior administrators. Corrigan is the son of former ACC commissioner and Duke graduate Gene Corrigan, who served as a consultant in Duke’s search to replace Alleva and seemed to play an instrumental role in bringing White to Duke.

–by Ben Cohen

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White Meets and Greets Local Media

It was no coincidence that newly hired Director of Athletics Kevin White held his first media luncheon today in the Yoh Football Center–the former Notre Dame athletic director understands the need to back David Cutcliffe and his program. Some quick notes from today’s meet-and-greet:

  • White is a major part of the national scene of athletic directors (he’s even president of NACDA), and has been jet-setting quite a bit. Now that he’s back in Durham and settled in an apartment while looking for more a more permanent residence, he is ready to “dig in.”
  • One of the topics that came up during lunch was his desire to formulate a facilities master plan. Similar to “Unrivaled Ambition,” the department’s strategic plan that was developed earlier this year, the facility master plan would help ensure that Duke’s facilities keep up with the years and the growing demand. Right now, White is most interested in what can be done to improve Wallace Wade. “It needs not a face lift, but a makeover,” he said.

–by Chase Olivieri

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Alleva: LSU Passion Eclipses Duke Fanatacism

Former athletic director Joe Alleva spent 32 years at Duke, and 10 as Director of Athletics. He considered himself a Blue Devil man, loyal to Duke. But in just two months in the same job at Louisiana State University, Alleva had some choice words that likely won’t sit well with Duke supporters.

“The passion for LSU is just phenomenal, it’s mind-blowing,” Alleva told  The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune. “That’s the biggest difference.”

Reporter James Varney pressed him further, asking Alleva to compare the “passion” to that of Duke’s rabid basketball fan base.

“Even then, it’s not the same,” he said.

What do you think of Alleva’s statements? How does the passion of Duke fans relate to that of other fans?

Most importantly: Is Alleva simply saying what he needs to say to blend into the Bayou?

—by Ben Cohen

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The Hoopla of Luxury Boxes

Since last Saturday’s official approval of “Unrivaled Ambition,” the school’s first athletic strategic plan, much has been made in the media about one bullet point in a small section of the 39-page document:

“We need to study the possibility of adding suites to Cameron [Indoor Stadium] as a way to generate additional income.”

That’s it. Other than a brief mention of continuing to evaluate how to maximize revenue stream through the basketball program in the introduction, that’s all it says about adding luxury boxes. But, of course, that’s all it needed to say for the Cameron purists to come out in full force. Without delving too much into whether we think luxury boxes would demean or undermine the hallowed coziness of Cameron, the mini controversy surrounding this idea of continual restoration is unfounded and overblown.

Why? Because the concept of luxury boxes in Cameron probably won’t happen.

“We’ve talked about it for, gosh, seven or eight years as just, ‘What are the opportunities available in Cameron and around Cameron?'” Mike Cragg, associate athletic director and director of the Legacy Fund, said Friday. “Hence, we have a Krzyzewski Center, hence we have a Schwartz-Butters. We’ve done the concourse differently, we’ve built new locker rooms all in the last eight years.

“Boxes have been looked at as, again, would it fit? We haven’t come to a conclusion. Obviously in the last eight years, we’ve determined that it will not fit. Really all of that is a recognition of the fact that we’re trying to always be looking at the future of what possibilities are there.”

Our comment? Other than a new scoreboard (going up this summer) and possible renovations of seats to make the look of Cameron more conformed, we don’t see the mecca of college basketball changing significantly anytime soon. After all, as Cragg said, the basketball programs have evaluated the possibility of boxes in Cameron for eight years and, according to them, boxes won’t fit. And over the next 10, 50, 100 years, Cameron isn’t getting any bigger.

What do you think?

–by Ben Cohen

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Board of Trustees Approve Athletics Strategic Plan

Not really a surprise, but the Board of Trustees officially approved the Department of Athletics’ strategic plan, “Unrivaled Ambition,” Saturday at its meeting.

After the first draft of the plan was presented in February, few changes were made to it, President Richard Brodhead told The Chronicle. The report was written by Interim Director of Athletics Chris Kennedy.

The full version of the 38-page report is online, and you can access it by clicking here. We’ll have a more thorough analysis of the first ever strategic plan in our summer issues, which begin Thursday.

–by Ben Cohen

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