In the for what it’s worth department, Lee Fowler, the embattled NC State University Athletics Director whose days are numbered (is June 30th his last day on the job?), will be receiving a very nice honor and award this week from the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) during the organization’s annual convention.
Fowler, who got the boot from former temporary interim transitory NC State Chancellor James Woodward, whose decision was upheld by Chancellor Randy Woodson when he took office in April, has been named one of the 29 winners of the NACDA’s Under Armour AD of the Year (ADOY) Award. His selection is for the southeast regional honor in the Football Bowl Subdivison. There are only four regional honorees in that category, of course, considered the highest level of being an Athletics Director. Other honorees come from these categories: Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA); Division I (formerly Division I-AAA); Division II; Division III; NAIA; and Junior/Community Colleges, along with one International winner.
From the NACDA new release: The ADOY award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities. Said Executive Director Mike Cleary: “Before the program’s inception, our Honors and Awards Committee recognized a need for an award such as the AD of the Year. The program brings to light the exceptional jobs done by athletics directors across the country. These 29 winners exemplify that, providing us with a group of outstanding athletics directors who excel at their jobs.”
In the same category as Fowler, the honorees are: Morgan Burke, Purdue University, Central; Bob De Carolis, Oregon State University, West; and, Jeff Hathaway, University of Connecticut, Northeast.
Also from the NACDA release and website: All NACDA-member directors of athletics in the United States, Canada and Mexico who met the criteria were eligible for the award. Among the criteria were service as an AD for a minimum of five academic years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments. Additionally, each AD's institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body (i.e., NCAA, NAIA, etc.), in which the institution could not have been on probation or cited for a lack of institutional control within the last five years during the tenure of the current athletics director.
Nominators were NACDA-member directors of athletics, institutional presidents and conference commissioners. Special Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, present and past NCAA and NAIA presidents, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award.
Fowler will be honored this Thursday at the NACDA’s Awards Luncheon in Anaheim CA. For what it’s worth: Congratulations, Lee! You deserve the recognition.