CSL Daily

March 30, 2015

Dr. LeCrom Officially Named Head of CSL

lecrom14smDean of VCU’s School of Education Dr. Christine Walther-Thomas announced Monday Dr. Carrie LeCrom has been named executive director of the Center for Sport Leadership.  LeCrom has been the interim director for the past 18 months.

LeCrom joined the CSL (then the SportsCenter) following her graduation from the program in 2003.  She earned her doctorate from VCU’s School of Education in 2007. LeCrom earned a dual major in Business Administration and Sport Management from Lynchburg College, where she was honored as an Athletic and Academic All-American soccer player on a team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2001 Division-III NCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship.

Dr. LeCrom is highly respected among students and peers at VCU and nationally.  carrie award 3
In December, she was the recipient of the prestigious Ruch Award for Excellence in Teaching by the School of Education.

LeCrom was recently awarded a grant from the U.S State Department to fund Project PUSH: a two-way cultural exchange with soccer coaches from South Africa.  Overall, LeCrom has generated nearly $500,000 in grant funding for the Center since 2007 from sources such as the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the NCAA.

Some notable global initiatives that she has coordinated include travel to Ethiopia, Africa, for a coaches training program, as part of a U.S. State Department-funded grant that VCU and the Academy for Educational Development were awarded in 2007. More recently she completed another U.S. State Department funded grant which involved a 2-year exchange between soccer coaches in the United States and China that aimed to help build cultural understanding between the countries. She also initiated the Center for Sport Leadership’s participation in an international conference where students and faculty traveled to Paris, DSC_0394France, to attend the 2007 World Cup of Rugby and participate in the World Sports Forum held in St. Denis, France. Additionally, since 2004, LeCrom has coordinated the European Model of Sport course, a 12-day study abroad trip offered annually where students travel overseas to various European cities to gain new perspectives on much more than sport.

LeCrom’s research interests lie in quantitative measures of success in sport, the student-athlete experience, and sport for development and peace, focusing mainly on utilizing sport to promote cultural understanding. She has published in journals including the Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, Nine: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, and Sport Marketing Quarterly, in addition to presenting at various conferences such as North American Society of Sport Management’s Annual Conference, the International Sport for Development and Peace Association’s Power of Sport Summit, the National Symposium on Student Retention, and College Sport Research Institute’s Annual Conference.

LeCrom is married to Erwan LeCrom, the U.S. Development Academy Director for the Richmond Strikers Soccer Club. They have one daughter, (Lena) and one son (Kenan).



March 27, 2015

Laettner on Social Media

During his visit to the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU this week, Christian Laettner was critical of social media, saying among other things, it prevents privacy.

That’s why students were surprised when the former Duke star and Olympic Gold Medalist took out his camera and started to shoot video.

Here’s what it looked like from Laettner’s point-of-view


March 26, 2015

Christian Laettner, April Holmes Talk Leadership with CSL


April Holmes (far left) and Christian Laettner (far right) with CSL graduate students

One of the best college basketball players of all time and one of the most decorated U.S. paralympians in history spoke to the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU this week. Former Duke star and Olympic Gold Medalist Christian Laettner and April Holmes, a Paralympic Gold Medalist, were part of a delegation from the United State Olympic Committee that spoke to students at the CSL, VCU School of Business and VCU BrandCenter.

Laettner and Holmes talked about their personal journeys to success and how they overcame adversity to achieve their goals. In a wide ranging question and answer moderated USOC VP-Paralympic Development for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation, Laettner told students the key to leadership: “You have to be tough, you have to be resilient…you can’t be afraid of failure.”  Holmes, who lost her leg in a train accident in 2001, said about leadership: “People have to see in you work ethic. People have to see in you that you are willing to work, not just be a dictator. You need to show people that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and do what you have to do to get where you need to go.”

Watch the videos below for more valuable insight from Christian Laettner and April Holmes.


March 26, 2015

CSL Students Work NCAA Tournament in Charlotte

NCAA Charlotte 2

Action resumes in the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament tonight but three Center for Sport Leadership graduate students are still reliving their experience from the opening round games in Charlotte last week.  Emily Cochran, Herman Kinard and Jenna Taylor volunteered to work with our coleagues at UNC Charlotte who were serving as hosts for the game and practice sessions at Time Warner Arena.  We asked each of our students about the experience.


Volunteering at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was an awesome opportunity and a great event to be apart of.  Officially we were titled a bench assistant and was put in charge of setting up the team benches for practices and games as well as the keeper of the basketballs.  Aside from those specific duties, we were given all access to the Time Warner Cable Arena.  We were able to freely move behind the scenes and explore every area critical to the successful production of the NCAA 2nd and 3rd round games.  We interacted with everyone involved, from the event staff, to the media, to the players and coaches, and the fans.


It was an experience unlike anything I have ever had. Being a part of an event that had over 30,000 fans come out to to watch. The atmosphere was fast paced with tons NCAA Charlotte Hermanof energy and excitement. Seeing all the happy fans cheering on their teams and the reactions when teams won games made me feel really good that I helped be apart of the coaches, players, and fans experience that joy. It was nice getting around new people I have never worked with before. In that short amount of time we all have to bond quickly to make sure we are all pushing each other to do our best to make the event happen smoothly. It really put our team work skills to the test. Some highlights for me would be seeing how people like Coach K, Coach Izzo, Magic Johnson, and Grant Hill really took the time to talk to the fans and let them know they appreciated them. I could only imagine how busy they were just from the running around I was doing trying to get things done.


I really enjoyed getting a front row seat to the games knowing I played a role in their production.   I gained a new perspective and saw just how much of a complete team effort it took to host such an event.  The Charlotte 49ers athletic department staff were NCAA Charlotte 3very welcoming and great to work with.  I’m very appreciative for them giving me this opportunity and really enjoyed my experience in Charlotte.



Being able to be apart of such an successful event was an amazing opportunity. Not only did I learn more about the industry from a game operations perspective, but I was also able to meet some truly amazing leaders in the sport industry. The Charlotte 49ers greeted us with open arms and took us under their wing for the weekend. They showed us the ropes and allowed us to explore and learn.



March 24, 2015

Photo Gallery- “Champions Day” at The First Tee Richmond

March 24, 2015

CSL Launches New SEED Event



The Center for Sport Leadership at VCU launched a new SEED (Sports Entertainment Event Development) project Monday with Champions Day.  This partnership with The First Tee Richmond was created to introduce the game of golf to elementary school kids. Through the use of modified equipment and kid-friendly activities, fifty-five participants moved through nine different skill stations each representing one of the nine core values of The First Tee.

Champions Day was inspired by The First Tee’s nationwide initiative SNAG, which stands for Start New At Golf.  CSL graduate students worked in conjunction with local IMG_3759representatives of The First Tee to create all aspects of the event, held at The First Tee complex off School Road in Richmond, not far from the VCU campus.  As with all SEED projects, CSL students serve as the primary decisions makers for every aspect of the event: conception, implementation, operation and evaluation.

Special thanks to the VCU Golf team for their cooperation and the Mid-Atlantic PGA for the use of “Golfzilla” and other kid-friendly activities.



Check out the photo gallery for more from Champions Day at The First Tee Richmond