CSL Daily

May 29, 2015

LeCrom Quoted on FIFA Scandal

FIFA Press Conference

The sports world has been rocked by the arrest of six high ranking executives of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body. The indictment confirms the corruption and unethical actions long suspected by many in the global soccer community.

Media outlets have sought out Center for Sport Leadership executive director Carrie LeCrom for context and perspective on one of the biggest sports scandals in history.

LeCrom was quoted in an Associated Press piece focusing on the U.S. sports marketing firms also caught up in the scandal.

Despite how widespread the bribery and kickback schemes appear to be in the indictment, corruption is not rampant in the sports marketing industry in the United States, suggested Carrie LeCrom, executive director of the Center for Sport Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“It’s not something we’ve commonly seen,” she said. “There’s some wining and dining as the price of business, but it’s not as overt as offering people bribes.”

In a Richmond-Times Dispatch column written by Paul Woody, LeCrom says the revelation of corruption is not biggest part of the story.

“What’s more surprising is something is going to be done about it,” said Carrie LeCrom, executive director of the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU.

The column also mentions the CSL’s recent visit to FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Just last month, students and staff from the Center for Sport Leadership visited FIFA as part of our annual Europe Model of Sport trip. The CSL contingent even got to play soccer on the pitch located at the FIFA compound.

FIFA group shot

May 27, 2015

Lightning Strikes: CSL Alum Fortunate to be part of Playoff Run


Throwdown at the Bay

The Tampa Bay Lightning will square off against the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight. A spot in the Stanley Cup Finals is on the line.  VCU Center for Sport Leadership alum Nicky Gordon (’14) has been in the middle of the Lightning’s playoff run, working as an account representative for the team’s Inside Sales Staff. We asked Nicky to share some of his experiences and insight working for a team fighting for a championship.

It has been pretty surreal to be a part of this playoff run during my first year working for the team. I am very grateful and appreciative of this opportunity.  The entire season has been a wild ride and I have enjoyed every minute. There are long hours, especially in the playoffs. Between working watch parties and hosting networking events for away games, or covering phone shifts, the inside sales department is working about 70 hours a week. Regardless of what time the games end, we are in the office at 8:30 the next morning, hitting the phones and planning for our next sales campaign.  One of the things we always hear is: “You can’t sell the product on the ice; you must sell the game experience.”  While I agree 100%, the team’s success has certainly helped us introduce more people to our team.


Gordon (third from right) with the Lightning’s Inside Sales Staff

The culture of the Lightning organization is absolutely amazing. Every aspect is world class.  It makes me and the rest of our staff proud to come to work every day. Our owner, Jeff Vinick has a goal  to become the Green Bay Packers of the NHL and I think we are well on our way. Mr Vinick gives $50,000 of his own money to local charities at every single game. He has also invested million dollars of his own money into arena renovations, a building he doesn’t even own. He has also made community outreach a huge priority, something people admire & respect.  It’s part of the reason the building is full every single night.  The culture has also created a very player friendly environment which has allowed us to re-sign some of our best players.

It has been really cool to see the city embrace the team. Everywhere you go, people are flying their Lightning flags.  You can really feel the energy in the city. It has been my dream to work in professional sports. Again, I feel so lucky to work for this organization and live in a city like Tampa. It’s is a dream come true.

The best decision I have ever made was attending the CSL program. It was the vehicle that allowed me to pursue my dream of working in professional sports.


May 19, 2015

Hat Tip Tuesday

hat tip

On Tuesdays, we offer a “tip of the hat” to current students and alumni who have been hired, promoted, recognized for outstanding achievement or embarked on new opportunities. 


Samantha Mitchell (’15) has accepted the position of event management intern with Sports Backers, a nationall-recognized, Richmond-based organization which produces and supports nationally recognized quality sporting events and programs that motivate locals and visitors alike to be more active.  Sam’s duties include assisting full-time staff with day-to-day operations and event planning; answer incoming calls and assist in answering inquiries about Sport Backers and our events; assist with mail-in registration input for all events; manage projects for events and serve on the event committee; assist with the set-up and breakdown of events both on-site and in the warehouse; and assist with projects in the areas of marketing, event development and sponsorship/development as needed.


Tee Neeley (’15) has accepted the position of Assistant Academic Counselor for University of Memphis Athletics.  Tee will be working at the Center for Athletic Academic Services assisting with the Bridge Program for new Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Football student-athletes. During the academic year, Tee’s primary responsibilities will be assisting in the day to day operation of the center, including mentoring student-athletes, advisement of student-athletes, and monitoring the overall academic progress of student-athletes.

Jenna Taylor

Jenna Taylor (’15) has accepted a yearlong internship with the Georgia Athletic Hospitality (GAH) under direction of The Colonnade Group.  Jenna will assist the GAH office in the management and operation of the Sanford Stadium SkySuites, SkyClub, Champion’s Club, and Stegeman Coliseum’s Courtside Club seating and Richard B. Taylor Georgia Hospitality Room for Men’s & Women’s Basketball and Gymnastics.  GAH’s mission is to work as a team to bring the best possible service and experience to the premium seat holders at the University of Georgia.

May 18, 2015

Coach “Gut” Remembered by CSL Alum

Alex Peavey

Center for Sport Leadership alum Alex Peavey had a unique bond with longtime University of North Carolina assistant basketball coach Bill Guthridge, who passed away last week at the age of 77. We asked Alex to share some personal thoughts on his mentor.

Three months ago, the basketball world lost one of the most influential people in the sport with the passing of Dean Smith. Last week, I was saddened to hear that Coach Smith’s assistant of 30 years, Bill Guthridge, also passed away. The accomplishments of Coach Smith are well known, but what never seems to get quite enough recognition outside of Chapel Hill is the loyal presence “Coach Gut” had throughout all of it.

For me, coaching basketball was an aspiration since the age of 10, and while I did not grow up a Carolina fan, I found myself pulling for Guthridge after getting to know him through my godfather. They had been friends since their days at Kansas State, and through this, I gained an incredible mentor. Whether it was a handwritten note, a conversation over lunch, or the opportunity to spend summers working at Carolina Basketball Camp, Coach Guthridge went above and beyond helping me pursue my dreams. He did so in a manner that ensured I would never stray from always doing things the right way. His words and actions taught me what it means to put the program ahead of the self, the value of loyalty combined with longevity, the inner strength required for authentic humility, the meaning of being both a gentleman and a gentle man, the fact that kindness never has to diminish competitiveness, and that winning without class is not winning at all.

With his passing, I have had the opportunity to reflect, and I now realize that much of who coach gut
I am as a coach is because of who Guthridge was as a person. For example, one question I get all of the time is why I applaud the players in opponent’s starting lineup when they are announced before each of our games. One explanation is that I see each of those players as someone’s child, so even if they don’t play for us, they deserve to be applauded. A second reason for my applauding the opposing starters is simply because Coach Guthridge always did; this is my own pregame reminder to always coach with class, like Coach Guthridge, because without it, then I am not really coaching at all.

Alex Peavey is an Upper School Counselor and the head boys’ varsity basketball coach at Collegiate School

May 13, 2015

Dr. Dwyer Promoted to Associate Professor

The VCU Center for Sport Leadership is proud to announce Dr. Brendan Dwyer has been promoted to Associate Professor, official as of Mondaydwyer (2)

“Dr. Dwyer continues to set a high standard in terms of teaching, scholarship, and service within the Center for Sport Leadership and the School of Education, and his promotion is well deserved,” said CSL executive director Dr. Carrie LeCrom. “Thank you to all those who worked on his PRC and the School P&T committee during this process.”

“While this is a personal reward, it has really been a collective effort. I have a great support system, and I am extremely grateful and appreciative of my colleagues at the CSL, School of Education and around the country. I certainly would not have accomplished this without them,” said Dwyer.

Dwyer joined the Center for Sport Leadership in August 2009.  He is currently the director of research and distance learning.  In addition to a bachelor’s degree in economics, Dwyer holds a master’s degree and doctorate in sport administration. His focus is primarily on the business of sport, but he also has a strong foundation in the social components, technological aspects, and research methods associated with both sport and higher education.

Dwyer’s research interests center around sport consumer behavior with a distinct focus on the media consumption habits of fantasy sport participants and behavioral patterns of ticket purchasers. Currently, he has articles published in the Journal of Sport Management, Sport Marketing Quarterly, Sport Management Review, European Sport Management Quarterly, Journal of Sport Behavior and the International Journal of Sport Management. Dwyer also has over 40 national and international presentations at professional conferences, including the North American Society for Sport Management, Sport Marketing Association, Sport, Physical Activity, Recreation and Law Association, College Sport Research Institute’s Scholarly Conference on College Sport and the North American Society for Sport Sociology. In 2009, he won the NASSM Student Research Competition for his dissertation titled: Divided Loyalty? An Analysis of Fantasy Football Involvement and Attitudinal Loyalty to Individual NFL Teams. In 2010 and 2013, he won the Sport Marketing Association’s Best Professional Paper along with his colleagues Joris Drayer (Temple) and Stephen L. Shapiro (Old Dominion). Also in 2013, he was presented the VCU School of Education’s Faculty Scholarship Award.

In addition to teaching and research, Dwyer has worked with a number of sport organizations including the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Washington Redskins, Richmond International Raceway, Special Olympics Virginia, Running USA, the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado State University Athletics, University of Northern Colorado Athletics, Shanghai Football Association, Richmond Strikers, Villa 7 and VCU Athletics.

May 12, 2015

Hat Tip Tuesday

hat tip

On Tuesdays, we offer a “tip of the hat” to current students and alumni who have been hired, promoted, recognized for outstanding achievement or embarked on new opportunities. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.13.54 AM

David Harris (’14)  has accepted the position of special assistant, video coordinator for Men’s Basketball at The University of Texas. Harris spent the past two seasons at VCU, starting as a graduate assistant before he was promoted to video coordinator by Head Coach Shaka Smart.


Josh Pantazelos (’15) has accepted the position of assistant men’s soccer coach at Eckerd College, a Division Two program in St. Petersburg, FL. Most recently, Josh was a graduate assistant coach at VCU where he also played under Head Coach Dave Giffard.


Nick Stemkowski (’15) has accepted the position of coach/instructor for the Carolina Rapids, an extension of the Colorado Rapids youth academy. Nick will be coaching both younger age groups and U.S. development academy squads and working to develop players that can compete for homegrown contracts with the Colorado Rapids . Most recently, Nick was a graduate assistant for the Richmond Strikers.