Magazine On-line [spring 2009]
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Fulks represents NCAA at national forum

When accounting professor Dan Fulks helped represent the National Collegiate Athletic Association at a Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics meeting in Washington, D.C., last October, it was only the latest event in his still-growing role as a national authority on college sports finances.

Dan FulksFulks is a research consultant to the NCAA and is responsible for an annual report detailing the financial aspects of sports programs at the NCAA’s more than 1,100 members, which he has prepared for 15 years. He presented recent findings as a panelist at the Knight Commission meeting, held at the National Press Club and covered by national media such as the Associated Press, USA Today, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The commission works to ensure that intercollegiate athletics programs operate within the educational mission of their colleges and universities.

Fulks, who serves as Transy’s faculty athletics representative to the NCAA, is also vice chair and a member of the executive committee of the NCAA’s Division III management council. With 440 members, Division III, the non-scholarship division that Transy belongs to, is the NCAA’s largest. Fulks was part of a working group of the committee that recently looked at a possible restructuring of the division.

“There’s a lot of diversity in Division III in terms of enrollment and in perspectives on such things as length of season and redshirting rules,” Fulks said. “And there is great pressure on the division to grow even larger.” After considering plans to create a new division or split the current division in two, the working group eventually decided to leave things as they are for now.

Fulks’s accounting students benefit from his expertise in college athletics finances in several ways, including helping to tabulate and organize the annual reports. He also enlivens classroom presentations by drawing on his earlier experience as a staff member of Ernst & Young, where clients included the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, and Atlanta Stadium. He was involved in a key court case that set tax standards for depreciating the value of professional athletes.

In all of his work, Fulks has the opportunity to spread awareness of Transylvania, often among big-city and national media.

“When the media call the NCAA about sports finances, they just say, ‘Ask Dan,’” Fulks said. “During a recent week, I was interviewed by the major newspapers in San Antonio, Birmingham, and Chattanooga.”

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