Courtesy of the Southland Conference
- A first of-its-kind Football Championship Subdivision Summit of athletic administrators and other key stakeholders will be held in conjunction with the 2011 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game in Frisco on Jan. 7.
Supported by the NCAA, the 13 Division I FCS conferences, NACDA and its affiliated FCS Athletic Directors' Association, and NCAA Football, the FCS Summit will serve as a day-long opportunity to discuss the important issues related to the subdivision, including its championship playoff.
FCS athletic directors and conference commissioners from around the country, as well as NCAA staff, television executives and other key football stakeholders are scheduled to attend the Summit. Among the guests will be new NCAA President Mark Emmert, who will speak at the event's luncheon.
"The FCS Summit is a great opportunity for our collective football community to gather and discuss our very unique and significant issues in the Championship Subdivision," event organizer Tom Burnett, commissioner of the Frisco-based Southland Conference, said. "Early on in the planning process, the conference commissioners believed the FCS Summit would serve as a beneficial platform to celebrate and advance the NCAA's highest level of championship-sponsored football. It's been very rare when our FCS stakeholders have been able to meet together in the past."
The Summit will feature a morning panel discussion on the NCAA Division I Football Championship, including expert conversation on the selection process, seeding and bracketing, home site determinations, regional advisory committees, officiating, use of power ratings/strength of schedule, and television coverage of the event.
"The inaugural FCS Summit is an ideal opportunity for leaders in intercollegiate athletics to come together to discuss issues of importance to the Football Championship Subdivision, and work together to advance the unique offerings that football brings to campuses and communities across the country," Patriot League Executive Director Carolyn Schlie Femovich added.
In the afternoon, a session on the current status and future of Division I FCS Football will take place, including a review of the current state and future well-being of the subdivision, an examination of the Division I football landscape, conference realignment, FCS programs migrating to FBS, proposed NCAA membership standards and other legislative matters, media coverage, branding, value-based financial decision-making and other issues.
"I believe strongly that FCS football will play an even more critical role in the future of Division I football," Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton said. "However, we need to begin to expect more from ourselves, and I applaud the opportunity to begin this discussion at the FCS Summit."
A social/networking hour will be included prior to the national championship game that evening at Frisco's Pizza Hut Park, the new home of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game.
"The change in date and location for the championship game presents a perfect opportunity for athletic directors across the country to renew or strengthen their level of engagement in discussing the future of our subdivision," Greg Burke, Director of Athletics at Northwestern State and President of the FCS Athletic Directors Association, said. "Positive changes, such as expansion of the postseason bracket and more playoff television coverage, in the FCS postseason format are a reflection of the vision and passion exhibited by past leaders within our subdivision. It is now up to today's FCS leaders to be cognizant of future opportunities and changes which will further enhance the FCS brand."
"It's hoped that the Summit can grow over time, becoming an annual event in conjunction with the championship game," Burnett added. "It's very important for the FCS community to attend and support its national championship, and if we can add the valuable Summit programming, we believe this can be a very worthwhile effort for all concerned.