Interview by Jim Stone
As the top 5 NCAA conferences continue to grow and bigger piles of money flow toward football and men’s basketball, the sport of volleyball finds itself on the outside – along with many other Olympic sports.
That’s obviously not a good thing, especially for volleyball programs that aren’t at the very top of Division 1. And it’s even worse for men’s collegiate volleyball. A decade ago, it would have been unthinkable that a men’s volleyball powerhouse like University of Hawaii would be in danger of getting cut, but right now, that’s a possibility.
In a candid interview with Art of Coaching contributor Jim Stone, AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer explains some of the major challenges that volleyball will face over the next decade as it tries to thrive in an NCAA climate where the rich get richer and the not-so-rich are left to fight over the leftovers.
DeBoer explains in the interview that important steps are being taken. For example, volleyball is partnering and strategizing with other Olympic disciplines that are also fighting an uphill battle – among them, soccer, baseball, wrestling, swimming, softball and track.
More is needed. DeBoer’s call to action includes making it “uncomfortable” for universities to cut men’s sports as their default solution.
Listen to the interview for more of her ideas about what the volleyball community is facing and how it can take action to make things better for teams of the future.
Jim Stone is the former women’s coach at Ohio State and the current head coach of the USA Youth National Team.