Seton Hall Strives to Balance Athletics and Academics
Pat Lyons, Director of Athletics at Seton Hall University, addresses claims that the NCAA is an “evil organization,” and explains what it takes to create a successful collegiate program with strong athletics, academics and community service.
"I'm pleased to be joined by Mr. Pat Lyons, Director of Athletics at Seton Hall University. Good to see you Pat. Good to be here. Thanks. Let's talk big time sports. Also combing it with quality academics. How hard is that balance? You know, for some schools it's harder than others. One of the reasons I think that Seton Hall is such a special place is because we've done such a great job at balancing those two things. You know, relatively speaking, we're a small athletic department. 14 sports. 220 or so athletes. So we're able to certainly balance that quite well while both being competitive on the court or in the field, but also academically with what our student athletes are doing academically. When you have football, it's certainly a whole other element than when you have... Which you do not. We do not, no. We do not. Which again, it gives us a great opportunity to really focus on the athletes that we have. There are some athletic departments with 700-800 athletes and 30 sports. I could see the balance being a little more difficult. Play this out a little bit Rafael before you jump in. Fair to say that basketball is the most significant, even though there is a strong baseball program... Mmmhmm. Basketball is the biggest marquis, highly visible. Most highly visible sports program at Seton Hall... Fair to say? No question. What does it bring the school? In the Big East? Well, sure. You know, being in a conference like the Big East and obviously in men's basketball, we'll be on national TV over 30 times a year. And you think about what that does for an institution. What that does for your brand and what it does getting your brand out there. You also think about the year that we had last year when we won the Big East Championship. So, we're at Madison Square Garden for three days in a row. The place is sold out. We play the finals against Villanova. The last team to beat Villanova last year. It was a heck of a game. A heck of a game. Great game. One of the instant classics in Big East History. You know, 23,000 people in the garden. Absolutely sold out. The street outside was packed. So what that does for an institution and again for the pride of the institution... it's really why we do it. It's to have moments like that and to be able to tell our story as we do with Seton Hall... And as I said initially with our media rights deal with FOX, we're on TV over 30 times a year. National TV. So there's so many good things going on at Seton Hall and that gives us a great vehicle to sell that..."