Sr. Associate A.D. for Communications
|Oklahoma Senior Associate A.D. Kenny Mossman writes this column for SoonerSports.com.
Mossman joined the OU staff in August of 2001 as director of media relations. In August of 2002, he was promoted to assistant athletics director. He was promoted to associate AD for media relations and communication in August 2004, then received his latest promotion in June 2006.
At OU, he supervises media relations, publications, graphic design, SoonerSports.com, licensing and SoonerVision.
In media relations, with his primary sport responsibility pertaining to football, he and his staff have promoted winners of the Heisman, Bednarik, Butkus, Lombardi, Nagurski, O'Brien and Thorpe Awards. In all, OU has won 10 college football national player awards and 20 All-America citations during his tenure.
Full Bio | OU Athletics Administration
A couple years back I was sitting in the Switzer Center training room after a football practice just small-talking with three of the players. It wasn't long before the conversation ascended to one of the truly important topics... bed length.
Such a thing matters little to you and me, but for longer human beings, a bed that was sized to those of us who measure a more normal length can be a pain in the neck... and back... and knees... and feet.
We laughed about the special arrangements that have to be made in hotels and slapped the taping table while contemplating their various sleep contortions.
Then one of their faces fell somber.
"Heck, I didn't even have a bed before I got to college," he remembered. The chuckling trailed off.
"Me neither," said another. "In our family, the younger kids got the beds. The bigger kids slept on the floor."
Turned out, the matter of beds wasn't a laughing matter at all. College, to these guys, meant football, for sure, and a shot at a good education. But it also meant a bed, first-rate healthcare, text books and things that many of us consider the essentials of daily living.
I wonder how often we contemplate those factors when we talk about donations to the Sooner Club.
It stands to reason that we would get wound up about seat locations, OU-Texas tickets and the like. There is no crime in expecting a good return on investment. But just as important as our view from the stands and our access to the things we love is the investment in other people's lives.
There are some schools where an athletics scholarship amounts to nothing more than a waiver. That's not true at most of the BCS schools and it's certainly not true at Oklahoma. The dollars tied up in every scholarship offered by the athletics department must be accounted for to the university.
In other words, the only free ride or partial ride is what the student-athlete receives. The dollars are very real and the athletics department is responsible.
Last year, OU Athletics spent nearly $8 million on tuition, fees, room and board, and that's to say nothing of the multitude of other services provided. Nearly 400 student-athletes realized some form of assistance.
Not all of those 400 grew up sleeping on a floor. Most didn't. Those who did are especially appreciative, but whether they did or not, they are still the young people this university has chosen to represent itself and, to a very large degree, this state.
Athletics departments across the country have rightfully acknowledged the large gifts that enable great gains all at once. They also place significance on smaller gifts from donors whose loyalty and consistency is no less valuable.
Many are surprised to learn that Sooner Club membership comes for as little as $100. And in most cases, yes, that amount would position someone to purchase season football tickets.
It also provides a standard of education and living that at least a few could only dream about until they arrived in Norman.Related Links: The Sooner Club Online
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