Together We Transform Thursday – June 23, 2022

Celebrating Title IX

On this date in 1972, President Nixon signed Title IX into law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational activity or program receiving funding from the federal government.

Title IX forever changed the conversation around gender equality in the United States by breaking down barriers for girls and women. The landmark legislation opened doors in all aspects of education, including sports. Fifty years after Title IX became law, women’s sports are thriving like never before.

As an athletic director, I will always be a fierce champion of women’s sports. My advocacy for our teams and our amazing female student-athletes, coaches, and administrators is a responsibility that I take personally. Our lacrosse team is a perennial top 10 program while basketball, soccer, and volleyball have won multiple conference titles in recent years. When people talk about Stony Brook, I want them to say that our women’s teams are strong across the board.

Not only do I view women’s sports through the lens of an athletic administrator, I am also the father of a 13-year-old daughter with big dreams. As a result of my job, she has grown up in college athletics surrounded by strong women who have served as role models. I am thankful to all of them, and as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, let’s celebrate all women who compete, coach, and teach as they move the ball of equality farther down the field each day.

For every glass ceiling shattered and every door opened, we become that much stronger as a society.

turning the page

The story of Stony Brook Athletics is one of aspiration and is filled with historic moments created by individuals who believed in building something special. Our next chapter begins in eight days when our membership in the CAA becomes official on July 1.

I’m filled with excitement and optimism. There has been so much work behind the scenes to prepare for our inaugural CAA season, and I look forward to all of the new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Stony Brook Athletics. Our move to the CAA comes at a volatile time in our industry. The transfer portal has created unprecedented freedom of movement for student-athletes while NIL deals have become bait and the NCAA as we know it is destined for a transformational overhaul.

Where does Stony Brook fit into this changing landscape? How do we continue to climb as the resource divides between the Power Five and the rest of college athletics grows wider? How do we retain student-athletes who may be motivated by financial opportunities at other institutions?

These are important questions with extremely complex answers. One thing that is very clear to me, however, is joining the CAA puts us in a stronger position to navigate the future. The conversations that we are having as ADs within the league are focused on how to be as proactive as possible in facing these challenges. Our schools share the same aspirations and our individual strengths will benefit the collective group.

It all comes down to resources and how they are deployed. We can all complain about the current state of college athletics or we can roll up our sleeves and figure out how to thrive in this environment.

Next week will be a new beginning for us, and I hope that you share my excitement for the present and future of Stony Brook Athletics. It’s time.

Congratulations to the Stony Brook Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022!

Earlier this month we announced the new members of the Stony Brook Athletics Hall of Fame, a powerhouse group of seven individuals and the first team to ever be inducted. The 2012 Stony Brook baseball team that made their historic run to the College World Series earns the distinction of becoming the first team entry into the Hall of Fame.

In addition to the 2012 baseball team, the 2022 Hall of Fame class is comprised of Allison Cukrov Brewster (Softball), Darcy Heuser-Ryan (Women’s Swimming and Diving), Kenneth P. LaValle (Stony Brook Athletics champion), Claire Petersen Cannetti ( Women’s Lacrosse), Tyler Santucci (Football), Dale Summerville (Men’s Cross Country), and Jameel Warney (Men’s Basketball).

The 2022 Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Friday, October 21.

Keep believing!

Shawn

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