Dodds’ Texas Sports Hall of Fame honor no surprise
Big 12 Conference Commissioner Kevin Weiberg remembers well the first time he met Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds, who last month was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.
Dodds joined WNBA standout Cynthia Cooper, Olympic decathlete Rafer Johnson, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Texas Football great Roosevelt Leaks, former NFL Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon, Cowboys standout Don Perkins and Oklahoma and NFL star Billy Sims in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2006.
This honor for Dodds was lauded by University of Texas President William Powers.
"DeLoss is simply the best athletics director in the United States," Powers said. "His induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame is wonderful and a really well-deserved honor. We are pleased to have DeLoss as part of the family at Texas."
NCAA President Myles Brand also sent along his best wishes.
"Congratulations to DeLoss," Brand began. "DeLoss is the standard by which all athletics directors are measured."
Oh, now about that initial encounter between Weiberg and Dodds.
What Weiberg most remembers was that it wasn't particularly pleasant.
"I was a student at Kansas State and a member of the newspaper staff," said Weiberg, beginning to laugh as he recalled his first face-to-face with Dodds, who was the athletics director at K-State at the time.
"I had written an article about the athletics department that wasn't too complimentary," Weiberg continued. "He wasn't pleased, I will tell you that."
Weiberg did report that there have been no repercussions since that day he was an undergrad at Kansas State.
"However," Weiberg said, again laughing. "DeLoss hasn't hesitated to tease me about it since then."
When Weiberg was chosen Big 12 Commissioner in October 1998, one of the first stops he made between his hiring and his beginning to work for the league was to travel to Austin to meet with Dodds.
"I had not had a chance to have much contact with him since that time when I was at Kansas State, so I wanted to make certain that I got to spend time with him then," Weiberg explained.
Weiberg was hardly surprised that Dodds, who is in his 26th season as athletics director at The University of Texas, was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
"It is a great tribute to DeLoss, who is most deserving," Weiberg said. "It is a wonderful honor for him and all at The University of Texas and all that he has accomplished at Texas. DeLoss is one of the true legends in college sports.
"From a conference perspective, it is, of course, wonderful to have one of our own receive that kind of recognition."
Asked what makes Dodds a hall of famer, Weiberg began by lauding Dodds for his business acumen.
"He has incredible negotiating skills," Weiberg allowed. "He has a strong business sense. He is a positive force for college athletics. He carries a great portfolio in college athletics because DeLoss was a coach, was an administrator and was in a conference office."
Weiberg praised Dodds for the help he has given to him personally, as well as all in the Big 12 and all in college athletics.
"When I made that first trip to Austin after being named commissioner, I found that DeLoss was his usual self," Weiberg said. "He was kind, considerate, direct, and just a wonderful person."
Dodds was a hall of famer.