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Position responsible for overseeing the athletic department in an educational institution. ADs exist in high schools, but like all other athletic positions, it is merely a part-time job to go along with teaching duties.

In colleges and universities, the AD is responsible for maintaining and improving the status of the school's sports teams. This can take several forms:

  • financial - encouraging alumni or other boosters to donate money to the program. Often such donations are partially tax-deductible.
  • conference affiliation - if your school isn't involved in an athletic conference, scheduling worthwhile opponents is extremely difficult (unless you're Notre Dame football). For schools involved in NCAA Division I-A football, membership in a Bowl Championship Series conference is necessary in order to get a shot at the national championship game. Shuffling members among conferences can cause severe indigestion for ADs.
  • coaching - hiring coaches for various teams. If the sport is high-profile (usually meaning football or men's basketball), this decision may also involve big-money donors and the school president.
  • Title IX - a school's percentage of athletic opportunities and scholarships for women must equal the percentage of female enrollment at a school. Since most women's sports are non-revenue (except for the occasional profitable basketball team), this takes money, which usually means death for some non-rev men's sports, and has been known to drive more than a few athletic departments into serious debt.

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