Morganite of the Year Runner-Up: Edward Scott

Akira Kyles

In the short amount of time he’s been there, Morgan State University’s athletic director has had a profound effect on not just the athletic department but the school as well.

Edward Scott arrived at Morgan State last November to replace the long time former athletic director, Floyd Kerr.

Morgan State is a school with a smaller athletic program and budget than Scott was used to at his previous jobs at the University of Binghamton and George Washington. The program was also coming off the NCAA violations throughout the entire program.

His goal when he first arrived at Morgan State was to create an environment that would encourage success among his number one priority, the student athletes. Scott wanted to make sure that everyone in the program had full support athletically, but more importantly as a person and a scholar.

“There are too many things that we have done to try to label them all…” said Scott. “I think the impact, most importantly for me, on the life of the student athlete has gotten better according to their feedback.”

A major change that Scott implemented at Morgan State, dealt more with the academic side of being a student athlete. Before his time, the athletic department was having issues with keeping players eligible to play. His focus on academics can be seen with the almost $900,000 grant Morgan was awarded over the summer by the NCAA.

This grant was not awarded to the school in the past, and Scott’s plans and past experiences with improving academics were the main reason that the NCAA agreed to fund his academic improvement plan.

“The number one reason I am here is to educate student athletes. I think the academic support piece has been the one area that we have really ramped it up,” said Scott. “We have another gentleman starting January 3, and we are in search for a learning specialist right now. We will have gone from one person to five people in just over a year.”

The additional staff was just the start of a total remake of the athletic department. Scott’s focus on academics, has created an improved sense of accountability that was lacking from the department in the past. Mandatory study hall for all athletes, as well as a raise in the minimum grade point average required to play, are some of the changes that have been implemented.

Communication between professors and staff has also lead to a smooth transition to the new standards Scott has set.

“The biggest thing is the culture change; you guys have noticed it. In some ways it has happened faster than I thought it could, even though I wanted it done yesterday, I knew It would take time,” said Scott. “I think we are probably one full year away, from flipping the culture, academically and athletically to where I think we need to be. I just have to remain patience and stay the course.”

Scott believes becoming athletic director at Morgan State is the most rewarding job in his career and he feels comfortable because he and his wife have been embraced.

“Morgan is the first place I’ve ever been as a professional where I can fully be who I am as a person,” said Scott. “I don’t come in in the morning worrying about being someone I’m not. I come in here every day knowing Morgan accepts me for the man I am, and they believe in the job that I’m doing on behalf of our student athletes.”

As Scott enters a full calendar year since he took over as athletic director, he and his team has worked tirelessly to better the lifestyles of the student athletes in the classroom as well on the field of play.

“If I were to grade myself we would get a B+/A- because we haven’t won enough,” said Scott. “I’m in the business of when you look on the website you can quantify wins and losses. We need to win more. But from an infrastructure standpoint we did a tremendous job – with the videos boards and the court. But now we need to win.”

During Morgan State’s football season Scott put together sponsorships with Smoothie King, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dave & Busters and McCormick & Co, where they were able to give away free t-shirts, gift cards or coupons to students and fans. The partnerships will continue into Morgan State’s basketball season.

Scott will also map out a three to five-year strategic plan for the athletic department within the next year.

“I feel we (Morgan) have a duty to greater Baltimore more so than anybody else. If you noticed a lot of things I’ve done have been about the city, and if I can continue to do that I think then Morgan continues to show value to the city of Baltimore,” said Scott. “There are ways we can partner to make the community better that nobody else in the surrounding Baltimore area can – that and the brand building and the strategic plan are the three areas I wanna focus on for the next two years. I think if we can do that and win some more games we’re gonna be really successful.”

Scott has been able to rejuvenate Morgan State’s athletic program, with expressing how important it is to him that the athletes know that they are students first and athletes second. Scott prides himself of being a man of his word, and he is just that. He came into the job with a plan and quickly began executing it.