Even when he was starring on the football field for the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) as a co-captain and two-time letter winner, Joseph Arnold knew his path would probably lead to a career in sport off the field.
A native of Prichard, Ala., Arnold earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports management with an emphasis in NCAA compliance in 2013. Today, he uses his Academy education in his work as the assistant athletics director for compliance at Dartmouth College. He was intrigued by NCAA compliance after working as an intern in the compliance office in the UAB athletics department. After his UAB graduation, he interned in the compliance office with the Southwestern Athletic Conference in Birmingham, Ala.
“After UAB, while I was working in Birmingham, my brother gave me a flyer for the Academy and told me to check it out,” Arnold said. “I came down to visit the campus over Thanksgiving that year and immediately fell in love with it. Now, my degree from the Academy has helped me tremendously in my career. It has paid itself back tenfold.
“I was able to use everything I learned in the class immediately in my career. Working in compliance, I really learned a lot from my sports law and sports agency classes. Those courses laid the groundwork for my career today.
“I always encourage people I meet in the field to seek out the Academy. The Academy exposed me to so much about sport, more than just the x’s and o’s. The connections I made and the network of other students and graduates I was able to build have been a huge help to me. Also, because the programs are flexible I was able to work full time while pursuing my degree. The programs were flexible but also rigorous and challenging, which made the end result so rewarding.”
Before joining the Dartmouth staff in October of 2019, Arnold worked in compliance at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He also previously worked in compliance at Mississippi Valley State and at the University Arkansas Pine Bluff.
“There is never a dull moment in compliance,” Arnold said. “I get to work in sports and work with athletes to help them with eligibility issues and get to be part of athletics without being a coach or player. The work I do in compliance feeds my competitive nature and allows me to use the administrative skills I learned from the Academy and in the field.”
Eventually, Arnold sees himself working as the commissioner of a Power 5 conference.
“I would love to work as a league commissioner at the upper level of athletics,” Arnold said. “I want to be able to be a voice and a leader for other young black men like me. I want to be a visible leader and a force for positive change in college athletics.”