Monday, April 7, 2014

The story of a wrong number and a female ‘icon’ in college sports

Part of Josh Dodd’s last text message recently to Norma Carr read, “Always nice to validate the notion of a life well lived.”

The two never met. Carr had never heard of Dodd. And then she dialed a wrong number.

Carr was trying to reach a friend of hers in Arkansas via text messaging while she watched her Salt Lake Community College women’s basketball team during the March national tournament in Kansas. Instead, she found Dodd, who didn’t recognize the number.

Once Carr identified herself to a befuddled Dodd, the questions started coming.

“Not sure I am the intended recipient,” Dodd wrote back to Carr. “But not to pry (sic), would you be the Norma Carr of BYU fame, multiple-sport athlete, and first female athletic director in the entire state of Utah? I don’t mean to waste your time, but I wrote several papers in high school and college on the subject.”

Carr had more questions than Dodd at that point.

“Yes, I am that Norma,” she wrote. “So, why would you be writing papers about me? And may I ask who you are? How do you know about me?”

It turns out Dodd found out about Carr when asked to write a paper in high school about women in mass media, choosing sports and, ultimately, Carr for his focus.

“I turned in a variation of that paper all 4 years of high school and adapted it for 8 years and multiple degree programs in college,” Dodd replied to Carr. “And then when (I) was 27 you accidentally text me. I’d say that is irony at its finest.”

Coincidence? Definitely. Dodd absolutely points out a bit of irony in his next message to Carr.

“The fact that you direct a program that includes the men’s athletics is, in my opinion, still completely alien to American audiences,” Dodd wrote. “Most still laugh at the appeal of women in leadership positions, especially in the male-dominated hierarchies likes sports media, but you have served as a role model, icon, and a bastion for the argument that women can be equal/superior to men while holding a charge that is frankly well under represented in collegiate sports.”

Carr, currently director of athletics for SLCC, recently announced she is retiring after 25 years at the College. To many, she is and will always be an icon in Utah sports.

And because of a wrong number, she validated one man’s notion of a life well lived.