CHARLOTTESVILLE, JUNE 10 -- Dick Schultz said today he would like to remove some of the fog that seems to envelop the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He also indicated he believes a playoff system for the national football championship is inevitable, "and the NCAA ought to run it."

Without saying he favored a playoff, Schultz said, "it's going to come eventually. And some organization is going to have a national championship. And if it's going to happen, the NCAA ought to run it. That's the whole point of a national championship."

Schultz spoke at a news conference at University Hall on the campus of the University of Virginia, where he has been athletic director since 1981. The NCAA announced Monday that Schultz, 57, would succeed Walter Byers as its executive director. Byers, who took office on Oct. 1, 1951, and is the only person to ever hold the job, will remain in charge during a transition phase that could last until Aug. 31, 1988. Schultz will start this Aug. 31, and he said he has asked Byers to stay until at least Feb. 1.

"One of the common perceptions," Schultz said, "is that the NCAA is just some big bureaucratic organization that makes decisions that upset us."

Schultz said he will use the first few months to "show the flag," and get to know the multitude of organizations that involve the NCAA.

"I will have an opportunity in the first few months to make contacts, travel and not worry about what's happening back in the shop, because he {Byers} will be there," Schultz said. "It's a unique opportunity to meet with educational associations, with conferences and groups with strong interest in intercollegiate athletics. We want to establish a presence, be good listeners and give them an opportunity to have input, which will help me in putting together some plans."

Schultz emphasized that the NCAA is made up of member schools, and said he believes they are ultimately responsible for the way college athletics are conducted and perceived.

"Integrity has to come from the institutions," Schultz said. "Alan Williams {Virginia athletic faculty representative}, who will be chairman of the infractions committee, and I have talked a lot about it, and having a lot more rules isn't necessarily the answer. You can't legislate morality and integrity."

The scandal that has rocked the SMU athletic department reached all the way to the board of trustees, and it is groups like that that Schultz hopes to influence.

"Hopefully, I can spend time on campuses with CEOs {chief executive officers}, and especially governing boards," Schultz said. "Because we all have heard about instances where a CEO put himself in a dangerous situation by deciding to do what was right. If the CEO can feel secure in knowing he has the support of the governing board to do those things, even if the general public and some alumni might be upset, it will help a lot."

Byers was not the most public of leaders, which contributed to an aura of secrecy. While promising more candor and openness, Schultz defended Byers preference "to work behind the scenes." Schultz also emphasized that Byers is in favor of his going to meet the public and various groups.

"I'm not so sure," Schultz said, "that his early retirement is not due in part because he knew we had to do this."

Schultz said he couldn't say at this point whether more investigators would be hired to look into what is perceived as widespread corruption in college athletics. He did say the NCAA would have a more "common-sense approach."

In signing a five-year contract with the NCAA, Schultz was released from the remaining two years of his Virginia contract, though he will work until early August to tie up loose ends.

"I've been very happy at Virginia and we love Charlottesville," Schultz said. "I've spent 36 years in athletics. And in the back of my mind was the idea that if the right circumstances arose and I really felt I could do some positive, long-term things for intercollegiate athletics, then I should look into it. The nagging question was, 'Can I really do that?' Is the organization flexible enough to allow me to be the action-oriented person I have been? Or, because of the committee structure, will I just get frustrated? I don't want to be a figurehead. . . ."