Faculty Group Proposes Greater Rule in Athletics Policymaking

Brad Wolverton has a post on the Chronicle’s Players blog about the Steering Committee of the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics and their proposals for more of a say in athletic policy making. Among their proposals are:

  • Create a new campus-level “academic integrity group,” to be led by a tenured faculty member, whose charge would include setting new policy on athletics matters that bear on academic integrity, monitoring the college’s creation of such policies, and providing the NCAA with an annual report detailing its work.
  • Establish a “senate athletics representative,” to be appointed by the faculty governance body, whose responsibilities would include reviewing the faculty’s due diligence over athletics.
  • Offer those senate athletics representatives opportunities to meet with colleagues in their conferences to review the work of their policy-making committees on matters concerning academic integrity and other issues.
  • Strengthen the Football Bowl Subdivision faculty-athletics representatives association, which the coalition described as “an established and effective forum for information sharing and a faculty voice at the national level.”

The group’s recommendations are an odd mishmash of what seems to be a logical response to the NCAA’s deregulation efforts and a rejection of those efforts at the same time.

On the one hand, the NCAA is moving toward a model where schools will be directed to develop policies on certain issues, and it will be an NCAA violation if the school ignores or circumvents its own policies. Having a faculty voice in the creation of those policies makes sense. Left to their own devices, athletic departments may create policies that are so vague or flexible that they give unlimited discretion to the athletic department to do whatever they want.

On the other hand, pushing for a greater role for FARA and more conference collaboration means a push for campus policies that all look alike. If that were the case, the NCAA would essentially end up right back where it is now, enforcing a set of rules agreed upon by its member associations. The difference would be that the NCAA as an organization would not be involved in the policymaking at all, just the enforcement. Many of the benefits of deregulation, particularly that schools can form their own policies to address issues on their own campuses, would be lost.

Posted on by John Infante
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