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Georgia Approves Athletics Oversight Plan

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved a new oversight plan, which takes some major athletics decisions out of the hands of the individual campuses and requires them to present detailed plans to the regents for approval.

New guidelines require institutional presidents to first notify the chancellor of athletic plans and the chancellor then will determine if the board should receive written notice. If a “formal review and approval by the board is required, the institution shall submit, for that approval, a full proposal to the Board of Regents for integrated review,” states the new policy. This would ultimately move to a formal action on the board’s regular meeting agenda for the regents’ discussion and approval.

Athletics decisions covered by the policy include establishing intercollegiate athletics, changing sports offered, major funding and budget decisions, and changing divisional or conference affiliation. Proposals must come with five year budget plans, must address gender equity, and show support from a number of different constituent groups.

This does not appear to involve the Board of Regents in the day-to-day decision making of Georgia’s athletic departments. And Georgia’s policy is designed to ensure that athletic goals do not disrupt or trump academic pursuits. But with the changing membership of governing boards, increased oversight of athletics is not a guarantee of academics triumphing over athletics.

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