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  • 标题:Knight Commission reconvened
  • 作者:Bradley, Gwendolyn
  • 期刊名称:Academe
  • 印刷版ISSN:0190-2946
  • 电子版ISSN:2162-5247
  • 出版年度:2000
  • 卷号:Nov/Dec 2000
  • 出版社:American Association of University Professors

Knight Commission reconvened

Bradley, Gwendolyn

Despite efforts over the past ten years to reform the intercollegiate athletics system, it remains plagued with problems. Most college sports programs operate with little supervision from faculty or college presidents and lose money hand over fist. Gender inequity, powerful booster clubs, low athlete graduation rates, and violations of rules governing recruiting and academic standards are common. Recognizing these continuing problems, the influential Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics reconvened in August, almost a decade after issuing a major report on the state of college athletics.

The Knight Commission is headed by William C. Friday, president emeritus of the University of North Carolina, and the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame. Many commissioners are past or present college presidents. No faculty members serve on the commission, which met in August and October. It has scheduled additional meetings and plans to issue a new report some time in 2001.

In 1991, after intensive study of the college athletics system, the Knight Commission recommended that athletics programs be brought into line with other university departments rather than be allowed to operate as independent subsidiaries of the university. The commission developed a model that put college presidents in control of their institutions' athletics programs and encouraged them to promote more rigorous academic requirements for student athletes. The model also called for reducing and controlling the flow of cash through the intercollegiate athletics system and for strengthening the certification process of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The NCAA initiated reforms based on some of the Knight Commission's recommendations: it expanded the role of college presidents in the NCAA's governance structure, beefed up academic requirements for athletes, and adopted a new certification process. At the commission's first meeting in August, NCAA officials described their actions so far.

"The NCAA's accounting suggests that a great deal has been done and a great deal remains to be done," says Hodding Carter III, president and chief executive officer of the Knight Foundation and a member of the commission. Of particular concern, Carter says, is a dramatic increase in the amount of money going into intercollegiate sports.

Faculty efforts to reform intercollegiate athletics have typically focused on the effects sports have on academic programs and standards. The AAUP's Committee on College and University Teaching, Research, and Publication will study college sports and academic integrity in the coming months. Separately, a group of about a hundred faculty members concerned about the academic corruption sometimes attendant on college sports is organizing as the Drake Group-National Alliance for Collegiate Athletic Reform. The group has created five reform proposals and plans to set a specific agenda at its November 10-11 meeting.

Copyright American Association of University Professors Nov/Dec 2000
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

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