resolution on intercollegiate athletics
The faculty governance leaders of CIC institutions endorse
the following statement and agree to propose it to their respective faculty
Intercollegiate athletics can provide an important
enhancement to the life and spirit of an academic community.
Participation in committed athletic training and competition can be
deeply rewarding for students as a field of personal excellence, and can foster
character through discipline, team membership, and the mutual respect expressed
in fair play. Skilled coaches can
offer outstanding leadership to college athletes, and exemplify standards of
dedication, expertise, and sportsmanship that complement and enrich the academic
missions of their campuses.
The rapid growth of commercial influences, particularly in
high profile intercollegiate sports, and the increased tendency towards
professional performance standards undermine the constructive roles of sports on
campus. Universities and colleges
increasingly find that the requirements of athletic competitiveness and the
values of the entertainment industry strain their financial resources and divert
student and public attention from their fundamental role as academic
institutions. The high stakes drive
for championship status can overwhelm the responsibility to prioritize the
personal and academic development of college athletes and the integrity of the
The faculties of CIC institutions join with colleagues in
the Pac-10 conference in urging the presidents, faculty athletics committees,
and faculty conference representatives of Big-10 conference schools and of other
institutions engaged in intercollegiate athletics, to join in a concerted
commitment to bring these forces under control. Specifically, we endorse the following principles:
College athletes are students first, and their college experience must be
as full participants in the student community.
Academic support structures for athletes must be fully integrated in
university-wide programs, so that academic expectations and services are as
robust for athletes as for other students.
Inappropriate aspects of commercialization must be reduced.
Examples of actions that should be taken include limiting the times and
days when games are played, the number of breaks in games for commercials, the
type and prevalence of advertising in stadiums and arenas, and the logos worn by
players and coaches. The goals of
intercollegiate athletics and commercial sports are different.
Blurring that distinction puts the true success of intercollegiate
athletics at risk.
3) The “arms race” of intercollegiate athletics must be scaled back. While competitive sports must aim at winning, the success of an athletics program is measured by the value it adds to college athletes and campuses, not by championships. Competitiveness within conferences and divisions should not involve allowing standards characteristic of professional sports to distort the more comprehensive aims of college sports. Athletics should not be subsidized by the academic side of the institution, and athletics departments should operate under the same principles of budget accountability that characterize other units.
2 November 2001
The CIC faculty leaders have agreed to recommend to their
faculty senates that the following elements be considered for possible inclusion
in an expanded version of the resolution:
1. Concerning reporting standards for faculty athletics
Required informational reports on intercollegiate athletics should
be given to the entire faculty senate of each institution on a regular basis,
but no less frequently than once a year.
These reports should provide increasing amounts of information on
intercollegiate athletics and its relationship to the academic welfare of the
institution, in accord with customary “sunshine” standards.
2. Concerning academic standards and progress for college
Athletes whose academic profiles upon admission indicate that they
face unusually strong challenges for academic success should not be eligible for
varsity competition during their freshman year.
The term of athletics scholarships should be extended beyond
one-year grants-in-aid so that students’ academic opportunities are not
contingent on non-academic effort.
Every attempt should be made to minimize conflicts between
athletics and regular academic schedules, and wherever possible sports seasons
should be confined within a single academic term.
3. Concerning the financial aspects of athletics programs:
· Sharing of revenue, beyond costs, from post-season bowl and tournament events within conferences and divisions should be expanded as a way to maintain competitiveness and discourage over-reliance on winning for financial stability