CIC resolution on intercollegiate athletics 

The faculty governance leaders of CIC institutions endorse the following statement and agree to propose it to their respective faculty senates: 

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 institution. 

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: 

1)      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 

2)      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 committees: 

·        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. 

·        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