(Preliminary Draft)




Athletic boards, along with the Faculty Athletics Representative, are supposed to play an important role in the overall checks and balances system designed to insure academic integrity and athletics rules compliance.  This intent is made clear by board membership requirements established by the NCAA.  According to Article 6 of the Constitution, each athletics board must include “at least a majority” of full-time academic administrators and regular faculty.  Where parliamentary procedures require more than a simple majority to enact policies, faculty and administrators “shall be of sufficient number to constitute at least that majority.”


According to the Operations Manual, the Board in Control of Athletics (BICOA) at the University of Iowa “is the committee having responsibility for the recommendation of University policy with respect to intercollegiate athletics within the meaning of the Big-10 Conference, Inc., rules.”   The guidelines given below have been developed for the express purpose of strengthening faculty voice in the governance of intercollegiate athletics through BICOA.  Similar guidelines are currently under consideration at other CIC institutions.


Principles informing the Guidelines


  1. Independence/Integrity.  The BICOA is part of the system of checks and balances for administering and overseeing the intercollegiate program and is expected to uphold the best interests of the core academic mission of the institution.


  1. Consistency.  Academic policies and standards for student-athletes should be consistent with the regulations that apply to the student body at large.  This leads to a number of guidelines that affect the functions of athletics boards.  For instance, guidelines for establishing policies on admissions, normal progress, grade point average requirements stem from this principle.


  1. Communication.  If the faculty is to take a more active role in monitoring intercollegiate athletes, there must be regular and effective channels of communication between BICOA and other elements of faculty governance such as the Faculty Senate.


Guidelines:  BICOA Reports on Intercollegiate Athletics


The BICOA should give informational reports on intercollegiate athletics to the Faculty Senate 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.  (“Sunshine” informs and enlightens but it also exposes.)


Information may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

§         Admissions data/acceptance rates on student-athletes.

§         Graduation rates in comparison to the entire student body.

§         Grade point averages of student-athletes in comparison to the entire student body.

§         Distribution of majors selected by student-athletes in comparison to the entire student body.

§         Academic honors won by student-athletes.

§         Extent of support and justification of subsidies, if any, from the General Fund

§         Equity issues

§         Steps taken to conform to the principles of the CIC resolution adopted by the Faculty Senate