NCAA PRESIDENTS' COUNCIL
(Wednesday, June 13- 10:30- 12:00 Noon)
May I have your attention please? May I invite you all to rejoin the meeting and take your seats and we will re-commence this panel shortly please?
It is my pleasure to serve as chairman of this very important panel. My name is Joe Kearney and I am the Commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference. Let me comment very briefly about some of the background and some of the areas that will be covered by this panel. First of all, all members of this panel are members of the newly formed NCAA Presidents' Commission. We feel very fortunate to have this fine delegation representing this very new significant group in NCAA governance. It is our hope that each panelist wi11 comment a bit about their hopes and aspirations for this newly formed panel. They
should also comment about the role of the athletic director as they see it within higher education and intercollegiate athletics,and the role of the president as they see it within higher education and intercollegiate athletics.
To start the program off, it is my pleasure to introduce my co-moderator. He is a native of San
Antonio, Texas, and a graduate of the Rice Institute. He holds a masters degree from Trinity University and was a world class hurdler in his days as a competitive athlete. Reaching the United States Olympic trials was the highlight of his career. He has served in about every capacity imaginable from assistant manager, business manager, assistant director, assistant track coach, head track coach, and now the
athletic director at Rice University. He also has served three times as head meet referee for the NCAA Track and Field Championships, and as special consultant to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. He serves on our Executive Committee and is no stran~er to all of us at NACDA. Augie Erfurth from Rice University.
AUGIE ERFURTH :
Thank you Joe. Our first panelist represents the Mid-American Athletic Conference, Dr. Glen Driscoll of the University of Toledo. Dr. Driscoll is a native of Ohio and started his undergraduate work at DePaul University but was interrupted by the war. After serving in the Army Air Force he returned back to the University of Louisville to receive his Bachelor Degree in History with highest honors. He then entered the University of Minnesota and received his Master of Art Degree in history and his Doctor of Philosophy Degree. In 1973 he received an Honorary Degree of law from the University of Louisville. After serving 15 years on the faculty at South Dakota in the history department, he left as a full professor and joined the staff on the faculty of the University of Missouri at St. Louis as Chairman
of the Division of Social Sciences. In 1969 he was named Chancel~r and in 1972 became the Ilth President of the University of Toledo. At the present time Dr. Driscoll is Chairman of the Mid-American Athlet~c Council of Presidents, and on the American Council of Education Presidents' Committee on Major Problems in Intercollegiate Athletics and others. His biography is included in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the Midwest, Who's Who in Social Sciences and others. He serves on numerous boards and boards of directors in the Toledo area. At this time it gives me great pleasure to introduce Dr. Glen Driscoll of the University of Toledo.
Thank you Augie. Good Morning. We have been given ten-minutes each in case you are worried about that. To use the computer jargon, let me assure you that my terminal facilities are in good order.
Relax, we will come out at the same place at the same time. I have a considerable personal interest in what transpires at the annual NACDA meetings. You and your organization represent a large slice of the institutions that I and my presidential colleagues administer. Budgets in the range of from $2 to 20 million cannot be lightly put aside. The activities over which you preside are one and the same time a major entertainment piece, a public relations arm,and a catalyst to generate organized support. Given all of this, I would be foolish not to be concerned about what you are doing at your meetings. You can add to that a personal note if you wish of my being a one-time athlete. I was not at all as good as my
faltering memory tells me I was, but that probably describes all of you. I have become an avid spectator, one who wears a figurative striped shirt to every game. I am easily available as a consultant to those who run up and down the field or the court trying to preserve law and order among those contestants who carry our institutional banners.
There is a fiction abroad, at least in certain quarters, that athletic directors and presidents are, by virtue of title and position,automatically adversaries. I suppose, therefore, I should worry about coming before you to talk about things athletic. Actually, I relish the assignment. First of all, let me dispel the rumor that presidents are out to take over the NCAA. If anyone stopped to think for just
a minute, it would be obvious that such a notion is invalid. I say that because,I suppose if that is all that most presidents wanted to do, to control the NCAA, they could and would do so. They could make the trip to the national convention each year, cast the institutional vote,and experience some great surge of power and take over. Let me assure you that none of the presidents I know have the time, the taste, or the talent for anything like that. In fact, we would say that we absolutely must preserve the NCAA. The l8th Century French Diast Voltaire said once in speaking of religion, "If there were not a God it
would be necessary to create one." Speaking of athletics, I think most presidentS would say, "If there were not an NCAA, it would be necessary to create one."
It is nice to attend this kind of a meeting. The fact is that for all of us here I think it is
nice to go any place to escape the student papers, the faculty senate, a recalcitrant board or some other
of our other loving constituencies. Actually, we don't have the time to spend three or four days with the athletic family of athletic directors, faculty representatives, coaches and others at some annual meeting.
We really don't. Nevertheless, several of us are determined to do so for the sole reason of making certain that the academic purpose and integrity of our respective institutions is preserved. My perception is that most of you are in agreement with those intentions. Yes, I have been a member of that infamous ACE, American Council on Education Committee on Major Problems of Intercollegiate Athletics for the past couple of years. That is the one that is chaired by President Derek Bok of Harvard. You may be disappointed to learn that the committee intends to continue to exist and intends to be ancillary advisory and perhaps the monitor of the newly created Presidents' Commission of the NCAA. Indeed the ACE Group is in a large way responsible
for the creation of the latter. I am also an elected member of the Presidents' Commission,although I am one of the short term members,with my term expiring in January, 1985. The ACE Committee will meet again this
fall. As a member of that committee, I feel confident that the Presidents' Commission will receive helpful advice, at least through the rest of the calendar year. It is a rather heady experience to be giving advice to oneself.
You recall that the ACE Committee sponsored the resolutions requiring the specified number of high ,
school units in solid college preparatory courses. In addition,in what we know as Rule 48, we promoted the use of the ACT or SAT test scores as a vehicle for determining eligibility of freshmen athletes. These two proposals are still with us. You just finished discussing them. I am confident that the NCAA Presidents' Commission will pursue their refinement and implementation. Personally,I am not happy with the way they
came into being, but I am persuaded that some testing vehicle and device is necessary. When the ACE Committee
chose ACT and SAT tests as its yardstick. there was no black membership on that committee. I felt then and continue to feel. this was an unfortunate mistake. For persons who are supposed to be adept in political maneuvering. we bumbled badly. An effort has been made to correct that howevar. We are now in frequent con- versation with a group of black p~esidents including Samuel Meyers. the president of his group. I think it is fair to say that Meyer's people would like to repeal Rule 48 and return to a predictive GPA. I predict
that is not going to be done. There are those presidents on the ACE Committee who are on another side and who do not want to see any change in the ACT. SAT formula. I predict that position also will not hold up.
There will be some compromise change. At this moment. the favored solution among several presidents seems to be some method of measuring student-athletes' probability of graduating as rated against the graduating classes of the institution in which they are enrolled. The goal is to ensure that graduation rates for football and basketball players are at least as high as a randomly selected equal cohort of entering students. Those fresh- men whose test !i(:ores would place them in the highest ten percent of graduation risk. that is having the lower ten percent chance of graduating. would be ineligible for freshman competition. There are some weaknesses in this approach. although it may be the best we can do at the beginning. Efforts are now being made to test the efficacy of the ten percent approach. The educational testing service has been asked to conduct studies using both the ten percent risk concept and a 2.0 predictive GPA. In thair sample population. they are using all Division I institutions together with a sample of other Division I schools. The results will be discussed by the ACE Committee. probably by the Presidents' Commission and may well appear in some form on the agenda on
the 1985 NCAA Convention.
The NCAA has contracted for its own studies of these matters. They are trying to discover if test scores are related in a meaningful way to graduation rates and academic performance. They are trying to determine whether or not the newly acquired school curriculum will improve scores achieved on standardized tests. The new Presidents' Commission will address this and certainly many other issues. The chaiman of the Commission, John Ryan, who sits here this morning, and the chairman of the Division I section of the Commission, Otis Singletary, University of Kentucky, are both, like myself, members of the ACE Committee. I can, therefore, stipulate with some accuracey about what some of our issues for discussion are going to be.
We will undoubtedly discuss the satisfactory progress rule. If we recommend anything, I suspect it will be in the direction of tightening the rule. Several presidents favored total ineligibility for freshmen. We
will certainly discuss it. I can tell you that I will personally observe any such regulation and I will be happy to explain why if anyone is interested. We will surely discuss Division I reorganization, autonomy for the 104 football playing schools, the CFA, the usefulness of the Division I May Summer Meeting and the impact
of the Supreme Court decision. Reorganization and governance could be a very hot and controversial issue. I understand that the NCAA Council is referrring that matter to the Presidents' Commission so we are going to be forced to discuss it. There is bound to be some discussion of the length of season in football and basketball. I certainly did not want tb see the season lengthened. Beyond that, I must say I do not get as excited about curtailment as does the present administration of the ACE. In some format, we must talk about TV, the money attached thereto and the potential abuses stimulated by that money.
If I may speculate about a broad general issue, I fully expect the Presidents' Commission to continue examine ways to become sufficiently independent so that it can have direct entry to the legislative agenda of
the NCAA Convention. We need to find a way to at least a11ow the passage of legislation deemed harmful to the academic quality and integrity of the institution. It is possible that kind of issue may arouse more interest and conversation among athletic directors than almost anything else presidents do. That is, at least, a suf- ficiently large laundry list of items. We will not lack for conversation pieces. With that I will simply say, thanks for your attention and will try to be responsive to questions or comments if you have them at some later time. Thank you.
Thank you Dr. Driscoll. At this time it is my pleasure to introduce the next panelist. He is a native of Scottsbluff, Nebraska. He possesses an undergraduate degree, a BS with the highest honors from Chadron State College and he also has a masters degree from Kansas State University and a doctorate from Vanderbilt Univer- sity. He has had a distinguished teaching career, has earned many academic research and scholarly honors and awards. He has a very rich administrative background and is a representative from the Big Sky Conference to
the Presidents' Commission. He is also a representative of Division I-AA. It is my pleasure at this time to introduce the president of Northern Arizona University, Dr. Eugene M. Hughes. Doctor Hughes. EUGENE HUGHES :
Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning. I am sure you are aware that when you serve on a panel such as this one, and you are representing a commission that has not yet met, when one of our members talks about the issues, these will probably be discussed. I would like to share with you just a few thoughts and tell you first of all, that I think this is something you all recognize. Our presendents gener- ally are your biggest supporters and you and the presidents together, are athletics' best supporters in your institutions.
I want to give you just a little background. When I became president in 1979 of Northern Arizona Univer sity, we had an athletic budget of $1,075,000 with 15~1/4 full-time equivalents in terms of total staff. In the intervening five years, we had a five percent budget cut one year and a ten percent budget cut one other year. I can tell you that for 1984-85, our athletic budget will be $2,231,000 with 26FTE's and that is an
increase of ten percent over 1979 in spite of those budget cuts. Now I thought for a long time I was talking to myself when I was talking about athletics. If you talk to the faculty, talk to the faculty senate, talk
to other administrators, usually they will say;here comes the president with his athletic budget again." But it does take that kind of support for a very important component of the university. I bring to you an
Arizona perspective. It is a little bit different than some of my colleagues. Five years ago I was the president with the least tenure in our university system. Three years later I had the most tenure and I
think athletics had something to do with that. I can't confirm it exactly, but I think it did. I would like to point out that generally the relationship between presidents and athletic directors has to be
very strong. It has to be one in which there is a great deal of confidence, in which presidents want athletic directors to be just that. Presidents want to be presidents and yet they know that they are responsible for signing their names many times to forms assuring that something or other has taken place.
They have to rely on those of you who are out here today to make sure that what they are signing is in fact the case.
I am one of those who has felt left out. I have attended four of the last five NCAA Conventions, two
of the September meetings of CEO's, all of the meetings of the Big Sky Athletic Conference and I can tell you that our conference is one in which presidents are actively involved. Yet in terms of the NCAA I have felt left out and not because of the athletic director. It is not because of faculty reps. It is not because of the Big Sky Conference. It is somehow related to the process of being involved in NCAA Committees, the old boy network or whatever it is that gets you elected to a roll in that organization. I think that with the creation of the Presidents' Commission and with my appointment to that Commission, I will no longer feel left out,but I will have an opportunity to discuss many of the issues that Glen has mentioned to you this morning.
You have read much about the specific purposes of the PresidentS' Commission. You have heard Glen's reporting this morning of the things we might discuss. I would just like to mention a couple of others. In terms of the restructuring issue, I recognize that there are many issues related to Division I-A institutions. As one example, this year we have talked about whether or not spring football mak~s any sense for us as an institution and our conference had a discussion of that. Generally the feeling was that we could make no head- way on the thought of doing away with sprin~ football because the other institutions in the country would not consider it. Well maybe as a Division I-AA issue that could be something that we could discuss. At least in the PresidentS' Commission we will have an opportunity to have some of those discussions with Presidential colleagues throughout the country. I can tell you from my own perspective that I think in terms of the
injuries that take place, in terms of the added cost; it might make sense for us not to have spring football. Secondly, I think that a number of us have been concerned about the issue of conflict of authority that does exist in terms of financial aid. Financial aid should not be less than the need based formula and yet we have to now go along with some NCAA regulations which put a conflict on the institution, student-athletes and the athletic program. That is another issue that we might be looking at as we move into the future.
I think each wants to do his or her own thing. In all cases we want to be supportive of the institution and those programs which are so important to the institution since we deal with the same constituencies; basically the legislature, alumni, our fans, etc. We are involved in a large academic endeavor, a large political endeavor,and by working together we can bring success to our respective institutions. I thank you for having this opportunity to share these few thoughts with you.
Thank you Dr. Hughes. Our third speaker this morning represents Division I-AA at-large position on the Presidents' Commission. Dr. Walter Washington, a native of Mississippi, did his undergraduate work at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He did his graduate work at the University of Indiana where he received his Master of Science Degree and his Doctor Degree at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Washington spent several years teaching and in administration in high schools in the state of Mississippi and became president of Utica Junior College in 1957, a position which he held for 12 years. In 1969 he was appointed president of Alcorn State University. He has served on the following boards: the Southern Association of College and Schools, Boy Scouts of America, National Association of State University and Land Grant Colleges. He has been active in
his community and has held positions on both boards in the Mississippi area. At this time I would like to present Dr. Walter Washington.
Thank you very much. I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit with you this morning and my colleagues and the athletic directors. Let me give you just an expression of the way we operate at Alcorn. It may indicate my feeling toward the cooperation of these two groups. Marino Casem is our football coach
and athletic director. He sits on the council, the President's Council that makes the rules and regulations by which we run Alcorn and give recommendations to the Board.He is on the University Budget Commission, I had
to stop him. He wants all the money all the time. I say that because we consider him as a great scholar, a great athlete and he participates at the very highest level of the university. I say that to mow that I feel the presidents, and athletic directors have a destiny together. We are concerned about the development of
men and women and we all have a common responsibility to see that the students who leave our institution can compete effectively in the market place with credibility. Something has happened in this country. There will be no tolerance anywhere in this nation for a person who has a degree and presents that degree to the market place for acceptance, but cannot function. Simply the old worn out word credibility affects the
entire university. The president is looked upon by his community, by his board, by the legislature and by
the citizens to turn out products that are quality. That is our mission together and it has been your mission through the years.
I have been moved by a coach,to pick up a boy who has lost his way, who did not have an opportunity.
The lights had not come on before but under the influence of a coach and athletic director who cared, he was reinforced and given a chance to try and to hope and to dream and succeed. Nothing is more satisfying
to a coach and athletic director or a president to see that student cross the stage with thanksgiving and success. We believe that. We also know that we cannot do business as usual at our universities. We have to see to it that every student in that university is a quality student when he leaves the university,and that
is my general comment. I understand today we are not going to deal with major issues. We are just going to kind of project what we think our role should be in this commission.
I have put down three or four points that I would like to discuss with you this morning. I think our responsibility should be a broad one that we ought to have. The commission ought to have the responsibility to review all items relative to the NCAA. We ought to be able to commission surveys to get valid data so
we can make valid decisions. We ought to authorize surveys dealing with any aspect of the commission. Ive
ought to be able to propose legislation to the council and to the convention floor itself. Any item we feel that is germane to the strengthening of our organization, we ought to deal with it and not be limited to a cluster in a certain area. It would be helpful if we had the opportunity to arrange the agenda for the Convention. We could arrange the ideas that we wanted to present to cluster those so that the Presidents
not have to stay through all the details of the Convention. Present those, then answer and get out if you
have to do so. It would make it easier for us to serve in our position. It may be very helpful that we will
not try to cover the waterfront. There should be about three or four major issues each year that the presidents could agree on before coming to the Convention. Then we ought to present those and we ought to have the opportunity to call a roll call if necessary. Why a roll call? That way the delegates also can speak the
same. The individual institution delegates can speak the same language as the presidents if that is possible. There may be some variation, but at least they ought to be in harmony. They have a chance to disagree, but it would be very gooq for our delegates who are ~oing to represent our institutions. They should be on the
same wave length, if possible, of the PresidentS Councilor the PresidentS' Commission. That is important.
If the commission works closely with the c~uncil, the athletic directors and the other aspects of the
NCAA, it seems to me,together we can make a major influence in competitive sports in this country. I think
we can destroy ourselves if we draw a line and the commission and the directors are on another. It would mean destruction for competitive sports. We are not your adversaries. We are your colleagues and in that light I have no doubt that the council and the commission can move forward and meet our challenge of accountability. Our institutions will be looked upon as quality institutions and our products will be quality products.
JOE KEARNEY :
Thank you Dr. Washington. Our final panelist this morning holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Utah. His masters degree is from Indiana University as is his doctorate. During his professional career, he served in a very distinguished teaching career with many honors and awards. He has an outstanding record of research and scholarly contributions and an excellent and outstanding rich adminis. trative background. He is the Big Ten Conference's representative to the Presidents' Commission. He also will be the chair of the NCAA Presidents' Commission. I believe he is going on 14 years as president of Indiana University. It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. John W. Ryan.
Thank you Joe. Ladies and gentlemen, you have heard from my colleagues on this panel this morning. I
am sure it has occurred to you, as it has to me, that there is very little I can add. We have given a great
deal of time talking about the business and agenda of a commission that has yet to meet. Maybe after we meet we can speak for a shorter period of time because we will know more on what we are talking about. I
think Dr. Driscoll gave you a very good review of what I would say to be the agenda items the commission
will certainly take up. I think that you have heard from the other two members of the panel both reasons
for the creation of the commission. There are some apprehensions ort the part of some members relative to the ability of the Presidents to conduct themselves in such a c~mmission that all involved in intercollegiate athletics believe that the investment of time is productive and that the Presidential intentiort is meritorious. I think there are doubts in minds on all of those points and the only way to resolve the doubts is for us to
move forward and for the presidents to try and develop a constructive role for themselves in the NCAA. I have two illustrations I would like to use, relative to the c~mmission.
One is perhaps the particulars I bring to membership on that commission are an example of why we have a ommissionat all. The risks you run, the NCAA runs, the risk that our institutions run in having a ommission at all made up of people like Presidents. I might call petitions for membership on that board.
I am going on 14 years as President of Indiana University. That makes me the senior person in the Big Ten. That makes me chairman of the council and that makes me the Big Ten representative to the Presidents'
Commission. I can claim no other and certainly no substantive qualifications. I have been around a long
time, not unknown to suggest too long a time. I am there and so I am on the commission. I have been around
long enough so that a number of Presidents who were elected to or otherwise assumed membership on the commission
know me. I think in fact four of them separately called me to ask if I would agree to be nominated to be elected chairman. I agreed and I was nominated. Then I was elected chairman. I think their motivation in calling me is that they looked at this roster of big tough means guys like Glen Driscoll, Otis Singletary and others and said we would rather have a soft cuddly Irishman named Ryan who is chairman of that
Co1lD1!ission until we see what is going to go on. I have been a member of this ACE Athletics Co1lD1!ittee too. I did not go to any of the meetings so I don't get blamed for what they did. That is why I am Chairman, :hat is another qualification.
I have no record of personal skills or success in athletics as a college student. I was manager of the
basketball team in high school. I found that once I got that job it meant cleaning the basketballs and that is as close as I came to stardom in an athletic endeavor. I have had the benefit of outstanding leadership
in our athletic department. The department of intercollegiate athletics continues today in the person of Ralph Floyd I say outstanding leadership because we have had both management and stewardship. We have had honestyand integrity and I think that Indiana's program around the country is recognized as being an honest program. They know Ralph Floyd is an honest man and you deal with him. You deal with him more than I deal with him and if I am wrong please tell me. I think I see the signs that ~e is an honest man. So I would like to conclude with an estimate of what the real business of this Presidents' Co1lD1!ission will be.
The NCAA is a very complex organization. The work it has taken on for itself is extreme work, not only to you and to me because of the money involved and the young men and young women involved, and not only
because of the good or ill such works can prove to be for our institutions, but because it is the tie that translates what we are trying to do in higher education in this country into terms that are meaningful to some. These ties are relevent to others and important or interesting to still others. Most of the people in this country have never gone to college in my professional lifetime. In yours, most will not graduate. Everybody has got to pay from a very practical point of view, that which is almost instantaneously linking our institutions and our people with the public. That is the public's business as the public sees it in higher education. Whether we like it or not, that is athletics.
Our athletic program is not the most important thing we do on our campuses. I am sure that is true of
Indiana. I believe that to be true of every institution represented here. The numbers involved are smaller than any other activities, directly involved. That is not the most expensive things that we buy, hot the most extensive things we carry out. But our athletic programs can prove to be our great productive assets in
doing the mean line work of our institutions,or our Achilles heel. I think the involvement of the presidents in the NCAA is something that is absolutely essential even though the presidents may not know exactly what they are going to do. The NCAA is so complex. There are so many things to d~. There is another court of
review of consideration and a proposal of study that is needed. It needs to be made up of people who are not on the firing line as you are, or who are worried day to day about budgets and personnel problems, courts
and lawyers. The presidents may not be the right group even,but I think that those presidents that supported something like this Co1lD1!ission, exactly like it or something like it, felt that the way the NCAA can
strengthen itself and improve itself to make it even more of a vital factor in higher education in the United States is to have the presidents take it seriously. The co1lD1!ission is a creation to attempt to have the presidents take it seriously. If you think there is a possibility of some difference of opinion between athletic directors and presidents, wait until you get into a room of presidents. There are 44 members of the commission. There will be 44 views of everything, 43 and mine. I am going to try and be very Lincolnette about that. All votes may carry one to 43. We will see in the meeting. I think I would like to conclude my remarks at this point because the most constructive thing for me and for my colleagues here would be to enter into some discussion with you about what any of us has said or about things we may not have touched on. Thank you very much.
JOE KEARNEY :
Thank you Dr. Ryan. At this time we have a few minutes and I would like to entertain any question that is directed to any member of the panel. Charley.
CHARLES SCOTT :
Charles Scott, Mississippi State University. Dr. Ryan, I think the presidents can have an influence.
For years I have been convinced that the problems that we talk about in intercollegiate athletics that make
the headlines have come from what I have termed the forfeiting of responsibilities by chief executive officers. I am pleased that this group has come into being in the NCAA. Some of you may know or may have received letters from me years ago trying to get you involved in a different kind of informal way because I saw the value of it,but Dr. Driscoll, my perception from your co1lDl\ents gives me some trouble. I hope I am erroneous in the perception that I received because I got a perception of an independent, isolated group. My total experience conference-wise has been in the Southeastern Conference and in that conference we have had what I think are great atrengths all down throuRh the years. The chief executive officers have had an interest
in the athletic programs. They know what is going on. They have the only vote when it comes down to it in that conference. But the faculty representatives, the athletic directors, and the primary women administrators meet separately to discuss all the issues that are coming before their group and,at some point in time during the meeting,report to that group. What I am saying is that the chief executive officers have the interaction and have the opportunity to have these expressions made to them before they get to that point where they have the only votes. I would encourage you to allow some participation of that type. You should seek 1t because
I think both from having been a representative and now a very new director of athletics that these people can
assist you and your universities in a large variety of ways as you make decisions there. I hope my perception is not correct.
JOHN RYAN :
Charley, I am apparently not articulate enough. The last thing I would want is insulation or isolation. As my athletic director would tell you and he is here to tell you, we hold hands frequently as we try to
walk down the same avenue. I do want to say that we will not always be agreeable. We will not always be in agreement. I have heard it said that if two people are always in agreement, one of them isn't necessary and we are not going to fall into that trap. Any other questions?
FROM THE FLOOR:
This may appear a little naive possibly,but I have been in this business for 32 years,and after 32
years of intercollegiate sports,there is very little change in the performance of the athletes academically. Last year they put out the figures on the graduat~nsof many of the conferences that are in the NCAA. It
i~ startling that many conferences have ten, .12, 15 percent of their football players and basketball players graduating. It seems to me that all the presidents now getting together and formulating a lot of rules would probably fall in the same category as the NCAA and the athletic directors trying to regulate on a
nationwide basis the academics of various schools. The simple solution is for all the presidents to get
together and formulate what they want and. then send the presidents back to clear up the mess in their own schools instead of everybody getting together and telling everybody else what they ought to do.
In this country it is always committees. It is always rules and the rules can never be enforced. If
we are really interested in the academics of the universities and the reputations of the universities,we see that that is simple because there are so many great universities in this country. The ones who are hurt because of their athletics are great universities in which their athletic departments are graduating
two percent, five percent and ten percent. It seems to be a simpler thing for all the presidents to get together. Then all the presidents go back because they are running the university, especially the academic thing, and mandate to the athletic director or coaches that we want to clean this thing up instead of making a whole
bunch of rules for everybody else to do. It never worked at the NCAA. No matter what rules they would come within the last 30 years we still have the same problems that are involved.
The Ivy League said we will run our thing the way we want to run it. We don't need you. We have the reputation. We have the wherewithall to keep the integrity of our own university. No one has to tell us what to do and I think that truly can be the function of the presidents. By mandating amongst their own colleagues, they can go back to their own universities and clean the mess up. Maybe that is very naive but I think that is the very best approach to solving the problem. Thank you very much.
FROM THE PANEL :
Does anyone want to comment on the remarks? I don't think you are naive at all and more than that, I
think you are right. I think that presidents who want to can do something about that problem. I think you ought to consider first of all, let's put that on top of the list of things the commission will talk about.
I think that admitting that the NCAA may not be the only form or the best one to address the problem is the same thing as saying it is not an NCAA item of business. I happen to think that it is. Secondly, in our
thinking we need always to examine the situation regarding athletes and the context of the situation regarding all students. But you are not naive. You are right and the presidents can do something about it. I hope we do.
Bucky Wagner. Georgia Southern. Let me add one thing to our friend's comments. To our presidents.I get a sense at the last few meetings I have been to that we may impose more of a bureaucracy upon ourselves than we need to. I see suggestions that we go into detailed reporting of all our academic records. of all our admissions acceptances and it just reeks of the federal government. I ask that the Presidential Commission realize that the NCAA is based upon an institution of control.and that rules and suggestions
as they are made bring that responsibility back to the institutions,and that we not put another layer of bureaucracy on top of ourselves and self impose a lot of unnecessary reporting and things we can do on our own institutional level. Thank you.
FROM THE FLOOR:
I would like to address this question to Dr. Ryan. Could you give us a sense from your own personal viewpoint of what you feel the commission will be doing in the next year or two and what some of the major issues as they relate to government and organization of the commission should be? I realize you haven't met but you must have some personal viewpoints having talked to several of the members on the commission. When is your first meeting going to be?