Approved by the: Faculty Senate - December 6, 2001
Administration - see note*
Board of Regents - no action required

*The administration has reviewed this resolution and appreciates the sense of the Faculty Senate on this issue. The Vice President and Chief of Staff has presented a report on the current and future financial challenges facing the intercollegiate athletics department to the Board of Regents, and to several administrative, faculty, and student groups. The purpose of the report was to determine how these financial challenges fit into overarching University priorities given the larger financial challenges being faced by the University as a whole. It is the University’s philosophy that the success of an athletics program is measured by the value it adds to college athletes and to the campuses, not solely by championships. The administration continues to explore policy and practice options that would support this philosophy. As these issues continue to be discussed and changes to or development of procedures and polices result, the administration will continue to consult and seek the views of faculty and input from faculty governance.

CIC Faculty Leaders 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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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