ERIC Number: ED453750
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
Facing Up to the Conflict between Athletics and Academics.
Gerdy, John R.
Priorities, n16 Sum 2001
The release of "The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values" by William G. Bowen and James L. Shulman and the recent publication of several other books on the same topic have made it clear that athletics reform is a cause of self-questioning among leaders in higher education. Periodic attempts at the reform of college athletics have been common, but pressures for change are continuing to mount. Trustees and the governing boards of institutions should expect an increase in athletics-related agenda items and an increase in levels of controversy. College governing boards will be forced to confront the most fundamental issue in college athletics, whether an institution is best served by sponsoring college athletics at all. Recent data are causing institutions to take a new look at long-held suppositions, such as the assertion that most athletic programs generate money for the institution or that winning teams have a positive impact on institutional giving. Institutional leaders who are being challenged to clarify the role of athletics on their campuses should use a framework that: (1) clarifies the purpose; (2) evaluates program performance; (3) relies on data-based decision making; and (4) adheres to standards of accountability. Data will be needed on financial realities, the impact of athletics on campus culture, and the educational impact of athletics. The challenge for leaders in higher education is to assess the role of athletics in the life of the college honestly. (Contains 10 references.) (SLD)
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Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Inc., Atlanta, GA.
Authoring Institution: Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, DC.