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Thought this might provoke some discussion. It's from the Chronicle of Higher Education, and since it's a pay site, I'm including the entire article located at

Today's News

Monday, April 3, 2006

Faculty Members Criticize NCAA for Not Doing More to Protect Academic Integrity in College Sports


Indianapolis--As thousands of college basketball fans descended on Indianapolis for this weekend's Final Four, a small group of faculty members and athletics officials met a few miles from the mayhem to discuss their concerns about the academic progress of college athletes and what they see as the increasing commercialization of college sports.

The two-day meeting brought together about 50 members of the Drake Group, whose mission is to defend academic integrity and expose corruption in college sports.

Myles Brand, the president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, has criticized the group in the past for failing to cooperate with the mainstream forces in college sports.

Some of the discussion at this year's meeting suggested that the Drake Group remains sharply critical of NCAA officials. On one panel, a member of the audience asked Diane Dickman, the NCAA's managing director of membership services, to defend the association's position on commercialism.

Ms. Dickman referred to Mr. Brand's state-of-the-association speech at the NCAA's annual convention, in January, when he advocated that the NCAA take a more aggressive approach to seeking sponsorships and commercial opportunities (The Chronicle, January 9). She added that Mr. Brand believes the association has an obligation, in fact, to maximize revenue for its members. The Drake Group, however, believes the association should focus on protecting academic integrity -- not arranging corporate sponsorships.

Ellen J. Staurowsky, a professor and chair of the department of sport management and media at Ithaca College, chastised the NCAA for its academic-progress requirements for athletes, calling them nothing more than a "PR campaign" to make the association look better.

M. Terry Holland, a former men's basketball coach and athletics director at the University of Virginia, who is now director of athletics at East Carolina University, also had harsh words for the NCAA.

He said that as the association has tightened initial-eligibility standards for incoming freshmen, athletes have increasingly bent the rules to gain admittance to college, for instance, by taking bogus classes at unaccredited prep schools (The Chronicle, March 3). That, he said, has exposed problems with the NCAA's Clearinghouse, which attempts to certify that high-school athletes are meeting the association's eligibility standards.

"The Clearinghouse doesn't work," he said. "There are too many ways around it."

Mr. Holland supports the Drake Group's belief that athletes should have to sit out their freshman year before competing. But he does not agree with the group's idea that colleges should have to disclose the courses their athletes take and the students' average grades in those classes.

"That," he said, "is a last resort in reforming college athletics."

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Gee Mr. Holland, the only reason I can think of for not favoring disclosure is that you have something to hide!!! And I'm not talking about full public disclosure, just access to a "review board" or something of that ilk. For example, everybody under the sun knew Charlie Villaneuva wasn't staying at UConn until he graduated. I can only imagine what his transcript looked like! My guess is a bare minimum to remain academically eligible. Exactly the type of transcript someone like Mr. Holland wouldn't wanted reviewed.

To me, toughen up the academic standards, these are colleges we're talking about!! Crack down on these bogus basketball only "high schools". America East shouldn't be impacted too much.

Anybody else think less of George Washington as an institution after they learned two of their players came out of these bogus schools?

I've always felt that the NBA was taking advantage of the colleges (they don't have to fund a minor league system like exists in baseball and ice hockey). I've always been a proponent of a robust minor league system for basketball. That way, if you graduate HS and your career goal is to become a professional, you have that option without having the charade of being a college student.
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