A report released Tuesday by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges expresses the need for more board governance when it comes to intercollegiate athletics in wake of “the Penn State debacle,” officials representing the group said.
Rick Legon, president of the association, and John Casteen III, president emeritus of the University of Virginia and director of the AGB Intercollegiate Athletics Project, presented the report, according to a press release issued by the group.
Legon wrote in an email that the report, titled “Trust, Accountability, and Integrity: Board Responsibilities for Intercollegiate Athletics,” is about “board accountability during a period of public concern and tight fiscal situations for many institutions.”
In the midst of the events surrounding Penn State, intercollegiate athletic departments across the country are at the center of concern for acting more like businesses than entities that should focus on a balance between athletics and academics at their host institutions, according to the release.
According to the release, findings from a survey — that was conducted before Penn State’s situation was known — were another part of the report presented Tuesday. The survey asked Division I institutional leaders questions surrounding their implementation of recommendations from a report released by The Association of Governing Boards in 2009 and about “other governance issues related to college sports, including compliance with the rules and regulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and various conferences.”
The answers included as many as 99 percent of programs have programs for youth, but only about 50 percent of them have policies to protect minors.
The report focuses on three recommendations for the governing board: being accountable for athletics policy and oversight, upholding the integrity the athletic program and ensuring that it is in accordance with the academic mission of the institution, and educating themselves about its governing policy and the policies they will use to oversee intercollegiate athletics.
Penn State Spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the university is aware of the report and will look over the findings, in particular the three recommendations “to determine how we are matching up.”
“The board has been and will continue to look at how our athletics programs align with the academic mission of our institution,” Powers said.
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges realizes implementing the recommendations could be difficult for some institutions, but stresses that it is an urgent matter, according to the release.
“In light of recent issues in college sports, it is imperative for boards to function at a higher level of awareness and judgment in order to address the financial challenges associated with college sports, to ensure the link between intercollegiate athletics and academic priorities, and to reaffirm standards and ethics in college athletics,” Legon said, according to the release.
According to the website, The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges is the only association that specifically tailors to the needs of “academic governing boards, boards of institutionally related foundations, and campus CEOs and other senior-level campus administrators.”