History

COIA emerged in 2002 out of discussions between PAC 10 and Big Ten Senate Presidents, who hoped to link representative faculty governance on many campuses and articulate a cohesive faculty voice on athletics reform at the national level. To date, 61 of the FBS (Division 1A) faculty senates have joined the COIA (see COIA current membership list). We have partnered with the NCAAthe Association of Governing Bodies (AGB)the Knight Commissionthe American Association of University Professors (AAUP)the National Athletic Academic Advisors Association (N4A),  the Division 1A Faculty Athletics Representativesthe Faculty Athletics Representatives Association (FARA)the College Sports Project and other national groups in searching for ways to address problems in intercollegiate athletics and help college sports achieve their full potential as educational enhancements for athletes and campuses.

COIA’s founding goals are set forth in detail in our 2003 Framework for Intercollegiate Athletics Reform. Although the Framework continues to be the overall statement of our objectives, the COIA’s positions have been refined and updated in a series of publicly available policy papers and reports dealing with athletics governance, admissions and scholarship issues, and the protection of academic integrity in college sports programs.

In early 2004, the COIA leaders, in consultation with the leadership of the national Faculty Athletics Representatives Association, drafted Campus Athletics Governance, the Faculty Role: Principles, Proposed Rules, and Guidelines. After a process of discussion and amendment, the Governance paper was adopted in April 2004 as a Coalition policy recommendation for all Division IA institutions.

COIA membership met twice in 2005. The first meeting was at Vanderbilt University in January 2005 to discuss the relationship between athletics and academics. The outcome of that meeting was the policy paper, Academic Integrity in Intercollegiate Athletics: Principles, Proposed Rules, and Guidelines, adopted by vote of the COIA membership in April 2005. Initial drafts of this document were developed in consultation with members of the leaderships of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletes and the Drake Group. Although neither group endorses all proposals in the Academic Integrity paper, we have benefited greatly from their contributions. Several key recommendations from the Academic Integrity paper have been presented to the NCAA for adoption as NCAA by-laws and these are currently being discussed by the NCAA rules committee.

COIA members gathered again in December 2005 at Washington State University to discuss the on-going work of the NCAA Presidential Task Force on the Future of Division IA Athletics. In response to a request by the Presidential Task Force, meeting participants drafted 8 brief reports, including recommendations, on specific Task Force topics. Topics covered included fiscal responsibility, presidential leadership, over-commercialization, the nature of the collegiate model, integration of athletics into campus life, and admissions and diversity. The initial drafts of the reports were  endorsed by the conference participants. The final version, A Report to the NCAA Presidential Task Force, was approved by the COIA Steering Committee and submitted to the NCAA in late December 2005.

COIA’s 2006 efforts centered on working closely with the NCAA on a wide range of issues including the review of early drafts of their Presidential Task Force report. COIA released a public statement in support of the Presidential Task Force report (PTF Executive Summary and PTF complete report). We also issued a report to the NCAA working group reviewing initial eligibility trends as well as a statement on academic data collection in response to recent cases of suspected academic fraud by faculty.

In 2007 COIA issued a white paper, Framing the Future: Reforming Intercollegiate Athletics, that elucidated a comprehensive set of reforms to remedy the current problems facing intercollegiate athletics. We also held our national meeting at Stanford in May 2007. In 2007 we assisted with the Knight Commission to organize a live, web cast forum in October 2007 that explored the myths of intercollegiate athletics held by faculty. We also helped the N4A in their efforts to develop a national educational program to institutions across the country on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate and Graduation Success Rate measures.

Recently, our efforts have focused on working closely with the NCAA, D1A conferences and local institutions to adopt the proposals in COIA’s Framing the Future paper. We are also currently working on a national rating system to assess the athletic integration of academic goals and values at D1A institutions. The 2009 annual national meeting was held at the University of Arizona. The 2010 national meeting was held in January at San Diego State.