Newsletter Spring 2009

Your faculty senate is a member of the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA), whose membership now includes the faculty senates of 56 NCAA FBS institutions. COIA strongly believes that the faculty governance structure has an important responsibility in the oversight of athletics as it applies to the academic mission of the institution.  Since its founding in 2002, the COIA membership has worked to develop best practices guidelines which provide a means by which all institutions can examine their athletics’ policies. It has served as the faculty voice on many athletic issues, as it is frequently asked for comments by the media on issues pertaining to intercollegiate athletics. COIA has also issued press statements in response to situations that called for a unified faculty response.


In conjunction with the Curly Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State University, COIA is developing an assessment survey to be distributed to members of the Football Bowl Subdivision. The survey is based on best practices suggested by COIA in its policy paper “Framing the Future: Reforming Intercollegiate Athletics”. It is hoped that the survey will provide institutions with a means of evaluating how successfully they integrate athletics into the academic mission of the institution. It will also provide COIA with the opportunity to highlight those schools that most successfully do so. A pilot survey has been sent out to the chair of the faculty governing body at a subset of COIA institutions, who is asked to fill it out with the assistance of the Faculty Athletic Representative.

This year COIA passed by-laws, the first step in its plans to file for 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit organization, which will allow it to apply for foundation support. Any financial assistance obtained will be used provide administrative assistance, and to defray travel and other expenses now borne by the organization’s co-chairs.

Work will begin soon on preparation of a white paper that can be used to lobby members of Congress to take action on issues pertaining to intercollegiate athletics over which they have influence.

COIA will also be looking into the newly established AAU/NCAA/NBA partnership.

Finally, this year we will continue our active drive to recruit new members to COIA. We will be asking the COIA representative at each member school to contact the chair of the faculty senate at one non-member school, informing them of the mission of the organization, and encouraging them to join.

If you have any issues that you believe that COIA should take up, please notify either Carole Browne ( or Nathan Tublitz (


The 2009 Annual Meeting was held at the University of Arizona in Tuscon, March 6-8. The meeting was well attended, with XXX individuals from member institutions and XX invited guests in attendance.

The meeting opened with a talk by Jim Livengood, Athletic Director at Arizona. He discussed how recommendations made by COIA in its “Framing the Future” white paper had been used as starting points for discussion of athletic issues at Arizona. This was followed by a panel discussion in which Livengood and other University of Arizonaadministrators, the current and past presidents, Robert Shelton and Peter Likins, their FAR, Jory Hancock, and their current Senate President and COIA rep Andy Silverman, discussed how they work together to integrate athletics into academics.  This was followed by a discussion of methods of integrating athletics into academics. (Nathan – what suggestions did people have – this might make an interesting column for this newsletter!)

Amy Perko. Executive Director at Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics spoke about the two major initiatives the KC was undertaking: 1) a  survey of schools about athletic finances in an attempt to  improve upon and refine the NCAA dashboard indicators; and  2) to raise the issue of commercialism, with a specific focus on  the use of athlete images in commercial ventures both in  advertisements and in commercial products such as video  games.  This was followed by an update on the progress of the COIA assessment survey by Marie Hardin of the Penn State Curley Center for Sports Journalism.

RogerCaves (San Diego State FAR and current FARA chair), Jo Potuto (Nebraska FAR and D1A FAR chair) and Dick Aronson (Executive Director for the College Gymnastics Association) all made brief remarks. Dick Aronson spoke about the decline of gymnastics sports and of Olympic sports in general in intercollegiate athletics. While 20 years ago there were 214 college gymnastics teams, now there are only 18 countrywide. Similar trends are seen in sports such as swimming, tennis, rowing etc. COIA hopes to start working on an initiative which will recommend ways to keep Olympic sports in colleges

Diane Dickman, the Membership Services Director of the NCAA and one the NCAA’s assigned liasons to COIA gave a talk on the current progress of the APR and GSR using Division 1 rather than 1A data.

The final event was a panel discussion with Faculty Athletic Representatives (FARs) Roger Caves (San Diego State), Jo Potuto (Nebraska), Joe Beckham (Florida State), Chris Anderson (Tulsa) and Percy Bates (Michigan). They discussed the duties of the FAR, and the different roles that they take on different campuses. The FAR has two roles, one as the representative of the institution to the athletics department, and secondly as a representative of the institution to the conference and the NCAA. They discussed the importance of a faculty voice on issues regarding athletics. They stressed that by working together, COIA and FARs can have a stronger voice.


The 2010 COIA meeting will be held next spring at San Diego State University.



Carole Browne, Wake Forest

Nathan Tublitz, Oregon

Steering Committee

Christopher Anderson, Tulsa

Bob Akin, Texas Christian

Lissa Broome, North Carolina

Gary Engstrand, Minnesota

Larry Gramling, Connecticut

Joe Kotarba, Houston

John Mason, Alabama)

John Nichols, Penn State

Peter Nicholson. Hawaii

Tom Palaima, Texas

Ginny Shepherd, Vanderbilt

Thomas Wasow, Stanford