National Meeting – 2012

The COIA National Meeting was held on January 21-22 at The University of Tulsa.


Here are just a few of the important questions that were discussed at the meeting (the full agenda is posted here and below):

  • The vast majority of athletics departments lose money. Recent statistics show that expenditures on sports are increasing at double the rate of academic expenditures, negating increased revenues from television and marketing contracts. Deficits are usually covered with transfers from academic funds or increased student fees. While this is a serious problem, especially in difficult economic times for higher education, it is particularly challenging for smaller universities and conferences. Is the current financial model for athletics sustainable and what impact does it have on the core academic mission of our universities?
  • Numerous first-class universities recently have been engulfed by athletics scandals that have seriously injured their reputations and academic missions. What are the lessons learned from Penn State?  What can be done to prevent it from happening at your university?
  • The uptick in cases of academic fraud raises serious questions about the future of academic integrity in intercollegiate athletics. Why is it happening? What impact will the forthcoming NCAA reforms have on the problem? What role should the faculty play in preventing future academic misconduct?
  • In the TV-driven, big-time college sports environment and with the recent discussion about pay for play, what is the future of amateurism and the collegiate athletics model? Is it anachronistic to continue to believe that student-athletes should attend universities primarily for an education and that their athletic endeavors should be subsidiary to their academic goals? If so, what model should replace it in order to best protect the core academic mission of our universities? If not, how do we shore up the traditional collegiate model?
  • What is the status of the reform agenda proposed at the August 2011 NCAA Presidential Retreat? How will the forthcoming changes affect academics, enforcement, student-athlete well-being, and resource allocation in intercollegiate athletics? What impact will they have on your university?



Speakers and panelists included:

  • Dr. Steadman Upham, President of The University of Tulsa, member of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, and Vice-Chair of the NCAA Working Group on the Collegiate Model;
  • George Dohrmann, Sports Illustrated writer who won the Pulitzer Prize for uncovering academic fraud in college sports and the author of the widely-acclaimed book Play Their Hearts Out and recent SI cover stories about scandals in intercollegiate athletics;
  • John Walda, President and CEO of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, member of the board of directors of the American Council on Education, former chair of the Association of Governing Boards, and former President of the Indiana University Board of Trustees;
  • Gerald Gurney, immediate Past President of N4A and Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oklahoma;
  • Brad Wolverton, Senior Editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education who has covered issues in intercollegiate athletics for 15 years and led his publication’s coverage of the Penn State scandal;
  • Britton Banowsky, Conference USA Commissioner and Chair of the NCAA Infractions Committee;
  • Robert Philippi, Conference USA Associate Commissioner for Compliance and Academics;
  • Jennifer Strawley, NCAA Director of Academic and Membership Affairs;
  • Diane Dickman, NCAA Managing Director of Academic and Membership Affairs;
  • Eddie Pells, national sports writer for The Associated Press, is a two-time AP Sports Writer of the Year and winner of the AP’s prestigious Will Grimsley Award for special achievement in sports writing.  He has written extensively on issues in intercollegiate athletics.
  • Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, was a three-time Academic All-America basketball player at Wake Forest from which she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.  She previously worked at the NCAA and as associate athletics director at the University of Kansas.
  • Allen Sack, a professor of management at the University of New Haven and president of the Drake Group, is co-author of College Athletes for Hire: The Evolution and Legacy of the NCAA’s Amateur Myth.  He was a member of Notre Dame’s 1966 national championship football team.



Media are welcome to attend the COIA national meeting. Unless otherwise announced, all sessions and presentations are off-the-record in order to encourage participants to speak freely about the topics. Individual speakers or other participants may, of course, agree to on-the-record interviews outside the meeting rooms at their own discretion. COIA business meetings and working sessions are closed to the media. This off-the-record policy applies to non-media participants as well.



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