Oct. 31, 2002
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A package of reform measures designed to improve the graduation rates of Division I student-athletes received final approval today by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors. The Board also reiterated its support for additional proposals currently under review that will continue the academic reform movement.
"What impressed this Board about the proposals that have been under consideration for months now are two points," said Robert Hemenway, Board chair and chancellor of the University of Kansas. "One, they are informed by the best research we've ever had, and two, they fit together as a package to increase academic standards and progress towards a degree."
Hemenway noted that the package of proposals creates models or academic profiles that prospects and enrolled student-athletes must meet to earn the privilege of participating in intercollegiate athletics.
"We aren't guessing at what the results from these standards will be," he said. "If you continue to meet the academic profile in your first, second, third, fourth and fifth year, you will be on track to graduate. If you don't meet the academic profile, you won't be participating in college sports."
Included in the reform package are proposals that would:
The Board also reviewed proposals that received first approval by the Division I Management Council a week ago that will continue the reform effort. These proposals will go out to the Division I membership for comment and be considered again by the Council in April 2003. Included in the package are proposals that would:
"What we did today and what we have before us to do doesn't mean that our work is finished," Hemenway said. "We have asked for additional research on further increasing the number of high-school core courses, and I believe we will seriously consider increasing that number to 15 or 16. We also are examining models that will establish a new graduation success rate as we strive to ever more accurately judge whom among those who participate in our athletics programs actually graduate. We are looking at an annual academic progress rate so that we don't have to wait the six years now built into the U.S. Department of Education survey of graduation rates."
Hemenway also noted that work is in progress for a set of incentives and disincentives that will reward or penalize institutions for meeting or failing to meet expectations developed through the reform proposals.
The proposals approved by Board today will take effect August 1, 2003