A source within college athletics sent BusinessofCollegeSports.com a draft of a press release expected to be released today which contains a joint statement from all Division I athletic directors about pay-for-play and NCAA governance. The press release and a public statement are expected later today.
A record turnout of 120 Division 1A (Football Bowl Subdivision) athletics directors attended this year’s annual meeting in Dallas on Sept. 23 and 24, and they are in accordance in their belief that a unified voice is necessary to articulate their support of the primary mission of intercollegiate athletics: a world-class education and a quality athletic experience for talented student-athletes.
“As a group, the athletics directors are engaged in developing recommendations that will improve the governance and operation of intercollegiate athletics,” said Morgan Burke, president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association and athletics director at Purdue University.
Burke and Mike Alden, president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and athletics director at the University of Missouri, will serve as national spokesmen for all 351 Division 1 programs.
Discussions included topics ranging from NCAA governance and enforcement to the disparity of interests and resources among Division 1 schools to the rejection of the “pay-for-play” model.
While recent reports have chronicled the ineffective NCAA governance and enforcement systems, the Division 1A athletics directors have pledged to be active participants in the process to bring about change, calling for streamlining and efforts that complement and align with the values of higher education.
“While our jobs keep our focus on the daily issues of athletics on our campuses, we recognize that we are best positioned to implement realistic changes in the governance and administration of athletics,” Alden said. “As stewards of the enterprise, we are committed to providing meaningful, realistic and impactful leadership in defining a bright future for intercollegiate athletics.”
Realizing that differences exist among the 351 Division 1 programs, Burke said, “Changes need to reflect such variances while preserving and building upon areas of common interest.”
The athletics directors are chiefly concerned with public dialogue that does not accurately reflect the true value of intercollegiate athletics to student-athletes.
“Pay for play has no part in the amateur setting,” Burke said, noting that the value of a full scholarship and direct support services at Purdue has a value in excess of $250,000. Plus, student-athletes with a full scholarship have no loan to pay back, an expense that could run upwards of $200,000 at Purdue.
Furthermore, integrity issues need to be handled effectively in the enforcement system, which is presently under review. “Institutions must clearly understand the meaning of institutional control and must reinforce integrity as a core value,” Burke said.
Alden pointed out that athletics directors have been hired by the university presidents to lead their campus organizations and are important stakeholders in the national governance system. “We have been entrusted with the responsibility to provide a quality academic and athletic experience for our student-athletes on campus,” he said.