The group met to consider the Department of Athletics’ guideline regarding the number of classes an athlete can miss and to discuss the requirement for student-athletes’ to meet with an academic adviser.
“In athletics, they only allow seven missed class days during regular competition unless an exception is made,” said Debbi Clarke, a consultant to the provost.
Clarke said this is not a University policy, but an athletics department guideline that only applies to regular season competition.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Jim Dean said it is possible for a student-athlete to miss up to 25 percent of Tuesday/Thursday classes because these classes usually only meet 28 times in a semester.
Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said it is not uncommon for student-athletes to miss the maximum number of classes.
“It’s pretty close for a fair number of teams, and that’s not unusual,” he said. “Each place I’ve been has been pretty close to the number.”
Cunningham said scheduling games and tournaments around athletes’ class schedules can feel impossible.
“Some of the challenges are surprising and not ones you would think of,” he said. “Like golf — courses are always available Sunday, Monday, so you end up missing a lot of Mondays.”
Cunningham said game schedules are made to try to maximize the time off students receive for University holidays.
“You squeeze as many of them in as you can,” he said.
Sociology professor Andy Perrin said the amount of missed class can be detrimental some situations.
“It is particularly difficult for classes in which participation is the main value,” he said. “That’s where the classes missed can be so important.”
Clarke said the group has been discussing the once-per-semester advising requirement that student-athletes in the College of Arts and Sciences are held to.
“The number of College of Arts and Sciences student-athletes that are receiving advising with a college adviser once per semester is very high,” she said. “I think it’s around 91 percent.”
She said there are 749 undergraduates who are student-athletes, and 672 are in the college, meaning that the rule applies to them.
Law professor Lissa Broome suggested student-athletes self-report their advising meetings.
“We could have students self-report, like when did you meet with your adviser in the business school, and just monitor it for a year and see,” she said.
Clarke said she does not think there is a semesterly requirement for student-athletes in the business school to meet with an adviser.
“I would be very surprised if (student-athletes in the business school) weren’t meeting with an adviser every semester,” Dean said.
“The path is really tricky,advis and you need help to get on it and stay on it.”