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Faculty discuss resolutions and solutions to support student athletes

On Tuesday, members of different academic and athletic departments met for a Faculty Athletics Committee Meeting to discuss issues surrounding athletic policies and procedures.
On Tuesday, members of different academic and athletic departments met for a Faculty Athletics Committee Meeting to discuss issues surrounding athletic policies and procedures.

The first part of the meeting was dedicated to giving an update on NCAA resolutions regarding time demands of student-athletes, which have been discussed in previous meetings.

The resolution discussed in Tuesday’s meeting would refer those previous proposals back to the Autonomy 5 Conferences’ governance structure for further review. That group of five major conferences includes the ACC.

Lissa Broome, a committee member and UNC’s faculty athletics representative to the ACC and NCAA, said she thinks the resolution will pass.

“Another good reason for postponing action now is the NCAA just did, last year, its big survey of student-athletes and time demands and so on, and that information has not been publicly released yet,” Broome said. “It’s supposed to be released at the convention, so we should have more information.”

Intercollegiate Athletics Report

The committee also discussed excerpts of the Intercollegiate Athletics Report for UNC-system schools dated Dec. 15, 2015, which included minimum course requirements, minimum admission requirements, student-athlete vs. non-student-athlete GPA and academic integrity regulations.

“There is a lot of information being collected system-wide, including some points of comparison that may be useful to this group,” Broome said.

Of the 157 student-athletes recruited by UNC-Chapel Hill for the 2014-15 school year, only four were considered minimum admission requirements exceptions, meaning they did not meet requirements in that area but were still admitted.

Other UNC-system schools had up to 10 minimum admission requirements exceptions, even with fewer players recruited.

Another excerpt from the report included academic integrity regulations from the UNC Policy Manual. The regulations discussed at the meeting concentrated on grade changes.

Joy Renner, chairperson of the Faculty Athletics Committee, said the University’s academic integrity practices are thorough.

“There’s more check than there used to be and it’s not paper process anymore; it’s electronic, so it can be tracked,” she said.

“It’s a good process, and I think it’s good they made it across all 17 schools.”

Campus Conversation

The committee also brainstormed possible topics to be approved for a campus discussion in the spring.

Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics, suggested leading a discussion about the benefits of athletics in all stages.

“Not necessarily intercollegiate athletics, but athletics in general, health and fitness and the relationship between celebrity and professional athletics that impact on college all the way down to youth sport is something I would love for our campus to tackle,” he said.

Cunningham said he believed this relationship is important and said it necessitated more discussion.

“Somebody needs to lead discussion about that relationship, and right now no one’s doing that,” he said.

The Faculty Athletics Committee is also considering other focuses for the discussion, but has yet to make their final choice.

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