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The Faculty Athletics Committee reviews NCAA and ACC meetings

Lissa Broome reads a report on the NCAA Autonomy Legislative Session and the ACC Governance meetings.

Lissa Broome reads a report on the NCAA Autonomy Legislative Session and the ACC Governance meetings.

What happened?

FAC met to review the NCAA Annual Convention and ACC governance meetings, as well as discuss the compensation of coaches for academic performance and the clustering of athletes into specific majors.

Who spoke?

Broome gave a report on legislation that was proposed during the NCAA Annual Convention, including one proposal that allowed coaches to award financial aid to student-athletes if they have money left over in their budget. UNC opposed the proposal, but was outvoted by other universities 73-7.

“The reason we opposed it, unsuccessfully, was that coaches could potentially set up competition between athletes, which we didn’t think would be a healthy situation,” Broome said.

UNC opposed another piece of legislation that was passed at the convention requiring teams to have one day off per week during pre-season practice periods.

“This will potentially back it up into starting football camp during the final exams of second summer session,” Broome said.

Cunningham explained the academic performance clauses included in coaches’ contracts. The clauses state should the team reach a certain Academic Progress Rate, the coach is able to receive a bonus.

A team’s Academic Progress Rate is computed each semester based on how many scholarship athletes are eligible and maintain eligibility.

“It’s not the only metric we use to determine how successful we are academically,” Cunningham said. “It is the only metric we use to award a bonus.”

Some members voiced concern that this sort of reward system could cause coaches to discourage athletes from pursuing what some may perceive as more difficult majors.

David Guilkey, a member of FAC, presented data involving trends in student-athlete majors compared to non-athletes from 2012 to 2016. The data shows 26.2 percent of athletes majored in exercise and sport science, compared to 5.4 percent of non-athletes.

Deborah Stroman, another member of FAC, said she felt this may be a concern going forward.

“What does it look like for our University for a great number of our athletes to be majoring in exercise and sport science?” Stroman said. “I know the rigor of the EXSS, but do we want to reflect on that? Where is this going? Are we OK with this?”

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