“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?”