U athletics ahead of the game following proposal

by Youssef Rddad

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is considering a new proposal that would strengthen academic integrity rules, but the University of Minnesota is already a step ahead
The idea, four years in the making, would make it an NCAA violation whenever a coach or staff member is involved in academic misconduct, a policy the University already has in place. The proposal would also disallow academic exceptions to improve a grade and prevent colleges from giving athletes assistance that is not available to the rest of the student population.
Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs Laura Knudson said the University created a central office for handling academic misconduct for athletes following a 1999 scandal when the University’s men’s basketball team violated the NCAA’s academic integrity policies by having other people do players’ coursework.
Knudson said she was not sure how the proposal, if passed, would affect student athletes’ ability to make up coursework on days they are exempt from class.
“In order to accomplish these goals, member schools wanted more clarity about academic misconduct issues in the Division I rulebook,” said NCAA spokesperson Michelle Hosick, adding that schools will still be able to have their own policies for handling academic misconduct by athletes.
The University’s current policy excuses student athletes from class during athletic events, and instructors are allowed to substitute assignments if classwork cannot be made up in exactly the same way, such as with class discussions.
During the 2014-15 school year, the University ranked first among public institutions on the Division I Academic Progress Report, an NCAA initiative to hold higher education institutions accountable for student athletes’ academic progress, a University press release said.
According to the International Center for Academic Integrity, 68 percent of undergraduate students polled admitted to cheating between 2002 and 2015.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily a problem that’s specific to athletics,” said former Gopher offensive linesman and associate director of athlete compliance Jeremiah Carter. “I think the reasons student athletes have issues [are] really no different.”
The proposal is expected to be deliberated in January and will be voted on next April.