New committees created after fraud

Erin Ghere

Still reacting to November’s announcement of widespread academic fraud in the men’s basketball program, the Board of Regents approved two new faculty committees to oversee athletics.
Neither the men’s nor the women’s athletics director will be part of the committees.
The Faculty Academic Oversight Committee for Intercollegiate Athletics and the Advisory Committee on Athletics will be exclusively faculty-controlled. Previous committees have included both athletics directors as unofficial, but influential, members.
A faculty committee passed the resolution at the end of February.
“We can’t promise miracles, but we need to try something different from the things that led to problems in the past,” Fred Morrison, Faculty Consultative Committee chairman and law professor, said at the time.
University President Mark Yudof backed up Morrison’s statement at Thursday’s board meeting.
“Nothing is foolproof, but it is a series of steps … I think this is a very good idea,” he said.
The new process is intended to notice signs of academic fraud previous faculty committees missed.
“We know from the investigators there were certain things going on … and there were no yellow or red flags,” Morrison said Thursday.
The two committees will set academic eligibility standards, review student-athletes’ grades and address scheduling issues to limit the number of class days athletes miss.
The last thing faculty members want to do is manage athletics, he added.
“It’s a very proactive and positive way to prevent problems in the future,” said Patricia Spence, the regents chairwoman.
The regents requested that Yudof return to June’s board meeting to give a progress report on the new system because the new model has never been tried at the University or any other institution before.

— Staff reporter Kristin Gustafson contributedto this report.
rin Ghere welcomes comments at [email protected]