CU faculty calls for overhaul of athletics

The Associated Press
Thursday, May 06, 2004 -

Boulder - Saying the situation has become “intolerable,� University of Colorado
faculty today suggested an overhaul of the embattled athletics department that includes tying
coaches’ jobs to the academic performance of players.

The Boulder Faculty Assembly said there needs to be more academic control of athletic
teams. It said athletes’ academic performance should be part of annual reviews for
coaches, and that all athletic department responsibilities should fall under the chancellor.

It planned to vote on the overhaul later today.

“Their recommendations will be carefully considered among others emerging from the
various reviews now underway,� Chancellor Richard Byyny Said.

Among the suggestions are requiring athletes to meet the same admissions standards as other
students, involving faculty members more actively in recruiting and limiting the number of
scholarships for teams with poor academic performance and graduation rates.

The proposal also calls for an Athletics Governing Board that would search for and hire head
coaches and the athletic director.

Fifty-three percent of Colorado football players graduated within six years, a 2003 NCAA
report found. That is a lower rate than the graduation rate of 62 percent for student-athletes
at all Division I schools and 67 percent for all students at CU.

The rate for Colorado football players, however, is high enough to pass a proposed NCAA
standard to be eligible for postseason play.

"Unfortunately, intercollegiate athletics has come to operate almost independently of the
academic enterprise and has become dismissive of the primary mission of the institution," the
faculty proposal says. "This is an intolerable situation."

The football program was plunged into scandal earlier this year as details leaked out from
civil lawsuits filed against the school by three women who say they were raped by football
athletes in 2001.

In one deposition, Boulder County prosecutor Mary Keenan said sex and alcohol are used
to entice recruits to the Boulder campus.

Five other women have also accused football athletes of rape since 1997, though no charges
have been filed.

The university, a Board of Regents' panel and the state attorney general are all investigating
the allegations. The school has already made sweeping changes to its football recruiting
program, including limiting the visits by recruits, adding chaperones and putting in an 11 p.m.
curfew believed to be the strictest in the nation.

The faculty also proposed shorter seasons and practice times so athletes have more time for
academics.