IAC Minutes 1-06-16

Intercollegiate Athletics Committee Meeting
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
2:00-3:30 pm


Present: Andy Karduna, Andrew Dunn, Shawn Stevenson, Chasmodai “Chas” Cassidy, Chris Sinclair, Tim Gleason, Jody Sykes, Lisa Levitt, Mario Radic, Laura Leete, Anita Weiss, Elizabeth Skowron.

Review and approval of minutes from last meeting

There were no changes or corrections. Minutes were approved as posted.

Chair Report – update on communications with Athletic Department

Members introduced themselves. Chair Karduna asked if there were any issues or topics people wanted to discuss. Laura Leete asked if we could look at the admission of graduate student transfer special admits. Tim Gleason mentioned that the NCAA Graduate Transfer Policy is a broad issue on campuses across the nation. There are numbers for how many students are admitted and how many completed the program both locally and nationally.

Andy Karduna and Kim Sheehan (current member of IAC and Chair of the President’s Advisory Group on Intercollegiate Athletics (PAGIA)) will be meeting with President Schill in the coming weeks. The PAGIA has not met this academic year.

Chair Karduna asked about how people feel about how the IAC engages with the press. He has been approached by members of the media. The group consensus was that if an issue had been discussed by the committee and there was a solid opinion then Chair Karduna could speak on behalf of the IAC, otherwise he would make clear that he was speaking as an individual faculty member.

Overview of Athletic Department NCAA and Pac-12 Compliance Activities

Jody Sykes, Senior Assoc. Athletic Director, Chief Compliance Officer

Jody gave an overview of what the Athletics Compliance office does at the University of Oregon. There are 4 full time staff members and 2 paid interns that usually stay for a year. Jody was proud that many former interns are working in athletics compliance offices around the country. The office is considered to be lean compared to the other conference schools. In addition to the state and university rules, the athletic department is highly regulated by the NCAA. Her office provides answers for reports and queries. The athletics compliance office uses a systematic approach. Some areas of review are recruiting, eligibility, playing and practice seasons, amateurism, extra benefits and financial aid.

Recruiting-review and monitor calendars times when coaches can evaluate, contact, dead or quiet periods

Review all recruits that come to campus, educate about recruiting publicity, handle administer the National Letter of Intent program. They manage the financial athletic aid agreements awards at for each the team and individual limits and federal limits.

Eligibility runs through Tim Gleason, Faculty Athletics Representative. There are academic eligibility rules and amateurism rules especially with international students. They make sure student- athletes do not receive extra benefits.

The system is not fool proof, but the office does a lot of rules education. They serve as a resource for coaches, student- athletes and faculty. There are monthly coaches meetings. They send out scenarios and a newsletters. They operate with the highest integrity and our leadership is committed to be the best in all areas of operation.

Shawn Stevenson asked about the effects of violations. Do they effect the student -athletes and the institution? Jody replied that it depends on the case. They usually always effect the institution. The UO is still on probation from the major infraction finding following the Lyles incident. They hope to come be off in June 2016. The Athletic Department turns in an annual report to show that we are doing things correctly and that we are improving our athletics compliance services. There are various levels of violations from Level 1-Level 4. All are reported by the institution. The office hears about violations in various ways from coaches self-reporting, through social media, from disgruntled people after the end of relationships. The athletics compliance office provides reports to campus, conference, and NCAA.

Tim Gleason, Faculty Athletics Representative

The FAR uses data gathered by the Registrar, the Jaqua Center, and the Compliance office to verify all the student athletes’ eligibility to compete on a quarterly basis. Student- Athletes have an initial first certification and progress to degree. Every term the FAR looks at each individual student- athlete on a roster to make sure the individual meets certain benchmarks. There is GPA requirement in 4th year of 2.00 and term-to term and percentage of credits to degree. Student-Athletes do not have the same flexibility of deciding to change majors in later years. The FAR makes sure that at the end of spring terms student- athletes have received a certain number of credits for the year to be eligible for the next fall.

Shawn asked about the avenues to change things like the flexibility to change majors. Tim said that at the upcoming NCAA Convention, there are 90 different rule changes. Most involve competition but others are regarding the student- athlete experience and time demands. The Progress toward degree is based on a five year completion. Some students that finish their original degree early work on a second major, post baccalaureate degree or become a graduate student.

Shawn asked if Tim monitors a quarterly drop in GPA. Tim replied that the Jacqua Center and the FAR do. Tim monitors grade patterns and numbers of student- athletes in any given class. He monitors grade changes. He contacts the professor to make sure the faculty member knows that the student- athlete should be treated as any other student. He asks about the faculty member’s experience and looks to see if grade changes affects eligibility.

Waivers-The FAR files processes these at the conference level. Waivers can be medical, family hardship and transfer. Student-athletes may have to sit out a year or it can be waived depending on sport and circumstance. The FAR athletic department, with approval from the FAR, can request a waiver for progress toward degree depending on the circumstances. The FAR approves transfer requests. Student athletes may have to sit out a year or it can be waived depending on sport and circumstance.

Violations-The FAR signs off on all violations. Tim and Jody discussed a recent secondary violation that was reported.

Shawn asked if we have more transfers than the national average. Are they increasing or decreasing. ? Tim stated that 40 percent of all men’s basketball transfers are due to student-athletes transfer and many are due to playing time. Transfers are the norm.

Tim also mentioned one of the surprises he learned upon taking the FAR position, which should not have been a surprise, is the difference between each sport.

There was a question about the percentage of special admits that do not have the academic background that would be accepted into the UO. How can we advocate for the student-athletes? Tim said that there are fewer athletic “special admits” than we think. Student-Athletes are not the majority of the special admits on an annual basis. Enrollment management has a group that evaluates all the cases. There is no basic criteria that students are judged on. Enrollment Management takes a holistic look at the students. Chair Karduna has talked to Roger Thompson. We could invite him to a meeting if the committee is interested.

Laura Leete mentioned that in the spring of 2014 the legislation that was put forth to have an IAC member on the special admits committee. This legislation is still pending. It was said there is not an actual committee but faculty members are consulted.

The coaches have been told not to recruit student -athletes that cannot get into the university.

The graduate transfer piece is different than the undergraduate transfer. They have to be admitted to a graduate school. There is an interdisciplinary graduate degree. The majority of graduate students nationally do not finish.

Student- athletes are not transferring for academics but to finish up there athletic eligibility in the athletic program. Right now the graduate transfers do not count in the APR if they are on an active roster. There is a proposal that there should be consequence or a requirement of athletic support of two years.  As an institution, we could decide that we are or are not going to admit graduate transfers. The dynamics are complicated.

Elizabeth Skowron mentioned that Education has a 1 year master’s program in prevention science.

If the students are “not showing up” that is an issue. There is eligibility via NCAA versus the graduate program requirements and we want to be thinking about these issues together.

Discussion about revising the committee charge

Chair Karduna sent out the committee charge with some proposed changes. We can either live with the current charge or propose changes. In the past information has been brought forth and there have been trust violations. The athletic director reports to the President. Chair Karduna suggested that we come up with a charge working with the President and submit to Senate.

Elizabeth felt that the academic standards, advising, and supporting student—athlete success in both realms should be our focus. Athletic Dept financal issues should be off the table for this committee. One problem lies in the open meeting policy for this committee. We cannot discuss and resolve sensitive issues together and it hampers information sharing.

Representation on search committees for coaches. It would be good to have academic representation on committees. Anita Weiss spoke of her experience being on such a search committee and the comments of the coach later talking about the questions Anita asked showed the institution’s commitment to academics. Of course we understand that certain hires may not include a search committee process.

Tim has been reviewing IAC structures throughout the PAC12 conference. Most have presidential committees. Most have a primary focus on the well-being of student athletes. We should get rid of the “IAC shall be” or “athletic department will”

Our charge should be reflective of the advisory role - we should give regular reports to the president or provost.  The actions of the athletic department can have downstream effects on the rest of the university. This committee is where the discussion should happen.

Tim has reviewed the various PAC12 committees. He will share that with Chair Karduna.

The fact that the meetings are now open meeting is an issue and the charge should probably reflect the current model. We are potentially hamstrung by our current charge and the reality of what we can do.

Chair Karduna will work on revising the charge and discuss with the President and share with the rest of the committee. He will ask what the IAC should focus on.

Chair Karduna may move the time of the next meeting in order to allow more members to attend. It will probably be moved to 3:00.


 Meeting adjourned at 3:35 pm.