View in portable document format.
A resolution of the Faculty Council, adopted September 15, 1997 (D&P 16401-16402), called for the creation of "a committee to assess the need for additional athletic facilities, to review the mission of intercollegiate athletics at the University, to evaluate whether current policies and practices are consistent with that mission, and to recommend any needed changes in the mission itself or the strategies to achieve it."
AD HOC COMMITTEE
ON INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS
The committee was not fully organized until December, 1997. It submitted an interim report to the Faculty Council on April 3, 1998. This final report is divided into the following sections:
I. The Committee
II. Intercollegiate Athletics in a Modern University
III. Some Contentious Issues
IV. A Mission Statement and Underlying Principles
I. The Committee
The members of the committee are:Charles Alan Wright, chairman
Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts; chair, Faculty Senate, 1969-1973
Professor of English
John C. Gilbert
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry; chair, Faculty Council, 1997-1998
Michael H. GranofStaff assistance was provided to the committee by Barbara Spain and Frieda Speck of the Faculty Council Office and by Mr. Wright's assistant, Colleen D. Kieke.
Ernst & Young Distinguished Centennial Professor of Accounting
President Emeritus Penn State University; President ad interim UT-Austin, 1970- 1971
Reuben R. McDaniel, Jr.
Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Regents Chair in Health Care Management; chair, Faculty Senate, 1985-1987; chair, Faculty Council, 1995-1996.
Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professor in Services to Children and Families
Shelley M. Payne
Professor of Microbiology; chair, Faculty Council, 1998-
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Associate Professor of History
Teresa A. Sullivan
Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor of Speech Communication
17002The committee had its first meeting on January 28, 1998, and has met 13 times. 1 Many knowledgeable people met at length with the committee and gave it the benefit of their experience. In alphabetical order, they were:
Head Football Coach
Director, Intercollegiate Athletics for Women
William H. Cunningham
Chancellor, The University of Texas System
Director, Intercollegiate Athletics for Men
Larry R. Faulkner
President, The University of Texas at Austin
Peter T. Flawn
President Emeritus, The University of Texas at Austin
G. Charles Franklin
Vice President for Business Affairs
Austin M. Gleeson
Professor of Physics; Chair, Campus Master Planning Committee; Chair, Faculty Building Advisory Committee
President Emeritus, Rice University; President, UT Austin, 1967-1970
Beverly L. Hadaway
Chair, Women's Athletics Council
Patricia C. Ohlendorf
Vice President for Administration and Legal Affairs
17003Johnnie D. Ray
Vice President for Development
Edwin R. Sharpe, Jr.
then Vice President for Administration; now Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Waneen W. Spirduso
Chair, Men's Athletics CouncilIn addition to learning much from meetings with these people, the committee considered much documentary material. The 68 sets of documents it received - from within The University, from comparable institutions, 2this is true of all intercollegiate athletics, and not merely at those institutions that compete at the Division I-A level. In this context, intercollegiate athletics does not directly serve the primary functions of universities, but, if properly controlled, it is a valuable supplement to the academic mission of universities. The Knight Commission concluded that "intercollegiate athletics, kept in proper perspective, are an important part of college life."
from the Association of the Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and from the NCAA - fill a thick binder.
Several published volumes were particularly helpful. In 1989 the Knight Foundation created and financed a commission to study abuses in intercollegiate athletics thought to threaten the integrity of higher education and to propose a reform agenda for college sports. William C. Friday, president emeritus of the University of North Carolina, and Theodore M. Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, were cochairmen of the commission and Bryce Jordan, a member of our committee, was one of the distinguished persons named to the commission. The Knight Commission worked for more than three years, it spent more than two million of the Knight Foundation's dollars, and it heard a long and impressive list of witnesses. Its fullest discussion of the problems of athletics was in its first report in 1991. 3 It contained the Commission's proposed solution:We propose what we call the "one-plus-three" model, a new structure of reform in which the "one" - presidential control - is directed toward the "three" - academic integrity, financial integrity and independent certification. With such a model in place,
higher education can address all of the subordinate difficulties in college sports. 4
The two subsequent reports of the Knight Commission discussed the extent to which its proposed model had been adopted. One of the proposals of the Knight Commission, independent certification, was quickly adopted by the NCAA. 5 In 1996 and 1997 an Athletic Steering Committee made an elaborate examination of the athletics programs at this university to comply with the NCAA certification program and also to meet the requirements of the athletics component of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for reaffirmation of accreditation. Two members of our committee, Michael Granof and Patricia Witherspoon, were members of the Athletic Steering Committee and our member, Reuben McDaniel, was a member of the Equity Subcommittee. The REPORT ON ATHLETICS. 6 prepared for this purpose is an important source of information.
Finally, in 1990, at a time when Peter T. Flawn thought his days as a university president were behind him, he wrote a book giving advice to others who take on one of these demanding positions. 7 Chapter 11 of that book is titled "Intercollegiate Athletics" and is a thoughtful examination of the rôle of athletics from one who had observed them as president of this university.
Athletics in a Modern UniversityNothing in the educational régime of our higher institutions perplexes the European visitor so much as the rôle that organized athletics play. On a crisp November afternoon he finds many
thousands of men and women, gathered in a great amphitheater, wildly cheering a group of athletes who are described to him as playing a game of football, but who seem to the visitor to be engaged in a battle. * * *These words have a contemporary ring. In fact they are taken from the preface to a 1929 report of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
When the visitor from the European university has pondered the matter, he comes to his American university colleagues with two questions:
"What relation has this astonishing athletic display to the work of an intellectual agency like a university?"
"How do students, devoted to study, find either the time or the money to stage so costly a performance?"
* * * * *
In brief these questions can be answered in the following terms:
In the United States the composite institution called a university is doubtless still an intellectual agency. But it is also a social, a commercial, and an athletic agency, and these activities have in recent years appreciably overshadowed the intellectual life for which the university is assumed to exist.
In the second place, the football contest that so astonishes the foreign visitor is not a student's game, as it once was. It is a highly organized commercial enterprise. The athletes who take part in it have come up through years of training; they are commanded by professional coaches; little if any personal initiative of ordinary play is left to the player. The great matches are highly profitable enterprises. Sometimes the profits go to finance college sports, sometimes to pay the cost of the sport amphitheater, in some cases the college authorities take a slice of the profits for college buildings.
17006Teaching. 8 That report went on for 340 pages to argue that recruiting had become corrupt, professionals had replaced amateurs, education was being neglected, and commercialism reigned.
Writing in 1990 Peter Flawn described a situation not much different from what the Carnegie Commission had found.There was a time in the universities of the United States when intercollegiate athletics, like recreational sports and intramural sports, was a student activity. Those involved in it were students. They were a part of the student body and recognized by students as fellow students. Indeed in most universities and for most sports, intercollegiate athletics remains a student activity. However, in the big public universities and in some of the well-known private universities, men's football and basketball have become a business that is not related to students or to the academic mission of the institution. In these institutions, those involved in the men's football and basketball programs are not students in the traditional sense. They are individuals with exceptional athletic talents who are preparing for careers in professional sports. Through their athletic performance at the university level they are seeking to win professional contracts. Academic performance is a consideration only because a minimum level of performance is necessary for the athlete to stay in school to continue to be eligible in the athletic program. These professional athletes live apart from the other students, eat apart from the other students, and study apart from the other students. The only time during the football or basketball season that they encounter the ordinary student is when they attend class. 9The primary functions of universities are the preservation, development, and dissemination of knowledge. It is not possible to see how intercollegiate athletics is a critical component of any of these three functions except in the sense that team activities contribute to the education of the "whole" person. But
At their best, which is most of the time, intercollegiate athletics provide millions of people - athletes, undergraduates, alumni and the general public - with great pleasure, the spectacle of extraordinary effort and physical grace, the excitement of an outcome in doubt, and a shared unified experience. Thousands of men and women in the United States are stronger adults because of the challenges they mastered as young athletes. 10In reply to a newspaper question about how important athletics is to a university, Larry Faulkner said:A university is a very large and extended community. It extends to the town, to the alumni, to its supporters around the state. Athletics is probably the single most valuable tool for building a sense of community among that group of people. It has a great value. 11Mr. Faulkner made the same point at greater length on May 11, 1998, in giving the Faculty Council answers to questions a member had submitted in advance.It is an idiosyncrasy of American life that large sports programs with great public appeal have developed within the nation's universities, including nearly all of its most distinguished institutions. This affiliation is deeply rooted in American culture and is not likely to change.
On balance, I believe that the athletic programs have been beneficial for American universities, for they have shown unmatched power
for building a sense of community among an institution's broad base of constituents, most of whom do not have a continuing presence on the campus. They have helped to establish the universities more fully and more centrally in the life of city, state, and nation. They have also provided venues where young people can test themselves and learn useful lessons of life in a constructive competitive atmosphere. And they have provided financial support for the academic education of thousands of students. 12It would be pointless to argue that The University of Texas at Austin should get itself out of the sports business by discontinuing intercollegiate athletics or by competing at the Division III level. We asked one highly placed person who met with us how he would react if we made such a recommendation. He said that he would think we were out of our minds. Another person answered the same question by saying he would wonder what we had been smoking. In his advice to university presidents Peter Flawn says: "As president of a university that is currently involved in intercollegiate athletics there is no way that you can unilaterally take your institution out of competition and expect to survive as president." 13
The emphasis must be on keeping intercollegiate athletics in proper perspective and under proper control. This has become increasingly difficult as budgets for athletics have ballooned. A major reason for the increased budgets has been Title IX, requiring that universities support a program for women's athletics comparable to what they spend on men's athletics. A second reason is that universities with major intercollegiate-athletics programs are competing with each other to recruit the outstanding young men and women in each sport and state-of-the-art facilities are thought to be an important factor in recruiting. The universities are competing also to obtain the top coaches. Both of these competitions cost money - lots of money.
At The University of Texas intercollegiate athletics are regarded as an auxiliary enterprise, as are residence halls, food service, college unions, college stores, health centers, day-care centers, movie theaters, transportation services, and parking systems. By statute "auxiliary enterprise" is defined as "a business
17009activity that is conducted at a state agency, provides a service to the agency, and is not paid with appropriated money." 14 No bonds or notes payable out of the Available Fund may be used "for student housing, intercollegiate athletics, or auxiliary enterprises." 15 A rider each biennium to the General Appropriations Act says: "No educational and general funds appropriated to any institution or agency in this article may be expended on auxiliary enterprises."
Intercollegiate athletics at The University of Texas at Austin do not use appropriated funds, as indeed by law they cannot. The 1997-1998 budget for Men's Athletics predicted revenue of $31,777,954, expenses of $25,773,992 and debt service of $1,632,185, and an excess of revenue over expenses and debt service of $4,371,777. The budget for Women's Athletics predicted revenue of $2,774,075, expenses of $9,283,283, nothing required for debt service, and a shortfall of revenue as against expenses of $6,509,208. That shortfall was made up by a transfer of $3,711,000 from Men's Athletics and of $3,062,271 from other institutional sources such as trademark revenue, land rentals, and interest earned on certain cash accounts. The two athletics programs, taken together, were expected to end the year with a positive balance of $108,582.
Football has a substantial positive cash flow and men's basketball does well. All other men's sports (baseball, golf, swimming & diving, tennis, and track) and all women's sports (basketball, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, rowing, tennis, track, and volleyball) cost more than they bring in. It is the money produced by football that must carry all of the remaining sports, both men's and women's, except for men's basketball.
Texas is fortunate that it has a self-supporting athletics program and that football can pay the bill for other sports. An NCAA spokesman has said that a great majority of all universities lose money on football. 16 And a later NCAA report confirms this.At universities in Division I-A - those with football programs that compete at the N.C.A.A.'s highest level - expenditures in 1997
rose by 21 per cent and revenues by just 15 per cent, dropping the average profit margin for I-A sports programs to $437,000 in 1997, down from $1.1 million in 1995. When support from the institutions' general funds was excluded, the average Division I-A athletics department showed a deficit of $823,000 in fiscal 1997, up from $237,000 in 1975. 17A recent article about the University of Oklahoma noted that the athletics department there has a budget of about $24 million, "but it has lost more than $10 million in the last 11 years. University officials say deficits have been created by increased operating costs, NCAA compliance regulations and Title IX gender-equity initiatives." 18
One response to increasing costs at many major football schools has been to expand stadiums and to add luxury suites, club rooms, and other facilities that will bring large donations. It is thought that these additions will bring more revenue to their institutions and that the additions will be important in recruiting.This is the new face of intercollegiate athletics: building and upgrading sports facilities that are more luxurious than the next guys and using them to lure star athletes and Dom-sipping donors to campus.
"It's a frenzy now," said Oregon Athletic Director Bill Moos, who plans to expand his football stadium by more than 10,000 seats and recently opened a $12 million indoor practice facility. "It's one-upmanship. . . . The name of the game is recruiting."
The building boom in college sports shows no sign of slowing as existing facilities get older and cash-strapped athletic departments look for new sources of revenue. A sampling of 25 major-college athletic programs found that since 1996 these schools had spent or committed $1.2 billion to build or renovate sports facilities. Four
universities in Texas accounted for almost $300 million. Ohio State, which also is renovating its football stadium [in addition to building a 19,500-seat basketball arena], is spending $260 million alone. 19The article from which that quotation is taken says that Texas A&M is adding 10,000 seats to Kyle Field at a cost of $33 million. Another source says that the 20 luxury suites would give the stadium a total of 68, and that the Zone Club will be the largest collegiate stadium club in the country, with more than 14,000 square feet. 20 Texas Tech is spending $47 million to add new suites, a new press box, and a new facade to Jones Stadium and is also building a $53 million, 15,000-seat arena for basketball. At SMU a $43 million, 32,000-seat football and soccer stadium and a 124,000-square-foot all-sports center are being built. Our university, as we know, is in the middle of an expansion project costing nearly $90 million.
In an article last spring a knowledgeable writer examined the reasons why Texas football had been in the doldrums. One of the three reasons he mentioned was the condition of our facilities.Living on what it perceived as its unshakable reputation, the school did little to upgrade its facilities. The last major stadium improvement was a deck in 1972. List the top 50 schools in the nation in football facilities and Texas wouldn't be included. That's why, in a white heat, more than $70 million is being spent right now for stadium renovation and construction. 21Last summer Dave Campbell's Texas Football asked a number of informed people what they thought was necessary to bring The University of Texas back to its accustomed place in football. A former UT coach, Fred Akers, wrote that we needed to throw the ball more and that we needed to improve our facilities.
The stadium expansion went through all of the steps that a building proposal regularly goes through at UT-Austin. It had been put on the ranked list by the FBAC and the construction projects that have been designed as a result of the Stadium Master Plan have had the standard level of review by the FBAC. It was approved by the President (and subsequently by the Board of Regents and the Coordinating Board).17012
Any time you improve your facility, you'll attract young people. They are impressionable. When you go to a place that has first-class facilities and it's there on the cutting edge, players are appreciative and they say these guys are for real, they are big-time and I want to be a part of this. Expansion will pay off in recruiting dividends. 22
It may be unduly harsh to say that Gresham's Law governs expenditures on athletics facilities and coaches' salaries at major institutions, but it surely is a case of "keeping up with the Joneses." Last spring the Penn State Board of Trustees approved an $84 million project to add nearly 10,000 seats to Beaver Stadium. This will bring its capacity to 103,500, and would make it the largest on-campus college football stadium, were it not for the fact that the University of Michigan is expanding Michigan Stadium to more than 107,000 seats. The Penn State plans include at least 58 enclosed skyboxes. The highly respected coach at Penn State, Joe Paterno, says of the expansion: "It's absolutely essential. Look at the things the other Big Ten schools are doing. They are more attractive than our facilities right now. In the long run, our program would suffer without the changes." 23
We may wish that intercollegiate athletics were still what it was in the days of Walter Camp, rather than the multimillion dollar enterprise it has become. But the clock will not run backward. A great legal scholar thought that there was no such thing as a void decree. "However, the Supreme Court says that there are void decrees, and I suppose that makes them exist for all practical purposes. They are at least as real as Santa Clauses in department stores before Christmas. We have to know what to do about them even if we believe they ought not to be there." 24 So it is with intercollegiate athletics as they are today.II. Some Contentious Issues
The immediate precipitating force leading to the decision of the Faculty Council to call for the creation of this committee was the expansion of the
stadium. Many members of the Faculty Council, and of the faculty generally, were concerned whether this large expenditure for a stadium, at a time when The University lacks funds to build badly needed academic buildings, was a proper ordering of priorities. There was concern also about the large sums being paid to coaches - and to pay off former coaches - as compared to the sums being paid to faculty and staff.17013
The faculty was not alone in feeling these concerns. The minutes of the Coordinating Board for October 28, 1998, say: "Every Coordinating Board meeting, there seems to be at least one proposal related to athletic facilities and this has become a very touchy subject with the Board. While all members state they are fans of college football, and other sports, they express concern about the amount of money spent on sports facilities." At that meeting the Coordinating Board was asked to approve a small final element in the plan for stadium expansion: 25 $3.2 million to lower the football field and add additional seats. A motion was made that approval of this project be "contingent upon UT Austin's transferring an amount from the football program to academic scholarships each year sufficient to provide $10,000 scholarships to 105 students studying to become teachers in Texas' public schools." That motion was defeated by a narrow margin of six ayes to eight nays. When the UT project came up for final action by the Coordinating Board, there was more critical discussion and the project was approved by the same 8 to 6 vote.
The recent developments raise the following specific questions. (1) Was the stadium expansion authorized in haste, without appropriate consultation with the Faculty Council or other groups representative of a broad base of University constituents and without proper consideration of the Campus Master Plan? (2) Did the decision to go forward with the stadium expansion delay construction of academic buildings that are badly needed? (3) Do these events give the impression that The University is more concerned with athletics than academics or that The University is so rich that it is no longer in need of state appropriations or private donations? (4) Is it proper to pay coaches and former coaches sums far in excess of what are paid to faculty and staff? (5) Have our athletics teams become merely part of a minor league to provide players for professional teams?
1. Was the stadium expansion authorized in haste, without appropriate consultation with the Faculty Council or other groups representative of a broad base of University constituents and without proper consideration of the Campus Master Plan?In the 1993-1994 academic year the Faculty Building Advisory Committee asked deans and others to submit their building needs. Doug Messer, the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Men, replied with a request for $25 million for health and safety needs of the stadium and $150 million for stadium renovation and expansion. The FBAC ranked these requests (as well as other items such as practice fields and a women's softball field) early in 1994. It then sent to the President a ranked list of building needs. Both of the requests concerning the stadium were on the list, though the money for health and safety needs was ranked more highly than the larger sum for renovation and expansion.
The request for money for the health and safety needs went to the Board of Regents for their consideration in February 1996. The Regents felt that it did not make sense to spend $25 million for the health and safety needs when they could satisfy those, and much more, by going forward with stadium renovation and expansion. The Regents approved a Master Plan for the stadium, which ultimately would close in the north and south ends and increase capacity to about 115,000 seats. And the Regents amended the Capital Improvement Program in seven ways:
- Replacing Memorial Stadium Renovations Project with a new one to replace the artificial turf with a natural-grass playing field.
- Adding a project to renovate the West Side of Memorial Stadium.
- Adding a project for the installation of an artificial turf practice field using the turf removed from Memorial Stadium, and lighting for both the grass and artificial turf practice field and women's soccer field.
- dding a project to renovate and expand what was then the Neuhaus/Royal Athletic Center.
- Adding a project to construct a combined track/soccer stadium to be constructed on top of a parking garage.
- Adding a project to renovate the East side of Memorial Stadium, construct an upper deck, a press box, and sky boxes and renovate the West side press box into sky boxes.
- Adding a project to lower the existing football field and add approximately 1,570 seats to Memorial Stadium. 26
There is no rule or tradition that building projects be considered by the Faculty Council. We make a recommendation on this matter as the third of our recommendations in Part V.
The relation to the Campus Master Plan was raised as one of a series of questions put to Doug Messer by Alan Friedman in the summer of 1997. Mr. Messer's answer to that question was as follows:The Stadium Master Plan was developed by Heery International in coordination with the Cesar Pelli group that is developing the Campus Master Plan. Many aspects of the stadium plan, particularly the style of architecture, have been introduced by the Pelli group. These projects have been more closely coordinated with the Campus Master Plan than any other projects at UT Austin. 27Austin Gleeson is chair of both the Campus Master Planning Committee and the Faculty Building Advisory Committee. His comment on this matter is in part as follows:Doug Messer's response to Alan Friedman's question is basically correct. There was coordination and the Pelli firm had considerable contribution to the Stadium façade. It is difficult to assess his closing that the Stadium Master Plan was coordinated more than other projects. We have had only two master plans, the Campus
Master Plan and the Stadium Master Plan. There really are no examples with which to compare. * * *
I have to say that there was coordination at the Master Planning level and review by the Faculty Building Advisory Committee. In some sense, the Stadium Master Plan was an outgrowth of the Campus Master Plan. I have to add, though, that the rate of implementation is not an issue that was within the purview of the Campus Master Plan. 28
It is clear that the stadium renovation and expansion jumped the queue and was approved and put into motion before many projects that had been more highly ranked in the list that the FBAC submitted to the President in 1994. This is not unusual. Buildings go forward when there is money to build them and this often bears no relation to their position on the ranked list. The addition to Taylor Hall got early approval because of a handsome gift by a generous alumnus to finance it. Connally Center, the addition to the Law School now under construction, was never on any ranked list. It went forward when the leaders in the Legislature told The University that it should spend $10 million building such an addition.
There was an urgency about the stadium-expansion project once it had been approved. Work cannot go on, nor can portions of the stadium be left incomplete, during the football season. This meant that drawings had to be prepared and contracts let so that the first portion of the project, renovation of the west side, could be accomplished between the last game in 1996 and the first game in 1997. Similarly the east-side work had to be done between the end of the 1997 season and the beginning of the 1998 season. All of this has been done on schedule.2. Did the decision to go forward with the stadium expansion delay construction of academic buildings that are badly needed?There is no evidence that this is so. The stadium expansion is being paid for by gifts to the Longhorn Legacy Capital Campaign, by Athletics Department reserves, and by revenue bonds to be repaid by the revenue generated from
17017ticket surcharges, luxury-box revenues, and the revenues from new seats. Should there be a shortfall in these revenue sources, the Men's Athletics Department would be required to make the necessary payments from its cash reserves. 29
The money going to pay for the stadium expansion is not money that could be used to pay for a new microbiology building. But it is legitimate to ask whether the $30 million in private gifts expected to pay for, among other things, the stadium work 30 might not otherwise have been given to pay for a microbiology building or for some other academic purpose. Do donors give to athletics money they would otherwise give to academics?
We do not know the answer to this question. We have some clues. The Men's Athletics Department provided us with a table showing pledges to the Longhorn Legacy Capital Campaign (the fundraising operation for the stadium expansion) for the 26 largest donors to that program and the amount each of those persons had given to UT for nonathletic purposes. The figures are not wholly comparable, since the listing for Longhorn Legacy is amounts pledged while for other gifts it is total cumulative gifts made by those donors and actually paid according to the records in the Central Development Office. That table showed that these 26 donors had pledged a total of $26,480,000 to Longhorn Legacy and had paid on gifts to other parts of The University $18,125,880. The Vice President for Development, Johnnie D. Ray, told us that he had run a report on the top six cumulative donors to athletics "over the last many years." He found that collectively these top six donors had given $15 million to athletics and the same persons had contributed $20 million to academics. Only two of the six had a larger cumulative contribution to athletics than they did to academics. Each of the six donors had contributed to at least five academic units over the same period of time. Mr. Ray's conclusion is worth quoting:Of the pool of alumni who give to The University, some will never give to anything but athletics and nothing could change that fact. There are people at the other end of the spectrum who will never give to athletics under any circumstances. Then there is the group
in the middle who consider athletics to be an important part of the culture and give because it affects their ticket situation, but who also have a solid perspective of what the real mission of the institution is and do not confuse the two.One interesting fact is that there is no correlation whatever between the win-loss record of the football team and the amount of giving to The University. This is shown by actual experience here over the past 20 years and Mr. Ray told us that this is supported by empirical studies in the published literature on the subject.
It may well be that some persons within The University had to devote time to the stadium project that might otherwise have been spent on other University activities. But for the most part the work in planning the stadium expansion and in raising the money to pay for it has been done by Athletics Department personnel.3. Do these events give the impression that The University is more concerned with athletics than academics or that The University is so rich that it is no longer in need of state appropriations or private donations?Certainly there are some people who have that impression about The University. In the January/February 1999 issue of Texas Alcalde there is a letter to the editor from a man who got a BBA here in 1975 and an MBA in 1981. He wrote in part:When will the alumni of the University realize how the football program saps the strength of the academic program? How can you honestly say in the "Taj" article that the immoderate remodeling was paid for with "athletic funds"? As if there is a separate pot that has been set aside at the expense of academics? If that is the case, you and your publication should be calling for an end to such absurdities.But two people whose business it is to be concerned about these matters say
The University of Texas will never become a first-class place of education until education is the focus, not football.
that such an impression is not widespread. Johnnie Ray was asked by a
17019member of our committee whether there is a significant body of alumni who
do not give anything to The University because they sense that The
University is too heavily committed to athletics. He replied:Of the hundreds of meetings I have had with alumni over the last two years, only one person has told me they will not give to The University specifically because of an overemphasis on athletics. Undoubtedly there are others who feel that way but proportionately so few as to be statistically inconsequential. I have had conversations with many people who feel there is an overemphasis on athletics generally. I know I have had a lot of conversations with people who do feel that there is distinct overemphasis on athletics in higher education generally. But most of these people don't let that cloud their view that the real impact of an institution like this is in its three core missions of research, teaching, and service.Larry Faulkner addressed a similar question when he spoke to the Faculty Council on May 11, 1998.I believe that it is important for the public, especially public officials responsible for higher education, to understand the nature of contemporary intercollegiate athletics; consequently I do not see the recent publicity about our program as harmful. Nor do I believe that we are at risk of being perceived in the State of Texas or in the nation as a"sports school". Our academic programs offer enormous value and are not in danger of being overshadowed by athletics. Therefore, I do not see a need to change our image. I do see a need for us to be ever vigilant about our integrity4. Is it proper to pay coaches and former coaches sums far in excess of what are paid to faculty and staff?Mr. Faulkner was asked a similar question - Should college athletic coaches be paid those astronomical figures (a total payroll of $1,755,000 for UT football 1998 staff) when faculty and staff salaries are so low by comparison? - in advance of his May appearance before the Faculty Council. He made this response:
As I have indicated above, I believe that The University reaps many important benefits from sponsoring a nationally competitive program of intercollegiate athletics. If it is to continue, it must recruit talent that can support excellence with integrity. Doing so requires that we pay competitive salaries, just as in all other fields of concern to us.We have noted earlier that it would be unrealistic to propose that The University of Texas at Austin should get itself out of the sports business by discontinuing intercollegiate athletics or by competing at the Division III level (P. 9). Salaries and contract terms are driven by market conditions and Mr. Faulkner seems clearly right in saying that the salaries are "a clear consequence of the fundamental decision to compete at the level established within the heritage of the University."
Certainly I can appreciate that the salaries in some of these posts seem breathtaking by comparison to all others paid in The University; however they seem to me a clear consequence of the fundamental decision to compete at the level established within the heritage of the University. It is important to recognize several things about these salaries: First, it is not possible for a single university to change the nationwide customs and market. Second, the salaries are derived from funds generated by the programs and the coaches themselves. Third, a significant part of the compensation of the head coaches comes from product endorsements and media contracts, the revenue from which is not independently budgetable by Men's Intercollegiate Athletics.
Finally, let me add that I consider the recent decisions concerning coaching appointments and salaries of coaches to have been made very responsibly in the light of the legitimate interests of The University.5. Have our athletics teams become merely part of a minor league to provide players for professional teams?It is certainly true that college athletics programs are a major, but not the only, source of talent for the professional leagues. But it is also true that the vast
majority of UT athletes have no reasonable expectation of ever playing professionally.
Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds told us that the national average of college athletes who go on to a professional career is probably less than 2%, and perhaps less for women. Women's Athletics Director Jody Conradt says that the figure for women is probably less than 2% because there have not been that many professional opportunities for women, only in the individual sports such as golf or tennis. She noted that with the emergence of the professional basketball leagues and volleyball and soccer and softball we will probably have more. Mr. Dodds said that 5% of the student-athletes will think that they have a chance to compete as a professional, and Jody Conradt observed that this number might be 9% for freshmen, but that it gets smaller as the student proceeds through the University.
IV. A Mission Statement and Underlying Principles
The motion the Faculty Council adopted on September 15, 1997, directed this committee "to review the mission of intercoll
egiate athletics at the University,
to evaluate whether current policies and practices are consistent
with that mission, and to recommend any needed changes in the mission
itself or the strategies to achieve it." 31
What we have said in Parts II and III of this report are the result of our review of the mission of intercollegiate athletics at The University of Texas. We have given extensive thought to a new mission statement that will define the mission of intercollegiate athletics as we believe it should be. Our mission statement is a set of standards toward which this institution should strive. Owing to the competitive environment in which we operate, we do not currently meet these standards in every respect, but the standards set out here should guide future decisions. We have set out in Part V of this report our recommendations on some specific measures that should be taken now or given serious consideration.
We recommend that the Men's and Women's Athletics Departments adopt the following as their Mission Statement and Underlying Principles.
The purpose of intercollegiate athletics at The University of Texas is to support the institution's mission, which, in part, is "to achieve excellence in the interrelated areas of undergraduate education, graduate education, research, and public service." Athletics can be an important dimension of campus life, enriching the University's culture and serving its multiple constituencies.
Intercollegiate athletics can, and should, benefit the University in several ways:
- By providing opportunities for students who are athletes to participate in intercollegiate sports at high levels of competition and thereby to develop both personally and professionally;
- By promoting spirit, loyalty, and collegiality throughout the university community;
- By promoting statewide pride in the University;
- By gaining favorable national publicity for the University;
- By encouraging support in the broadest sense for every element of the University from students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, friends, public officials, and the general population.
Underlying PrinciplesThe following underlying principles are intended to assure that these purposes are accomplished:
- Participants in intercollegiate athletics should be students first and athletes second.
- They should be integrated into all aspects of student life.
- Although their special athletic talents may be taken into account, they should be admitted primarily on the same criteria used to assess other candidates.
- There should be no special degree programs or courses designed primarily for those participating in intercollegiate athletics, and the goal for athletes, as for all students, should be graduation.
- There should be an equitable opportunity for all students, including women and minorities, to participate in intercollegiate athletics.
- Student-athletes, coaches, and all others associated with intercollegiate athletics should adhere to such fundamental values as respect, fairness, civility, honesty, and responsibility.
- Administration of the athletic programs should be integrated into the University governance structure to ensure that athletic departments are not viewed as independent of other University functions.
- All aspects of athletic programs should be administered by the central administration with direct oversight by the faculty.
- Faculty should have a direct voice in any decisions involving athletics that also have academic implications, such as those involving associations with other universities or NCAA policies.
- All academic matters relating to students participating in athletics should be implemented in accordance with academic policies established through faculty governance. These include admissions, academic counseling, eligibility, and retention.
- All unrestricted revenues should be subject to central- administration control.
- All expenditures, both operating and capital, of unrestricted resources should be subject to evaluative criteria comparable to those imposed on other auxiliary enterprises, academic departments, and administrative units. They should be assessed in relation to other University needs.
There are serious philosophical differences about the place of intercollegiate athletics at The University of Texas at Austin among the faculty - and, we would surmise, among the students and the alumni as well. We have referred earlier to the 1993 report of an Ad Hoc Committee on Academics and Athletics. 32 That committee sent an extensive questionnaire to all members of the faculty with the rank of lecturer or above. It received 645 responses, representing about 27% of the questionnaires it had sent out. One of the questions asked respondents to indicate their attitude toward the statement: "Intercollegiate athletics at The University of Texas at Austin receives too much emphasis." In response, 33.4% said that they "strongly agree" with that
17025statement, 31.2% said that they "agree", and 16.3% were "neutral" or had no opinion. Only 16.5% said that they "disagree" and 2.5% that they "strongly disagree". In the same survey 64.1% said that they agreed or strongly agreed with the notion that intercollegiate athletics have a valuable rôle to play at this university while 19.7% disagreed or strongly disagreed. We have said above 33 that it must be taken as a given that The University is not going to drop intercollegiate athletics or drop to Division III competition. But in guiding the athletics programs it is important for those in authority to bear in mind that nearly 20% of the faculty do not think that intercollegiate athletics have a valuable place here and that 64% of the faculty feel that athletics are overemphasized. These differences of view suggest that any increase in emphasis on athletics or expansion of facilities be proposed with suitable circumspection.
We recommend that those with responsibility for the conduct of intercollegiate athletics always bear in mind that there are philosophical differences among the faculty and other UT constituencies about the place of athletics.
Our second recommendation is an outgrowth of our first. There is an important need for improved communication on matters related to athletics. For instance, much of the controversy about the stadium expansion has been caused by failure to know all the facts. There was an "Athletics Facilities Open Forum" at the Ex-Students Association on June 30, 1997, but it was held during the summer with little publicity. There had been a similar meeting in the fall of 1996, but only a limited group of people were told about it and invited to attend. 34 The expenditure of millions of dollars on the stadium and related facilities was of interest and concern to faculty and staff throughout the campus and an effort should have been made to keep all of them fully informed. Too
often persons on both sides of San Jacinto Street have had an "us" and "them" approach.
The members of this committee have all been active in faculty governance or have served on one of the athletics councils or both. Yet some of the things we have learned in the course of our work came as news to most of us. For one example, going to a bowl - even a high-paying bowl in the Bowl Championship Series - is not profitable for the institution. The amount the institution is allowed to keep is limited by the conference and barely covers the travel and other expenses incurred by the bowl team. The conference takes the rest of the bowl money and divides it in equal shares to all twelve schools in the conference. For another example, we had not known until we served on this committee that most of the complimentary tickets provided to officers of the UT System are paid for by the System.
Athletics gets far more publicity than anything that happens on the academic side of The University. We may be barely conscious of a new building going up on the other side of campus but we are all quite aware of the stadium expansion since so much is written about it. The press, quite understandably, does not get into the kinds of questions about the stadium expansion that have been discussed in this report. In the absence of facts, rumor has an open field. The two athletics directors and the football coach both told us that they are eager to have better communication with the faculty and staff. We think this is of the highest importance.
We recommend that every effort be made to keep the faculty and other University communities fully informed about the athletics programs.
A large part of the charge given this committee by the Faculty Council was quoted at the beginning of Part IV of this report, at page 23. But there was one other task that we were given. It was "to assess the need for additional athletic facilities."
We have not attempted to do that in any comprehensive way. At this time the Athletics Departments are not proposing any new facilities. It is impossible
to assess the need for anything more except in terms of a specific time and on the basis of information as of that time about the need for the facility and the availability of money to pay for it.
But we think that when any substantial project is being considered for additional facilities, whether for athletics or for academic purposes, the faculty, through its representatives on the Faculty Council, should be informed about the project and be given the opportunity to express its view. All new construction projects exceeding $300,000 and all major repair and renovation projects exceeding $600,000 require approval from the Board of Regents and from the Coordinating Board. We think that for the Faculty Council to concern itself with expenditures this small would smack of micromanaging.
We recommend that before a new construction project or repair and renovation project estimated to cost $10 million or more goes to the President for approval, the Faculty Council, through its representatives on the Faculty Building Advisory Committee, be informed about the project and given an opportunity to express its view.
One matter of concern is that the Athletics Departments can obtain gifts by offering the donors valuable benefits - choice tickets, good parking, access to a club - while the academic departments have nothing similar to offer to their donors. We have considered whether there are ways in which athletics can be used to promote giving to academics while at the same time not decreasing any of the gifts to athletics. One idea that was put forward was that someone who makes a substantial gift to the School of Music, for example, would have the option to pay face price for a good seat in the stadium or the Erwin Center. If the donor exercised that option, a part of the gift would be given to the Athletics Department so that both the academic unit and the Athletics Department would be better off than if the gift had been made directly to athletics.
The Vice President for Development, Johnnie Ray, told us that he has heard such ideas discussed before and he thought the suggestion was worth exploring. DeLoss Dodds, however, cautioned that there are very few good
seats available. Most people who already have good seats repeat their contribution and get those seats again. In football only a small number of tickets in the most desirable section become available each year and in basketball perhaps two or three sets of tickets downstairs.
We recommend that the two Athletics Councils and the administration give further consideration to this idea.
Starting in 1995 all fundraising for both men's and women's athletics was conducted by a single entity, the Longhorn Foundation. 35 All Longhorn Foundation funds are deposited in University accounts. Donations to the Longhorn Foundation are tracked in the University accounting system in accordance with the directions of the donors. They may go either to men's sports or to women's sports or to the general support of the UT athletics programs. It has been said that the combining of IAM/IAW fundraising efforts has been "a demonstrable success." 36
Johnnie Ray told us that all policies that apply to fundraising for other parts of The University apply fully to fundraising for athletics. He said that there is a much higher degree of coordination between his office and fundraising for athletics than exists at other universities. The major-gift fundraisers for athletics meet on a monthly basis with his executive director of developments and with the central officers and college officers.
Even so, the fundraisers for athletics do not report directly to the Vice President for Development. Although their work is closely coordinated with his, they report to the Athletics Directors and through them to the Vice President for Administration and Legal Affairs. The fundraisers in the colleges and schools have a dual direct-reporting line, one to the Vice President for Development and one to the Dean. The fundraisers in athletics have a direct line to the Athletics Directors and what may be thought of as a dotted line to the
Vice President for Development. Mr. Ray would prefer a dual reporting line for the major-gift fundraisers in athletics similar to the practice of the colleges and schools.
We recommend that the Longhorn Foundation and the Longhorn Legacy Capital Campaign report directly to the Vice President for Development as well as to the Athletics Directors.
The President of the University of Texas at Austin is responsible for the conduct of intercollegiate athletics and all recommendations of one of the Councils is advisory to the President. 37 The two Athletics Councils are the principal means by which the faculty has a voice in the governance of intercollegiate athletics. They advise the President, through the Vice President for Administration, on all matters of policy, personnel, and programs for intercollegiate athletics. In succeeding paragraphs we recommend some ways in which we believe the Athletics Councils can be made more effective, but we recommend that the relation of the Councils to the President be continued as it is. The "bedrock conviction" of the Knight Commission was that "university presidents are the key to successful reform. They must be in charge - and be understood to be in charge - on campuses, in conferences and in the decision-making councils of the NCAA." 38
We recommend that it continue to be the case that the President is in charge of intercollegiate athletics at this university and that the Advisory Councils be advisory to the President and to the Athletics Directors.
The Men's Athletics Council has one student appointed by the President, one ex-student appointed by the Ex-Students Association, two persons
appointed by the Board of Regents, and four members of the General Faculty appointed by the President for four-year terms. 39 In addition the President appoints a member of the General Faculty to serve an indefinite term as a member and chairman of the Council. The composition of the Women's Athletics Council is the same, except that it has a second student who serves as a nonvoting Member-Elect for one year and then becomes the student member for the next year.
We have considered various possibilities for changing the structure of the Athletics Council, including such possibilities as having a staff member on each Council or having a former Texas athlete on each Council. These proposals would require enlarging the Councils, since the NCAA requires that a majority of the members of a council be either faculty members or administrators who hold an academic appointment. 40
The one proposal for change in the composition of the Athletics Council we recommend is that we think the concept of regental appointees to the Council should be ended and that those two members should be replaced by two members-at-large appointed by the President. The University of Texas at Austin is the only institution in the UT System that has regental appointees on its athletics councils. We think that allowing the President, rather than the Regents, to name these two members of each of the Councils is consistent with the principle, discussed above in connection with Recommendation 6, that the President is responsible for the conduct of intercollegiate athletics. The corollary of that principle is that trustees of universities will leave it to the president to govern the athletics program. 41
We recommend that the two members of each of the Athletics Councils now named by the Regents be appointed instead by the President.
It has been the custom at this university that the chairman of the Athletics Council is also the faculty representative to the NCAA and to the conference of which The University is a member. We doubt that this is a custom that ought to be continued.42 It is quite proper that the faculty athletic representative serve in the position for many years. Our representative will have more influence with the NCAA and the conference the longer he or she serves. Because the faculty representative has also been the chairman of the Athletics Council, the chairman has served at the pleasure of the President and traditionally has served for many years. We believe that the chairman, like the other faculty members, should serve for a limited term. Since the chairman is a fifth faculty member, perhaps all five of the faculty members should serve for staggered five-year terms. We see no advantage in indefinite tenure for the Council chairman and gain to be had from bringing fresh faces into that position.
We recommend that the faculty representative to the NCAA and to the conference serve at the pleasure of the President and that he or she be ex officio a nonvoting member of the Athletics Council and that the chairman of each Athletics Council be one of the faculty members of the Council, named to be chairman by the President.
There seems to be general satisfaction with the way the Women's Athletics Council functions. There is more concern about the Men's Athletics Council. This may be a function of the fact that men's sports are much more in the public eye than women's sports, except perhaps for women's basketball. When we began work some persons who had recently served on the Men's
Athletics Council expressed concern that it did not meet frequently and often must make important decisions on short notice.
It is not a mere happenstance that the NCAA Constitution requires that a majority of an athletics council be faculty members or administrators who hold an academic appointment.43 This is the means by which faculty can make their voice heard in the conduct of the athletics programs. But the faculty's voice is less effective than it should be and its advice to the President is less well informed if the athletics council does not meet regularly or if its meetings are on short notice.
We were gratified to learn that in the present academic year the Men's Council met four times in the fall and that it will meet four times in the spring, with its last meeting in May. In addition, there may be telephone polls on specific matters and there may be one or more additional meetings if circumstances should require. We think this new schedule is commendable.
We recommend that the Men's Athletics Council continue to meet at least as often as it is doing in the current academic year and that, except where urgent circumstances require otherwise, its meetings be scheduled well in advance.
The recommendations we have made, though important, are incremental. We believe that, if adopted, they would be for the good of the intercollegiate-athletics program at The University of Texas at Austin and that they would strengthen the faculty voice in that program.
In Part II of this report we have discussed the state of intercollegiate athletics in a modern university. We quoted Peter Flawn's statement that "men's football and basketball have become a business"44 and we cited many instances
of expenditures being made in the interest of "keeping up with the Joneses".45 If we were to redesign our system of intercollegiate athletics it would look nothing like that which we have now.
But we deal with a condition, not with a theory. Unilateral disarmament is rarely an effective strategy. We understand that The University must do what is necessary in order to remain competitive. At the same time, we recognize that ours is the leading institution in the second largest state in the nation. Our university has an obligation to be a forceful advocate for reform of intercollegiate athletics. The University of Texas can make its voice heard in the NCAA and in the conference of which it is a member.
There were those who hoped we would recommend drastic reforms. We did not do so because, given the assumption that we will continue to compete at the level we presently do, we found no need for drastic reforms. We are fortunate here that we have an athletics program that is self-supporting and that has an enviable tradition of integrity and competing within the rules.
In his speech to the Faculty Council on September 15, 1997 in support of his motion to create this committee, Michael Granof said in part:
Our proposed measure is by no means intended as athletic bashing. It recognizes the significant contributions that intercollegiate athletics makes to the University and to its educational mission. Personally, I have served on two committee relating to the Athletics Department - one relating to academics, the other to finances. I am impressed with the Department's fiscal integrity, its concern for the academic well-being of our athletes and the effectiveness with which the department fulfills what it sees as its purpose.
Larry Faulkner addressed the same point on May 11, 1998, when he responded to questions that had been posed to him in advance.
While I serve as President here, I will place utmost emphasis on the preservation of The University's integrity in all of its aspects, including intercollegiate athletics. At Texas, we have an admirable record of competing with integrity in our sports programs. Moreover, we have done so over many years at a very high level of achievement. In the men's programs, we have also done so within a self-financing program that does not burden the University's resources from State appropriations, tuition, or fees. Finally, Texas has competed with honor and integrity in a period when the University has made great strides toward academic leadership at the top level. Very few other universities, even among elite private institutions, can make the same statements. I am deeply committed to seeing that they remain true when I depart from this office.
We have spent more than a year closely examining many aspects of athletics at our university. Our study fully confirms what Mr. Granof said at the beginning and what Mr. Faulkner said more recently. Accordingly, we recommend only minor adjustments, not major changes.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics
Charles Alan Wright
February 4, 1999
1In 1991 what was then the Faculty Senate called for the appointment of an Ad Hoc Committee on Academics and Athletics. That committee, which was chaired by Patricia Witherspoon, met 32 times over a period of 15 months before filing its report on March 31, 1993 (D&P 4423-4454).
2The committee had documents containing the mission statements and philosophy on intercollegiate athletics from the Universities of Arizona State, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Stanford, Washington, and Wisconsin.
3KNIGHT FOUNDATION COMMISSION ON INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS, KEEPING FAITH WITH THE STUDENT- ATHLETE (1991) (hereafter "KNIGHT COMMISSION").
4Id. at vii.
5NCAA Const., 126.96.36.199, adopted Jan. 16, 1993. See also NCAA Administrative Bylaw, Art. 33.
6REPORT ON ATHLETICS (University of Texas at Austin, Accreditation Self-Studies, vol. 3, August 1997) (hereafter "SELF-STUDY").
7FLAWN, A PRIMER FOR UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS (1990).
8THE CARNEGIE FOUNDATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF TEACHING, AMERICAN COLLEGE ATHLETICS v-vi, ix (1929).
10KNIGHT COMMISSION vii.
11Austin American-Statesman, Jan. 25, 1998.
14Texas Govt. Code, § 2252.061(1).
15Texas Const., Art. 7, § 18(d).
16Honan, "College Football Arenas Bring Booms or Busts," N.Y. Times, Dec. 28, 1997.
17Rolnick, "NCAA Study Finds Division I and II Sports Programs Ailing Financially," Chron. Higher Educ., Oct. xx, 1998.
18"Blake's dismissal would cost OU," Austin American-Statesman, Nov. 20, 1998.
19Brubaker & Asher, "A Building Boom in College Sports: Millions Are Spent to Construct, Upgrade Athletic Facilities," Wash. Post, Nov. 3, 1998.
20"No Place Like Zone," Dave Campbell's Texas Football 30 (1968).
21Looney, "The Best, and Worst, Job in Texas," Christian Science Monitor, May 1, 1998.
22"Fixing Texas Football," Dave Campbell's Texas Football (1998).
23"Penn St. trustees approve stadium expansion," ESPN Sports Zone, May 20, 1998.
24CHAFEE, SOME PROBLEMS OF EQUITY 374 (1950).
25Throughout this report "stadium expansion" is used to include the entire program of expansion and renovation, including what is now Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center and the new track-and-soccer stadium.
27Messer to Friedman, August 8, 1997, p. 4.
28Gleeson to Wright, May 4, 1998.
29Messer to Friedman, August 4, 1997, pp. 3-4.
32See p. 3 n. 1.
34"Since this project only involved the West Stadium, Bellmont Hall and the adjacent areas, the department and Physical Plant notified the various units and department heads in these areas and invited them and their staffs to attend." Messer to Friedman, August 8, 1997, p. 6.
35There is now also a second entity, Longhorn Legacy Capital Campaign, raising money to pay for the stadium expansion and for scholarships.
37 Handbook of Operating Procedures §§ 4.06, 4.07.
38 KNIGHT COMMISSION vii.
39 Handbook of Operating Procedures § 4.06.
40 NCAA Const., § 6.1.2.
41 "Trustees will delegate to the president - not reserve for the board or individual members of the board - the administrative authority to govern the athletics program." KNIGHT COMMISSION vii.
In a report prepared for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, the author thought the following point so important that he put it in italics: "No board members or board committees should substitute for the president, nor should anyone in the athletics department be allowed to bypass the president to get to the board." OLIVA, WHAT TRUSTEES SHOULD KNOW ABOUT INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS 26 (1989).
42We note that the present chairs, Beverly Hadaway and Waneen Spirduso, do not agree with our recommendation on this point.
43See note 40 above.
44p. 7 above.
45See pp. 11-14 above.