WASHINGTON — College and university governing boards are accountable for athletics programs but don't always receive the information necessary to monitor them, according to a report released Tuesday.
“Athletics is not an island,'' John T. Casteen III, president emeritus of the University of Virginia, told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.
Governing boards, such as boards of regents in Oklahoma, are ultimately accountable for athletics policy and oversight and need to know when there are major violations, Casteen said.
A survey of governing boards for the report showed that only 38 percent of full boards receive sufficient financial information about all revenue-generating sports. And more than one-third of boards don't see the financial reports submitted by their institutions to the NCAA. Almost one-third characterized their board's preparation to oversee compliance with NCAA rules as neutral, somewhat poor or poor.
The report, by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, was one of six presented Tuesday to the Knight Commission about various issues related to college athletics. Researchers from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Tulsa participated in two of the reports.
The Knight Commission, which has been prodding colleges and universities since 1989 to keep academics and athletics in balance, funded the research.
Among the findings presented from the reports on Tuesday:
*Out of 140 schools surveyed, 139 offered camps, programs or the use of athletic facilities to minors, but only half had board policies on the safety and protection of children.
*Schools whose athletics programs don't generate enough outside revenue from television contracts and other sources are increasingly relying on student fees to subsidize sports. Out of 93 schools studied, 27 had fees topping $750 per student.
*41 percent of 1,005 head coaches of Division I sports said there were contradictions between the values espoused by their athletics department and their entrenched practices. Of those, 29 percent of cited “considerable administrator hypocrisy” and 22 percent said standards varied among sports.
*Since the Bowl Championship Series for college football began in 2006, the annual turnover rate for head coaches has increased from 16 percent to 19 percent.
Connie Dillon, professor emerita of adult and higher education at OU, was one of three researchers who examined the factors that influenced how colleges and universities voted on NCAA proposals. Among the findings of an analysis of 345 proposals was that values such as academic standards and student-athlete well-being had no measurable impact on the votes.
Adrien Bouchet, a sports administration professor at the University of Tulsa, participated in a study about schools that sought to reduce their commitment to athletics or, at least, stop escalating that commitment.