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dedication it s a hard rain s a gonna fall
DEDICATION“It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.”

Under the guiding principle I learned from Willie Nelson—“police your own area”—this presentation is, with some measure of aidōs, dedicated to the memory of my friend, UT student (summer intensive Greek 2001) and scholarly collaborator, Col. (dec.) Ted Westhusing, who always stood for what was right, even when what was wrong was being tolerated, excused or supported by those with authority, power and responsibility greater than his.

His cause was greater. His cost was greater.

It is incomprehensible to me after studying these issues and problems for almost eleven years now, and quite seriously for the last five, that men and women of high education and good conscience can let things come to this pass and be so profligate with resources and tolerant of policies and practices that do not conduce to the true educational interests of the citizens of our great state. Ted saw the same things in a much more terrible situation.

Just because these matters are, relatively speaking, trivial, does not mean we should not move to fix them.

They may not cost lives, but they ruin some, and cost others the opportunity truly to improve their lives.

long delayed coia report fifteen points please dr monti do not call a quorum today


POINT 1COIA annual national meetings San Diego State University, January 22-24.

SDSU Pres. Weber (with considerable direct NCAA experience):

(1) athletics is a part of the institutional work of human growth and development;

(2) the ultimate responsibility of setting standards and values for athletics at the university resides in the guild of faculty, not administrators;

(3) Weber was glad COIA invented itself—and was sorry it did not do so about 50 years ago.

(4) President Weber: athletics is in desperate need of reform(his words) and COIA can be active voice in the reform by posing the right questions, about, for example, the corrosive aspects of money.


The problems with NCAA athletics were recognized by Upton Sinclair, John R. Tunis and a Carnegie Foundation National Study in the 1920’s. On the Forty Acres UT’s own Wright Committee (1997-1999) issued a full report on February 4, 1999, that can be accessed on the Faculty Council Web site.

From it, we can also cite these immortal and courageous words by Michael Granof, when he had a chance to speak up on the Wright Committee:

“I am impressed with the [Athletics] 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.”

President Weber did not say what he was willing to do. This is consistent with the report of the national Knight Commission which reported the significant average losses by 85% (94 out of 119) of the national NCAA BCS (formerly Division I-A) institutions: an average of $9.87 million in 2007-08. It also reported the nearly unanimous opinion of the presidents of NCAA institutions that they could do nothing about the out-of-control costs and coaches’ salary structures. I.e., the presidents who have visibility and authority have washed their hands of a situation that their own failures to exert controls and act in the educational, research and larger cultural interests of their institutions have brought about.

When presidents say they can do nothing, they mean they can do nothing that will not have consequences for their salaries, their careers, their comfort levels during their tenures as presidents, and the higher special interests that have placed them in their offices.

POINT 3 The problems are clear and the responsibility should not be shirked off onto faculty who are everywhere just about as institutionally powerless as we are here at UT Austin.


  • The Golden Football: The University of Texas’ bad example.
  • UT’s Byzantine Budget: On $5 million coaches and laid-off lecturers
  • "Athletics' moral, fiscal mismanagement"
  • UT's big spenders show little regard for value of money
  • Inside Higher Ed Curbing Athletic Spending College economist Andrew Zimbalist noted that more than 100 coaches in the FBS have compensation packages that are in excess of $1 million. In many cases, this means they earn way more than their (nominal) bosses, the university presidents.
  • Zimbalist proposed that the NCAA should seek a partial antitrust exemption to regulate coaches’ salaries.
  • Quote: US Secy of Education Arne Duncan declared that we should hold coaches responsible. "When the average arrests per year are higher than the team's GPA, that's a challenge." 
  • If we held UT Austin's $5M coach, Mack Brown, who is held out nationally and locally as a prime example of coaching virtue, responsible as the Secretary of Education suggests, he would be very responsible.
  • When Dan Buckner was arrested in College Station on January 13, according to the Austin American-Statesman, he was “the fifth Longhorn to be involved in an incident with police since June." Then on Sunday AM April 18, Texas running back Vondrell McGee was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
  • That makes 6 players who have been apprehended by police in just over 10 months. That's more than double the football team's GPA. 
  • It would seem to be quite a challenge coaching football at UT Austin, especially if we add the surprising number of UT student athletes who now decide after a season or two suddenly to 'transfer' to other programs...and thereby give UT NCAA APR credit for a ‘transfer student’, rather than a dropout.
  • Secy Duncan does not seem to have the words ‘farce’ or ‘fraud’ or ‘flimflam’ in the vocabulary he chooses to apply to the real world that he must not be looking at.
  • College presidents have watched as the NCAA programs at their institutions:
      • (1) have run up significant debts;
      • (2) have lobbied successfully for removal of basic standards for admissions;
      • (3) have lobbied successfully for adjustments to the Academic Progress Report (APR) system.
  • These last efforts have converted the passing 925 APR score now into a disgraceful 35% 6-year graduation rate.
  • The Panel on Student-Athlete Welfare headed by Dr. Gerald Gurney of the University of Oklahoma, President-elect of the N4A (The National Association of Athletic Academic Advisors)
  • (1) the gap between the profiles of specially-admitted athlete-students and of the regular student body. The situation has changed dramatically for the worse since 2003, when NCAA initial-eligibility standards were changed to a sliding scale. The number of special admits has increased significantly while, at the same time, at many Division I-A schools, the admission profile (i.e., academic quality) of the student-body profile has increased significantly. The result is that the situation of special-admit students in highly-competitive classrooms is even worse than in the past. They are at a greater disadvantage.
  • (2) There is also a relationship between lower academic standards and character issues (the NCAA Infractions Committee is seeing a greater incidence of academic scandals than in the past). Students with weak academic profiles are thrown in with students who have stronger academic profiles—and then the institutions use the flimflammed APR/GSR (Graduation Success Rate) point system to evaluate their success at retention and graduation.
  • (3) institutions put a lot of money into academic support for athletes (learning specialists, learning disability specialists, tutors, etc.). Ifthe other students had such support, they would all do much better. Dr. Gurney pointed out that athletic departments have huge investments in these student-athletes in terms of recruiting and training; and the huge salaries of the coaches are dependent on the eligibility of these students.
  • Division I-A Faculty Athletics Representatives
  • The Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) from Washington State University reported on the role of the FAR and current issues before the Division I-A FARs, which include:
      • getting more faculty on NCAA committees;
      • blocking further APR/GSR gimmickry;
      • containing costs;
      • seeing that the impact on student athletes of playing in NCAA championship tournaments and bowl games be considered; counteracting runaway commercialization;
      • coaching limitations (institutions seem to add coaches by adding "operations" people to team staffs);
      • bringing decisions about athlete-student life under the control of institutions, not coaches.
  • FARs must work actively with the faculty senates/councils about faculty concerns.
  • Division I-A Academic Cabinet Report
  • Professor John Bruno, Faculty Athletics Representative from Ohio State and a member of the Division I-A Academic Cabinet, reported on the work of the Cabinet. Highlights are:
  • (1) current analyses suggest that some combination of test scores and core grades is a better predictor than either metric alone, for admissions.
  • Professor Bruno said that the guiding principle for initial eligibility standards is that they "should represent minimally acceptable standards, with continued reliance upon member institutions to make admissions decisions that are most appropriate for determining academic success locally."
  • (2) The Cabinet is also considering non-traditional coursework. Professor Bruno said that this means “any course delivery method other than traditional, in-person classroom setting.” Their focus is not an “indictment on pedagogical value of such delivery,” but shows concern with the “potential for abuse and also [the] issue of integrating athletes with [the] student body.” The technology is advancing very rapidly and they want to be able to establish set of general parameters that define such courses as acceptable.
  • As we know, in one of the last years when such data were available, there is at UT Austin a considerable difference between the average SAT’s of male student-athletes in major sports and the overall student body average.
  • Comments from Brad Wolverton, The Chronicle of Higher Educationeditor for Money and Management, with long experience as a sports journalist
  • He addressed “the true cost of the college sports obsession and all it entails—over-the-top sports facilities, growing commercialization, and coaches’ salaries.”
  • The presidents and athletic directors, who draw salaries much larger than any faculty, are increasingly cut from a corporate cloth, as reported in the Chronicle, and President Weber’s mythical institution where faculty set and control, or even appreciably influence, values and standards in athletics is hard to find in the real world.
  • In a survey Wolverton conducted of the big-time institutions, “private donations were close to becoming the #1 source of revenue.” The biggest programs, together, had raised about $4 billion for capital improvements from 2003-2008. [UT has spent ca. $300 million since 1998 and has an indebtedness now of ca. $224 million.]
  • In addition to football stadiums, the money went for such things (at different institutions) as a 34,000-square-foot academic-support facility for athletes, a weight room the size of a Wal-Mart store, and a basketball practice facility with a lot of amenities. Each of these projects cost about $21 million.
  • Much of the money for capital projects comes in the form of pledges, so universities take on debt and hope the money comes in.
  • Smaller programs, striving to get closer to the top, often face the largest debt problems. Wolverton reported that “athletics gifts to Division I schools went from representing 14% of overall university-wide gifts in 1999 to 28% five years later.” During the same period, gifts to institutions for non-athletic purposes were flat.
  • He asked, with a straight face, who is watching the programs. The presidents, he noted, as reported by the most recent report of the Knight Commission, have largely "thrown up their hands," claiming that the spending and costs are out of control and they can do nothing.
  • Comments from Brad Wolverton, The Chronicle of Higher EducationCONTINUED
  • The athletic directors are driven by the need to generate as much money as possible for their programs and of course, themselves. We might ask, how much time can full-time faculty, even if serious faculty could be appointed to true oversight committees, spend on the Sisyphean task of trying to influence big-time athletic programs which have been untethered since the 1920’s?
  • He wondered, archly rhetorically it would seem, whether independent faculty members have as much voice as pro-sports donors, regents, administrators and politicians do in making sure the growth in athletic programs fits the academic mission.
  • There are now 25 Division I-A head football coaches who make $2 million or more (twice as many as two years ago). The average pay of the head football coaches in I-A has gone up 30% in the last two years. Locally, we know, Mack Brown went from $3.1 M to $5 M actual salary, what I call the give-Muschamp-a-big-carrot raise.
  • Wolverton pointed to the SEC as the most financially successful conference. It has 6 of the 15 largest athletic budgets, the second-smallest number of sports sponsored by a conference (one of UT Austin’s own formulae for success—support fewer sports and fewer athletes and have more money to lavish on fewer coaches), the winningest records, and the lowest APR scores in football, men's and women's basketball, and baseball of the six BCS conferences. He asked: Is the SEC the conference that should be emulated?
  • Wally Renfro, Senior Adviser to the President of the NCAA, provided an update on several issues. This was virtually mind-numbing palaver about special admissions, academic reforms, and financing practices. So I won’t even bother summarizing most of it. There was one factoid: There is a factor-of-13 difference between the revenues of the largest and smallest of the 120 Football Bowl Championship Series schools. The Knight Commission reported that a large majority of presidents feel powerless to deal with sports finances, because of this disparity.
  • Finally, as we remarked at the outset, former NCAA student-athlete Arne Duncan, our new Secretary of Education, has weighed in on many of the NCAA athletics issues. He has even gone so far as to propose that the NCAA ban from their March-Madness tournament any team that does not have a 40% 6-year graduation rate. Naturally the NCAA said “Thanks, Arne, but no thanks.”
  • Secretary Duncan is also troubled by one-and-done players like our own one-year-wonder jersey-retiree Kevin Durant. But the NCAA and NBA explicitly created this situation by making it impossible for future Kobe Bryants, Kevin Durants and LeBron Jameses in our high schools (or sports academies) to go straight to the NBA. Have to keep the networks happy!
  • Secretary Duncan also decried the fact that 8th-graders were being recruited by NCAA institutions. But the NCAA changed its guidelines so that even 7th graders now are considered prospective athletes and therefore are fair game for “recruiting by the rules.”
  • The University of California at Berkeley sports department has wanted to return to national prominence.
  • It ran up a $31.4 million debt that university leaders repaid from academic coffers in 2007.
  • Now, after UC Berkeley has furloughed faculty and staff (but not football coaches) and proposed a whopping 30-percent tuition increase, its athletics program reported an additional $12.2 million debt this year and expects a similar figure next year. This is coming from the overall University budget.
  • The athletics director announced with a straight face that these amounts “will be repaid in the future from external sources of revenue.”
  • So UC Berkeley’s Faculty Senate tried to make its advice heard and its will implemented.


  • A Model Resolution (aka Fantasy) on Intercollegiate Athletics for Faculty Senates

Jointly not issued by:

  • The UC Berkeley Faculty Senate*
  • The Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA)**
  • The Drake Group (TDG)

1. Faculty Governance

  • (a) The Faculty recommends that the University recognizes and supports a Campus Athletics Board (CAB) or equivalent, as mandated by the NCAA. The CAB shall have a voting membership composed solely of faculty members and shall be authorized, in conjunction with the University Administration, to establish policy and to oversee the athletic department's operations with regard to the following:
  • (i) Promote transparency and clarity in all matters affecting the academic mission;
  • (ii) Assist the athletic department in making decisions that are in concert with the overall academic mission of the University;
  • (iii) Protect student athlete welfare; and,
  • (iv) Confirm the satisfactory accomplishment of the academic and financial items below.


  • A Model Resolution (aka Fantasy) on Intercollegiate Athletics for Faculty Senates
      • 3.Finances
        • (a) The faculty recommends that the University President or equivalent put the Athletics Department on a self-supporting basis, and implement the following:

(i) The Athletics Budget shall receive no base funds from the general education fund. Any annual cash support to the Athletics Budget from the general education fund shall be approved by the Athletics Oversight Committee and the faculty senate, as well as by the University's governing board and through the normal budgeting procedure.

(ii) The Athletic Budget shall be integrated with the academic budget and follow the same processes and procedures; and,

(iii) The Athletics Budget shall receive support from student fees only as voted by the student body.


Graglia and Palaima Debate College Football

  • Transcript available at:

watchthehorn — April 12, 2010 — Parts one and two of our interview with UT professor and critic of the budget of UT's athletics program...

  • Here follows a recent article in USA Today about the President of SMU, Gerald Turner, who agreed to a big salary for his football coach, while as the co-chair of the Knight Commission speaking out for bringing budgetary restraint back to NCAA athletics programs.


walking the talk
Walking the talk?

Knight Commission co-chair backs big salary for SMU football coach: Southern Methodist University President Gerald Turner says the contract of head football coach June Jones is a "sustainable expense." By Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY, 5-6-10 

In his capacity as co-chair of the reform-minded Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, Gerald Turner cautions about increasing spending by major-college athletics programs. 

In his capacity as president of Southern Methodist University, Turner has overseen one of the nation's most drastic recent increases in football-coaching compensation.

SMU paid coach June Jones $2,142,056 during the 2008 calendar year, more than a 300% increase over what the university paid Jones' predecessor in 2005-06. Turner said Jones, hired Jan. 7, 2008, received a $500,000 signing bonus and a 2008 base salary of about $1.6 million. At that time, Jones' salary likely made him the top-paid football coach at a school in a conference without an automatic Bowl Championship Series bid. 

"We wouldn't have (given Jones such a lucrative contract), believe me wewouldn't have done it. if it wasn't a sustainable expense ... based uponwhat these individuals said they would do," says Turner, adding that thedonors signed pledges and some already have paid their entire commitments infull.

Turner says SMU's dealings with Jones and his work with the KnightCommission are compatible.

"I'll tell you, with the SMU hat on, it makes you very aware of the pointthat (he and others on the Knight Commission) have been making," he says."One person can't do it. It's going to take everybody working together, butthen every individual has to have a budget that is sustainable for his orher university. I think those are the two things we've been saying, and I feel that what we've done here is compatible with both."