CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 14, 2000
Coleman joins Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman has been
appointed to the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics,
a group that in the 1990s published a series of reports that led to the restructuring
of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The group is reconvening
to take stock of the current state of college athletics.
The reassembled group, including 19 of the original members and eight new
members, including Coleman, will hold its first meeting Aug. 28 at the Willard
Hotel in Washington, D.C. After that, the commission will meet Oct. 18 and
Nov. 28 to conduct hearings and interviews and to renew the discussion started
a decade ago.
As before, the Knight Commission will be co-chaired by William C. Friday,
president emeritus of the University of North Carolina, and the Rev. Theodore
Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame.
Hodding Carter III, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight
Foundation, said he expects the group to issue a new report sometime in 2001.
The original Knight Commission, an independent panel of 22 leaders from
education, business and sports, met from 1990 until its dissolution six years
later. In response to concerns about runaway athletic programs overseen by
powerful coaches and athletic directors, the Knight Commission issued three
reports, championing an agenda built around a central recommendation that
college and university presidents should be firmly in control.
At its January 1996 convention, the NCAA adopted in large part the Knight
Commission reform slate, based on the commission's "one-plus-three"
model, which makes the college president (the "one") responsible
for three key aspects of the athletic program: academic integrity, financial
integrity and independent certification.
"Now that the model of presidential leadership has been in place for
a few years, we want to see how, and if, it is working," said Carter.
"But that's just a start, as so much has changed in this landscape since
the Commission first met. If anything, the influence of money poses even greater
threats than before to the integrity of college sports and the proper role
of the student athlete in the system."
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2000, the John S. and James L. Knight
Foundation makes national grants in journalism, education and arts and culture.
Its fourth program, community initiatives, is concentrated in 26 communities
where the Knight brothers published newspapers, but the Foundation is wholly
separate from and independent of those newspapers. More information about
the foundation is available on the Web at http://www.knightfdn.org/