Knight Commission Meeting

[ Sessions and audio with scholars and experts on gender equity in college sports; influences on recruiting athletes; and the role of academics in recruiting athletes ]


Podcasts available (rss)

Monday, Jan. 22 – Salon II, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd St., Washington D.C.

8:45 – 10:45 a.m. (Listen to mp3 audio)

Gender Equity and College Sports, 35 years after Title IX

* Christine Grant, former women’s director of athletics, University of Iowa, 2007 NCAA Gerald Ford Award Winner
* Janet Judge, attorney, Verrill Dana LLP
* Ted Leland, vice president for university development, University of the Pacific; former athletics director, Stanford University; co-chairman, U.S. Secretary of Education’s Commission on Opportunity in Athletics
* Eric Pearson, chairman, College Sports Council

11:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Listen to mp3 audio)

External influences and pressures in the recruiting process
* Harry Edwards, professor emeritus of sociology, University of California at Berkeley
* Bobby Burton, chief operating officer,
* John Bunting, former head football coach, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
* Bill McGregor, head football coach, DeMatha Catholic High School
* Malcolm Moran, Knight chair in sports journalism and society, Pennsylvania State University; former sportswriter, USA Today
* Andrew Crummey, football player, University of Maryland

1:00 – 1:40 p.m. Lunch break

1:45 – 3:15 p.m. (Listen to mp3 audio)

Integrating the academic mission into the recruiting process
* J. Douglas Toma, associate professor, University of Georgia Institute of Higher Education
* Joseph R. Castiglione, athletics director, University of Oklahoma
* Jeffrey H. Orleans, commissioner, The Ivy League
* John Blackburn, director of admissions, University of Virginia

Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
Session Summaries and Panelist Profiles
Monday, Jan. 22, 2007

I. Gender Equity and College Sports, 35 years after Title IX

(Listen to mp3 audio)

Over the past decade, the population of women participating in intercollegiate athletes has stabilized at around 42 percent of all athletes. At the same time, the population of women enrolled as students has risen to close to 60 percent of all students, particularly at community colleges and liberal-arts institutions, but also at state flagship and land-grant universities.

The debate over Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law banning sex discrimination at virtually all educational institutions, has been tremendously bitter when it comes to athletics. Advocates for women’s sports say colleges still do not offer enough opportunities for female athletes and that women’s teams still receive inadequate resources when it comes to facilities, budgets, coaching, marketing and publicity. Opponents protest that federal Title IX guidelines encourage colleges to drop men’s teams and limit opportunities for male athletes, and have sued universities and the federal government – unsuccessfully – to force changes.

As coaching salaries, facility costs and budgets continue to rise, athletics directors are under increasing pressure to cut costs. Many are doing so by dropping the so-called “Olympic” sports. Rutgers University and James Madison University are two institutions that have done so most recently, and JMU’s official position was that it made the cuts (including some to women’s sports) to avoid liability under Title IX.

During this session, the panelists will review the state of gender equity in intercollegiate athletics, 35 years after the passage of Title IX and address questions such as: Why Division I institutions are dropping sports, both men’s and women’s? Is it because of budget constraints or in a effort to meet the law’s requirements? What do the trends look like for the future? Has the department’s interpretation of 1970s-era guidelines to permit direct surveys of student populations—opposed by the NCAA, the Knight Commission, and many women’s organizations—made a difference in the way colleges strive for gender equity?


Christine Grant is an emeritus professor and former director of women’s athletics at the University of Iowa. The recipient of the Gerald R. Ford Award in 2007 from the NCAA, Grant has been an advocate for women’s sports for more than 40 years. In 1956 Grant received her Diploma of Physical Education at Dunfermline College in Aberdeen, Scotland. After graduating, she was a high school teacher and coach in Graeme, Scotland (1956-1961), and field hockey coach and umpire at the high school, collegiate, national and international levels in British Columbia (1961-1964), Ottawa (1964-1965), and Toronto (1965-1971). Grant moved to Iowa City, Iowa and received her bachelor’s degree in 1969, later, earning a master’s degree in physical education in 1970, and a Ph.D. in physical education with an emphasis in administration in 1974. She served as the first and only women’s athletics director at Iowa from 1973 to 2000. Grant also served as associate professor in the Department of Physical Education (1973-2006).

Janet Judge is a lawyer with Verrill Dana LLP specializing in gender issues in higher education. A three-sport athlete at Harvard University and later a coach and administrator, she received her J.D. from Boston University in 1993. She now advises and represents individuals, schools and conferences on a wide variety of amateur sports issues including NCAA and conference infractions, eligibility and department certification, gender equity, including Title IX, pay equity, and harassment, EADA compliance, harassment and hazing avoidance, codes of conduct, department specific policies and procedures, academic fraud and athlete misconduct.

Ted Leland is vice president for university development at the University of the Pacific after 23 years as an athletics director at Dartmouth College, Pacific, and most recently Stanford University, where he spent 14 years. Under his leadership, Stanford won 50 national team championships, the most under a single athletic director in the history of intercollegiate athletics, and has been awarded 11 consecutive Directors Cups, presented by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) to the best overall program in the country. He also served as co-chairman of the Department of Education’s Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, a panel convened to study Title IX in conjunction with the law’s 30th anniversary in 2002. A former player and coach at Pacific, he has long been active in NACDA and NCAA leadership, serving as chairman of the Division I Management Council from 1999 to 2001.

Eric Pearson is chairman of the College Sports Council, an umbrella group formed by coaches’ associations to lobby for changes to Title IX guidelines. The group has sued the Education Department twice, unsuccessfully, and maintains a web site at Pearson is a former coach of the Princeton University varsity wrestling team. During his coaching tenure, he served a term as chairman of the Ivy League Wrestling Coaches Association. As a spokesman for the College Sports Council, he has been interviewed on CBS Evening News, CNN, CNBC, The Today Show, and National Public Radio. Pearson is a graduate of Princeton University.

II. External influences and pressures in the recruiting process

(Listen to mp3 audio)

Issues in this session and in the following session will overlap as both focus on the recruiting environment and process and whether its current state is healthy for prospects, coaches, and institutions.

This session explores the culture and environment in the recruiting process, particularly in football and men’s basketball – a subject of intense interest among fans of given teams. An entire industry has sprung up to assist prospects with marketing themselves to schools; assist coaches with evaluating talent; and, for the higher profile sports and athletes, report on which prospects are being recruited and the preferences of those prospects. The popularity of web sites like and has prompted the mainstream media to cover the recruitment of prospects more intensely than ever.

In addition to the pressure of responding to constant media inquiries about their choices, prospects have alleged that some employees of recruiting services pressure them to attend particular schools or persuade them to announce their choices at events sponsored by the recruiting service or web site.

This session also will explore how this environment influences prospects’ college choices and the timing of their decisions. Do they get the wrong impression of the values and expectations in college during the recruiting process? Can colleges or the media do anything to diminish the importance of recruiting coverage or the unrestricted ways in which these external agencies operate? How can the process be healthier for prospects and coaches?


Bobby Burton runs one of the most influential of these web sites, Burton came to in 2001 after a two-year stint as the VP, General Manager for College and High School Sports for Rival Networks. Prior to Rival Networks, Burton published The National Recruiting Advisor (1993-1999), which was purchased by Rival Networks. Burton was ranked the 88th most powerful person in sports for 2000 by The Sporting News and has written on the topic of recruiting for, The Sporting News, and The Dallas Morning News. He is a seasoned speaker on panels covering everything from ethics in sports journalism to online subscription sales strategies and tactics.

John Bunting left the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall of 2006 after five seasons as the Tar Heels’ head coach. A Carolina alumnus, Bunting played professional football for 14 years and coached at what is now Rowan University in New Jersey and for three NFL teams before returning to Chapel Hill in 2001.

Harry Edwards has been one of the most influential figures in sports and civil rights for five decades. An emeritus professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, Edwards formed the first black student organization at San Jose State University and played a role in organizing the black student and athlete protests of the 1960s, including the raised-fist demonstration of John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. He has written widely on race and sport and has served as a consultant to baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth on the status of women and minorities in team and league management. More recently, Edwards has served as a consultant to the San Francisco 49ers and the University of Florida and University of California football teams. Edwards holds a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State and master’s and doctoral degrees from Cornell University.

Bill McGregor has been head football coach at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., since 1982. His teams have consistently been nationally ranked, and he has received high school coach of the year honors from the National Football League and The Washington Post. Nearly 300 of his players have received college scholarships, including current pros Brian Westbrook of the Philadelphia Eagles and Jamal Jones of the New Orleans Saints. McGregor is a graduate of John Carroll University in Ohio.

Malcolm Moran holds the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Pennsylvania State University. Moran came to Penn State last year after nearly 30 years as an award-winning sportswriter, including stints at Newsday, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and USA Today. A graduate of Fordham University, Moran was inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Hall of Fame in 2005. Moran was one of the first reporters to track athlete graduation rates during his tenure at the Times.

Andrew Crummey is in his fourth year at the University of Maryland at College Park. A junior offensive lineman on the Terrapins football team, Crummey was named to the All-ACC second team following the 2006 season. He is a government and politics major.

III. Integrating academic values into the recruiting process

(Listen to mp3 audio)

(Read the essay Athletics Recruiting and Academic Values: Enhancing Transparency, Spreading Risk, and Improving Practice in PDF).

In August, the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia convened a group of college administrators, coaches and faculty members to discuss issues in recruiting, with support from the Knight Commission and the Presidential Venture Fund at Georgia. One of the group’s main conclusions was the need for the entire campus community to be involved in the recruitment of athletes. Too often, they found, coaches recruit students in isolation from the rest of the campus community, such that admissions offices do not evaluate prospective students, and students themselves do not get a holistic picture of college life and the demands it presents.

Also, the recruiting process is moving earlier and earlier, with coaches evaluating prospects as young as eighth grade. Early scholarship offers and requests for prospects to commit to the institution well before his or her final two years in high school minimizes the role that academic interests and ability and personal fit play into the process. Three of the panelists here – Joe Castiglione, Jeff Orleans, and Doug Toma – participated in Georgia’s roundtable. The group will discuss the issues and potential models for improving the process for athletes and the universities.


John Blackburn has been dean of admissions at the University of Virginia since 1985 and has worked in the field since 1968. He also serves as a consultant to the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Schools Project. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Maryland College and a master’s from Indiana University.

Joseph R. Castiglione has been director of athletics at the University of Oklahoma since 1998. Castiglione came to Oklahoma from the University of Missouri, where he had served as an athletic administrator for 18 years, including five as athletics director. A 1979 University of Maryland graduate, Castiglione began his career as the sports promotions director at Rice University. He then worked a year as director of athletic fund-raising at Georgetown University before being hired in 1981 at Missouri as director of communications and marketing.

Jeffrey H. Orleans has been Executive Director of the Council of Ivy Group Presidents (the Ivy League) since 1984. A 1967 cum laude graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School in 1971, Orleans served as an attorney in H.E.W.’s Office for Civil Rights and in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 1971 to 1975 and was associate counsel in the University of North Carolina system from 1975 to 1984, where he oversaw implementation of the system’s 16-campus desegregation plan. Orleans specializes in issues related to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, whose original implementing regulation he authored, as well as in issues of academic freedom faculty relations, and of civil rights, affirmative action and racial integration in higher education.

J. Douglas Toma is associate professor of higher education at the University of Georgia and convened the roundtable along with Knight Commission associate director Welch Suggs. At the Institute of Higher Education, Toma teaches doctoral level courses on the organization and management of higher education and on research. He also teaches sports law at the University of Georgia School of Law, where he also holds an appointment. Toma also serves as dean of the Franklin Residential College. Before coming to Georgia in 2003, Toma organized and directed the Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a J.D., a Ph.D., and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from Michigan State University.