Duke faculty propose faculty-coach pairing to improve understanding

That paper reported that Paul Haagen, head of Duke’s Academic Council and a law professor who teaches sports law, will propose the idea to the Academic Council on September 21. “Duke invests a lot in athletics,” Haagen said. “It’s probably a good idea if you know about athletics.” Kerstin Kimel, coach of the women’s lacrosse team, supported the idea. “There isn’t a real tremendous understanding from a faculty standpoint about what our athletes and coaches do day to day,” Kimel said. “There’s been a continuous drumbeat to divide these two groups,” she said. “There’s just a lot of misperception.”

Although Haagen told the paper that about 80 faculty members have expressed interest, other faculty members have expressed reservations at the proposal. Several professors think Duke should de-emphasize sports in the aftermath of a scandal involving the men’s lacrosse team earlier this season. Paula McClain, a professor of political science, told the paper, “people are just aghast that it’s being considered.”