The Charlotte Observer reported on comments from former Knight Commission Chair William Friday about the NCAA’s recent adoption of a rule tying postseason eligibility to minimum academic standards. A section of the article is provided below:
Last week, some ideas championed for years by former UNC System President William Friday were implemented by the NCAA.
As college sports increasingly became a big business driven by TV, and coaches’ salaries escalated, Friday often warned of a dangerous shift away from the academic mission of the universities.
The events of last week left Friday hopeful that the pendulum is swinging back toward academics. On Tuesday and Wednesday, more than 50 university presidents met with NCAA President Mark Emmert in a historic gathering to discuss the future of college athletics.
On Thursday, the Division I Board of Directors announced the approval of a rule that the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics – of which Friday was a founding member – proposed 10 years ago.
The rule bans teams with four-year NCAA Academic Progress Rate marks below 930 from postseason play. In essence, that means 50 percent of the players in a program have to be on track to graduate in order for a team to play in a bowl or an NCAA tournament.
Friday, the 91-year-old champion of reform, was pleased.
“This is a pivotal point,” he said. “If you really mean these people are student-athletes, then you have to emphasize that particular point. This is the first major turning in the road.”
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