Monday, April 2, 2018

A Panel at CU Boulder: Are Big-Time College Athletics Compatible with Academics?

On Thursday this week, April 5th at 7pm the CU Athletics Sports Governance Center will be hosting a panel discussion on the subject: Are Big-Time College Athletics Compatible with Academics?

Location: Champions Center, 3rd floor Petry Auditorium
Time: 7-9pm
Free and open to the public

We are thrilled that the event is headlined by the 2018 SGC Distinguished Lecturers, Jay Smith from the University of North Carolina and Victoria Jackson of Arizona State University.

Smith is a professor at UNC where he was involved with the faculty response to the so-called "paper class" scandal. He is the co-author (with Mary Willingham) of Cheated: The UNC Scandal, the Education of Athletes, and the Future of Big-Time College Sports which my students are reading this week in class.

Jackson teaches at ASU where she is completing a book on "Justice and Injustice in American Intercollegiate Athletics" She won a NCAA championship in the 10k at ASU, and prior to that was a varsity athlete at UN in cross county and track.

Joining Smith and Jackson on the panel are:
  • Kris Livingston, associate athletic director for student services CU. Kris is in charge of the group that supports the academics of varsity CU athletes;
  • Joe Jupille, professor of political science and CU Faculty Athletic Representative. As FAR, Joe is responsible for "oversight of the academic integrity of the athletic program and serving as an advocate for student-athlete well-being" (see this PDF for more).
  • Tad Boyle, head men's basketball coach at CU Boulder. In addition to sending a few players to the NBA, his bio notes that "he has graduated every CU senior student-athlete on his roster (25)."
Here is what I shared with the panelists on the goal for the evening:
The goal for the evening is educational, with a wide ranging and open discussion of these challenging and important issues. You should feel free to address the question posed as the title of the panel discussion in whatever way makes the most sense to you. It is intentionally provocative and ideally we will have some debate as well as conversation. In the unlikely event that we do not solve all the problems of college athletics, I'd like the audience to go away with a deeper and perhaps more sophisticated understanding of the challenges, issues, opportunities.
If you are in Boulder on Thursday, please come and participate in this discussion of important issues in college athletics!
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