It looks like academic reform is the bridge too far for schools and the NCAA to cross.
The NCAA this week quietly dropped a recommended reform that would have given the association more authority to handle the kind of academic misconduct that left dozens of athletes at UNC-Chapel Hill with subpar educations.
Two NCAA panels, including one led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, had called for the NCAA to reform a rule that lets member schools make the call on what constitutes academic fraud on their campuses. UNC cited that rule to escape NCAA sanctions by contending classes that never met and had provided high grades for term papers regardless of quality were legitimate.
That outcome in October 2017 drew sustained national scorn. Months later, the NCAA formed an academic integrity working group that recommended the NCAA create a bylaw that expanded its infractions committee’s reach for egregious academic misconduct cases.
But at a meeting this week, the NCAA’s board of directors for the Division I schools that include big-money conferences such as the ACC and SEC decided not to pursue the reform. That decision wasn’t included in an NCAA news release Wednesday that announced the board “seeks to shore up academic integrity rules.”
In related news, the NCAA announced it has a bridge in Brooklyn it seeks to sell.
Too bad this isn’t about the kids.