PRESS RELEASE – MARCH 22, 2016
Drake Group Urges NCAA Division I Presidents to Support the Establishment of a Presidential Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
WEST HAVEN, CONN — Listing eleven current conditions that threaten the financial stability of college athletics programs and the academic integrity of higher education institutions, The Drake Group issued a request to NCAA Division I college and university presidents and chancellors to support H.R. 2731 (a bi-partisan bill currently before Congress) that would mandate the appointment of a Presidential Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. The Commission’s charge would be “to identify and examine issues of national concern related to the conduct of intercollegiate athletics and to make recommendations for the resolution of such issues.” The bill also provides for basic concussion safety measures and addresses the absence of due process guarantees for any institution facing the NCAA enforcement process.
Gerald Gurney, President of The Drake Group stated, “The NCAA is incapable of reforming itself and it is particularly important for Congress to be an integral part of the discussion on athletic program reform at this critical moment in college sports history. Congress must do three things that only Congress can do: (1) conduct a comprehensive public and transparent study of intercollegiate athletics, (2) consider a limited antitrust exemption that will allow the NCAA and its members to control costs and reduce expensive antitrust litigation and (3) mandate the creation of an independent, professional, and procedurally fair NCAA enforcement program that ensures basic due processes for college athletes, and athletic and institutional staff. Congress must condition the antitrust exemption on the NCAA’s adoption and implementation of the enforcement program and other practices that will provide health protections to college athletes and ensure educationally sound athletic programs.”