The New Face of the Drake Group Executive Committee

The Drake Group Executive Committee has added some new faces and experienced some internal changes following its recent elections. Gerald Gurney who has served two years as a Member at Large has replaced Allen Sack as President of the Drake Group. Sack will continue as Past President for two more years. Gurney, an Assistant Professor of Adult and Higher Education at the University of Oklahoma, is the past President of the National Association of Academic Advisers for Athletics (N4A) and the former Senior Associate Athletic Director for Academics at Oklahoma University. He is a researcher and his views on NCAA academic integrity and academic reform regularly appear in major media outlets.

ridpath_headDavid Ridpath, Ed. D., Kahandas Nandola Professor of Sports Administration at Ohio University, is currently the Drake Group President Elect and will take over as President after a one-year leave of absence as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany. Michael Malec, Ph.D., Associate Professor and former chair of the Department of Sociology at Boston College, was elected as the Drake Group Secretary. Mary Willingham, former writing specialist and academic counselor for athletics at the University of North Carolina, will take over as the Drake Group Treasurer. Willingham was awarded the prestigious Robert Maynard Hutchins Award for her courageous defense of academic integrity at UNC in 2013.

jay-smithJay Smith, another Hutchins award winner, has taken a position as Member at Large. Dr. Smith is a Professor of Early French History at the University of North Carolina. Professors Fritz Polite and Brian Porto will continue in their positions as Members at Large. Dr. Polite, the former Director of leadership, Ethics, and Diversity at the University of Tennessee, serves as a consultant for the National Football League. Dr. Porto is a Professor of Law at the Vermont Law School. Marty Davidson, who has a double major in political science and public policy at the University of North Carolina, has become the student member. More detailed information on this impressive group of scholars and advocates for college athletic reform can be found on the Executive Committee page.

The Drake Group would also like to commend Jason Lanter, Amanda Paule-Koba, and Joel Cormier who have just stepped down from the Executive Committee for their years of dedicated service to the Drake Group.

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