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Members of the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics last month said that the American public is responding to recent high-level efforts to reform collegiate sports.

Commission members cited a poll by Louis Harris & Associates showing that 48 percent of those surveyed earlier this year said they consider big-time college sports to be "out of control.'' In 1989, 78 percent of those polled felt that way.

Commission members said the results show that reforms made over the last several years by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the commission's own report on intercollegiate athletics issued one year ago, have caused a large part of the public to put more faith in the integrity of college sports.

Nevertheless, commission members said in a report, "a long and hazardous road lies before us.''

The panelists spoke at a Washington news conference last month, one year after the commission released "Keeping Faith With the Student Athlete,'' a package of recommendations concluding with a call for more control over institutional athletics programs to be turned over to university presidents. The commission released a progress report entitled "A Solid Start'' at the news conference.

Copies of "A Solid Start'' are available from the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, 301 South Brevard St., Charlotte, N.C. 28202; telephone: (704) 376-8124.

A new U.S. Education Department study shows that one in every four 1972 high-school graduates earned at least one credit from a community college in the 12 years following graduation.

Moreover, the report notes, those attending community colleges are more representative of U.S. society than are students at four-year colleges or high-school graduates who do not pursue further study.

In "The Way We Are: The Community College as American Thermometer,'' department researchers note that community-college students "engage[d] in learning on their own terms, and in their own time.'' The students "seemed to make of the community college what they wanted to make of it,'' the report says.

Students were found to take just one class, take various classes over a period of years, pursue an associate's degree, or enroll in classes after earning a bachelor's degree.

The study is the third in a series of monographs based on the National Longitudinal Study of the Class of 1972. Copies are available for $4 each from New Orders, Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15250-7954. Ask for G.P.O. stock number 065-000-00482-8.--M.P.

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