Panel Is Urged To Seek Reforms in College Athletics

May 31, 1989 1 min read

Washington--High-school athletes need more information about the graduation rates of college athletes, witnesses have told a House subcommittee.

If colleges will not provide the information voluntarily, said some of those testifying at hearings that continued last week, a federal requirement is needed.

The hearings, held by the House Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education on the state of college athletics, have focused on proposed legislation that would require postsecondary institutions to provide detailed data to the federal government.

Some witnesses said stronger steps needed to be taken by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its member schools.

The Rev. Timothy S. Healy, president of Georgetown University,2p4called for the elimination of freshman athletic eligibility, a shortened basketball season, and greater accountability for the education of student athletes.

“A school must be required to have a graduation rate in its athletic teams equivalent to the graduation rate for the entire school,” he testified last week. “Thus, if Georgetown University graduates 90 percent of its student body within five years, it must graduate 90 percent of its scholarship athletes within five years.”

Senator Bill Bradley, Democrat of New Jersey, told the panel May 18 that legislation was needed because the National Collegiate Athletic Association has been slow to release graduation data for individual schools.

Many observers, including some members of the Congress, have ex8pressed concern over the low graduation rates among student athletes, especially football and basketball players in the ncaa’s most competitive division.

Sister Mary Alan Barszczweski, athletic director of St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, N.J., told the panel that passage of the legislation would send a message to the ncaa and its member schools that they have a responsibility for the education of student athletes.

Richard D. Schultz, executive director of the ncaa, said that the organization would consider at its next convention a proposal to release graduation data on a school-by-school basis.

“That will, I hope, make unnecessary the further consideration of federal legislation,’' Mr. Schultz said.--mw

A version of this article appeared in the May 31, 1989 edition of Education Week as Panel Is Urged To Seek Reforms in College Athletics