Thursday, January 14, 2010

Annual NCAA convention addresses arms race

The NCAA is holding its annual meeting this week down in warm, sunny Georgia--well it was supposed to b warm and sunny, anyway.
Of course more important things are on the agenda which should distract from the cold snap down south, including the athletics "arms race" which has many a university president, according to a recent report from the Knight Commission, very worried. And it's not just the small schools who are worried about where to find the money to remain competitive as the costs of recruiting, travel, and especially coaches' salaries are on the rise.
The arms race was on the agenda Tuesday where worries seemed to outweigh potential solutions such as some oversight entity that would (finally) mandate a uniform accounting system within athletic departments and perhaps even spending and salary guidelines across the board. But even the money-making schools have presidents who recognize that even successful programs will not continue indefinitely and are less-than-hopeful that viable solutions are forthcoming.
Also of concern, of course, is the more-than-likely cutting of teams that will occur if things are not reined in quickly. And with team cuts we get Title IX blame, according to Nancy Hogshead-Makar: "Undoubtedly Title IX will be seen as the cause of all the costs. This makes it very difficult for women to participate in athletics."