Rules, enforcement on Chancellor Thorp's agenda at retreat
Posted August 9, 2011
Indianapolis — NCAA President Mark Emmert took to the podium about 1 p.m. Tuesday in front of roughly 80 people representing universities across the country to kick off a two-day retreat to discuss the direction of the NCAA governing body. Included in that group were Duke Athletics Director Kevin White and University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp.
The retreat, held at the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis, is focusing on three key areas over the two days. Issues of fiscal sustainability in Division I schools with diverse budgets and spending models was discussed Tuesday.
In the meeting Tuesday, President Emmert said the NCAA will never go to a "pay for play" model, but they are researching information on multi-year scholarships and stipends.
Wednesday's meetings will address continued expectations for student-athlete academic success including initial eligibility standards, academic fraud and other topics as well as institution accountability and integrity.
All three areas of discussion are of particular interest to Thorp. UNC is one of a handful of universities across the country at the Division I level that has come under recent investigation by the NCAA. Allegations of against the UNC football program include academic improprieties, agent dealings and illegal benefits. Thorp and other representatives of UNC will be back in Indianapolis again on Oct. 28 for a hearing on the allegations.
One of the things that Thorp wants to address while at the retreat is how the NCAA handles enforcement after violations are found.
“Obviously that’s something that we’ve been experiencing in Chapel Hill. Are there ways we can do that better?” Thorp said. “There’s been a lot of discussion about the collegiate model. Could we do something that could help the student-athlete have a more normal college life?
“And then just the rulebook in general, the NCAA has got a pretty extensive rulebook,” Thorp continued. “And, you know, it’s hard. You know there are people coming in to get all those rules straight.”
Last week, Thorp found out firsthand how numerous the rules are. In an interview with the Raleigh News & Observer, he responded to a question about a prospective recruit and subsequently self-reported a Level II violation for the remarks. Asked if that is an example of how cumbersome the rules can be, Thorp responded, “Do we need to strengthen education or do we need to simplify the rule book or a little bit of both? I think that’s some of the things we will be talking about (at the retreat).”
Thorp said that NCAA President Emmert has done a smart thing by inviting university presidents, chancellors and athletic directors together to develop solutions that will best benefit all Division I universities.
“Across the country, universities are struggling with balancing athletics and their academic mission,” Thorp said. “I think the NCAA has been under a lot of scrutiny, and I think the presidents and chancellors are the people that control what happens to the NCAA.”
Thorp also said that despite the recent NCAA investigation that has now stretched over a year, he is confident in his position.
“Leading a university like Carolina is an incredible privilege and opportunity and we’re doing great,” Thorp said. “This is a bump in the road towards greatness for our institution.”