Saturday, January 17, 2015

Winning not the only thing?

Newly hired coaches and athletic directors at the University of California will lose lucrative bonuses — potentially millions of dollars — if student athletes fail in the classroom, under a new policy beginning Thursday. The change marks the first time UC coaches and others who make money from students’ athletic performance have financial incentives to ensure that academic performance is also up to par. The policy approved by UC President Janet Napolitano applies to new and renewed contracts for coaches and athletic directors across UC’s nine undergraduate campuses. Each campus will be required to “establish a minimum level of academic performance that teams must maintain in order for coaches (and athletic directors) to be eligible to receive any — academic or athletic — performance incentive awards.” ...

Academic performance will be evaluated according to the Academic Progress Rate of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which tracks the performance of each student athlete on an athletics scholarship of any level. The Academic Progress Rate evaluates students in two ways: their academic eligibility for their team, and whether they stay in school. Both are calculated as an average over four years.
It does not include the graduation rate, which is the measure that in fall 2013 so dramatically shook UC officials into action around the UC Berkeley teams. But campuses will have the option of including the graduation rate and other measures, such as students’ grade-point average, for additional coach bonuses...

Full story at

Next battle: What exactly is the "minimum level of academic performance"?  Note that it appears from the article above to be a team average of individual outcomes and not the result for any individual player.  And the UC version is left to the campuses separately so there could be differences among the campuses.  This is a situation in which you-know-who is in the details.

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