INDIANAPOLIS - NCAA President Myles Brand announced the establishment of the Division I Men's Basketball Academic Enhancement Group this week. The group, which includes Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Jon A. Steinbrecher and Tennessee State University head men's basketball coach Cy Alexander, is comprised of presidents and chancellors, head coaches, commissioners, directors of athletics and faculty athletics representatives and is charged with developing strategies to enhance academic performance and graduation rates in Division I men's basketball.
Specifically, the charge to the Division I Men's Basketball Academic Enhancement Group is to: (1) Analyze available data, research and literature regarding the academic performance trends of Division I men's basketball student-athletes, (2) Identify characteristics and factors in the sport that may be serving to impair the academic performance of Division I men's basketball student-athletes, (3) Identify changes that would enhance academic performance and graduation rates in Division I men's basketball, (4) Submit to the Division I Board of Directors, no later than the end of 2008, a set of recommendations and proposals that would enhance APR and graduation rates in Division I men's basketball and (5) Maintain ongoing communication with, and seek reactions from, the NCAA governance structure, the NABC membership and conference offices during the course of the project.
"It is essential that NCAA constituent groups work together to evaluate the causes and develop meaningful strategies to improve academic performance in men's basketball," said Myles Brand. "Academic reform is here to stay and we need to work together to aggressively develop and implement solutions that ensure basketball student athletes are as successful in the classroom as they are on the court." Brand wants all who follow the work of this group to understand the mission of this initiative. "We are not interested in changing the people who play on the court," Brand said. "We are interested in helping those who play be successful."
Dan Guerrero, director of athletics at the University of California, Los Angeles, will chair the group. Other members include: Cy Alexander, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Tennessee State University, Kevin Anderson, Director of Athletics, U.S. Military Academy, Britton Banowsky, Commissioner, Conference USA, Dr. Percy Bates, Faculty Athletics Representative, University of Michigan, Jim Boeheim, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Syracuse University, Pete Boone, Director of Athletics, University of Mississippi, President Robert Bruininks, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Dr. Jack Evans, Faculty Athletics Representative, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, President Walter Harrison, University of Hartford, Dr. Alan Hauser, Faculty Athletics Representative, Appalachian State University, Paul Hewitt, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Georgia Institute of Technology, Ron Hunter, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Jeff Long, Director of Athletics, University of Pittsburgh, Phil Martelli, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Saint Joseph's University, Reggie Minton, Deputy Executive Director, National Association of Basketball Coaches, Mario Moccia, Director of Athletics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, President Sidney A. Ribeau, Bowling Green State University, Bo Ryan, Head Men's Basketball Coach, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Herb Sendek, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Arizona State University, Mike Slive, Commissioner, Southeastern Conference, Gene Smith, Director of Athletics, Ohio State University, Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, Commissioner, Ohio Valley Conference, Dr. John Watson, Director of Athletics, Pepperdine University, President Steve Weber, San Diego State University, Kevin Weiberg, Commissioner, Big 12 Conference and Debbie Yow, Director of Athletics, University of Maryland, College Park.
The group is expected to make recommendations to the Division I Board of Directors by the end of 2008, in addition to providing regular status updates during the course of the project.