announces actions U.Va. will take on recent athletics task force
of Virginia President
John T. Casteen III announced plans May 4 to address the recent
recommendations of the Strategic Planning Task Force on Athletics
in a meeting with U.Va. coaches and senior athletics department
divided the recommendations into two groups academic and
financial. He assigned those related to athletes academic
success to Peter W. Low, the Universitys provost and chief
academic officer, and to Carolyn M. Callahan, the Universitys
veteran NCAA faculty representative who chaired the athletics
force recommendations include strategies for (1) improving communication
among athletics, academic, and admissions personnel; (2) improving
academic advising and support services; and (3) enrolling more
incoming student-athletes in the Universitys summer transition
task force sought to improve the student-athletes academic
experience so we could provide an education within thes context
of our commitment to sustaining excellence in learning and teaching,
and to teaching students the Universitys value system, including
the student-run honor system, Casteen said. Over the
years, deans, faculty members and certainly our students have
worked hard to build extraordinarily high graduation rates. We
admire that accomplishment and intend to sustain it.
and Leonard W. Sandridge, executive
vice president and chief operating officer, will work together
on the recommendations for financing varsity athletics to ensure
students have the best and broadest range of competitive sports
from which to choose. Issues include the base adequacy of the
athletics budget, available economies in operating the program,
and strategies to comply with NCAA regulations as well as with
applicable law, including Title IX.
said many of the task forces recommendations concern program
management rather than Board of Visitors policy. He and Sandridge
consult regularly with University Rector John P. Ackerly III of
Richmond and the boards committee on student affairs and
athletics on such matters.
recommendations on the future financing of varsity athletics point
us toward many options, including increasing revenue through fundraising
and raising fees, Casteen said. We will examine all
of the options presented by the task force and will consult widely
with officials facing similar problems at other schools. Were
not in the kind of crisis that has driven others to act precipitously
or to make behind-the-scene changes. Our programs current
finances are sound. But we have seen the signs of significant
future distress and do not want that. We want to sustain the good
aspects of our current programs and support our people.
will analyze every option and explore every avenue, Casteen
said. In the end, we will do what is best for the University
and for our students. Changes will not come overnight. We will
continue to consult with persons affected by any changes that
will have to come if new revenues are not found. Donors and boosters
who can mobilize resources to sustain programs will alleviate
many of the harshest prospects by helping us build the endowments
necessary to operate sports that cannot pay their own way.
task force focused everyones attention on hard choices,
but it also pointed us toward new options. Academics, athletics
and sound management function here hand in hand and not at cross-purposes.
The goal is to keep that happening.