April 21, 2020
On behalf of the Intercollegiate Coach Association Coalition (ICAC), we hereby register our opposition to the request by the Group of Five Commissioners to allow conferences and schools to cut the number of sports sponsored to be considered for Division I status.
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic places a lasting burden on both higher education and intercollegiate athletics alike, but slashing opportunities for students is not the solution.
Last year, NCAA Division I institutions provided educational opportunities for 141,483 students in Olympic sports. These are not just exceptional athletes, but outstanding students with graduation rates and donation rates higher than their non-athletic peers. These student-athletes generated $3.6 billion in tuition and fees to their universities, an amount nearly equal what it costs to provide these opportunities.
Sport fosters community and a life-long love for our colleges and universities, impacting alumni involvement, endowment and giving. We need these contributions now more than ever.
Our first and most important commitment must be to our students, and duty requires us to explore every possible avenue for maintaining our investment in them. Reducing the minimum sports sponsorship requirement that would open the door to eliminating sports should not be an option. We are all in this together, and we are ready, eager, and willing to partner with the NCAA to find creative solutions for the challenges to come. America’s students have had so much taken from them. Now is not the time to cut them off from yet another critical institution that makes university life so special.
We respectfully request anything related to the discussion of the number of sports sponsored to follow the protocol of legislative procedure that allows for discussion and collaboration.
We stand as a committed partner to consider how to balance the reality of athletic department budgets with the enrollment needs of institutions. We know that we can develop the structural changes needed to preserve these opportunities, support our collective educational mission, and build a stronger NCAA as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kathy DeBoer, American Volleyball Coaches Association
Mike Moyer, Jim Fallis, National Wrestling Coaches Association
Lynn Berling-Manual, Rob Kehoe, United Soccer Coaches
Greg Earhart, College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America
Mike Burns, Collegiate Gymnastics Association
David Jessey. Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association
Craig Keilitz, American Baseball Coaches Association
Dr. Timothy Russell, Intercollegiate Tennis Association
Leah Fiorentino, National Collegiate Equestrian Association
Alan Lollar, Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association
Joe Bertagna, American Hockey Coaches Association
John Abdou, Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches
Liz Robertshaw, Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association
Gregg Grost – Golf Coaches Association of America
Roger Jaffe – Women’s Golf Coaches Association
Heather Lewis – National Field Hockey Coaches Association
Carol Bruggeman – National Fastpitch Coaches Association
cc: Amy Huchthausen, America East Conference
John Swofford, Atlantic Coast Conference
Ted Gumbart, ASUN Conference
Bernadette McGlade, Atlantic 10 Conference
Val Ackerman, Big East Conference
Ron Loghry, Big Sky Conference
Kyle Kallander, Big South Conference
Kevin Warren, B1G Conference
Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Conference
Dennis Farrell, Big West Conference
Joseph D’Antonio, Jr, Colonial Athletic Association
Judy MacLeod, Conference USA
Dan Conan, Eastern College Athletic Conference
Jonathan LeCrone, Horizon League
Robin Harris, The Ivy League
Richard Ensor, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Dr. Jon Stenbrecher, Mid-American Conference
Dr. Dennis Thomas, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Doug Elgin, Missouri Valley Conference
Craig Thompson, Mountain West Conference
Noreen Morris, Northeast Conference
Beth DeBauche, Ohio Valley Conference
Larry Scott, Pac-12 Conference
Jennifer Heppel, Patriot League
Greg Sankey, Southeastern Conference
John Iamarino, Southern Conference
Tom Burnett, Southland Conference
Dr. Charles McClelland, Southwestern Athletic Conference
Tom Douple, The Summit League
Keith Gill, Sun Belt Conference
Gloria Navarez, West Coast Conference
Jeff Hurd, Western Athletic Conference