Chancellor says Rawlings Report benefits all athletics programs - WFLA News Channel 8

UNC chancellor says Rawlings Report benefits all athletics programs

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UNC Chancellor Carol Folt called the Rawlings Report "interesting," saying it is "a wonderful culmination because they're the most outward facing of the reports." UNC Chancellor Carol Folt called the Rawlings Report "interesting," saying it is "a wonderful culmination because they're the most outward facing of the reports."
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

UNC's new chancellor says a report on university athletics released early this month is important for both the university as well as other universities across the nation.

On Sept. 3, the Rawlings Panel on Intercollegiate Athletics issued its report on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its relationship with athletics. The report called for new policies to make sure athletics remains in its proper place at the school.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt called the report "interesting," saying it is "a wonderful culmination because they're the most outward facing of the reports."

"They say not just what could be important about Carolina, but what can the nation do to intensify its connection between academics and athletics," Folt said Thursday at a Board of Trustees meeting.

Former UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp appointed Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities, to help UNC-Chapel Hill examine the future relationship between academics and athletics on campus. The panel was asked to make recommendations for UNC and to provide ideas for other universities in addressing a challenging issue for all of higher education.

The report's recommendations continue a long process of UNC evaluating the role of athletics at the school in light of problems with the football team and revelations that athletes took no-show classes at the African and Afro-American Studies Department.

The lengthy report notes that collegiate athletics is fundamentally different than professional sports.

"By contrast [to professional sports] the governance of intercollegiate athletics is far more complex," the report states. "As a starting point, unlike in professional sports, the core purpose of the university is not athletics.

"Because of lack of clarity or control, decisions in intercollegiate athletics can result from undue influence by individuals who provide advice and have an interest, but who clearly have neither authority nor responsibility.

"In the interest of preventing such erosion, UNC-CH should insure that it implements specific policies designed to preserve tight institutional control of intercollegiate athletics."

The chancellor is essential to those controls. The report said UNC should:

"Insure that the chancellor, subject to the general oversight of the governing board, system administration, or both, has ultimate authority, responsibility, and accountability for the administration of intercollegiate athletics."

The school should also "establish written procedures to insure that those with authority and responsibility to govern the athletics programs of the institution are able to do so without improper influence from others within or outside the institution."

Folt said the Rawling Panel issued the report at Carolina "because they think Carolina can actually take advantage of what they've already done, but be a real leader."

Folt said the Association of American Universities, the UNC Board of Trustees and the Atlantic Coast Conference are all taking the panel's recommendations into consideration.

"I think we're all going to take advantage of their look, which basically focuses on many things we're already doing and use it to lead," Folt said.

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