October 2014

Issue link: http://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/390706

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Page 3 of 78

4 T he editorial board of the Iowa City Press-Citizen recently joined the national discussion by sharing its view that students involved in intercollegiate athletics at institutions like the University of Iowa should be allowed to unionize; should be paid, at a minimum, for the full cost of attending college; should be reimbursed for the health care related to their on-field injuries; and should share in the money colleges and conferences make through marketing players' names and likenesses. ese — along with a handful of other "student-athlete well-being" topics — are some of the issues my peers across the nation and I are focused on at the present time. While I am vehemently opposed to a "pay-for-play" model of intercollegiate athletics, I am in support of an enhanced and improved definition of "scholarship" and continuing to provide a superior educational and athletics experience for all student-athletes involved in intercollegiate athletics. e topic of student-athletes being compensated for the use of their likeness is being vetted through the legal system. I envision change in this area, and for the solution being part of an enhanced and improved cost of attendance scholarship model. I think it is appropriate to bring this discussion to the local level and, specifically, what is happening at the University of Iowa. e intercollegiate athletics program at the University of Iowa is 100 percent self- sustaining. is means that no tax dollars or support from the General Fund is used to fund the operation of the UI's 24 sports programs and Finkbine Golf Course. We are proud of the fact that the University of Iowa is one of a handful of institutions across the country which is successful at funding their intercollegiate athletics program totally independent of tax-payer support. e UI Athletics Department also pays to the UI the full value of the in-state and out- of-state scholarships it awards its student-athletes — an expense that will exceed $10 million in 2014-15. is is not the case nationwide; some intercollegiate athletics programs pay the in-state rate for all of its scholarship student-athletes. e UI Athletics Department also pays the UI for utility consumption and maintenance of intercollegiate athletics facilities including maintenance of green space, snow removal, and custodial services. at total cost in 2013-14 approached $5 million. Again, this is not always the case at our peer institutions. ese are two examples of expenses we accept as our responsibility. ey are no different from the expenses we pay for the care provided by the staff at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics of UI student-athletes who are injured in practice or competition, or the bills we pay for the important work done by the UI's Department of Public Safety and other off-campus security staff on game days at Kinnick Stadium. ese are real costs for the operation of our intercollegiate athletics program and it is our responsibility to pay for them. We are also proud of the academic success of our student-athletes. Later this fall, the NCAA will share the graduation rates for all of our peer institutions. e UI will once again fare well. Last year — for the second straight year — we established a record high for our NCAA Graduation Success Rate: 88 percent. at mark that was seven points better than the national average. In addition to their superior work in the classroom, our student-athletes also take seriously their responsibility to contribute to the community: Members of our football team routinely participate in the staging of the Iowa Ladies Football Academy, an annual event that has generated more than $1 million of support for the UI Children's Hospital; more than 60 student-athletes assisted THE FIRST PAGE…

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