By Gary Brown
The NCAA Colloquium Advisory and Editorial Board is asking scholars to submit papers for the Association’s fifth annual Scholarly Colloquium on Intercollegiate Athletics to be held in conjunction with the 2012 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
The Colloquium, this year titled “Academic Reform: Progress, Problems and Prospects,” is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 10, and Wednesday, Jan. 11.
In addition to featuring a number of keynote presentations, the Colloquium has for several years included free-paper sessions to offer a broader representation of the scholarly work being done related to college sports.
Submitted papers should focus closely on the theme of the Colloquium and may highlight scholarship from the sciences, economics, humanities or other fields related to intercollegiate athletics. Abstracts are due no later than Oct. 1 (click here for more details on submitting papers).
The format for presenting submitted papers at this year’s Colloquium will be slightly different with the introduction of “poster sessions” that will run concurrently with the traditional readings. Last year’s Colloquium featured four free-paper sessions with five readers each, but officials this year want to accommodate more of the submissions that invariably outnumber the slots available.
Organizers hope the poster session concept will help, since dozens of papers can be accommodated in that manner. The number of posters that will be accepted will be based on available space.
As for the keynote speakers this year, the list hasn’t been finalized, but those who have agreed to present thus far include University of Hartford President Walter Harrison, who has chaired the Division I Committee on Academic Performance since its inception in 2004. The CAP is the primary governance body charged with developing and implementing the NCAA’s academic reform efforts, including oversight of the Academic Progress Rate. Harrison also formerly chaired the NCAA Executive Committee and was a member of the Division I Board of Directors.
Other speakers include Oregon State University professor and associate dean Michael Oriard, a 1970 Notre Dame graduate and former NFL player who is known for his published books “Brand NFL: Making and Selling America’s Favorite Sport” and “Bowled Over: Big-Time College Football from the Sixties to the BCS Era,” both from the University of North Carolina Press.
A panel of presidents, athletics directors and faculty is also being planned as a keynote session. This session will bring together individuals who have had direct experience implementing strategies that allow their institutions to meet the regulations adopted under the academic reform initiatives.
The Colloquium’s theme of academics is timely. NCAA President Mark Emmert in fact during the most recent release of APR reports in May said that it’s time for the Association to move away from thinking about academic success as something that should be “reformed” to something that is an expected outcome for student-athletes.
Emmert also has invited more than four dozen influential presidents and chancellors to a retreat in August at which the idea of embedding academic success will be on the agenda.
Previous Colloquiums have focused on student-athlete health and safety, social justice issues and the fiscal sustainability of the enterprise. Former NCAA President Myles Brand introduced the Colloquium in 2008 as a way to spur more scholarly research on intercollegiate athletics, a field in which he thought quality study was lacking.
Brand established an Advisory and Editorial Board composed of about a dozen high-profile scholars who oversee the Colloquium and its accompanying Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, in which papers presented at the Colloquium and others are published. The board’s current chair is David Wiggins, professor and director of the School of Recreation, Health and Tourism at George Mason University.