Since at least the 1980s, college sports have constituted an enrollment strategy at both large and small institutions. Athletic events are often important occasions for campus engagement with local, regional, and even national stakeholders. At virtually all institutions offering athletics, those programs present high-value opportunities for community-building on campus. The prospective benefits attached to these programs are prodigious. Nonetheless, the risks associated with college sports, both financial and reputational, require consistent attention from higher education’s leaders, including governing boards.
While the present AGB statement is appropriately focused on institution and multi-campus system board engagement, the AGB Board of Directors believes it is important to encourage those external bodies holding substantial influence in the business of intercollegiate athletics—the NCAA, NAIA, athletic conferences, and perhaps others—to recognize that higher education’s fiduciary bodies remain as accountable for intercollegiate athletics as they are for institutional finances, academic quality, and student success. The AGB Board of Directors continues to call upon these bodies to include voices from among higher education’s 40,000 fiduciaries within their own governance structures.