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Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics

August 22, 2001

Scheduled for discussion at Council on September 12, 2001

During the '00-'01 academic year the University Committee on Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (CRIA) for was charged with: (1) Working with the athletics compliance officer, assess whether educational programs about performance-enhancing drugs are effectively implemented; (2) Maintaining oversight over the improvement of recreational facilities; (3) Continuing to monitor the University’s compliance with the letter and the spirit of NCAA regulations; (4) Working with the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid (CAFA) in their review of the status of admissions and academic performance of student-athletes; and (5) Establishing lines of communication with the coaching staff to better understand their perspective. CRIA met six times with the Director and the appropriate Associate/Assistant Directors of the Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) for discussions on committee charges. The subcommittees formed to examine academic support/achievement and drug education programs met an additional 10 times.

Improving Recreational Facilities. Dr. Michael Diorka, Director of Recreation, briefed the committee on upcoming improvements to the University’s recreation facilities. Construction will begin on the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center on, May 22, the day after Commencement, with the closing and draining of the Gimbel pool for much needed repairs to the pumps and support structures. During the summer, DRIA has made arrangements for University students, faculty and staff to use facilities at Drexel University. While several issues remain to be worked out, CRIA was assured that no interruption in swimming pool availability would occur as a result of this construction. Repairs to the pool will be completed and Gimbel Gymnasium reopened in time for the return of the classes and the start of the 2001 fall semester.

Dr. Diorka went on to say that when the students do return in September, 2001 they will find changes in the Gimbel/Katz setup that were necessary due to Pottruck construction. The entrance to Gimbel will be moved from its current location on Walnut Street to Sansom Street. The Katz Fitness Center will move from its present location to the basketball court in Gimbel and the Cardiovascular Center will be in a climate-controlled room. For this temporary inconvenience, the University community will be rewarded with a state-of-the-art recreation facility in 2003.

Funding for club sports. Aaron Short, an Undergraduate Assembly (UA) representative on CRIA, brought an additional agenda item to the committee that was considered under the committee’s general charge. During the past fiscal year, the Student Activities Council had decreased Sports Club Council budget by over 20%. This loss of support necessitated an increase in dues and additional unexpected costs to club sport athletes. In an effort to preserve and strengthen club sports at Penn, UA advocated a plan that would ensure a consistent amount of annual funding for club sports. Contained in this proposal is a request that DRIA would begin to assume at least portion of the financial support for club sports. This goal was to be achieved via a four-year phase-in that was outlined in the proposal. CRIA believes that the club sports program provides a meaningful and worthwhile athletic experience for over 1000 students each year and voted unanimously to support UA’s proposal to achieve a secure funding base for club sports.

Educational programs about performance-enhancing drugs. At the present time, the NCAA does not require its member institutions to conduct drug education programs although it has recently issued guidelines for setting up and conducting just such a program (August, 2000). Currently Penn does not have a formal education program performance enhancing drugs although it does make student/athletes aware of banned substances and drug screening procedures by providing each individual with a copy of the UP Student-Athlete Handbook.

CRIA considered two options in setting up an educational program to make student-athletes aware of performance-enhancing drugs. The first option was to use The National Center for Drug Free Sport, an organization that provides athletics-specific drug testing program support, to provide speakers to conduct seminars and lectures for student-athletes about drug-use prevention and policies that affect their use of substances. An alternative would be to follow the NCAA guidelines but develop the program locally. Scripts and/or PowerPoint® presentations could be developed that would ensure uniformity of content. The program could be team-taught using DRIA personnel to present administrative aspects of the NCAA drug testing program and physicians from the faculty discuss the sequellae of using the various performance-enhancing substances. This option offers a better learning environment through small class sizes and schedule flexibility that would allow teams to arrange sessions at their convenience.

Academic achievement/support of student-athletes. CRIA and CAFA have worked together on this charge for the past two years. Professor Warren Seider, a member of both CRIA and CAFA, has chaired this subcommittee. In the initial year, much of the CRIA effort was directed toward understanding the admissions process as it applies to student-athletes. During the past year, graduation rates and then academic support for student-athletes were examined. Problems with gaining access and the analyzing the data slowed the subcommittees work and precluded a discussion of the charge by CRIA before the end of the academic year. A copy of the subcommittee report* (Appendix B) is included with this report.

– Edward T. Lally, Chair


Committee Members

Chair: Edward T. Lally (path/dental) Faculty: Steven Galetta (neurol/med, Richard L. Hodinka (pediatrics), Tracy McIntosh (neurosurgery/med), James Mullen (medicine), Warren Seider (chemical engr), Craig Thompson (hemat-oncol/med), Karen Wilkerson (nursing), Graduate/professional students: Shan-Wei Ko (NUG), Stephanie Bloom (NUG) Undergraduate students: Calvin DaRosa (EAS’ 02), Aaron Short (COL’ 03) PPSA: Julie Lawson (audit & compliance), Ira Winston (Computing, SAS/SEAS/GSFA) A-3: Dee Stenton-Schillig (oral surgery/dental) Ex officio: Steve Bilsky (dir, rec & intercollegiate athletics), Jim Gardner (repr, president’s office), John Smolen (vice provost Univ life designee) Lee Stetson (dean, admissions)


Note: The Report of the Subcommittee, Apendix B, is on page 4.

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 3, September 11,2001


September 11, 2001
Volume 48 Number 3

Dr. Afaf Meleis--a prominent medical sociologist and specialist in women's health issues--will become the Dean of the School of Nursing in January.
Dr. Richard Gelles--a leading researcher in the study of family violence has been named Interim Dean of the School of Social Work.
Lucy Momjian is now Associate Vice President for Finance and Treasury Management.
Jack Shannon is named Associate Vice President in the Office of the Executive Vice President.
Dr. Battistini, director of Penn Health for Women, dies in a motor vehicle accident.
Convocation 2001: President Judith Rodin and Provost Robert Barchi welcome the Class of 2005.
Council Year-end Committee Reports: Admissions and Financial Aid as well as Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics are both on the agenda of this week's Council Meeting.
Penn moves up in the latest U.S. News rankings of the nation's best universities to its highest ever ranking.
A noisy night in the neighborhood prompted a Speaking Out letter and two responses.
Code Red Alert: Preventing a computer worm is possible with these steps.
The Models of Excellence program wants nominations to recognize staff achievements from the previous academic year.