Faculty members meet with faculty athletics representatives


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The NCAA will now include two student-athlete representatives from any university in the program.

Ellen Herman and Gene Parkin, the faculty athletics representatives for the UI, joined the Faculty Council at Tuesday’s meeting.

A faculty athletics representative is a faculty member at an NCAA college that serves as a liaison between a student’s education and athletics.

“At the beginning of the year, one of the things we do is talk to freshmen athletes,” Herman said. “We check that each student-athlete is academically where they should be and also check if they are eligible to play based on their grades.”

Herman and Parkin spoke to the Faculty Council about upcoming changes in the NCAA, including a governmental structure change in the organization, scheduled to occur in January 2015.

Parkin said the current structure within the NCAA is run by a board of directors made up of presidents and chancellors, and the change would add more voices to the mix, including student-athletes and faculty athletics representatives.

“There was a complaint that the presidents got too involved in the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day work,” he said.

In addition to the future governance of the NCAA, Herman and Parkin spoke about autonomy.

Parkin said 65 institutions spanning five conferences have been granted limited autonomy, which gives these institutions a voice and a vote.

He also said there are 80 total votes from the 65 colleges, including 15 from student-athletes, or three from the five conferences granted the limited autonomy.

The three from the Big Ten are from Northwestern University, Purdue University, and the University of Minnesota.

“The issues [to be voted on] include health and wellness, nutrition and meals, and expenses for student athletes and potential student athletes,” Parkin said.

The faculty athletics representatives gave extra information about nutrition and meals.

“Food used to be regulated for student athletes,” Parkin said. “For example, if you gave a student-athlete a bagel, it was a snack. If you gave them a bagel with cream cheese, it was a meal.”

Herman said there are refueling stations designated specifically for student-athletes, which, on the UI campus, can be found in its strength rooms and in the Gerdin Learning Center.

With these refueling stations, student-athletes have access to food if their practices get out after the dining halls on campus close or if they do not have time to run back to their dorm or apartment.

Faculty Council President Alexandra Thomas said she thinks it is critical that faculty support student-athletes.

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