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Clemson Task Force Issues Report on Admissions Procedures Affecting Student-Athletes

April 13, 2007


FROM: Terry Don Phillips, Director of Athletics

DATE: April 13, 2007

RE: Task Force Report

Please find below the University’s press release that is being released this afternoon. The Presidential Task Force made up of myself, Provost Helms, Ron Bradley, President Elect of the Faculty Senate (Charlie Gooding), Dean of Undergraduate Studies (Dr. Jan Murdoch) met many times to review lots of material. Dabo and Ron brought tremendous insight on the recruiting dynamics and did a superb job of educating what happens. I believe the end result has accomplished what President Barker charged the Task Force to do – a level playing field and academic integrity. By incorporating the NCAA Academic Progress Rates and Graduation Success Rates into the review, it provides consistency with our competition while holding our programs accountable for acceptable retention and graduation rates of our student-athletes. As you may know, unacceptable APR’s would result in loss of scholarships and other possible penalties – which would be detrimental to our programs. Removal of NLI issuance from the admissions decision is important. That allows our coaches to continue to recruit and sign youngsters and have the benefit of a full year before any final decision is made. It also provides opportunity to refer prospective student-athletes to prep schools or junior colleges.


Clemson Task Force Issues Report on Admissions Procedures Affecting Student-Athletes

CLEMSON, SC – Clemson University released a report today (April 13) recommending changes in its procedures for admitting student-athletes that parallels procedures for non-athletes who do not meet regular admissions qualifications.

The report was developed by a task force appointed Feb. 22 by Clemson President James F. Barker to review existing procedures and recommend improvements to ensure academic integrity, athletic competitiveness, and full compliance with NCAA certification.

The task force recommended two key procedural changes: * Separating the issuance of national letters-of-intent from the admissions decision process, since letters are issued before the completion of the high school senior year; * Incorporating the NCAA’s graduation success rate and academic progress rate scores into the admissions director’s formula for determining which student-athlete applications warrant review by the university’s Athletic Admissions Review Committee (AARC). The formula will use a sliding scale that grants the admissions director greater flexibility if a team is successfully retaining and graduating student-athletes.

The task force also recommended shifting the deadline for submission of admissions materials for international student-athletes from July 1 to August 1, adding a staff member in admissions and a learning specialist in Vickery Hall to handle increased workloads related to supporting needs of student-athletes, and appointing an athletics representative as a non-voting member of the AARC. The new positions will be jointly funded by the university and athletics.

Barker said the university will implement the group’s recommendations. “The changes recommended by the task force will give our coaches a level playing field in the competitive world of athletic recruiting while protecting academic integrity,” he said. “The procedures they have outlined accomplish three things. First, they clearly leave admissions decisions in the hands of the academic community. Second, they accommodate the national schedule for signing letters-of-intent. And third, they create incentives for coaches to work hard at retaining and graduating student-athletes, which is our ultimate goal.”


Quote from Head Coach Tommy Bowden

“I want to thank President Jim Barker and Provost Dori Helms for developing the Task Force to re-evaluate the admissions practices for student-athletes.

“In speaking with Dabo Swinney, our assistant head coach who was a member of the task force, it is apparent that this was a very positive process in which everyone was given an opportunity to present pertinent data, and their perspective based on personal experiences.

“All sports at Clemson will benefit from the admission principles released today and will allow us to compete on a level playing field with the other BCS institutions who strive to win championships with academic integrity. “