Monday, July 22, 2013
Grand Canyon University President and CEO Brian Mueller said he believes Arizona State President Michael Crow is leading an effort by Pac-12 CEOs to try to block the school’s move into NCAA Division I athletics.
Mueller said he felt inclined to open up after CBSSports.com reported that Pac-12 CEOs had sent a letter to the NCAA questioning whether a for-profit university should be allowed to compete in Division I athletics.
The NCAA and all Division I schools are not-for-profit, tax-exempt entities. The private, publicly traded Christian school has been accepted into the Western Athletic Conference. ...
Azcentral sports obtained the Pac-12 letter, dated July 10 and signed by all the schools’ presidents and chancellors, that was sent to Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, chairperson of the NCAA Executive Committee. In a May 2 meeting of the NCAA Board of Directors, the committee said it would consider granting NCAA Division I membership to for-profit institutions. Grand Canyon is the first for-profit school to move to Division I.
“Our major concern is how athletics fit within academic missions of for-profit universities. The Pac-12 believes the academic mission of our 12 universities is paramount above all else,” the letter states. “We stand firmly behind the NCAA’s commitment to integrate athletics into the fabric of higher education and view the success of our student-athletes as the ultimate metric of how well we are doing as a Conference. ... Beyond just being reinforced by philosophy, our not-for-profit status ensures it. The resources generated by our Conference support our universities and our student-athletes first and foremost.”
On the issue of whether PAC-12 resources "support our universities and our student athletes first and foremost," the most recent PAC-12 tax return reports that its commissioner was paid $1,859,492. But at least he reported that he worked 40 hours per week for the conference. The twelve Pac-12 directors reported that they worked 1 hour per week for the conference, and received compensation ranging from $390,039 to $1,963,710. In comparison, the total amounts distributed to the member universities ranged from $6.8 million (Washington State) to $12.4 million (Stanford).
Update: Inside Higher Ed, Share Prices and Big-Time Sports