Michigan Faculty Senate Criticizes Student-Athlete Eligibility Procedures

It said an eligibility panel should not get perks like tickets and accommodations for bowl games.

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The faculty senate at Michigan has asked the university to reconsider its student-athlete eligibility procedures—criticizing the separate treatment athletes receive, as well as the perks offered to faculty in a student-athlete eligibility committee, the Michigan Daily reports.

Currently, a faculty committee is responsible for reviewing the academic eligibility of all student-athletes and making recommendations to the provost. The same committee members also receive perks from the athletic department, in the form of reimbursements for airfare, hotel, ticket, and meal expenses if they want to travel to a football bowl game. A 2007 university audit criticized the practice, citing a conflict of interest. University officials, including the president and athletic director, defended the practice, pointing out that the final decision still rests with the provost, who receives no such perks. The Michigan faculty senate agreed with the conclusion of the audit and has recommended that the university stop the practice.

The faculty senate also criticized the existence of such a committee in the first place, saying the eligibility of student-athletes should be reviewed just as it is for other students: by their individual departments.