Executive Director Richard Schultz says the NCAA must let politicians know it is doing a good job to keep the federal government out of college athletics.
"We have some of the same misconceptions in Congress that we have nationally about the health of intercollegiate athletics," Schultz said Monday."We have to do a better job with our congressmen and senators of making sure they understand . . . some of the major progress that's taken place in the last two or three years on academic progress and graduation rates."
Schultz was responding to comments made earlier Monday by U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen, D-Md., at the NCAA Presidents Commission forum. McMillen, a former college and pro basketball star, told the group of college and university presidents, chancellors and other administrators that federal involvement could happen if the NCAA fails to balance athletics with academics.
Chuck Neinas, executive director of the College Football Association, agreed with Schultz that the NCAA has made progress in recent years.
"Proposition 48 and the drug-testing program were designed to take care of problems," Neinas said. "Everything seems to be getting better."
Proposition 48 set a national standard of a 700 minimum on SAT tests and 2.0 high school grade-point average on required courses for incoming freshmen to be eligible to play intercollegiate sports.
Schultz and Neinas spoke at a news conference following Monday's sessions on membership structure and legislative rule-making procedures.
Schultz said he was pleased with the group's debates over what he termed the NCAA's "meat and potato" issues.