Changing Environment in College Sports

April 15, 1983

Report Outline
New Pressures on Athletes
Money and College Sports
Push for System's Reform
Special Focus

New Pressures on Athletes

Campus Reaction to Recent Controversies

When the National Football League (NFL) stages its annual draft of college players on April 26, much of the attention will focus on those players who are not selected. NFL officials have stated that the league intends to maintain its 48-year-old prohibition against drafting players who have not completed their college eligibility. Eligibility rules became the center of controversy last February when the NFL's new competitor, the United States Football League (USFL), broke tradition by signing University of Georgia star running back Herschel Walker after his junior year. Walker, 1982 winner of the Heisman Trophy, an award given to the player voted the best in college football, signed a three-year contract worth an estimated $3.9 million with the USFL's New Jersey Generals.

Although the Herschel Walker incident was the most publicized issue involving college sports in recent months, it was by no means the only one. Years of concern over educational standards, commercialism and professionalism, recruiting scandals, and the movement for women's athletic equality have inspired passage of new rules by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and intensified demands for change from various quarters.

Much of the impetus for change has come from college administrators, many of whom previously tended to stay aloof from controversies involving intercollegiate athletics. “College and university presidents are taking a very active role,” said Bob Aaron, public affairs director for the American Council on Education. For instance, college presidents were in the forefront of the drive that recently led the NCAA to upgrade academic eligibility requirements for student athletes.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
College Sports
Apr. 24, 2020  Compensating College Athletes
Jun. 03, 2016  College Athletics
Jul. 11, 2014  Paying College Athletes
Nov. 18, 2011  College Football
Mar. 19, 2004  Reforming Big-Time College Sports
Mar. 23, 2001  Sportsmanship
Aug. 26, 1994  College Sports
Aug. 15, 1986  College Sports Under Fire
Apr. 15, 1983  Changing Environment in College Sports
Sep. 05, 1975  Future of Varsity Sports
Sep. 10, 1952  Commercialism in College Athletics
Sports and Recreation
Undergraduate and Graduate Education