Tulane University Home
About Tulane Academics Admission Administration
Athletics Student Life Health Sciences Center
Libraries & Technology Teaching & Research Home
Help | Index | Webmail

Letter to Non-BCS University Presidents

June 12, 2003

As you probably know, Tulane University recently completed an exhaustive review of its athletics department. The purpose of this year-long study was to determine what type of intercollegiate athletics program was in the best long-term interests of the university given the changing landscape of Division I intercollegiate athletics and the academic mission, goals and resources of Tulane University.

After much study and discussion, the Board of Tulane decided this week to re-affirm its commitment to the continuation of intercollegiate athletics at the Division I level. But in doing so the board adopted the enclosed resolution calling for us to operate an athletics program that is a model in terms of academic performance and graduation rates, is financially viable on a sustainable basis and supports the academic mission and goals of the university.

This resolution also calls for Tulane to join with other universities to seek system-wide change in a number of areas. These changes will be impossible without the full participation of my fellow university presidents, who are dedicated to operating an athletics program consistent with the values, mission and aspirations of their institutions. I am writing this letter to ask your help to:

- aggressively work to alter the BCS arrangement to minimize, if not eliminate, its adverse impact on Division I-A intercollegiate athletics

- join with other schools to request that the NCAA adopt policies and procedures that support higher academic standards

- ask the NCAA to reconsider the appropriateness and cost implications of the Division I-A membership criteria adopted last year that will go into effect in 2004

I hope these are goals shared by all of us. As I have said many times over the last year: the athletics review we conducted is not only about sports and finances. It is about the proper role of intercollegiate athletics at an institution of higher learning.

I will host a teleconference on July 22 at 3 p.m. (CT) to begin a dialogue on these important issues and attempt to develop some strategies to address them. NCAA President Myles Brand has agreed to join us throughout our discussions and will try to join us for our teleconference as well. Please let me know if you plan to take part in the teleconference by completing the enclosed form and faxing it to (504) 865-5202.

I look forward to discussing these crucial matters with you. If, in the meantime, you would like to speak to me personally please call me at (504) 865-5201 or e-mail me at scowen@tulane.edu



Scott S. Cowen