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The Role of Intercollegiate Athletics at Tulane University

A Message from President Scott Cowen

May 14, 2003

We have now completed two public briefings (Friday, May 9 and Monday, May 12) on the topic of athletics. Hundreds of people took the time to come and share their thoughts with us. I was especially gratified by the large number of students who attended the sessions, particularly the one Monday night. The feedback from the meetings, combined with the input we have gotten from your e-mails, phone calls and letters, are of great assistance to those of us involved in the review process.

The transcript of Friday’s meeting is posted on this website. The transcript from Monday is being prepared and will be posted in a day or two. I encourage those interested in the topic to review the transcripts.

Let me emphasize and clarify some important points I made in my opening remarks at the briefing sessions.

  • We will announce when the board is ready to make its decision.
  • An intercollegiate athletics program will exist at the university under all options being discussed. The board has never entertained an option to eliminate intercollegiate athletics altogether at the university.
  • The board is guided in its decision-making process by what is in the best long-term interests of the university, i.e., academically, financially and in terms of community building; understanding that reasonable people may have differences of opinion on what is best for the university. This is why the board, which represents all of the university’s constituencies and has a fiduciary responsibility, is the most appropriate group to make decisions of this kind.
  • As I am sure you will all understand, this has been a difficult process for everyone concerned--our alumni, our friends in the community, the athletics department, the board and the administration. But, it is an absolutely essential process to go through as we continue to build this university.

When other new developments regarding this important topic occur, I will provide more updates.