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February 4, 2007 - Make academic integrity part of recruiting process

R. Gerald Turner and Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., co-chairs of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, commented in the Miami Herald (link here) on February 4, 2007, about the need for colleges and universities to incorporate academic integrity in the recruiting of athletes. In the article, Turner and Wharton noted the significant media attention that is expected on February 8 for “National Signing Day,” when colleges can first declare the students that will attend their school to play football. The article stated, “the recruiting process has moved away from the academic realm of our institutions and into the commercial realm surrounding college sports. From this process, prospects learn that their choice of college is critically important to an ominous mass of spectators and that they themselves are little more than a bundle of statistics neatly packaged into a one- to five-star rating.” While acknowledging that colleges cannot control the fan or media interest, they addressed the need for colleges and the NCAA to control the ways in which athletes are recruited.