By Chase Sanders
A UK Board of Trustees subcommittee recommended Thursday the implementation of a new athletic committee which will oversee contracts and facilities.
The Athletics Review Committee was created in the spring to create a new athletics advisory committee comprised of students, faculty and members of the Board of Trustees and community members.
The committee suggested the UK Athletics Association Board of Directors consider dissolving itself.
Terry Mobley, the sub-committee chair, said UK’s new athletics advisory committee “would take the place of the current UK athletics advisory board.”
According to the school bylaws, the $80-million athletics budget is included in the regular school budget of about $2.7 billion.
This past summer, UK men’s basketball head coach John Calipari was given a two-year $36.5 million contract extension.
Now, with the implementation of the new advisory committee, students, faculty and members of the Lexington community will have a voice in how much coaches in UK’s athletics department will be paid. However, they didn’t specify who could actually vote.
“The president would have to appoint community members and students,” Barbara Jones, the Board’s head counsel, said.
Britt Brockman, board chair, said he “came up with the idea of the new advisory committee” back in the spring.
Over the past decade, UK hasn’t had any NCAA violations, and the Athletics Review Committee met with the intension of continuing to be in compliance with regulations.
“We are not here because of anything that’s gone on before at the university. We are here to plan for the future,” Mobley said.
The committee was going to meet sooner than the scheduled date, but decided to wait on the inauguration of President Eli Capilouto.
Even though he did not attend the meeting, the president’s words were expressed, since he has the final authority over the athletics and is the ultimate person responsible, Jones said.
Several members also pointed out that the new committee would also mean the university’s compliance with NCAA rules and regulations would become a lot easier.
Member Lionel Williams voiced a small amount of concern for the “downside of creating the new committee.”
Including the community members and students in the decision-making process could take away from the overall power of the Board of Trustees, Williams said.
Most of the board members agreed that the potential committee’s “upside is better than its downside.”
Jones said the advisory committee will increase the campus’ communication.
“The new committee could also shorten the lines of communication between students, faculty and the Board of Trustees with regards to their concerns about the athletics department.”
The Board of Trustees will vote on this twice over the next several months because it involves a change to the university’s governing regulations, according to a press release.