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Changing the Mission of College Athletics


There’s little doubt that college sports are at a crossroads. As money collides with education, Drake University’s Athletic Director says it’s time to make sports “co-curricular” instead of “extra-curricular.”

Drake University Athletics Director Sandy Hatfield Clubb spoke yesterday in front of a panel of sports administrators in Washington D.C. about new ways to think about collegiate athletics as a part of the university system. She says students who are involved with athletics at Drake are coached to think about what they are learning from their sport as well as how they are improving their game.

And when it comes to thinking about athletics as a part of the classroom, it isn’t just athletes and coaches that are thinking more about academics. Professors and non-student athletes are also being taught to think about sports, sort of.

I've learned about teaching by watching coaching. We all should.

Craig Owens is an English Professor at Drake University and he says he’s making an effort as a non-sports enthusiast to bring the locker room into the classroom.

"We tend to think about teachers as being at the center of it all,”  he says. “That’s just wrong. Players play the game with guidance from the coach; that’s what education should be.

During this River to River interview, host Ben Kieffer talks with Hatfield Clubb and Owens about sports and the classroom.  

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer