ISSUED: 9 September 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Costa
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Dr. Andro Barnett, professor in recreation and leisure studies and M.B.A. sport management coordinator, is president-elect of the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representatives Association (FARA). FARA is made up of faculty athletics representatives in all three NCAA divisions and represents their concerns at the national level. Being president-elect will put Barnett on the NCAA board.
“We have a bigger voice now coming from Shepherd University and our conference when they’re making decisions for our student-athletes on our NCAA board,” Barnett said. “I get feedback from our faculty and take that to the board.”
A recent, high-profile example of the influence faculty athletics representatives have when NCAA decides on policy is the decision to allow college athletes to earn money off their name and likeness.
“They asked us how we feel about it as an organization,” Barnett said. “We put out a poll to institutions. We were all for it.”
Barnett said the decision to allow student-athletes to earn money will mean the NCAA will have to make adjustments to its rules and policies. The NCAA has called for an emergency convention in November to consider changes.
As faculty athletics representative, Barnett works on campus with professors, coaches, and student-athletes to help iron out any problems that might arise.
“We ensure academic integrity of the athletic program and the maintenance of the welfare of all student-athletes,” Barnett said. “We want the four years students are on campus to be a joyful, happy experience and we want them to graduate on time.”
Barnett said student-athletes at Shepherd do well overall academically, in large part because coaches recruit students who have a record of succeeding on the field and in the classroom. Barnett’s bi-annual report to Shepherd’s Board of Governors in April 2021 says in spring 2020, 48 student-athletes earned 4.0 GPA’s and the Dean’s List included 114 student-athletes, or 41 percent of athletics’ entire roster.
“Female athletes tend to do better than male athletes,” Barnett said. “Many athletes go into nursing and business and a lot stay in recreational studies.”
Barnett assumes his duties as FARA president-elect during the 2021 annual meeting September 30 – October 2. He will serve as president next year and past president the year after that.
Audio of Dr. Andro Barnett is available here.
— 30 —