UW Center for Leadership in Athletics

December 12, 2022

ASHE Pre-Conference Forum on College Athletics

Humanizing Intercollegiate Athletics in Higher Education

College athletics faces a new era in athlete rights. Pushed by a wave of state laws, universities and the main governing body of intercollegiate sports–the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)–can no longer restrict college athletes’ rights to their Name, Image, and Likeliness (NIL). The recent supreme court decision, Alston v. NCAA, removed restrictions on educational expenses and called for congress to consider passing legislation to pave the way for direct payment for athletes. The National Labor Relations Board reversed its decision to restrict football players’ rights to unionize, signaling an openness to new claims for revenue athletes to collectively organize. These legal changes coincide with a renewed attention–at TItle IX’s 50th anniversary–to the persistent gender inequalities across college sports. Notably, an intersectional analysis of this law reveals that white, middle-class women remain the primary beneficiaries of Title IX.

The shifting legal landscape of college sports has brought renewed public and political interest to reform university athletic programs. Yet, the pressure facing colleges and universities to create equitable and diverse athletic programs could lead to reactive and short- sided actions, worsening existing crises and exploitation of college athletes.

The purpose of the ASHE forum on intercollegiate athletics was to bring attendees together in a discussion on the role of college sports in higher education. Participants in this forum examined current topics through the conference theme, built scholarly connections at any stage of their academic journey, and advanced research and policy on college sports within the ASHE community.

Event Chairs

Jennifer Hoffman
University of Washington

Guillermo Ortega

Molly Harry

Now in its 13th year, the Pre-Conference Forum on College Sports engages the ASHE community on the issues of the relationship between intercollegiate athletics and higher education. For more information, contact Jennifer Hoffman in the Center for Leadership in Athletics.

Past ASHE Pre-Conferences

  • 2021 College Sports & Colonialism in Higher Education
  • 2020 Raising Athlete Voices: A Panel Discussion on Student-Athlete Activism and Free Speech
  • 2019 NCAA Division I College Sports Finances: Where the Money Comes From and Where the Money Goes
  • 2018 Moments In Athletics Scholarship: Stories of Educational Activism, Disruptive Innovation & Dialogue.
  • 2017 Power to the Scholar: Emerging Media Practices for Higher Education Discourses on College Sports
  • 2016 Advancing Student-Athlete Research and Policy For the Public Good Through Scholar-Practitioner Collaboration
  • 2015 Accessing and Analyzing NCAA Data for Athletics Research & Policy
  • 2014 Informing Research and Policy in Intercollegiate Athletics Knight Commission Database Workshop
  • 2013 Invitation to A Dialogue: Student-Athletes and Higher Education.
  • 2012 Student-Athlete Climate Survey Pre-Conference Workshop
  • 2011 Publish or Perish? Meeting the Challenges of Publishing Research on Intercollegiate Athletics
  • 2010 Aligning the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics Within Higher Education Scholarship & Policy