PRESS RELEASE – OCTOBER 11, 2019
For immediate release
For more information:
Dr. B. David Ridpath, Ed.D.
The Drake Group
Dr. Frank Splitt, Longtime Drake Group Member and Former Robert Maynard Hutchins Award Winner publishes REFLECTIONS, 2016-2019: A Sequel to AN ODYSSEY OF REFORM INITIATIVES, 1986-2015
WEST HAVEN, CONN —
- David Ridpath, Ed.D., President of The Drake Group, announced that Dr. Frank Splitt, a former McCormick Faculty Fellow at Northwestern University in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, has published a sequel to his seminal and lifetime work, An Odyssey of Reform Initiatives: “We are pleased to be able to publish the follow up, entitled Reflections 2016-2019: A Sequel to an Odyssey of Reform Initiatives 1986-2015, which is now posted on The Drake Group website (www.thedrakegroup.org). As a professor of Engineering, Splitt has long advocated engineering education reform at American colleges and universities and this latest anthology details those battles as well as his lifelong commitment to college sports reform. The Drake Group is profoundly grateful for his leadership and contributions.”It was in the late nineties after witnessing the erosion of educational primacy within athletic programs at many colleges and universities, that Dr. Splitt decided to attack the problem like he did with every other issue that needed action – “head on.” In the early 2000s, after meeting with then University of Michigan president, Dr. Jim Duderstadt, one of the few progressive presidents who was unafraid to discuss reform in college sports, he was introduced to Drake Group founder, Dr. Jon Ericson, then the provost at Drake University. It was then that Splitt, after officially joining The Drake Group, published his first works on college sports reform. He has been a prolific writer on the subject ever since. His publications and letters have appeared worldwide and he is a frequent “go to” media source regarding issues in intercollegiate athletics. Splitt refuses to believe that college athletics cannot be changed for the better and insists that it can be brought closer to its original intent when it was started over 100 years ago. This quote from his sequel sums up the struggle that he and many others faced every day in their efforts to make college sports better for institutions and those who play them.
America is a sports-entertainment-and-gambling-loving nation. When it comes to college sports, the culturally-rooted behavior of its citizens is not only intensely tribal in nature, but also very difficult to change. As reformers must know, it’s all about money along with its awesome power to influence people and events. Money certainly makes strange bedfellows. Unfortunately, government officials, university presidents and trustees, along with many others who should be awake at the switch are willfully asleep. To try to wake them is to jolt them into a reality they just don’t want to face.
Frank Splitt has forced higher education officials and public policy makers to face this reality. For his efforts in advancing the cause of academic integrity and reform in college sports, The Drake Group awarded Splitt the 2006 Robert Maynard Hutchins Award “for his courageous defense of academic integrity in collegiate sports.” The current sequel is available here (located on The Drake Group website). Click here for the original Odyssey publication. The initial Odyssey book has been archived in numerous libraries around the country including such institutions as California-Berkeley, University of Chicago, DePaul, Drake University, Georgia Tech, Illinois, University of Michigan, New Haven University, Northwestern, Ohio University, Penn, Princeton Tufts and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.