The Drake Group emerged from a two-day meeting in 1999 that was called by Jon Ericson, a former professor and provost at Drake University. Ericson had invited a distinguished group of college faculty, authors, and activists to a twenty-four hour think tank on how to end the academic corruption in college sport. Included in the conference were members of faculty senates, journalists, athletic directors, and members of organizations such as the NCAA and the Knight Foundation Commission on College Sport.
Ericson’s goal was to produce “a ringing manifesto” for change and send it out to every faculty senate in the country for action. Allen Sack, a professor from the University of New Haven, made a motion that the participants at the Drake meeting create a national organization founded on the principles discussed and debated at the Drake conference. The motion was passed unanimously. Ericson called the national activist organization The Drake Group. Sack and Ericson are co-founders of The Drake Group.
In September of 2022, The Drake Group established a sister organization, The Drake Group Education Fund under the fiscal 501(c)(3) sponsorship of the Players Philanthropy Fund (PPF). PPF will host the Drake Group Education Fund until the new organization’s application for its own 501(c)(3) status is approved. Taking this action better positions The Drake Group to focus on its priority mission of influencing Congress and other legislative policy makers to address the serious academic, health and economic crises in intercollegiate athletics.
The new Education Fund will focus on growing education programs. Given the 2022 successes of the inaugural The Allen Sack National Symposium – Advancing Integrity in College Sport and our webinar series on critical issues in college athletics, all of The Drake Group’s educational and research assets were gifted to the Education Fund which will continue our work on producing quality research and education materials – intellectual product for which The Drake Group is best known. The Fund will become the public education arm working to influence the public discourse on the need for college sport reform. Our PPF fiscal sponsorship also allows all donations and grants to the Fund to be tax deductible and makes the Fund eligible for grants from private foundations.
The archives of The Drake Group will reside at the University of South Carolina’s College Sports Research Institute (CSRI) and are being assembled under the direction of Andrew McGregor, Professor of History at Dallas College – Mountain View. Serving as Drake historian, Dr. McGregor is working with Allen Sack, Dave Ridpath and other current and former Drake members to collect the paper and electronic files of the co-founders, past leaders (committee chairs, members of the Board of Directors, officers), and others involved in any capacity. If former members have files they would like to donate, please forward them to Dr. McGregor at AndrewMcGregor@dcccd.edu. In the process of reviewing archival materials, Allen Sack, Co-Founder and current Director Emeritus of The Drake Group, collaborates with Brian Porto to produce his first person account of his 23 years of service with The Drake Group.
The Drake Group, Inc. was incorporated on 9/16/13 as a Connecticut Nonstock Corporation via a 9/6/13 certificate of incorporation (the “C/I)” which was filed with the Connecticut Secretary of State on 9/6/13. The governing statute for the corporation is the Connecticut Revised Nonstock Corporation Act (the “Act”) Connecticut General Statutes (“C.G.S.”). 33-1000.et seq. The Drake Group received its 501 (c) (4) tax-exempt status on 6/23/14. Simply put, no portion of any monies contributed by any person to a (c) (4) org, whether as membership dues, as a donation/contribution/gift, or otherwise, can be claimed as a tax deduction by said person. The 501 (c ) (4) status allows the Drake Group to engage in political lobbying and other advocacy behavior, but not to engage in campaigning on behalf of political candidates. 501 (c) 3 organizations are far more restricted when it comes to lobbying and advocacy.
Presidents of The Drake Group
|2022-2024||Andrew Zimbalist, Ph.D.||Smith College|
|2020-2022||Donna Lopiano, Ph.D.||Southern Connecticut State University|
|2019-2020||David Ridpath, Ed.D.||Ohio University|
|2018-2019||Fritz Polite, Ph.D.||Shenandoah University|
|2016-2018||David Ridpath, Ed.D.||Ohio University|
|2014-2016||Gerald Gurney, Ph.D.||University of Oklahoma|
|2012-2014||Allen Sack, Ph.D.||University of New Haven|
|2010-2012||Jason Lanter||Kutztown University|
|2008-2010||Katie Otto||Western Carolina University|
|2006-2008||David Ridpath||Ohio University|
|2004-2006||Lynda Bensel Myers||University of Tennessee|
|2000-2004||Jon Ericson||Drake University|
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