MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis announced the creation of an athletics rules committee to make sure it is following all the NCAA rules, as the NCAA has had Memphis in its cross hairs the last month.
The U of M already has a four-person compliance office making a combined $250,000 per year, according to university records, so it’s somewhat surprising the school announced a new three-person committee to, in part, focus on athletic compliance.
Sources with the athletic program told WREG the new group will act like an external oversight board. That could come in handy if the NCAA investigates the school again, as it has with the basketball program.
Students WREG spoke with were glad the school seems to be taking proactive measures.
“They already know the guidelines and different things, so you may as well get ready for the challenges you may have to face," U of M senior Preston Anderson said.
“It’s a great thing that we’re doing what we’re doing, that we’re preparing like this," senior Michael Rossi said. "If the NCAA comes back and wants to put us on trial or anything, we’re ready to fight back.”
The three people involved are heavy hitters already connected to the school.
Alan B. Graf will act as chair. The FedEx CFO has been the chairman of an independent U of M Board of Trustees since 2017.
Also on the committee are Cato Johnson and R. Brad Martin, who have been involved with Tiger athletics in the past. Martin was even the school’s interim president back in 2014.
Johnson and Martin are also on the U of M's Board of Trustees.
WREG reached out to the athletic department multiple times but did not hear back.
After their most recent experience with the NCAA, students are hopeful there won’t be any compliance-related issues in years to come. But they have faith Tiger Nation will be unified regardless.
“Memphis is a huge place, we’re like a family," Anderson said. "Anything that goes wrong, we’re going to stand behind it, no matter who it is.”
“It’s a little worrisome," Rossi said. "But I think Memphis can pull through.”