Category Archives: Wally Renfro

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‘Why Did Universities Allow This to Happen?’

Arlington, Tex. — Wallace I. Renfro has never been shy about expressing his feelings. A former top policy and communications specialist at the NCAA who stepped down last year after some 40 years on the job, he had a few pointed words on Friday for colleges that find themselves in the cross hairs of legal and regulatory disputes.

“Why did universities allow this to happen,” he said, standing in the lobby of a busy hotel here on the eve of the Final Four, “that a disinterested observer could…

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NCAA Withdraws Financial Support for Its Scholarly Colloquium

The NCAA on Monday pulled the plug on its Scholarly Colloquium, canceling financial support for future academic conferences and announcing plans to wind down its investment in the forum’s scholarly journal, following a sometimes-contentious six-year run.

The news—delivered by James L. Isch, the NCAA’s chief operating officer—came during a meeting of the colloquium’s Executive Board on Monday night, just hours before this year’s colloquium was set to begin, on Tuesday morning.

Citing poor attenda…

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NCAA’s Chief Policy Adviser to Step Down

Wallace I. Renfro, one of the chief architects of NCAA policy over the past two decades, plans to leave his job as vice president early next year, he said in an interview on Thursday.

One of the association’s longest-serving leaders—he just celebrated his 40th anniversary on the job—Renfro helped start the NCAA’s public-relations department and steer the association through various crises.

Ten years ago, he stepped aside following the departure of Cedric Dempsey, then the NCAA’s leader. Six mont…

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Must-See Video of ‘College Sports at a Crossroads’ Now Online


Tom Farrey dropped me a line the other day to let me know that the full video from a session he moderated at this summer’s Aspen Ideas Festival was now available online.

Farrey, an ESPN enterprise reporter and director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program, does a terrific job of teeing up the most engaging issues in college sports. And his panelists–Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of “The Shame of College Sports”; Joe Nocera, the New York Times column…