The Graham Plan for Intercollegiate Athletics, 1935

From the University of North Carolina Portrait Collection (#P0002), North Carolina Collection.

In an article published Friday, the Raleigh News and Observer‘s Rob Christensen made reference to former UNC president Frank Porter Graham’s plan for intercollegiate athletics, known as the “Graham Plan.” The plan, developed by Graham and colleagues at a 1935 meeting of the National Association of State Colleges, was intended to suppress corruption and de-emphasize the role of athletics in university life. It limited athletic recruiting and abolished athletic scholarships, forbade post-season play, required athletes and athletic departments to provide accounts of their income and expenses, and placed athletics under the control of the faculty. Despite having support from administrators at many other colleges and universities, the plan faced significant opposition and was not successfully implemented.

You can read the plan’s proposed regulations here:

Standards of Athletic Eligibility, as Endorsed by the National Association of State Colleges (November 21, 1935)

This document comes from the Records of the Office of the President: Frank Porter Graham (#40007), which includes 20+ folders of correspondence and other materials related to the plan.

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