The athletic program, the Athletic Association, began as a non-profit, separate corporation (articles of incorporation issued by the state of Illinois, February 21, 1890), which directed intercollegiate athletics and was managed by an 11-member board of directors (6 faculty, 5 from membership of Alumni Association) appointed to the Board of Trustees. Board of Trustees Transactions, 45th Report, May 20, 1950, Appendix: "By-laws of the Athletic Association," p. 1155; 57th Report, May 15, 1974, p.564. Students organized the Association on April 20, 1883, a merger of the baseball and football associations. The Association was responsible for organizing an annual Field Day and caring for the gymnasium. Membership was open to all male students. In 1891, the Association obtained the north end of campus for an athletic park, later Illinois Field. From 1889 to 1892, Illinois belonged to the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Meetings in 1892 and 1895 resulted in the organization of the Western Conference or "Big Ten". Winton U. Solberg, The University of Illinois - 1867-1894, (Urbana, 1968) pp. 314, 317, 381. In 1891, the Trustees provided that the by-laws of the Association should be subject to the approval of the faculty. Board of Trustees Transactions, 16th Report, April 10, 1891, p. 88. By 1900, an Athletic Advisory Council assisted in the management of the Association. After 1908, an Athletic Board of Control and, after 1919, and Athletic Council, participated in policy formation. These organizations included faculty, alumni, and student managers. In 1965, the Association's by-laws were amended to discontinue sponsorship of the intermural and recreational program, the responsibility for which was placed in the College of Physical Education. In 1974, the Association assumed responsibility for administering the Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Program, and the number of directors was increased from 9 to 11. Board of Trustees Transactions, 53rd Report, May 19, 1965. Under an October 9, 1967 memorandum, the duties and activities of the director and the board of directors were defined. They were responsible to the president, the chancellor( Urbana-Champaign) and the comptroller. Faculty Letter, No. 174, April 7, 1969, p. 6.
On April 14, 1976, the Board of Trustees approved plans for filing with the Secretary of State a change of name to the Athletic Association of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 6 An increase in the number of association board members from 11 to 13 were approved by the Board of Trustees on February 16, 1977. 7 A change in the by-laws allowing the association board to indemnify officers for settlements or claims made against the received approval on September 20, 1979. 8 On February 18, 1982, the Trustees established an Athletic Board of Control with 19 members to serve as the directors of the association. 9
In July 1988, the Athletic Director resigned amid allegations of mismanagement. A subsequent reorganization plan was approved by the Trustees in January 1989, which called for a University Division of Intercollegiate Athletics to replace the independent association (an activity organization under university guidelines) with the athletic director reporting directly to the chief business officer of the campus, and the academic services unit reporting to the Athletic Board, which in turn will be reconstituted as a faculty senate committee.10
1. Board of Trustees Transactions, 45th Report, May 20, 1950, Appendix: "By-laws of the Athletic Association," p. 1155; 57th Report, May 15, 1974, p.564.
2. Winton U. Solberg, The University of Illinois - 1867-1894, (Urbana, 1968) pp. 314, 317, 381.
3. Board of Trustees Transactions, 16th Report, April 10, 1891, p. 88.
4. Board of Trustees Transactions, 53rd Report, May 19, 1965.
5. Faculty Letter, No. 174, April 7, 1969, p. 6.
6. Board of Trustees Transactions, 58th Report, April 14, 1976, p. 590.
7. Board of Trustees Transactions, 59th Report, February 16, 1977, p. 207.
8. Board of Trustees Transactions, 60th Report, September 20, 1979, p. 390.
9. Board of Trustees Transactions, 61st Report, February 18, 1982, p. 473.
10. Illiniweek, January 28, 1989, p. 4.