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Syracuse University begins self-study of its athletics program as part of NCAA athletics certification process
Syracuse University has begun a yearlong, campus-wide effort to study its athletics program as part of the NCAA Division I athletics certification program. The study commenced Oct. 3, with an orientation videoconference with a representative from NCAA membership services.
The NCAA athletics certification process occurs once every 10 years. SU successfully completed the process in 1998.
While academic accreditation is common in colleges and universities, this NCAA program focuses solely on certification of athletics programs. Its purpose is to ensure integrity in athletics and to examine how the activities of an athletics programs relate to the mission and purpose of the institution. In addition, the program is designed to determine whether the athletics program meets the standards, called “operating principles,” upon which the NCAA Committee on Athletic Certification evaluates all Division I schools. The three areas being reviewed are academic integrity; governance and commitment to rules compliance; and equity and student-athlete welfare.
Chancellor Nancy Cantor has selected the Office of Athletic Compliance to coordinate the University’s certification process. David H. Bennett, Meredith Professor of History in The College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, has been selected as the chair of the self-study steering committee. Chairs of the respective subcommittees are: Susan Donovan, dean of admissions (Academic Integrity); Michael Wasylenko, senior associate dean in the Maxwell School(Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance); and Anastasia Urtz, dean of students (Equity and Student-Athlete Welfare).
University faculty and staff who will comprise the membership of the steering committee and subcommittees will examine the Department of Athletics and provide constructive commentary on its operations. Further, the entire University community will receive periodic updates on the work of the steering committee and subcommittees, and will have opportunity to ask questions at open forums to be scheduled in the Spring 2006 semester. The University will benefit by increasing campus-wide awareness and knowledge of the athletics program, confirming its strengths and developing plans for improvement.
Once the University has concluded its study, a report will be submitted to the NCAA by May 15, 2006. Subsequent to this submission, an external team of reviewers will conduct an evaluation visit (a minimum of two days) to campus between Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, 2006. The reviewers will be peers from other colleges, universities or conference offices. The review team will report to the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification, another independent group. The committee will then determine SU’s certification status and announce the decision publicly.
The three options of certification status are certified, certified with conditions and not certified. Per the NCAA, colleges and universities are given an opportunity to correct deficient areas, but those that do not take corrective actions may be ruled ineligible for NCAA championships.
The NCAA is a membership organization of colleges and universities that participate in intercollegiate athletics. The primary purpose of the association is to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body. Activities of the NCAA membership include formulating rules of play for NCAA sports, conducting national championships, adopting and enforcing standards of eligibility and studying all phases of intercollegiate athletics.