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DI board seeks to shore up academic integrity rules

DI Council instructed to introduce clarifying legislation, support best practices

The Division I Board of Directors today reaffirmed the significance of recent action taken to strengthen academic integrity at the campus and NCAA levels, while taking additional steps to further bolster efforts to prevent academic misconduct on Division I campuses.

At its meeting in Indianapolis, the board asked the Division I Council to introduce legislation intended to clarify and reinforce the intended application of academic integrity rules adopted in 2016. The proposed changes would:

  • Move all legislation related to academic misconduct into one section of the Division I Manual.
  • Simplify the terminology used in academic misconduct rules.
  • Emphasize a school’s role in determining violations of its own policies regarding academic honesty and integrity in the process of applying NCAA rules.

The board also supported best practices created by the Division I Committee on Academics that would assist each campus in its efforts to promote and maintain academic integrity for student-athletes.

The board acknowledged that several rule enhancements had yet to be tested in the academic integrity space, including the new authority of the enforcement staff to use information from other official processes, such as accreditation hearings, and the independent accountability resolution option in the enforcement process.

Additionally, a thorough review already underway of the rule interpretation process in infractions issues could impact how Division I addresses infractions issues, including academic integrity. Finally, board members agreed the division has not felt the full impact of academic integrity legislative changes in 2016, which are widely supported by Division I member schools as an improvement over the prior legislation.

The board charged the Division I Presidential Forum, which recommended the changes approved by the board, with re-examining the issue in two years to determine whether the implemented changes are having the desired effect.

“Today’s action is appropriate because it places the onus on individual campuses to preserve academic integrity,” said board chair Eli Capilouto, president at Kentucky. “If the Council introduces and the membership supports the proposed changes, it also would clarify the role of the NCAA with regard to academic issues. We look forward to hearing from the Presidential Forum as it analyzes outcomes over the next several years.”