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NCAA announces latest Division I certification decisions

The NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification announced decisions today concerning the status of 13 member institutions in the division’s athletics certification process. A certified designation denotes that an institution operates its athletics program in compliance with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership.

This cycle represents the last certifications started before a moratorium was placed on the program in April 2011 by the Division I Board of Directors.  In January 2011, NCAA President Emmert asked staff to evaluate the program to reduce the burden on institutions, increase cost-effectiveness and improve the overall value.

Legislation mandating certification was adopted for all active Division I schools in 1993 to ensure the integrity of each member institution’s athletics program, while assisting institutions with improvements when necessary.

In order to complete the certification process before the moratorium, the institution finished a self-study led by an institution’s president or chancellor. In addition, institutions completed a review of these primary components: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; gender/diversity issues and student-athlete well-being. Each member institution is to complete a self-study at least once every 10 years. However, no active members will begin the certification process until Aug. 1, 2013 because of the suspension of the certification program.

The following 12 institutions were certified:

  • Arizona State University;
  • Alcorn State University;
  • Loyola University (Maryland);
  • Northwestern State University;
  • Samford University;
  • Santa Clara University;
  • Southeast Missouri State University;
  • University at Albany;
  • University of North Carolina, Asheville;
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro;
  • University of Northern Iowa; and
  • University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

In addition, the following institution has been certified with conditions:

  • University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Certified with conditions means the institution is considered to be operating its athletics program in compliance with operating principles. However, issues identified during the course of the institution's evaluation were considered serious enough by the Division I Committee on Athletics Certification to cause it to withhold full certification until those issues have been corrected.  The NCAA does not divulge specific information related to an institution’s self-study or peer-review visit or the conditions set forth for certification.

The Division I Committee on Athletics Certification preliminarily reviews an institution’s certification materials and provides a list of issues identified during the evaluation.  Then, the university hosts a visit by peer reviewers who file a report regarding the institution’s resolution of those issues before a final certification decision is rendered.  An institution’s failure to satisfactorily respond to the committee may negatively impact certification status.

The certification process is separate from the NCAA’s enforcement program, which investigates allegations of rules violations by NCAA member institutions.  A decision of certified does not exempt an institution from concurrent or subsequent enforcement proceedings.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions may ask the Committee on Athletics Certification to review an institution’s certification status as a result of a completed infractions case.

The members of the Committee on Athletics Certification are: Anthony Archbald, Princeton University; John Balog, Jacksonville University; Henry Brooks, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore; Roger Caves, San Diego State University; Casey Comoroski, Missouri State University; Beth DeBauche, Ohio Valley Conference; Tom Douple, The Summit League; John M. Dunn, Western Michigan University; Tracey Flynn, Quinnipiac University; Amy Folan, University of Texas at Austin; Joanne Glasser (chair), Bradley University; Angela Johnson “A.J.” Grube, Western Carolina University; Nina King, Duke University; Gary Overton, East Carolina University; William Perry, Eastern Illinois University; Judy Van Horn, University of South Carolina; Fred Washington, Prairie View A&M University; and Sarah Wilhelmi, West Coast Conference.