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DI to take fresh look at academic integrity rules

Members are working to clarify and enhance the legislation that, among other provisions, helps schools define when an academic misconduct incident could be an NCAA violation

The Division I Committee on Academics began reviewing academic integrity rules this week with an eye toward working with other Division I governance bodies to clarify and enhance the rules adopted in 2016.

The Committee on Academics met Monday and Tuesday in Indianapolis. The review was requested by the Division I Presidential Forum, composed of a president or chancellor from every Division I conference, which serves as the chief advisory group to the Board of Directors and assists with long-range planning and issues that need a presidential perspective.

In spring 2016, Division I members adopted new rules aimed at clarifying academic misconduct rules. Among other provisions, the rules help schools define when an academic misconduct incident could be an NCAA violation. So far, no Level I or Level II academic misconduct cases have come through the infractions process under the new legislation.

Earlier this year, the Division I Board of Directors identified academic integrity as a potential area of focus within its strategic areas of emphasis and tasked the Presidential Forum with examining the division’s philosophy and approach. The forum created a separate working group, drawing members from such Division I committees as the Committee on Academics, the Committee on Infractions and the Infractions Appeals Committee, which will work with all the relevant governance bodies on the project.

“Our intent is to help identify critical issues that will benefit from this review,” said Committee on Academics chair John J. DeGioia, president at Georgetown. “We want to assure NCAA rules and policies remain consistent with the practices of higher education and preserve both the fairness of competition and the academic integrity of the student-athlete experience.”

The working group will consult with various groups and perhaps begin to develop legislative and policy recommendations for the Presidential Forum throughout the summer and fall.

Academic Progress Rate review

Earlier this year, the Division I Transfer Working Group asked the committee to review the Academic Progress Rate to determine if changes were possible to improve the transfer environment in Division I. The committee has considered changes in the past, particularly to enhance accountability for schools that accept transfer students.

Rather than continue to respond to individual requests for an APR review, the committee decided it would seek Board of Directors approval to conduct a holistic review of the rate to address issues such as  how the rate treats transfers, the rate’s correlation with graduation rates, and the compression of teams at the high end of the scale.

If approved by the board in August, the committee will begin its review at its October meeting.