August 23, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 27
The Idaho State University Department of Athletics has received NCAA Certification with one condition, announced the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification on Thursday.
The committee today released the certification status of seven Division I member institutions that have completed the Association's athletics certification process.
"We are pleased to see certification in 33 out of 34 items required by the NCAA, and yet we are still dedicated to completing the last item on our journey towards certification," said Jeffrey Tingey, ISU Athletic Director.
The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institution's athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments, according to the NCAA. Legislation mandating athletics certification was adopted by the NCAA in 1993.
The certification process, which involves a self-study led by an institution's president or chancellor, includes a review of these primary components: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; gender/diversity issues; and student-athlete well-being. That two-year, intensive self-study included broad-based participation by campus and community groups comprised of faculty, staff, students, coaches, athletes and community members. The ISU self-study is published on the ISU athletics website.
ISU received the condition because the committee determined the institution "did not fully implement its Cycle 2 gender-equity plan in the program area of accommodation of interests and abilities," according to the NCAA's certification report sent to ISU. The University has until Jan. 14, 2011, to address the concerns of the committee.
"The progress towards gender equity has been and will continue to be a reviewable process," Tingey said. "We are always working towards completion."
A new ISU Gender Equity Focus Group will be created within the next two weeks to address the condition outlined in the NCAA report.
Three years ago the University ramped up its efforts to address gender equity. Among other steps, ISU has begun construction of a new Women's Softball complex, increased funding for Women's Softball, is currently constructing intercollegiate locker rooms for volleyball, softball and basketball, has increased the number of women's athletic scholarships awarded and has added staffing to help out with issues related to women's sports.
The classification of certified with conditions means that the institution is considered to be operating its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the NCAA's Division I membership. However, issues identified during the course of the institution's self-study and the peer-review team's evaluation were considered serious enough by the Committee on Athletics Certification to cause it to withhold full certification until those problems have been corrected.
All 335 active Division I members participate in the athletics certification process.
The Division I Committee on Athletics Certification preliminarily reviews an institution's certification materials and provides a list of issues identified during the evaluation. The university then 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 the completed infractions case.
The members of the Committee on Athletics Certification are: Anthony Archbald, Princeton University; John Balog; Jacksonville University; Robert Bernardi, Nicholls State University; Ann Carr, Mississippi State University; Casey Comoroski, Missouri State University; Beatrice Crane Banford, Marshall University; Beth DeBauche, Ohio Valley Conference; Tom Douple, The Summit League; Amy Folan, University of Texas at Austin; Joanne Glasser (chair), Bradley University; Brian Linnane, Loyola College (Maryland); Barbara Luebke, University of Rhode Island; M. Dianne Murphy, Columbia University-Barnard College; Sheila Patterson, Cleveland State University; Donald Pope-Davis, University of Notre Dame; Allison Rich, Florida State University; Judy Van Horn, University of Michigan; and Sarah Wilhelmi, West Coast Conference.