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NCAA Recertification Process Moves Forward

Athletics wants to hear from you

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Boston University is undergoing a recertification review by the NCAA. University officials want comments from the BU community before sending a self-study report to the NCAA May 1.

Before Boston University is recertified by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), it wants to hear from those most affected by its athletics program: students, faculty, staff, and alums.

The NCAA requires recertification every 10 years; as part of the process, the University last fall began a yearlong, campus-wide study of its Athletics Department that culminated in a 165-page self-study report. A draft is available for viewing online, and University officials hope members of the BU community will respond with comments and suggestions before a final report is submitted to the NCAA on May 1. 

“It’s critical that BU be engaged in Division 1 NCAA recertification,” says Linda Wells, dean of the College of General Studies and chair of the 45-member committee that wrote the report. “The NCAA protects student-athletes by requiring colleges and universities to provide them with the same access to education as any other student. They cannot be privileged or disadvantaged by their status as athletes.”  

Wells says the report helps to ensure the compliance of the Athletics Department by focusing on four key areas: academic integrity, governance and commitment to rules of compliance, commitment to gender equity and diversity, and student-athlete well-being.

“The good news is that there have been no surprises,” she says. “BU is in great shape around its policies and procedures in educating student-athletes, and I’m confident that view will be confirmed by the site team at the end of the process.”

Wells compares the self-study report to having employees evaluate themselves before annual performance reviews. “It gives us a chance to ask ourselves whether or not we’re equipped to provide the best services for our student-athletes,” she says, “and whether there are policies and procedures in place to protect them.”

She says the steering committee, which included representatives from administration, Athletics, and student life, focused on gender equity, diversity, and whether student-athletes are growing in both athletics and academics.

NCAA peer representatives will visit BU in the fall to review the work of the committee and provide feedback and recommendations. If all goes according to plan, the University will receive its NCAA Division 1 recertification in spring 2011.

Vicky Waltz can be reached at vwaltz@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @vickywaltz.

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