The University Record, November 19, 1996

U-M takes first step toward NCAA
certification requirement

The University has completed a two-year self-evaluation of its intercollegiate athletics program and has found that it is pleased with the current state of the program at the U-M but made recommendations in several areas that will "strengthen an already strong department," the report notes. The evaluation was conducted in response to the National Collegiate Athletics Association‚s (NCAA) requirement that all Division IA schools be certified to prove their integrity.

"Our general impression is that we have a strong and healthy intercollegiate athletics program," Walter Harrison, NCAA Athletics Certification Steering Committee chair and vice president for university relations, told reporters at a Nov. 11 press conference.

The study, which examined four areas of the program, involved contributions of more than 40 faculty, staff, students and administrators. The four areas examined are academic integrity; commitment to equity; governance and commitment to rules compliance; and fiscal integrity.

"This is a public phase of the process," Harrison says. Comments from the public on the report, findings of the committees or recommendations will be considered and incorporated in a report to the NCAA Nov. 22.

Further steps in the process include a site visit by a peer review team of athletics and educational officials in January and a determination on merit for NCAA certification in the spring.

Academic integrity

The Subcommittee on Academic Integrity was chaired by Business School Dean B. Joseph White. The steering committee recommended that this subcommittee continue for up to one year after review to oversee and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations. "Our primary conclusion is that Michigan Athletics is upholding the academic standards of the University, NCAA and Big Ten. . . .If we were to capture the essence of our recommendations in a single headline, it would be ŒAcademic Integrity Subcommittee urges a richer range of academic options for student-athletes.‚"

Their recommendations:
¤¤¤ Greater enrollment of student-athletes in the schools and colleges of the University to reduce the concentration of athletes in one unit and to enhance freedom of academic choice.
¤¤¤ A workable plan, through the Office of the Registrar, to assist student-athlete course enrollment options.
¤¤¤ A study of the role of academics for student-athletes in the mission of the Division of Kinesiology so that it is congruent with the growth in academic stature and quality it has achieved in the last ten years, to be commissioned by the Provost, which should be examined on its own merit and not necessarily tied to the current review of the division for school status.
¤¤¤ Monitor the practice of directing academically at-risk student-athletes to begin their studies in the Division of Kinesiology to assess their progress toward their degree aspiration. "Our belief is that if a student-athlete who is among the least academically able enters the University and demonstrates success in Kinesiology, moving from this program to another should be easier than (it is) today."
¤¤¤ Increase the awareness of the coaching staff about the purpose, value and importance of academic life for student-athletes and the important role Kinesiology plays in preparing some student-athletes for academic and professional success.
¤¤¤ Conduct a joint review of the processes of certification and eligibility for student-athletes between the Academic Integrity Subcommittee and the Committee on Academic Performance. (This recommendation will begin prior to June 30, 1997.)
¤¤¤ Continuously examine the advising, support and compliance services available to student-athletes and the relationship between the support program and advising services of academic units to clarify the roles of each entity.
¤¤¤ Requirements for training in the off-season, including spring and summer terms, should be re-examined to evaluate student flexibility in taking courses. In addition, the University should eliminate extended travel for training and competition purposes when travel conflicts with the academic calendar. The intention is to provide opportunities for student-athletes to have one complete term in each academic year to enroll in class without regard to training, practice or competition obligations.

Fiscal Integrity

The Fiscal Integrity Subcommittee was chaired by Carl Smith, director of University Audits.

"The University of Michigan believes the activities of the Athletic Department and its programs have significant financial and budgetary oversight by the institution and that the athletic program is congruent with the mission and purpose of the University," wrote the subcommittee.

Their recommendations:
¤¤¤ The Athletic Department should formalize the role and responsibilities of a chief financial officer, who would be the individual responsible for the fiscal affairs of the department.
¤¤¤ The Athletic Department should consider internal administration of the summer camp program.
¤¤¤ Include the registered clubs of the Alumni Association in the Athletic Department policy that requires all booster club transactions that involve awards given to student athletes to be processed through the University.
¤¤¤ The Student Athlete Support Program should complete the formal documentation of procedures relating to the processing and disbursement of financial aid.

Commitment to Equity

The Commitment to Equity Subcommittee was chaired by Jackie McClain, executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.

"The growth in women‚s participation since 1972 has been impressive. Although there are more women coaches and administrators than ever before, this is clearly an area in which the University can improve," wrote the subcommittee.

Their recommendations:
¤¤¤ Tri-annual coaching staff salary reviews which consider market and equity factors. ¤¤¤ Increased recruitment.
¤¤¤ Development of current staff.
¤¤¤ Periodic surveys of the University climate for women and for people of color.

Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance Subcommittee

"Based on its findings from the institutional self-study, the committee recommends the following changes be implemented," wrote the committee. It was chaired by Douglas Kahn, the Paul G. Kauper Professor of Law and former faculty athletics representative.

Their recommendations:
¤¤¤ On shared responsibility: We recommend to the director of athletics and the University president the assignment of compliance program oversight to involve the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics as a subcommittee of the board. The oversight function would involve review of compliance program procedures and practices, monitoring and evaluation of all violation reports and corrective actions, and the assessment of recurring violations with specific individuals, teams or rules areas.
¤¤¤ On rules-compliance accountability: The subcommittee noted that the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics had been operating under the principle of providing due process opportunities in the case of a violation investigation but wanted to have the process "spelled out and conveyed" to all involved parties. The due process policy would ensure that athletics named in a violation would receive notice of the time, date and location of the hearing; notice of the charges, an opportunity to present the student-athlete‚s side of the story; an opportunity to hear the evidence presented against them; the opportunity to be represented by counsel; and a tape recording of the proceedings. They also would be notified of the right to appeal or refute the report of a violation, which would be addressed to the Big Ten Conference Office.

Percy Bates, professor of education and faculty athletic representative, told reporters that the self-study and certification issues were not something everybody wanted.

"The issue of certification grew out of concerns as to what was happening in intercollegiate athletics. We needed to develop a process to see what we were doing.

"This is very time-consuming, very costly. It had the support of the president and went through, but it is not something that everybody wanted."

Bates also noted that the NCAA certification does not apply to schools in Division II or Division III.

"We could be certified in one of three ways," Bates continued. "We could be certified, certified with conditions or not certified at all." He said that the consequences of not meeting the NCAA‚s certification requirements would be "removal from membership and participation in championship events, such as the NCAA basketball tournament play."

M. Joseph Roberson, director of athletics, told reporters that at first, the self-study "looked like paper production and bureaucratic nonsense. But it has opened things up so people can see what is going on. It is an organized and positive effort," he said.

"The department will benefit by this."

Comments from the public may be sent to Harrison at 2064 Fleming Administration Building, 1340; to Bates at 1005 School of Education Building, 1259; or to Roberson at Weidenbach Hall, 1000 S. State St., 2001. Comments also may be made by sending e-mail to certification@umich.edu.

The entire report is available on the WorldWide Web at www.umich.edu/~mgoblue/Certification/toc.html.

Committee had broad University representation

More than 40 people helped prepare recommendations for this report. Members of the NCAA Athletics Certification Steering Committee are Harrison, Bates, Peggy Bradley-Doppes, Christine Brooks, Carol Coppersmith, James J. Duderstadt, Harvey Grotrian, E. Royster Harper, Kahn, Susan Lipschutz, Chandler Matthews, Harry McLaughlin, Homer A. Neal, Eugene Nissen, Roberson, Susan Rasmussen, Thomas Seabron, Carl Smith, Theodore Spencer and B. Joseph White.

Members of the Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance Subcommittee are Kahn, Jack L. Goldberg, Joyce Lindeman, Anne Monterio, Eugene Nissen, Robert Pelinka, Jeff Long, Philip Hughes and Craig Keilitz.

Members of the Academic Integrity Subcommittee are White, Jay Basten, Christine Brooks, Teresa Bruggerman, Cynthia Cross, Judith Goodman, Selina Harris, James Hilton, Thomas McElvain, Theodore Spencer, Phillip Hughes and Michael Cross.

Members of the Fiscal Integrity Subcommittee are Smith, Victor Bernard, John Lemmer, Alexander Makarewich, Glenna Schweitzer, Jerry Sigler, Jeff Tibbs, Margaret Warrick, McKEnzie Webster and Robert DeCarolis.

Members of the Commitment to Equity Subcommittee are McClain, Mary Louse Antieau, David Betts, Susan Rasmussen, Fiona Rose, Kent Syverud, Tracy Tayler, Joseph Willis, Christopher Wyatt and Peggy Bradley-Doppes.