PR Newswire

CSU To Study Athletics Program

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CHICAGO, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago State University’s President Dr. Wayne Watson announced today that on August 30, 2010, Chicago State University began an 18-month, campus-wide effort to study its athletics program as part of the NCAA Division I athletics certification program.  Specific areas the study will cover are academic integrity, governance and commitment to rules compliance, and commitment to gender/equity and diversity and student-athlete well-being.

While academic accreditation is common in colleges and universities, this program focuses solely on certification of athletics programs.  Following a two-year pilot project, the NCAA Division I membership overwhelmingly supported the program and its standards at the 1993 NCAA Convention.  Chicago State University completed its first certification self-study in 1998.  At the 1997 Convention, the NCAA Division I membership voted to change the frequency of athletics certification from once every five years to once every 10 years.  Chicago State University completed its second certification self-study in 2002.  Thus, the current self-study will be the third in the certification process for Chicago State.

The athletics certification program's purpose is to help ensure integrity in the institution's athletics operations.  The program opens up athletics to the rest of the university community and to the public.  Institutions will benefit by increasing campus-wide awareness and knowledge of the athletics program, confirming its strengths and developing plans to improve areas of concern.

The committee responsible for the study will include Chicago State University’s President, Judge Bernetta D. Bush (ret.) and Dr. Beverly M. John, Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee, various members of the institution's faculty and staff, as well as, athletics department personnel.   NCAA membership services staff conducted a one-day orientation videoconference on September 14, 2010 with the committee and its subcommittees.

Within each area to be studied by the committee, the program has standards known as Operating Principles that were adopted by the Association to establish benchmarks by which all Division I members are evaluated.

When Chicago State University has concluded its study, an external team of reviewers will conduct a three-day evaluation visit on campus.  Those reviewers will be peers from other colleges, universities or conference offices.  The peer-review team will report to the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification.  The Committee on Athletics Certification will then determine the institution's certification status and announce the decision publicly.  For institutions that fail to conduct a comprehensive self-study or to correct problems, sanctions could be imposed.

The three options of certification status are:  certified; certified with conditions and not certified.  While institutions will have an opportunity to correct deficient areas, those institutions that do not take corrective actions may be ruled ineligible for NCAA championships.

The NCAA is a membership organization of colleges and universities that participate in intercollegiate athletics.  The primary purpose of the Association is to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program and the athlete as an integral part of the student body.  Activities of the NCAA membership include formulating rules of play for NCAA sports, conducting national championships, adopting and enforcing standards of eligibility, and studying all phases of intercollegiate athletics.

Chicago State University was founded as a teacher training school in Blue Island, Illinois on September 2, 1867. Today, the University is a fully accredited public, urban institution located on 161-picturesque acres in a residential community on Chicago’s South side. CSU is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor of Illinois. The University’s five colleges—Health Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Pharmacy—offer 36 undergraduate and 25 graduate and professional degree-granting programs. CSU also offers an interdisciplinary Honors College for students in all areas of study and has a Division of Continuing Education and Nontraditional Degree Programs that offers extension courses, distance learning and not-for-credit programs to the entire Chicago community.