February 23, 2005 — University of Utah President Michael K. Young has announced the beginning of a campus-wide study of the school’s athletics program as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) certification program. The purpose of the certification program, which all Division I institutions undergo every 10 years, is to ensure integrity in the U’s athletics operations.
The University community and the public are encouraged to participate in the process by submitting comments. A special email address has been set-up for this purpose. People are asked to send their suggestions and questions to NCAA-Certification@rdms.utah.edu. A Web site for the public is also being developed to explain the process in greater detail.
Specific areas of self-study required for certification include academic integrity, governance and rules compliance, and commitment to equity and student-athlete welfare. “While this is a routine process for all Division I athletic programs, the University welcomes the opportunity to engage the community in a conversation about our wonderful athletics program and the role it plays within the larger institution. The certification process allows us to thoughtfully consider how integral athletics is to the University and how significantly it contributes to an energetic campus life. We look forward to the evaluation process and appreciate the opportunity to best position our athletics program for continued success in the future,” said President Young.
The NCAA’s program focuses only on certification of athletics programs. The NCAA approved legislation to begin the certification program in 1993. Initially, Division I institutions were certified every five years, but NCAA legislation was changed to incorporate a 10-year certification cycle, with a five-year interim report. The University’s last certification was completed in 1997.