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NCAA Certifies Athletics Program

(12-8-99) - The National Collegiate Athletic Association has officially notified Boston College that it has certified the University's athletics program to be in substantial conformity with the operating principles governing Division I programs.

Boston College Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo welcomed the news.

"It is a credit to University President William P. Leahy, SJ, our coaches, staff and student-athletes that we fared so well among our peers in the review process," he said. "We are dedicated to running a competitive program, in full compliance with all conference and NCAA rules, that keeps our student-athletes at its heart and exudes class. This certification by the NCAA is proof positive that our program is sound and headed in the right direction."

The NCAA decision comes after an 18-month self-study conducted by four Boston College committees that included students, faculty, administrators and Athletic Association personnel. The self-study was followed last April by the visit and report of a five-person peer review team from other Division I universities.

The self-study and visit focused on four NCAA standards: governance and compliance with NCAA rules; academic integrity; fiscal integrity; and commitment to equity.

The official notification indicated that the self-study had fully described the University's compliance with the four standards, accurately identified issues that needed attention and proposed reasonable recommendations for improvement.

Of special interest to the NCAA were the plans that Boston College has developed for gender equity in the next four to five years.

Associate Academic Vice President Robert Newton, who chaired the University's steering committee for the certification process, commented that the peer review team seemed very satisfied with the self-study and impressed with the BC athletic program.

"I think they recognized that Boston College had worked hard to do things right," Newton said. "We have a very detailed and effective rules compliance program. Our admission process and academic support are validated by our high graduation rates. Our fiscal house is in order and all financial aspects of athletics are integrated into the regular financial operations of the University, and we have taken the commitment to equity seriously. On the last point, the peer review team was surprised at how detailed our plans were."

The recommendations for improvement identified by the self-study and reaffirmed by the peer review team included: revision of the Athletic Association mission statement to conform to the new University mission statement; additional study of student-athletes who drop out; development of a plan to minimize class attendance and practice conflicts for student-athletes; and increased scholarships, operational support and facilities for women student-athletes.

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