N.C.A.A. Team Makes Certification Visit

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

As part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's certification process, a peer review team visited campus this week to review Boston College's conformity with NCAA standards on governance and rules compliance, academic and fiscal integrity, and commitment to gender and racial equity in sports.

During the team's April 11-14 visit, the University hosted an open meeting with the delegation and interested members of the Boston College community on Tuesday.

Boston College is in the midst of applying for certification of its athletic program by the NCAA, which is required of Division I schools every 10 years.

Associate Academic Vice President Robert R. Newton, chairman of an NCAA Self-Study Steering Committee that has evaluated BC athletic programs' compliance with the NCAA standards, expressed confidence that the visiting delegation would report back favorably.

"We've done a thorough self-study, and I think Boston College is basically in very good shape in regard to four standards," said Newton.

"The big question for all universities is how to move forward on gender equity," he said. "I think we have in place some very solid plans to make substantial progress toward greater gender equity over the next five years."

The University announced last year a plan to add 47 athletic scholarships for women over the next five years to equalize the number of men's and women's athletic scholarships. A plan developed this year will substantially increase the operating, recruiting and coaching support for women's teams.

The visiting NCAA delegation was composed of University of Texas Vice President for Student Affairs James W. Vick; Susan L. Bayley, university counsel at the University of Maryland; Joseph W. Helmick, professor of communication sciences at Texas Christian University; Louisiana State University Associate Athletic Director Gregory L. LaFleur; University of Maine Athletic Director Suzanne J. Tyler; and NCAA Staff Liaison Delise S. O'Meally.

The group attended a welcoming dinner hosted by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, on April 11, and later interviewed representatives of the faculty and the Athletic Association. The delegation was to offer a report of its findings to Fr. Leahy before departing yesterday.

A decision from the NCAA on re-certification is expected by the fall.

The 15-member Steering Committee chaired by Newton submitted a self-study of the BC athletic program to the NCAA in February. According to Newton, the self-study found the University to be in substantial conformity with NCAA standards on governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, fiscal integrity and commitment to equity. The study concluded that strong compliance systems have been developed by the Athletic Association; that admission, graduation and academic support systems for student-athletes are functioning well; that Athletic Association budgets have been fully integrated into University-wide budgeting and control systems; and that effective plans are in place to achieve more balanced support for men's and women's teams.

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