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Sources: Ruth Dyer, 785-532-6224, rdyer@k-state.edu;
and Jill Shields, 785-532-6620, shields@k-state.edu

Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010

K-STATE TO STUDY ATHLETICS PROGRAM FOR NCAA CERTIFICATION

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz announced today that K-State is beginning a yearlong, campuswide effort to study its athletics program as part of the regularly scheduled NCAA Division I athletics certification process.

"Specific areas the study will cover are governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, gender/diversity, and student-athlete well-being," Schulz said.

While academic accreditation is common at colleges and universities, this program focuses solely on certification of athletics programs. The NCAA certification process was approved by Division I members in 1993. Standards have been adopted for each area evaluated in the process, so each institution is evaluated using the same standards. The self-study helps ensure integrity in an institution's athletics operations.

This will be the third time K-State has conducted the NCAA certification self-study. The first time was in 1995-1996, and the second in 2001-2002. Starting in 1997 the certification process has been required every 10 years.

"The program opens up athletics to the rest of the university community and to the public," Schulz said. "K-State will benefit by increasing campuswide awareness and knowledge of our athletics program, confirming its strengths and developing plans to improve areas of concern."

Members of the self-study committee include Schulz; Ruth Dyer, senior vice provost and chair of the steering committee; John Currie, athletic director; Jill Shields, associate athletic director; university faculty, administrators and students; and athletic department personnel. Student-athletes also are members of the steering and subcommittees. They help represent the K-State athletic programs, which serve around 430 student-athletes each year.

"This self-study is an integral part of the athletic certification process," Currie said. "Every decision that we make as a department should be centered around the student-athlete experience, and this examination is a continuing step in our department's efforts to become a model program. Our commitment to integrity, transparency, equality and academics is essential not only to our student-athletes and coaches, but also to all K-Staters who support us each year."

A member of the NCAA academic and membership affairs staff conducted a one-day orientation videoconference with the committee and its subcommittees Aug. 16. The committees will prepare the comprehensive self-study report during the 2010-2011 academic year.

When the study is completed an external team of reviewers will conduct a three- or four-day evaluation visit on campus. The reviewers will be peers from other colleges, universities or conference offices. The peer-review team will report its findings to the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification, which will then determine K-State's certification status and announce it publicly.

The NCAA is a membership organization of colleges and universities that participate in intercollegiate athletics. Its primary purpose 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.