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NCAA Certification Keys

Purpose of Athletics Certification

Athletics certification is meant to ensure the NCAA's fundamental commitment to integrity in intercollegiate athletics. The program is structured to achieve its goal in several ways:

  1. By opening the affairs of athletics to the university community and the public.
    • Key campus constituent groups must be meaningfully involved in the development of the institution's self-study and may be asked to review the institution's self-study report after it has been drafted.
    • Self-study reports are evaluated by teams of peer-reviewers from other institutions and conference offices.
    • Decisions of the Committee on Athletics Certification related to an institution's status are announced publicly.
  2. By setting standards (called operating principles) for the operation of Division I athletics programs. These operating principles originally were adopted overwhelmingly at the 1993 Convention. They cover three basic areas — governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; and gender/diversity issues and student-athlete well-being.
  3. By putting tough sanctions in place for institutions that fail to conduct a comprehensive self-study or to correct problems. Athletics certification is intended to help an institution. For this reason, the program allows ample time for an institution to consider its programs, to identify problems and to correct them. Institutions that fail to make an honest effort face serious consequences — ineligibility for NCAA championships and, eventually, removal from active membership in the Association.

Benefits for Self-Study

The NCAA Certification Self-Study will benefit MSU in at least three ways:

  1. Self-awareness: The self-study offers a unique opportunity to educate individuals across campus about the athletics program's goals and purposes, the many challenges facing athletics and the ways in which the athletics program supports the institution's mission.
  2. Affirmation: Athletics certification is meant to be a positive experience and the self-study process will reveal many aspects of the athletics program worthy of praise.
  3. Opportunities to Improve: Even an outstanding program can be better; issues will be identified routinely as part of any institution's self-study. As these issues come to light, the self-study process will offer a forum for suggestions from individuals with a wide range of experience.