University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 5, No. 3/1996
Self-study promotes awareness of athletics

     Results of a self-study show that UD's athletic program,
which includes 22 intercollegiate sports, (11 for men and 11 for
women), "is well run, has the highest standards and abides by the
rules," Roland M. Smith, vice president for student life and
chairperson of the self-study, says. "It's reassuring to know
that we are doing things the right way. We found some areas that
need improvement, but no substantial issues."
     The self-study, undertaken for the National Collegiate
Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Athletics Certification
Program, was
the first step in the NCAA's new mandatory certification process.
     The second step, a public hearing, was held in May, and the
last step for certification, an external review by an NCAA-
appointed review team, will take place this fall.
     Athletics certification was approved for Division I
institutions at the 1993 NCAA Convention as a key part of the
organization's reform agenda. Certification is meant to ensure
the NCAA's fundamental commitment to integrity in intercollegiate
athletics by opening the affairs of athletics to university
communities and the general public across the country.
     When certification was begun, a pilot program was put into
effect for two years. This year, the first of the every-five-year
studies is being conducted at Delaware and other colleges and
universities across the country.
     Key campus constituent groups were involved in the self-
study. The 28 members of the self-study committee investigated
all operational phases of the athletics program through four
subcommittees that worked throughout the
1995-96 academic year. Examined were governance of the athletics
program and its commitment to rules' compliance; fiscal
integrity; academic integrity; and commitment to equity.
     NCAA officials have said they see the self-study as a chance
to promote awareness of the athletics program and to offer
affirmation to many aspects of it. The External Peer Review Team,
composed of experienced educational and athletics personnel, will
visit UD in October to conduct its own study of the athletic
program. To be chaired by the chief executive officer of a
university with a similar athletics program, the review is
similar to the one conducted by the Middle States Commission on
Higher Education for all other aspects of the University.
     "The team will visit for three or four days and ask
questions to make sure the self-study reflects current practices
at UD," Edgar N. Johnson, director of intercollegiate athletics,
     Results of both the self-study and the review team's report
will be forwarded to the NCAA's Committee on Athletics
Certification, which uses them as the basis for determining
certification status.