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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    University to Conduct In-Depth Study of Athletics

    Four falls ago, Stony Brook took the step up to Division Iathletics, and for the next year the university community will essentiallydefend its right to stay there. Starting this past week, SBU began performinga National Collegiate Athletics Association mandated ‘?Division IAthletics Certification Self-Study’ to ensure that its athletics’program is complying with NCAA standards, and to offer solutions on improvingspecifics.

    The report, which will be judged on thoroughness, level ofinput from the campus community, and shortcomings and proposed solutions is duein March of 2004. At that point, a team of four inspectors from the NCAA willtravel to SBU to verify the self-study.

    ‘?I think it’s a terrific idea that the NCAAinstituted a few years ago,’ said Dean of Physical Education andAthletics, Richard Laskowski, Ph.D.

    In 1997, the membership of the NCAA voted to have athleticscertification done once every ten years, supplemented by a five-year interimstatus report. Before this decision, certification had taken place every fiveyears.

    This will be SBU’s first self-study, and will take ayear to complete. It is a matter that both the administration and athleticsdepartment say they are taking very seriously.

    Already, a 22-member steering committee has been assembled,headed by Assistant Vice President for Presidential Initiatives George Meyer.It is comprised of faculty, staff, and students from both the athletics andnon-athletics programs, and Alumni Association Board President Jane Knapp.

    The committee, which will meet every other Monday, isresponsible for conducting the study and will oversee subcommittees in four keyareas: Academic Integrity, Fiscal Integrity, Governance and Commitment to RulesCompliance, and Equity, Welfare and Sportsmanship.

    ‘?This study will give us the opportunity to look atthe athletics program with a critical eye and to compare it to the NCAA’soperating principles,’ said Meyer. ‘?If you do a good study itmakes a program better. I’m confident that we’ll be able to dojust that.’

    Currently, the steering committee is preparing a five-tosix-page preliminary report that will identify the members of both thecommittee and subcommittee and briefly outline the study’s timetable andthe committee’s plan of action. The preliminary report will be presentedto a NCAA representative when she arrives on March 25 of this year, for what isbeing called a ‘?one-day orientation.’

    This self-study, which the administration has likened to theMiddle States institutional accreditation, plans to provide a very detailedaccount of Stony Brook’s athletics operations, and examine how theprogram ‘?relates to the mission and purpose of the institution.’ Theprocess and final report will purportedly ensure transparency of the athleticsprogram to the university community and public.

    Meyer insisted that the committee would be critical, and notsimply rubber-stamp existing policies. He went on to point out that thesubcommittees, which are responsible for ironing out the details, wereintentionally filled with ‘?skeptics,’ whose contributions he feelswill improve the caliber of the athletics program at SBU.

    ‘?I’m more concerned about whatever needsimproving, and that we find it and map out a plan,’ Meyer said.’?To ignore it by sweeping it under the carpet is not acceptable.’

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