University officials requesting feedback

The period for public response to Ball State University's draft of the NCAA Division I Athletics Self-Study is open through Friday.

The self-study is an important part of the university's process of NCAA certification.

"One issue that has been looked at is academic integrity," Associate Provost Beverly Pitts said. "That is, how athletes perform in relation to their peers. That's something all students should know about and possibly have information about that we don't know of.

Pitts is chair of a committee comprised of students, faculty, student athletes, and university and athletic administrators who wrote the self-study draft.

"Athletic certification ensures that institutions are living up to all the standards the NCAA has set," Pitts said. "It doesn't just look at the way your teams are run, their results or possible violations, but also at the institution's academic integrity and fiscal responsibility."

The draft is available at the Bracken Library reference desk and online at www.bsu.edu/ur/ncaa. Comments can be sent to Pitts at bpitts@bsu.edu.

"We're taking all public comment back to the steering committee," Pitts said. "It will be a definite factor in the final draft (of the self-study). This is really valuable for students to look at to determine if this is a fair description of the way Ball State is."

The NCAA review covers the previous university mission statement because it began before the Board of Trustees adopted a new mission statement last summer.

The Board of Trustees is very active in monitoring the certification process and success of student athletes and receives an annual report on the graduation rates of athletes.

According to the draft, University President Blaine Brownell "has the ultimate responsibility for the actual operation of the athletics program with clear and direct support of the Board of Trustees."

After the public comment period ends, faculty and students still have input through the University Senate and its Athletics Committee. The Athletics Committee studies the proposed annual athletics budget and makes recommendations to President Brownell.

A team of outside reviewers will be on campus in April as part of the certification process.

"They will see if our self-study is accurate, if it meets the NCAA standards of academic integrity and fiscal responsibility, among others," Pitts said. "They will be talking to students and verifying if the self-study implies the way the campus really is."

According to Pitts, the certification process was enacted in 1993. Ball State was among the first round of schools reviewed for certification when it was studied during the 1995-96 school year.


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