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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 14, 2005

UI Holds Forums On Athletics Program For NCAA Certification Study

The University of Iowa will hold two forums in September as part of a year-long public study of its athletics programs. The study, which began in February, is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) second cycle of the Division I athletics certification program.

"NCAA's certification program is designed to ensure that Division I institutions meet high standards of integrity in athletics," Cain says. "Perhaps as important as the certification is the process itself, which offers us a timely opportunity to evaluate rigorously all important aspects of our athletics programs. Campus and public comment is a significant part of that process."

The first forum, to be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, in the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, is aimed at the general public as well as the university community, Cain says. The second forum, primarily to hear the comments of the University community, will be held from 4-5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa Room.

Specific areas of study during the certification process include academic integrity, governance and rules compliance, and commitment to equity and student-athlete welfare. The NCAA sets standards within each area of study and uses them to evaluate all Division I members.

UI President David Skorton named Pat Cain, vice provost and Aliber Professor of Law, to chair the steering committee for the campus-wide self-study. Three subcommittees, appointed by the steering committee, divide the work of the study. News, schedules, agendas and minutes of the committees will be available throughout the year on the public web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~our/ncaa-cert

All NCAA Division I institutions undergo certification once every 10 years, to ensure integrity in athletics operations. The university community and the public are involved in a self-study process that serves to increase awareness and knowledge of the athletics program, while helping to affirm the strengths of the athletics department and develop plans to improve areas of concern, Skorton says.

Following the conclusion of the self-study, an NCAA peer review team will evaluate the university's work and make a certification recommendation to the NCAA's Division I Committee on Athletics Certification, which ultimately determines an institution's certification status. A designation of certified, which Iowa achieved in the first round of certification, means that the university is operating its athletics program in substantial conformity with Division I principles.

The NCAA approved legislation to begin the certification program in 1993, and Iowa completed its first certification self-study in 1997. Under current NCAA rules, an institution must be recertified at least once every 10 years.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Charles S. Drum, 319-384-0048, charles-drum@uiowa.edu; Program: Patricia Cain, 319-335-3565, patricia-cain@uiowa.edu