NCAA checking on compliance

Shawntaye Hopkins

Western’s checkup has two days left.

And then it’s time for the university to be patient and wait for results.

A National Collegiate Athletic Association peer review team began the three day process of investigating Western for re-certification yesterday with a campus tour.

NCAA re-certification is required for member schools every 10 years.

The peer review team will interview various people on campus including the president, athletic director, athletes and members of a steering committee today and tomorrow.

The team consists of a university president, a faculty member, an athletic director and others from schools similar in size to Western, said General Counsel Deborah Wilkins, who also serves as the steering committee’s chair.

After the interviews, the review team will prepare a report for the NCAA.

Western will either be classified as certified, certified with conditions, or uncertified, Wilkins said. But she said the results are not expected until late summer or early fall.

An NCAA compliance report was completed by the steering committee and its four subcommittees in November.

Faculty athletics representative James Brown said he is not exactly sure of the setup, but the peer team will likely ask questions about information in Western’s compliance report.

“My feeling is they’ll want to make sure we’re doing what we say we’re doing,” Wilkins said.

The peer review team investigates fiscal integrity, academics, compliance and governance.

“Academics is the most important, I think, and probably the one thing they focus on the most,” Wilkins said.

Western was classified as certified with conditions that were later met after the last re-certification process in 1994.

Athletic director Wood Selig said he is hopeful for positive results. He said other schools might also be able to offer solutions to problems they have encountered.

“I have told our staff that this is much like going to a physician seeking a physical,” he said. “You go to find out if everything is in working order, and that is what this process is going to determine.”

Brown said Western doesn’t anticipate problems, but if they are found he expects them to be minor.

“I think we’re going to come out very well,” he said.

Reach Shawntaye Hopkins at [email protected]