Nov. 17, 2005
The NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification announced decisions concerning the certification status of three Division I member institutions, including the University of Tennessee, which underwent the Association's second cycle of athletics certification.
Tennessee joined the University of San Diego and the University of Akron on that certification list.
The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institution's athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments. NCAA legislation mandating athletics certification was adopted in 1993.
The certification process, which involves a self-study led by an institution's president or chancellor, includes a review of these primary components: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; equity; and student-athlete welfare.
The certification process for the Volunteers athletics program started in Jan. 2004 when the school began its self-study. Tennessee's certification committee, headed by Dr. Gregory D. Reed, Interim Dean of the College of Communications and Information, submitted its report to the NCAA in Jan. 2005.
"We're pleased to receive final certification from the NCAA," director of athletics Mike Hamilton said. "The exhaustive process took more than one year to complete and it included many phases of the university. We were very satisfied that the re-certification was granted without pending conditions."
A designation of certified means that an institution operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership.
The second round of athletics certifications is being completed on a 10-year cycle rather than the five-year cycle used during the initial certification process. All 326 active Division I members participate in the certification process.
The Division I Committee on Athletics Certification preliminarily reviews an institution's certification materials and provides a list of issues identified during the evaluation. The university then hosts a visit by peer reviewers who file a report regarding the institution's resolution of those issues before a final certification decision is rendered. Dr. Robert Lawless, president emeritus, University of Tulsa, chaired the NCAA peer review team that examined Tennessee athletics program. An institution's failure to satisfactorily respond to the committee may negatively impact certification status.