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ASU Athletics receives full certification
from National Collegiate Athletics Assoc.

Aug. 11, 2005 -- The Arkansas State University Intercollegiate Athletics Program has successfully completed the National Collegiate Athletic Association's certification process, the NCAA announced this afternoon.

ASU's certification was made "without conditions," a tribute to the overall quality of the program when measured against the NCAA's rigorous standards.

An announcement from NCAA read, in part:

INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification announced decisions today concerning the certification status of 19 Division I member institutions that have undergone the Associationís second cycle of athletics certification.

The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institutionís athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments. NCAA legislation mandating athletics certification was adopted in 1993.

The certification process, which is a self-study led by an institutionís chief executive officer, includes a review of these primary components: governance and commitment to rules compliance; academic integrity; equity; and student-athlete welfare.

A designation of certified means that an institution operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership. (Click here for the full NCAA release.)

Dr. Glen Jones, assistant to the president for diversity initiatives, chaired the campus- wide committee that worked for nearly two years on the self-study process in preparation for an on-site visit by NCAA representatives in May.

Dr. Jones said, "
I am pleased to learn that the universityís athletics program has been certified by the NCAA.  As chair of the steering committee, my number one goal was to have the athletics program certified without conditions.  I extend my deepest gratitude to the many faculty, staff, and students who gave countless hours of their time in pursuit of this goal.  Their work on the steering committee and the ancillary subcommittees was exemplary."

He emphasized the importance of NCAA certification as it relates to the Athletics Program's direction, quality and integrity.

"Todayís announcement by the NCAA brings closure to a process that has extended over 22 months.  The certification process and its accompanying result accentuate the commitment of our student athletes, the quality manner in which the athletics program is operated, and the continuing role of intercollegiate athletics in supporting the mission of Arkansas State University."

The NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification approved ASU's previous certification status in October of 1997.

Dr. Les Wyatt, president, emphasized the significant improvement recorded over the past eight years.

"I am very pleased with the progress in the intercollegiate athletics program since the last certification review.  Areas cited last time as needs for improvement were in minority and gender participation and in financial stability of the program.  Both issues have been resolved Ö this is a credit to the athletic program to see this recognition of what we have had reported to us in other ways.

"We have the highest graduation rate among student athletes among any of the Division I programs in Arkansas," Wyatt continued. "We have the highest academic performance of any public institution in our conference . . . Not only are we doing right on the athletic dimension but we're also doing right on the academic dimension.  This is additional notice that our program is headed in the right direction. I commend Dr. Lee and his staff and all the men's and women coaches for making this performance record possible."

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