NCAA Compliance Plan
Compliance Structure, Responsibilities, and Duties
Western Washington University is committed to high quality co-curricular programs, including intercollegiate athletics (Strategic Plan). The opportunity to participate in intercollegiate athletics is an integral component of education at Western Washington University. The University is committed to excellence in athletics in a manner consistent with the aims of the University and the operating principles of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Operating Principles. As a member of the NCAA, participation in athletics at Western Washington University is guided by operating principles regarding amateurism, equity, nondiscrimination, academic integrity, student-athlete welfare, sportsmanship, ethical conduct, and related matters. These principles, adopted by the NCAA membership, serve as the standards by which all Division II athletic programs are judged. Western Washington University's commitment to these principles is underscored in the three-fold mission of intercollegiate athletics at Western:
Compliance Responsibilities and Institutional Control.
- To compete in a broad spectrum of sports at the highest competitive NCAA Division II levels attainable;
- To compete with integrity, and;
- To link athletics participation to all aspects of learning within the University (Mission Statement).
In support of these operating principles, it is Western Washington University's responsibility to exercise institutional control in maintaining its athletics program in compliance with all rules and regulations established by the NCAA, by conferences of which Western Washington University is a member, and by the University, itself. Institutional control is defined by the NCAA as "administrative control or faculty control, or a combination of the two" (NCAA Manual). While compliance responsibilities are shared university-wide, ultimate responsibility and authority over athletics rests with the Board of Trustees and President, aided by the Faculty Athletics Representative, athletics administrators, and an administrative oversight system established to ensure compliance.
Rules education sessions are regularly conducted for student-athletes, coaches, and athletics administrators, as well as for non-athletics administrators and staff who share athletics oversight responsibilities (admissions, registrar, financial aid). NCAA rules manuals are issued to coaches and administrative personnel with athletics-related duties for their personal reference. When questions regarding compliance arise, individuals should consult the manual or contact the Compliance Coordinator or Faculty Athletics Representative for direction. These individuals, along with the President, Senior Woman Administrator, and Director of Athletics are the only persons authorized to contact the NCAA and conference for interpretations or clarification of rules and regulations.
Western Washington University promotes full disclosure of all rules violations. Alleged violations of NCAA, conference, or University rules and regulations should be reported to the Compliance Coordinator or Faculty Athletics Representative for investigation. Actions taken in response to violations shall be consistent with NCAA, conference, and University policies and procedures.
Senior Woman Administrator. The position of Senior Woman Administrator refers to the highest ranking female administrator involved with the conduct of Western Washington University's intercollegiate athletics program.
Faculty Athletics Representative. The Faculty Athletics Representative is a member of the faculty appointed by the President to represent Western Washington University and its faculty in relationships with the NCAA and conferences of which the University is a member. The Faculty Athletics Representative reports directly to the President. The faculty's voice and influence regarding intercollegiate athletics are channeled primarily through the Faculty Athletics Representative.
Faculty Athletics Representative Responsibilities and Duties. The Faculty Athletics Representative plays a key role in oversight of athletics programs, working to ensure the academic integrity of the athletics program and the welfare of student-athletes.
The duties of the Faculty Athletics Representative focus on administration, compliance, education, and student-athlete welfare.
- advise the President on matters of intercollegiate athletics, providing a voice that reflects the traditional values of the faculty and which is rooted in the academic ethic of the institution.
- represent the institution to the NCAA and to athletics conferences; serve as a delegate to the annual NCAA convention and attend any special meetings of the NCAA; serve as the institution's voting designate in the absence of the president.
- serve as a member of institutional, conference, and NCAA committees that influence policies and procedures regarding athletics programs.
- participate on search committees for senior athletics department administrators and head coaches.
- periodically review appropriate records to ensure that decisions related to admissions, academic advising, evaluation of academic performance and the extent of academic support services are consistent with the primary academic mission of the institution.
- together with the athletics administration, ensure that appropriate standards of student-athlete conduct are established (for both on- and off-campus behavior), clearly communicated and consistently enforced.
- provide periodic reports regarding matters of academic integrity, academic preparation and performance of student-athletes, rules compliance or violations, and other matters related to the intercollegiate athletics program.
- together with the President and director of athletics, develop a comprehensive plan for the institutional control of athletics and ensure that appropriate and explicit assignments of both responsibility and authority are made.
- assume joint responsibility with the director of athletics for ensuring compliance with all NCAA, conference and institutional rules; maintain oversight of compliance-related activities undertaken within the athletics department and coordination of the compliance-related activities of campus units located outside the athletics department.
- monitor and assess the effectiveness of the compliance practices of the athletics department.
- chair the athletics Compliance Committee.
- maintain current knowledge regarding the NCAA and conference rules related to academic eligibility, transfer requirements, and restrictions and enforcement procedures.
- attend annual regional rules seminars.
- make requests of the NCAA staff regarding rules interpretations.
- ensure that the institution has in place effective mechanisms for evaluating whether student-athletes have met all of the academic eligibility requirements for practice, financial aid and intercollegiate competition established by the NCAA, the conference and the institution.
- ensure that all certifications for both initial and continuing academic eligibility have been performed correctly, and with adequate documentation.
- be involved in the preparation of requests for waiver or appeals from NCAA regulation or process; be involved in conference decisions regarding waivers of conference eligibility requirements, especially academic requirements.
- review periodic audits of the athletics department; conduct periodic reviews of the mechanisms used to monitor the hourly and weekly limitations on athletically related activities.
- conduct periodic reviews of records for accuracy and to ensure appropriate and complete documentation.
- participate in investigations in which minor, secondary or major rules violations may have been committed; report all secondary and major violations to the NCAA; be involved in the preparation and review of written reports of infractions that are made to the conference or to the NCAA.
- contribute to the continuing education of faculty and other members of the university community by providing information and insight about NCAA or conference processes, pending legislation or related issues.
- report to appropriate university bodies regarding the operation of the athletics program.
- serve as a conduit of information to and from the faculty and the athletics program.
- participate in rules education efforts at Western Washington University.
- ensure that individuals performing certifications are fully aware of relevant NCAA legislation and interpretations.
- monitor and help maintain the personal welfare of student-athletes; review information regarding the academic well-being of the student-athlete.
- promote balance between academics, athletics and the social lives of student-athletes, which affords opportunities to enjoy the full range of collegiate experiences available to students generally.
- assume an advisory and reporting role with respect to the academic preparation and performance of student-athletes; ensure that academic services are available to student- athletes.
- be aware of the academic credentials of the entering student-athletes, the academic attainment of continuing students and the rates at which student-athletes graduate from the institution.
- have direct contact with student-athletes on a systemic and periodic basis; serve as an independent source of support and advice to student-athletes.
- be alert to conditions that affect the health of student-athletes and ready to aid in referral to appropriate university resources.
- participate in new student-athletic orientation activities.
- facilitate student-athlete participation on athletics boards and committees.
- meet on a regular basis with student-athlete committees.
- take part in or review the results of exit interviews with student-athletes.
- coordinate the nominations process for NCAA postgraduate scholarships.
- discuss conference schedules of contests to assess their impact on academic welfare of student-athletes.
- review travel and competition schedules to minimize missed class time for student-athletes.
- review athletics scholarship cancellations or reductions which might inappropriately limit opportunities for student-athletes to complete their degrees.
Compliance Coordinator Responsibilities and Duties. The Compliance Coordinator reports to the Director of Athletics and works closely with both the Director of Athletics and the Faculty Athletics Representative, to: (1) ensure compliance with all Western Washington University, conference, and NCAA rules and regulations governing intercollegiate athletics; (2) monitor eligibility of student-athletes; and, (3) communicate with the NCAA and conference about rules interpretations and compliance matters.
The duties of the Compliance Coordinator address administration and reporting, rules education; eligibility, recruitment, and admissions; and, investigation.
Administration and Reporting
- remain current with and uphold the rules and regulations of the University, conferences of which Western is a member, and the NCAA.
- participate in the development and review of University policies and procedures regarding compliance matters; assist in monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of the compliance practices of the athletics department.
- advise the Director of Athletics and Faculty Athletics Representative on compliance related matters.
- maintain current records for all compliance area, including team rosters.
- serve as a liaison with the NCAA and conference with regard to rules interpretations and compliance matters; provide rules interpretations for the athletics programs.
- perform compliance audits as requested by the Director of Athletics and the Faculty Athletics Representative.
- serve as a member of the compliance committee.
- provide periodic reports related to matters of academic integrity, academic preparation and performance of student-athletes, rules compliance or violations, and other matters related to the intercollegiate athletics program.
- conduct periodic reviews of records for accuracy and to ensure appropriate and complete documentation.
- conduct periodic reviews of the mechanisms used to monitor the hourly and weekly limitations on athletically related activities.
- perform additional duties and special projects as directed by the Director of Athletics and the Faculty Athletics Representative.
- educate student-athletes, coaches, athletics administrators and staff, and others having relationships with the athletics program (alumni, non athletics department university personnel, and representatives of athletics interests) about University, conferences, and NCAA rules and regulations.
- contribute to the continuing education of faculty and other members of the university community by providing information and insight about NCAA or conference processes, pending legislation or other important issues.
- attend annual regional NCAA sponsored rules seminars.
- participate in the development and maintenance of student-athlete handbook.
- participate in new student-athletic orientation activities.
Eligibility, Recruitment, and Admissions
- monitor the eligibility status of all student-athletes; monitor all eligibility functions and staff work involving eligibility to ensure that all certifications for both initial and continuing academic eligibility have been performed correctly, and with adequate documentation.
- determine the NCAA qualifier status of prospective student-athletes prior to any offer of athletically-related financial aid, including potential admissibility to the University and explanation for denial of a National Letter of Intent.
- approve requests for National Letters of Intent.
- prepare petitions for restoration of eligibility, as merited, providing required notice to the Faculty Athletics Representative, the Director of Athletics, and the NCAA.
- be involved in the preparations of requests for waiver or appeals from NCAA regulation or process; be involved in conference decisions that relate to waivers of conference eligibility requirements, especially academic requirements.
- investigate transfer and possible transfer student-athletes through contacts with other institutions; oversee the requesting and granting of releases from other institutions.
- work with representatives of financial aid to determine the student-athlete's eligibility for summer sessions and a post-eligibility year.
- approve campus visitations for prospective student-athletes. serve as the athletics department liaison with the Admissions Office in monitoring the admission status of new and continuing student-athletes.
- monitor and review all recruiting activities for adherence to University, conference and NCAA rules and regulations.
- maintain completed student drug testing release forms and records.
- participate in investigations in which minor, secondary or major rules violations may have been committed.
- investigate and report to the Compliance Committee all actions taken on alleged minor rules violations.
- work with the Faculty Athletics Representative to report all secondary and major violations to the NCAA.
Compliance Committee. The purpose of the Compliance Committee is to provide an administrative mechanism for ensuring institutional control and integrity throughout the system of compliance activities.
The Compliance Committee is composed of seven members: a representatives from the Admissions Office, a representative of the Athletic Department, the Compliance Coordinator, the Faculty Athletics Representative (chair), a tenured faculty member, a representative from Student Financial Resources, and a representative of the Registrar's Office. Other members may be appointed by the President as needed.
Compliance Committee Responsibilities and Duties. The duties of the Compliance Committee include the following:
- conduct periodic reviews of the compliance program; submit findings and recommendations to the President.
- review and make recommendations about policies and procedures pertaining to recruitment; certification of initial and continuing eligibility; financial aid, including the completion and maintenance of the NCAA squad list; hearings and appeals; and student-athlete earnings.
- review financial aid awards received from outside resources.
- participate in rules education sessions provided for coaches and student-athletes.
- review and make recommendations regarding compliance procedures for camps and clinics.
- participate in investigations and reporting of all allegations of major rules infractions according to guidelines established by the NCAA, conference, and University.
- where appropriate, recommend action regarding rules violations to the director of athletics and President.
- review all NCAA or conference reports of secondary and major infractions before they leave campus.
Student-Athlete Responsibilities. Intercollegiate athletics programs offer privileges that include financial assistance, team membership, competitive opportunities and numerous additional support services. Such privileges create a heightened visibility of student-athletes both on and beyond the campus. Hence, student athletes must accept some additional responsibilities for their behavior that are not imposed on students generally. The Faculty Athletics Representative, together with the athletics administration, should ensure that appropriate standards of student-athlete conduct are established (for both on- and off-campus behavior), clearly communicated and consistently enforced.