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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Public forum will focus on athletics

    Want to find out how the UA athletics department conducts its business? A public forum tonight presents a once-in-a-decade opportunity.

    UA students are encouraged to come and ask questions from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Marvin D. “”Swede”” Johnson building, where three speakers will present and discuss the first draft of the university’s ongoing study of Arizona Athletics.

    The UA is required to perform a self-study every 10 years as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association certification process. Arizona was last certified in 1998.

    Kathleen “”Rocky”” LaRose, senior associate athletic director, said the forum’s purpose is to shed light on the athletic department’s procedures and values and also to gain feedback on suggestions for the final report, due to the NCAA by May 1.

    “”The report will not be finalized until it goes through the public,”” LaRose said.

    The study’s three sections are Academic Integrity, Equity and Student-Athlete Well-Being, and Governance and Rules Compliance. The full drafts can be found at www.arizonaathletics.com/ncaa-self-study.

    The study is headed by a steering committee of about 20 administrators, faculty, alumni, community members, students and student-athletes. The committee is chaired by Paul Portney, dean of the Eller College of Management.

    President Robert Shelton is also on the committee, and he will review the final report in mid-April.

    Three subcommittees – of size and makeup similar to the steering committee – produced the section drafts.

    The committees were chaired by former radiology professor Paul Capp on Governance and Rules Compliance, retired vice provost of student affairs Saundra Taylor on Academic Integrity, and professor emeritus Dudley Woodard on Equity and Student-Athlete Well-Being.

    All three will field questions, but LaRose said queries should stick to relevant topics.

    “”They’re familiar with the areas they’ve most recently studied,”” she said. “”In other words, the athletic director won’t be up there (taking) other miscellaneous questions regarding miscellaneous topics in intercollegiate athletics.””

    If students cannot attend the forum, or if they wish to make suggestions not pertaining to the study, they can fill out an online comment form that accompanies the drafts found online.

    “”We have lots of time between now and (May 1) to address any concerns the public may have, to hear their input,”” LaRose said.

    In November, two to four NCAA representatives will come to campus to perform a peer review of the study and also the athletic department.

    The NCAA will then issue a final report to the university and certify the UA in early 2008 if it meets all standards and requirements.

    “”They want to see accountability, but at the same time they want to make sure there isn’t an over-involvement by the regents, but that the athletic department is treated similarly to all the units on campus,”” LaRose said.

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