University of Pittsburgh
May 7, 2007

University of Pittsburgh Athletics Program Receives NCAA Certification

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification recently announced that the University of Pittsburgh athletics program has been re-certified. A "certified" designation indicates that the institution operates its athletics program in conformity with principles established by NCAA Division I membership.

The certification process involves a self-study that was led by Steering Committee Chair Randy Juhl. It included a review of the athletics program's governance structure, commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, academic support, and equity and student-athlete welfare.

"We are pleased that the NCAA has recognized the outstanding commitment that Athletic Director Jeff Long and his staff have made to our student-athletes," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "This certification reinforces the University's goal of excellence in all that we do. The recent announcement that more than 300 of our student-athletes earned a 3.0 term grade point average in 2006 is further testament to the synergy between good academic programs and great young men and women who are committed to excellence both on and off the field."

"Our certification underscores the values that shape intercollegiate athletics at the University of Pittsburgh," said Long. "The effort of our student-athletes, staff, and coaches has resulted in our program far exceeding NCAA certification requirements. This thorough certification process provides important feedback from outside professionals, and I was especially proud of the comments we received from members of the NCAA peer-review team, who described many areas of our program as models for others to follow."

"Over the years Pitt's student-athletes have earned enviable recognitions in a wide variety of men's and women's sports," said Juhl, Pitt's vice chancellor for research conduct and compliance. "The NCAA certification process provides a quality benchmark for those aspects of Division I athletic programming that takes place off the playing field-in the classroom, in study and residence halls, and virtually at all other locales of student life at Pitt. It was a real pleasure for me to work with the wide variety of dedicated faculty and staff across campus whose daily work touches the lives of our student-athletes to ensure that they receive fair and equitable treatment and also that they live up to the academic standards of the University. The programs within the Pitt Athletic Department as well as those in the other units of the University are both effective and impressive-characteristics that were openly praised by the NCAA certification peer-review team."

Athletics certification is designed to maintain integrity and institutional control in an institution's athletics program. NCAA legislation mandating athletics certification was adopted in 1993. All 326 active NCAA Division I members participate in the certification process.

Chairs of Pitt's self-study committee were as follows: Randy Juhl, Steering Committee; Robert Pack, Pitt vice provost for academic planning and resources management, Academic Integrity Subcommittee; John P. Elliott, director of internal audit at Pitt, Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance Subcommittee; Susan Albrecht, associate dean in the School of Nursing and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, and Ron Frisch, Pitt associate vice chancellor for human resources, Equity and Student-Athlete Welfare Subcommittee.

Members of the NCAA's Committee on Athletics Certification included McKinley Boston Jr., New Mexico State University; Shonna Brown, Mid-American Conference; Rita Hartung Cheng, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Beatrice Crane Banford, Marshall University; Rich Ensor, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference; Kevin Hatcher, Colgate University; Gerald M. Lage, Oklahoma State University; Leo Lambert (chair), Elon University; M. Dianne Murphy, Columbia University-Barnard College; Gloria Nevarez, West Coast Conference; Donald Pope-Davis, University of Notre Dame; Allison Rich, California State University, Fullerton; Mary Ann Rohleder, Indiana University, Bloomington; Greg Sankey, Southeastern Conference; and Jon Steinbrecher, Ohio Valley Conference.