NCAA recertifies Lion athletics

On March 10, 2011, Southeastern was recertified by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for participation in Division I sports. Southeastern’s athletic program includes 15 men’s and women’s teams competing at the Division I level.

“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; gender/diversity issues and student-athlete well-being,” stated NCAA.org.

Head of the Department of Accounting and Finance at Southeastern, Dr. Rick Simpson, headed the committee that completed the self-study. The committee also consisted of university faculty and staff, alumni, students, administrators and members of the community.

“Achieving certification is an important accomplishment and means that our program is being operated in accordance with the NCAA’s standards and values,” stated Southeastern President, John L. Crain, in a university news release.

Southeastern’s mindset concerning student-athletes is in close following with the NCAA standards. Both agree that the student-athlete is a student first and an athlete second.

“Southeastern’s primary focus is always on the student and that certainly includes the student-athlete,” stated Crain.

“The purpose of athletics certification is to ensure integrity in the institution’s athletics program and to assist institutions in improving their athletics departments,” stated the NCAA website.

Southeastern was one of 26 institutions that was recently granted certification for Division I membership. In April 2010, Southeastern received the NCAA certification, but with conditions.

Being certified with conditions means that the athletic program is ran in substantial conformity with Division I rules, but has serious enough issues to raise concern from NCAAs Committee on Athletics Certification.

Under this stipulation, the institution is still able to compete in Division I game play, although it is not granted full certification until the issues are corrected.

Information regarding the conditions for certification, or specific information about an institution’s self-study is not disclosed to the public.

Southeastern Athletics Director, Bart Bellairs, is pleased with the recertification and suggests that the committee be recognized for their hard work during the thorough evaluation process.

“The committee and its various sub-committees put in considerable time and effort in this evaluation and deserve to be recognized for driving this process,” stated Bellairs, in a university news release.

2021 marks the next calendar year that Southeastern will have to renew its NCAA certification. For a full list of the recently certified institutions, please refer to the NCAA website, www.NCAA.org.