NCAA Operating Principles
Division I Athletics Certification Program
As part of the NCAA self-study, Harvard has established four
subcommittees to examine the areas of: governance and commitment to
rules compliance; academic integrity, fiscal integrity, and commitment
to equity. Each subcommittee will determine whether Harvard's
intercollegiate athletics program adheres to the NCAA operating
principles developed for each area. Those operating principles are
Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance
Chair: Elizabeth S. Nathans
- Institutional Mission. Maintaining intercollegiate athletics as an
integral part of the educational program is a basic purpose of the
Association. Consistent with this fundamental policy, the mission and
goals of the athletics program shall:
- Appear in published form and be given wide circulation within the
institution and among its external constituencies;
- Relate clearly to the mission and goals of the institution;
- Support the educational objectives and academic progress of
- Support equitable opportunity for all students and staff, including
women and minorities;
- Result from a process of development and periodic review involving
substantive participation by the major constituent groups of the
- Be reflected in the actual practices of the institution's athletics
- Institutional Control. The Association's principle of institutional
control vests in the institution the responsibility for the conduct of
its athletics program, including the actions of its staff members and
representatives of its athletics interests.
- Presidential Authority, Governing Board. The institution's governing
board shall provide oversight and broad policy formulation. The chief
executive officer shall be assigned ultimate responsibility and
authority for the actual operation of the athletics program, with clear
and direct support of the board.
- Shared Responsibilities. The athletics program shall be an integral
part of the educational enterprise of the institution. As such,
appropriate campus constituencies shall have the opportunity to provide
input into the formulation of policies relating to the conduct of the
athletics program and to scrutinize the implementation of such policies.
- Assignment of Rules-Compliance Responsibilities. The institution
shall have in place a set of written policies and procedures that assign
specific responsibilities in the area of rules compliance. In critical
and sensitive areas, institutional compliance procedures shall provide
for the regular participation of persons outside of the athletics
- Rules-Compliance Accountability. Rules compliance shall be the
subject of an ongoing educational effort, and the commitment to rules
compliance shall be a central element in personnel decisions within the
department of intercollegiate athletics.
- Rules-Compliance Evaluation. The institution shall provide evidence
that its rules-compliance program is the subject of periodic (e.g.,
annual) evaluation by an authority outside of the athletics department.
Chair: William R. Fitzsimmons
- Student-Athletes Integrated in Student Body. An intercollegiate
athletics program shall be designed to be a vital part of the
institution's educational system, and student-athletes shall be
considered an integral part of the student body.
- Admissions and Graduation. The institution shall admit only
student-athletes who have reasonable expectations of obtaining academic
degrees. If the graduation rate of student-athletes is significantly
lower than that of the rest of the student body, this disparity shall be
analyzed, explained and addressed (through specific plans for
improvement) by appropriate institutional authorities under clearly
established and approved policies. If the academic profile of entering
student-athletes differs from that of the rest of the student body, the
contrast shall be analyzed and explained by regular institutional
authorities under clearly established and approved policies.
- Academic Authority. The responsibility for admission, certification
of academic standing and evaluation of academic performance of
student-athletes shall be vested in the same agencies that have
authority in these matters for students generally.
- Academic Support. Adequate academic support services shall be
available for student-athletes. Student-athletes shall be encouraged and
assisted in reaching attainable academic goals of their own choosing.
When it is determined that individual student-athletes have special
academic needs, these needs shall be addressed. The support services
shall be approved and reviewed periodically by academic authorities
outside the department of intercollegiate athletics.
- Scheduling. The scheduling of athletics competition and practice
shall minimize conflicts between athletics participation and academic
schedules, especially during examination periods.
Chair: Nancy Maull
- Financial Controls. Institutional financing of intercollegiate
athletics shall follow prudent management and fiscal practices and
provide relatively full and stable opportunities for student-athletes.
All funds raised for and expended on athletics shall be subject to
generally accepted practices of documentation, review and oversight. In
addition, all expenditures from any sources for athletics shall be
approved by the institution. Budget and audit procedures for athletics
shall be consistent with those followed by the institution generally and
with the provisions of NCAA Constitution 6.2, which requires that the
institution's annual budget for athletics be approved by the
institution's chief executive officer or designee from outside the
athletics department, and that a financial audit be performed by a
qualified auditor who is not a staff member of the institution and who
is selected by the chief executive officer or designee from outside the
- Established Policies and Procedures. The institution shall have in
place policies and standard operating procedures to ensure that all
expenditures for athletics are handled consistently in accordance with
Commitment To Equity
Chair: Barbara J. Grosz
- Gender Issues. An institution shall demonstrate that in the area of
intercollegiate athletics, it is committed to fair and equitable
treatment of both men and women. It shall have available adequate
information for assessing its current progress in this area and an
institutional plan for addressing it in the future. The plan shall
provide for accommodating the evolving standards of the Association in
the area of gender equity.
- Minority Issues. An institution shall demonstrate that in the area of
intercollegiate athletics, it is committed to providing equitable
opportunities for minority students and institutional personnel. It
shall have available adequate information for assessing its current
progress in this area and an institutional plan for addressing it in the
future. The plan shall provide for accommodating the evolving standards
of the Association in the area of minority issues.
- Student-Athlete Welfare. The institution shall demonstrate a
commitment to the fair treatment of student-athletes, particularly in
their academic role as students. There shall be evidence that the
welfare of student-athletes and the fairness of their treatment is
monitored, evaluated and addressed on a continuing basis.