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Q: Are all college athletic programs required to go through a peer review certification process?

No. There are approximately 2,000 2-year and 4-year college athletics programs in the U.S. Only the 300+ members of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association are required to go through a "peer review" certification program review once every ten years. This peer review process focuses on governance and rules compliance, gender equity, minority issues, student-athlete welfare and academic integrity. Every Division I institution goes through an extensive self-evaluation process. Then, an NCAA Peer Review team reviews the report and makes recommendations. Institutions have a year to remedy identified deficiencies. Possible penalties for non-certification include loss of membership or ineligibility for NCAA national championships, but these penalties have never been used.  The other 700 NCAA Division II and III members are required to undergo voluntary self-evaluation studies with no 'peer review' program.

Go to the NCAA web site to review the certification program self-study instrument and other information. 

Prepared by: Donna A. Lopiano, Ph.D., President, Sports Management Resources