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NCAA Denies Certification to Texas-Pan American

November 21, 1996

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) _ The embattled Texas-Pan American athletics program, already on NCAA probation, is once again in trouble with the NCAA.

The NCAA on Thursday refused to certify the university’s athletics program, saying it has failed to operate in accordance with association standards.

UTPA is the first Division I school not to receive certification since the NCAA began the examination process in 1993.

The decision will not affect athletic competition this season, but UTPA could be ruled ineligible for championship play next year if it does not implement corrective measures.

University officials said they would appeal the decision.

``All of us at the university, including all athletic coaches and staff, were shocked and upset by the decision,″ UTPA president Miguel Nevarez said.

The NCAA certification process examines an athletic department’s academic and financial integrity, governance and commitment to rules compliance, and commitment to equity. In the case of UTPA, the NCAA concluded the university had not exhibited adequate commitment to rules compliance.

``In the governance and rules compliance area, there was not sufficient compliance ... to raise the comfort level of the committee to justify certification,″ said Frederick Obear chancellor of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and chairman of the NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification on UTPA’s case.

Obear cited problems within the men’s basketball program that led the NCAA in July to place the athletics program on probation for four years.

The NCAA found that two assistant coaches had improperly helped potential recruits with correspondence coursework in 1993. The university was cited for a lack of institutional control in failing to monitor its coaches adequately for wrongdoing.

The infractions case was the third brought against the university since 1990, and resulted in the school’s second probation in four years.

To be reconsidered for certification, the university must implement a number of corrective measures, including:

_ Developing a comprehensive institutional rules-compliance program.

_ Providing evidence that the athletic director is exercising appropriate oversight of the athletics program and its efforts to comply with NCAA rules.

_ Formulate and monitor policies related to the conduct of the athletics program.

The university must submit a written report to the NCAA by Sept. 15. If the school has made a concerted effort to correct the problems, the committee might change its certification status. If not, the committee could take further action leading to ineligibility in championship competition next season.

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