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Staying within the rules is the priority for any university Athletic Department. Here at Western Kentucky University, we are proud of our diligent efforts as we continue through an extended period of exceptional compliance.

Compliance’s mission shall be the efficient compliance of rules as mandated by the NCAA, the Sun Belt Conference, and the University President. The governing purpose of athletics compliance is to maintain institutional integrity, keeping athletics as an integral part of the educational mission of WKU, and keeping the athlete as an integral part of the student body. The compliance office shall provide the highest standard of compliance; stimulate the greatest degree of knowledge related to association and conference rules and regulations; and support university staff and representatives of athletics interest.

In a nutshell, compliance rules covers the activities of four sets of people - prospective student-athletes, matriculated student-athletes, university staff, and representatives of athletic interests. Those persons within the university - current students and the university personnel - are challenging enough to monitor and control. The other two groups - prospects and representatives - are not within the immediate purview of the university. Thus, educating, monitoring, and controlling this second group is an even greater demand.

There are several areas of major compliance concerns with those outside the purview of the school - amateurism, recruiting, and money.

Amateurism relates to the prospective student-athlete. The main concern here is that a high school student (or any person with any collegiate athletic eligibility remaining) has not played for value. Basically it means that this athlete has not played for a salary or other cash award. But value can be extended to mean receipt of exceptional services such as limo rides to competition or an exorbitant per diem.

As to recruiting (and transferring), there are specific rules related to frequency and types of contact with prospective student-athletes. These rules extend beyond just those within the athletic department and reach out to friends of the university. The NCAA rules define friends as representative of university athletics interests. Basically any person who praises the virtues of a particular university and its athletics department becomes a "representative." Under NCAA rules once a booster or alumni or any other person acts as a representative, they become such for life. These representative's activities are subject to the same exact rules and to the same exact degree as the employees of the university. The university will suffer the same sanctions for transgressions committed by these representatives to the same degree as if a coach had committed the error. However, unlike the coach, these off-campus representatives are not under the direct control of the school. Thus it is imperative these people know the rules.

As to money, the NCAA rules describe this as extra awards and benefits. The classic stereotypical example is the giving of a car to a blue-chip recruit or to a current athlete who’s setting NCAA records in their particular sport. A solid rule of thumb here is that any value (e.g. cash, employment, gifts) given to a student (prospective or current) that is in any way related or based upon their athletic prowess or fame is improper.

Please Help! If you have any knowledge of improprieties, unintentional or otherwise, please contact the person listed below. Under the NCAA rules, immediate corrective actions and prompt self-reporting are essential for WKU and its athletes to remain in good standing.

More information can be located on our links section below.

Any questions/comments, please contact Pam Herriford at:

270-745-6062 (fax - 270-745-6187), or
pam.herriford@wku.edu, or

Athletic Department
Western Kentucky University
1 Big Red Way
Bowling Green, KY 42101

WESTERN KENTUCKY ATHLETICS MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Department of Athletics is to provide a broad based athletics program which emphasizes the academic and personal development of the student-athlete, while upholding the principles of good sportsmanship and ethical conduct as defined by the NCAA, by conference affiliations and by the University. Fair and equitable opportunities will be a priority and will be provided for student-athletes and staff to participate in intercollegiate athletics at the Division I level regardless of gender or ethnicity. The sports programs of the Department of Athletics will be competitive regionally and nationally while serving the university’s constituents through entertainment and public service.

LINKS
NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Athlete - http://www.ncaa.org/eligibility/cbsa
NCAA slide show on initial eligibility and the Clearinghouse -
    http://www.ncaa.org/eligibility/powerpoint/powerpoint1/sld001.htm

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