wanted to accomplish more than a
year before Winthrop’s turn in the second cycle came up.
“We challenged ourselves to complete
the process with zero issues,” said
the Winthrop leader. “By saying
it, you communicate the expectation. The combination of those two
things — starting early and setting a high standard — produced the
DiGiorgio said Winthrop put the
notion of NCAA athletics certification on the agenda even a year
before the school would normally begin preparing for the self-study.
School officials performed an internal audit to determine how
athletics was already meeting or not meeting the criteria. For the
most part, DiGiorgio said, things were running smoothly.
“You have to be doing things
reasonably well to start with — you can’t fake it,” he said. “But
what you can do is correct the small things around the edges, and we
got all of that done.”
DiGiorgio is a fan of the kind of
broad-based participation in the self-study that the athletics
certification committee recommends. The way athletics is structured
within the Winthrop campus lends itself to that sort of oversight
anyway, DiGiorgio said. He cited a strong faculty presence both in
terms of an FAR who “knows and appreciates athletics but is
tough-minded and gives no quarter on that end,” and a faculty
intercollegiate athletics committee that oversees matters related to
the academic side of the house. DiGiorgio also applauded an active
student-athlete advisory committee.
“We’re proud that
there is an environment here, as represented in the certification
result, where student-athletes can continue to grow and develop,”
DiGiorgio said. “That’s the reason why you have athletics in the