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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU athletics again certified by NCAA

New Mexico State University received certification from the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification this week.

Being certified means that an institution operates its athletics program in substantial conformity with operating principles adopted by the Division I membership.

"Just as we strive to ensure our academic programs are as successful as possible in meeting our students' needs, so too do we place a tremendous amount of attention on the quality of our athletics programs," said NMSU Interim President Waded Cruzado. "Of course, we always are sure to keep in mind that our athletes are, first and foremost, students."

The certification process includes an institutional self-study, which reviews governance and commitment to rules compliance, academic integrity, gender equity and student-athlete wellbeing.

"I'm very pleased to hear the news that we've been fully certified," said NMSU Director of Athletics McKinley Boston. "I want to thank and recognize the people involved in the initial self-study, which is the primary tool used to measure the results. Many of our actions going forward will only continue to get stronger by knowing our strengths and weaknesses."

NCAA certification is similar to academic accreditation in its process, which begins with a self-study, followed by a peer review visit and several formal responses to questions by the review team. The team is composed of campus and community representatives.

Athletics certification exists to ensure integrity in an institution's athletics program and to assist in improving the athletics department.

NMSU completed its first certification self-study in 1996 and was unconditionally certified by the NCAA.

"Some of the high points since the last certification are that NMSU has made incredible strides in the athletic programs and its facilities, which include additions to Aggie Memorial Stadium, Stan Fulton Athletic Center and Pan American Center, as well as the addition of an equestrian and soccer program," said Joe Creed, NMSU's former NCAA athletics representative.

The second round of athletics certifications is being completed on a 10-year cycle rather than the five-year cycle used during the initial certification process. All 326 active Division I members participate in the certification process.

The next certification cycle for NMSU will be in 2015 and may involve the same criteria or a different one for the self-study.