Department of Intercollegiate Athletics' Mutual Compliance Responsibilities
The NCAA Constitution states, "It is the responsibility of each member institution to control its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Association." While pursuant to NCAA Bylaw 126.96.36.199(a), the university president has assigned direct responsibility for rules compliance to the Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics. However, every person associated with the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, including administrative and clerical staff, coaches, student-athletes, faculty, parents of student-athletes, friends and alumni, have the responsibility to comply with NCAA, MAC, and university rules and regulations. Further, per bylaw 188.8.131.52, it is the responsibility of the head coach to promote an atmosphere of compliance among the entire team, including assistant coaches, support staff, and student-athletes. Failure by any member of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to comply with all applicable rules may result in a violation and possible penalties for the individual, the team, and the institution. As a Division I member institution, coaches and student-athletes also have the responsibility to fill out required paperwork in a timely manner. Seventeen NIU intercollegiate teams create a tremendous amount of paperwork for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, and tracking down coaches or student-athletes for delinquent information is an unnecessary burden. The Huskie Athletic Compliance Office (HACO) will make every effort to simplify and minimize compliance procedures, but the process can be made easier if all required information is provided in a timely manner.
Compliance issues are the responsibility of all athletics department staff members. Experience has proven that, when compliance is viewed as a part of everyone's job and approached with a spirit of cooperation, the issues are fewer and the problems are more easily solved. The purpose of this guide is to facilitate the compliance processes and to ensure NIU maintains institutional control of the intercollegiate athletic program. This guide has been developed as a tool to help everyone better accomplish their compliance responsibilities. The NCAA holds coaches and administrative staff to a high standard of compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. NIU expects everyone associated with athletics not only to meet, but also to surpass this standard as it relates to all aspects of the athletics program. Through a compliance conscience, we will maintain the integrity of our program and the reputation of the university as a whole.
Please note: this guide does not necessarily represent an exhaustive list of all compliance related matters (when in doubt, ask questions), rather it is meant as a guide to help staff, coaches, and student-athletes navigate the vast array of NCAA regulations as well as show some of the routine NCAA compliance procedures utilized at NIU.
NIU is committed to the principles of institutional control as well as compliance with the letter and spirit of all NCAA, MAC, and institutional regulations.
The HACO strives for integration with all campus units that deal directly with our student-athletes. Further, our office makes every effort to maintain a compliance web where everyone is working together, encouraging athletics department personnel and our institutional colleagues to share information to ensure that checks and balances are sustained throughout our systems.
Additionally, a proactive and comprehensive rules and resources education program is a key component of our commitment to compliance. We hope that our staff, this manual, and our website will be used as a resource to assist administrators, coaches, student-athletes, boosters, prospective student-athletes (PSAs), and individuals in the university community who may be interested in educating themselves about NCAA, MAC, and institutional rules and regulations.