The institution’s chief executive officer has ultimate responsibility for, and exercises appropriate administrative and fiscal control over, the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program.

Judgment of ComplianceIn compliance

Narrative

East Carolina University’s (hereafter, ECU or the institution) intercollegiate athletics program has a significant influence on the University’s visibility and stature, helps define its image, provides external financial support, and is a major operation with a significant financial impact on the institution. The Chancellor of East Carolina University has ultimate and active responsibility for appropriate administrative and financial control of the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program.  This responsibility consists of:

o         Athletics Policies and Procedures

o         Recruiting Standards

o         Academic Performance of Athletes             

o         Director of Athletics and Head Coach Selection/retention

o         Operating Budgets

o         Adequate Information and Control of the University’s External Foundation, The Pirate Club

This authority is afforded to the Chancellor through Section 502 B of the University of North Carolina Code.  “The administrative and executive head of each constituent institution shall be the Chancellor, who shall exercise complete authority therein, subject to the direction of the President (of the UNC system).  The Chancellor shall be responsible for carrying out the policies of the Board of Governors and of the University’s Board of Trustees.”

In each of the above oversight areas, the University officer(s) having initial responsibility for these decisions report to the Chancellor, as shown by the East Carolina University organizational chart. The Director of Athletics oversees all activities of the department of intercollegiate athletics. The Director of Athletics reports directly to the Chancellor and communicates on a consistent basis concerning the administration of the Department of Athletics. The Director of Athletics regularly reports to the Chancellor on the functions of the reporting officers, units, committees, and foundations that pertain to the Chancellor's financial and administrative control over the athletics program.

In addition to the SACS review, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requires the University to undertake a self-study every ten years.  East Carolina has completed two such self-studies and is awaiting notification from the NCAA before beginning its third cycle self study. The NCAA is currently enhancing the certification process.  One of the requirements of the NCAA study will be an evaluation of the Chancellor’s oversight and control of the department of athletics.  The Chancellor’s Department of Athletics role is defined within these two NCAA operating principles: Operating Principle 22.2.1.1: Institutional Control, Presidential Authority and Shared Responsibilities and Operating Principle 22.2.1.2: Rules Compliance. East Carolina’s adherence to these principles is included in this narrative of compliance.  

Administrative Control

In his oversight of the University’s athletics program, the Chancellor is guided by the University Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.  According to the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of East Carolina University:   “The Chancellor, who is specifically charged with the responsibility for the establishment and supervision of the institution’s program of intercollegiate athletics, shall consult with the Committee on matters relating to intercollegiate athletics, including the appointments of the Director of Athletics and head coaches for football and basketball. The Committee shall make recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding institutional policy on personnel, operating budgets, and long-range plans for intercollegiate competition.” The Chancellor receives additional assistance from the Director of Athletics and the athletics staff, the Faculty Athletics Representative, and the University’s Athletics Compliance Officer. 

Athletics Policies and Procedures

The Chancellor is responsible for significant administrative decisions and policies, including control over contracts for head coaches, policies to ensure NCAA compliance, and policies relating to recruitment and academic progress of student-athletes. The Director of Athletics oversees all of the intercollegiate athletics operations on a daily basis and reports directly to the Chancellor.  The Policies and Procedures Manual for the Athletics Department of ECU is designed to provide the athletics department with policies and procedures pertaining to the daily operations of the athletics department.

Control over Contracts for Head Coaches

The Director of Athletics is the primary lead in the decision-making process for the selection, hiring and evaluation of head coaches for intercollegiate sports programs with input from the senior administrative athletics staff. The final decision for the selection and hiring of head coaches is made by the university Chancellor, based upon recommendation of the Director of Athletics and, in some cases, subject to approval of the ECU Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors as explained below.

Employment contracts between the university and the Head Football, Men and Women’s Basketball and Baseball coaches, and any other head coach with a contract term that exceeds one year, as well as the Director of Athletics, are created and executed with assistance from the University Attorney’s office and approved by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation by the Chancellor and Director of Athletics.  If certain provisions are included in any of these contracts, the agreement must also be submitted to the UNC Board of Governors for approval. Contracts for other head coaches of intercollegiate athletics teams with a term of one year or less are approved by the Chancellor upon recommendation of the Director of Athletics.  

Decisions to terminate contracts with head coaches for university intercollegiate sports programs are made by the Director of Athletics and the Chancellor. The University Attorney advises the Director of Athletics and the Chancellor during this process. Such decisions are not subject to the approval of the UNC Board of Governors or the Board of Trustees.

Compliance with NCAA Rules

Membership in the NCAA places the responsibility on each institution to ensure that its staff, student-athletes, other individuals and groups representing the institution’s athletics interests comply with the applicable NCAA rules and regulations.

Although the Chancellor is ultimately responsible for institutional compliance, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance is charged with implementing institutional policies and procedures to assure that ECU maintains institutional control over its athletics programs.  In addition, this position reports directly to the Chancellor; this reporting structure provides the Office of Compliance with the ability to monitor activities of the Department of Athletics while inherently minimizing any perceived conflicts of interest. The Office of Compliance is physically located in the Department of Athletics to facilitate accessibility from all staff members which include coaches, staff, and student-athletes.

In addition to the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, the Office of Compliance is comprised of three other full-time staff members and a graduate assistant.  These individuals and their respective job duties are as follows:

  1. Director of Compliance
    • Assist with the department’s educational efforts;
    • Assist with the successful completion of required NCAA reports;
    • Secondary oversight of NCAA Bylaw 12 (Amateurism);
    • Primary oversight of NCAA Bylaw 13 (Recruiting);
    • Secondary oversight of NCAA Bylaw 14 (Eligibility);
    • Primary oversight of NCAA Bylaw 17 (Playing Season); and
    • Other duties as assigned by the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.
  2. Assistant Director of Compliance
    • Assist with the department’s educational efforts;
    • Primary oversight of NCAA Bylaw 15 (Financial Aid);
    • Primary oversight of NCAA Bylaw 16 (Extra Benefits);
    • Other duties as assigned by the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.
  3. Eligibility Specialist
    • Assist with the department’s educational efforts;
    • Primary oversight of NCAA Bylaw 12  (Amateurism);
    • Primary oversight Bylaw 14 (Eligibility); and
    • Other duties as assigned by the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.
  4. Graduate Assistant
    • Monitoring of all recruiting activity;
    • Monitoring of all playing season activity for each sport;
    • Clerical; and
    • Other duties as assigned by the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance. 

The Office of Compliance is also responsible for overseeing overall student-athlete eligibility as it relates to the NCAA’s legislation, ensuring the permissible receipt of student-athlete financial aid in accordance with NCAA legislation, conducting educational programs for the university, preparing and submitting NCAA and Conference-USA waiver requests, conducting investigations of alleged NCAA rules violations, providing rules interpretations and preparing and submitting violation reports to the NCAA.. The Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) is an ECU faculty member who: serves as a liaison between the ECU faculty and the athletics department, reports to the Chancellor, and advises the Director of Athletics.  Head Coaches report to the Director of Athletics or to Senior Athletics Administrative staff as assigned by the Director of Athletics. All Assistant Coaches report to their respective Head Coach. In addition, other senior administrators have responsibilities for specific compliance oversight of financial matters, drug testing, food supplements, risk management, strength and conditioning, ticket distribution, marketing, donor activities, and student-athlete academic progress toward degree. 

The Director of Admissions, University Registrar, and Director of Financial Aid report to the Associate Provost for Enrollment Services, who reports to the Provost and ultimately to the Chancellor. Initial student-athlete eligibility certification is the responsibility of the Director of Admissions. Continuing eligibility certification is the responsibility of the University Registrar.

As stated above, there are checks and balances for ensuring compliance with NCAA rules, and the reporting lines allow for full disclosure to the Chancellor of pertinent information regarding compliance.

Oversight of Student-Athletes

The NCAA’s fundamental principles indicate that an intercollegiate athletics program shall be designed and maintained as a vital component of the institution’s educational system, and the student athlete shall be treated consistently with the student body. Additionally, as members of the NCAA, East Carolina University has the responsibility to conduct the athletics programs in a manner designed to protect and enhance the educational experience of student-athletes and to ensure proper emphasis on education objectives.

Consistent with this responsibility the Chancellor has delegated this responsibility to the Office of Athletics Student Development.  This office is a unit of Academic Affairs and reports directly to the Provost, who reports directly to the Chancellor.  This office, led by the Assistant Director of Athletics for Student Development, oversees all of the student- athlete academic experience ranging from course scheduling, advising, tutoring, academic integrity, etc.

Faculty Senate University Athletics Committee

The University Athletics Committee is a university-wide committee that assists the Chancellor and the Faculty in review of policies, procedures, and activities related to intercollegiate athletes at East Carolina University. The Committee:

The Committee will:

This committee consists of eight faculty members (five of which are appointed by the Faculty Senate and three by the Chancellor). Ex-officio members with votes are The Chair of the Faculty, The NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, President of the Student Government Association, President of the Alumni Association, and President of the Pirate Club or their designee. Ex-officio members without a vote but with all other parliamentary privileges are the Chancellor, the Provost, Chair of the University Academic Standards Committee or their designees, and the President of the Student Athlete Advisory Council.

The Academic Success Committee

The Academic Success Committee (ASC) is an advisory committee consisting of four faculty members, four athletic department administrators, one head coach, and three academic administrators (including the Provost), with the responsibility of advising and recommending to the Chancellor any policies that are important to the academic integrity and success of the student-athlete.  The committee meets bi-monthly and provides reports to the Chancellor concerning the specific topics that are currently under review.

Financial Control

The Chancellor exercises fiscal control over the Department of Athletics with assistance from the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance. The department submits a draft of its annual budget to the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance in the same manner as all other budgetary units at the University. The Chancellor reviews the NCAA Dashboard annually. The NCAA Dashboard is a tool that highlights the University’s revenue and expense streams year-over-year, enabling the Chancellor to compare East Carolina University results within the conference and within a peer group of institutions.

Athletics Operating Budgets

Decisions relating to athletics operating budgets are made within the framework of the overall annual budgeting process at the university. The Director of Athletics Business and the Executive Associate Director of Athletics work with department budgetary authorities to make decisions in creating the annual budget. This process typically begins in February each year with a goal of completing the budget process by the end of May. The budget document is uploaded into the university’s financial system and a hard copy is submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance and the Chancellor.

Capital Improvement Projects

Certain capital improvement projects for university athletics facilities are of sufficiently high value to place them outside the normal university operating budget process. Decisions regarding such projects are therefore made within a framework separate from the normal university budgeting process. On a project-by-project basis, the Director of Athletics and the Executive Associate Director of Athletics begin the decision making process for such projects by creating an initial financial plan in consultation with the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance.

Upon approval of the initial plans for a specific athletics capital improvement project by the Chancellor, the project proceeds to a planning stage conducted by the university’s Division of Facility Services. Projects approved through this process are subsequently submitted to the Board of Trustees for site selection and approval for submission to appropriate state agency(s).

East Carolina University Educational Foundation, Inc 

The East Carolina University Educational Foundation (Pirate Club) is an independent fund-raising foundation with the purpose of supporting the institution’s athletics programs through annual contributions to fund student athlete scholarships and capital project campaigns. The formal nature of the relationship as described in UNC Policy 600.2 between the Pirate Club and the University is found in the Operating Agreement of East Carolina University and the East Carolina University Educational Foundation, Inc. the Pirate Club Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws of the East Carolina University Educational Foundation, Inc.

These documents contain provisions to help ensure that the Chancellor has adequate information to determine that the Foundation conducts its activities in a manner consistent with the institution's mission and with other external oversight bodies without compromising the integrity of the institution. As specified in the East Carolina University Educational Foundation bylaws, the Executive Committee members are determined by election of the Board of Community Directors. Additionally, an Executive Secretary (Executive Director); Executive Treasurer (Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance); the Immediate Past Executive President; and any duly elected Directors Emeritus shall serve on the Executive Committee. The Chancellor of the university, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance (Executive Treasurer) or his/her designee, Director of Athletics and the Faculty Athletics Representative shall be ex-officio voting members of the Executive Committee. The composition of the ECU Educational Foundation membership and their selection of the board members help ensure that the University's interests are protected and that the University administration (Chancellor) has sufficient information about the Foundation's activities. The Operating Agreement provides that the ECU Educational Foundation work cooperatively with the Chancellor in defining the Foundation's major needs and priorities in support of the university. The Operating Agreement also requires the ECU Educational Foundation to provide its annual budget and audit reports to the Chancellor and allow the Chancellor to inspect and audit all foundation books and records.  The Foundation's annual audit provides an independently certified source of financial information to the Chancellor about the organization’s activities.

 

Documentation

Reference title

Location

Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of East Carolina University

3.2.11 BOT Bylaws

By-laws of East Carolina University Educational Foundation, Inc.

3.2.11 Pirate Club Bylaws

The East Carolina University Educational Foundation (Pirate Club)

3.2.11 ECU Pirate Club

East Carolina University Organizational Chart

ECU

Operating Agreement of East Carolina University and the East Carolina University Educational Foundation, Inc.

3.2.11Pirate Club Operating Agreement

Operating Principle 22.2.1.1: Institutional Control, Presidential Authority and Shared Responsibilities

3.2.11 OP 1.1

Operating Principle 22.2.1.2: Rules Compliance

3.2.11 OP 1.2

Policies and Procedures Manual for the Athletics Department of ECU

3.2.11 Athletics Policy and Procedures Manual

Section 502 B of the UNC Code

3.2.11 UNC Code 502.B