Mission Statement of the Intercollegiate Athletics Program


Intercollegiate Athletics is an integral part of the educational program of the University and, as such, is guided by the same purposes and general objectives set forth for curricular and co-curricular programs of the University.   Cal Poly is committed to providing a high quality, competitive NCAA Division I athletic program that affords student-athletes opportunities to take advantage of Cal Poly’s unique “learn by doing” philosophy.

The Program demonstrates the positive values of physical activity, learned skills, teamwork, dedication to excellence, and sportsmanship acquired by active participants.  The Intercollegiate Athletics Department strives to ensure that the educational objectives and academic progress of student athletes be supported.   Wherever possible, the Department will seek to provide opportunities to involve students in meaningful learning experiences related to their academic disciplines.

Intercollegiate athletics, in all dimensions, must be consistent with the educational goals of the University, and must aspire to promote the highest principles reflected in all University programs.   The Department shall provide a program which promotes the positive values of physical activity, learned skills, dedication to excellence, and sportsmanship acquired through participation.

Cal Poly will operate its athletic program with integrity and in full compliance with institutional, conference and NCAA guidelines.  Student-athletes, coaches, and staff are expected to compete with honesty, sportsmanship, and fair play at all times within the guidelines of amateur athletics.

Intercollegiate athletics shall take all reasonable steps to safeguard the physical welfare of student-athletes.   Whenever possible, competition should be sought with institutions whose athletic Programs are generally comparable to those of the University in terms of competitive resources (i.e. scholarships, coaching staffs, etc.) in the particular sport being contested.

The Intercollegiate Athletics Department shall provide equitable opportunities for all students and staff, including women and minorities.

The athletic program will provide a form of educational activity which is traditionally accepted as a part of collegiate life, and which provides a common rallying point for a diversified student body, faculty, staff and alumni.   The Program will strive to generate interest in the University within the local community, the State, and the nation.

Student-athletes shall be made aware of the important responsibilities they accept when they become members of Cal Poly’s athletic teams.   These responsibilities include performing at an optimum level, both academically and athletically, providing their best efforts toward the success of their team, and conducting themselves in a manner which will reflect well on themselves, their team and Cal Poly.   The student-athlete will recognize that these responsibilities may require sacrifices, which might not be necessary were they not student athletes.

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Administration of the Intercollegiate Athletics Program


The final authority and responsibility for conduct and administration of the Intercollegiate Athletics Program rests with the University President. 

The authority for the administration of the Program is delegated through the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to the Director of Athletics and to the athletic coaches.   University officials have responsibility for the Intercollegiate Athletics Program with specific emphasis on those parts of the Program dealing with the educational aspects, facilities, staffing, and areas governed by State regulations and policies and for oversight of standard business practices with the Cal Poly Foundation, Academic Records office and the Associated Students, Inc.

Educational, administrative, and financial control and direction of the athletic Program shall be the direct responsibility of those persons so assigned by the University President.

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The Director of Athletics is responsible for administering the Intercollegiate Athletics Program in accordance with this document.  The Director shall report to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee on matters requiring line authority decisions.

The Director shall coordinate matters concerning budget with the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and in consultation with the Vice President for Administration and Finance.

The Director will supervise coaches and other Departmental staff members in all activities related to intercollegiate athletics.

The Director, or the designee(s) of the Director, shall be voting member(s) of any athletic conference(s) to which the University belongs in accordance with the particular conference regulations.

The Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) assists the Director of Athletics in managing the athletic programs.   In that capacity, the SWA reports directly to the Director of Athletics and advises the director concerning all issues involving the athletic programs.   Typically, this includes advising the Director about the appointment, reappointment, and evaluation of personnel, NCAA compliance issues, the allocation and expenditure of all budgets (i.e. scholarship IRA, General Fund and trust funds), the establishment and implementation of academic policies, and the establishment and implementation of personnel policies.   The SWA attends league and NCAA meetings when necessary.   The SWA serves as the associate to the Director of Athletics.

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Faculty Athletics Representative


The Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), appointed and reappointed by the President of the University in consultation with the Executive Committee of Academic Senate, is the principal link between the Intercollegiate Athletics Department and the instructional programs of the University.   The FAR plays a strategic and vital role in three major areas of institutional responsibilities under the NCAA requirements of academic integrity, institutional control, and the well being of student-athletes.  In all three areas, the FAR serves as the senior faculty advisor to the President and as a critical communications link between the faculty/faculty governance.

Regarding academic integrity, the FAR works closely with the President and the Director of Athletics to support a campus environment where athletics is maintained as a vital component of the education program and provides assurance of the academic integrity of the athletics program.   The FAR represents the traditional academic values of the faculty on academic matters as related to the conduct of the athletics Program.   The Director of Academic Services position, within Intercollegiate Athletics, has a “dotted line” reporting relationship to the FAR.   In addition, the FAR will periodically review the Department of Athletics’ Academic Support Program and review progress and recommendations with the Director of Athletics and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Institutional control of the Intercollegiate Athletics Program and assurance of compliance with NCAA and conference rules and regulations is a campus-wide responsibility.   The FAR is a key member and should be involved with the Compliance Coordinator position, within Intercollegiate Athletics, in developing and monitoring compliance procedures to best prevent, discover, and respond to, rules violations.   The Compliance Coordinator has a “dotted line” reporting relationship to the FAR.

The FAR should be involved in the oversight and maintenance of the welfare of the student-athlete.  NCAA regulations require intercollegiate programs to be conducted so as to protect and enhance the educational, personal, and physical welfare of the student-athletes.   Faculty voice and perspective in the administration and oversight of the student-athletic experience is appropriate and necessary.

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Athletics Governing Board


The Athletics Governing Board is a University standing committee, and serves as an advisory body to the President.   The Board shall be responsible for ensuring that the goals of the Intercollegiate Athletics Program are consistent with the educational objectives of the University, the educational pursuits of student-athletes maintain priority over their involvement in intercollegiate sports, and that budgets for the Athletic Program reflect sound fiscal planning.   The Board shall inform the President annually of the state of the Athletic Program and shall submit recommendations regarding any needed revisions in policies as they pertain to the Program.

Other functions of the Board shall be consistent with charges from the University   President and the Campus Administrative Policies.  (see Section 1__ )

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Association and Conference Affiliations


The Intercollegiate Athletics Program shall conform to the constitution and bylaws of the NCAA and any athletic conference organization to which the University may belong.   The Director of Athletics, SWA, or a designee, and the Faculty Athletics Representative shall attend official meetings of these bodies, when feasible, and act as voting representatives of the University as appropriate.

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Financing the Intercollegiate Athletics Program


Possible funding sources for the Athletics Program include the State’s General Fund, student Instructionally Related Activity (IRA) fees, student Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) fees, Program-generated revenues, the Cal Poly Foundation, and private funding provided principally through the Athletic Advancement Programs.   Intercollegiate Athletics competition is part of the curricular offering of the University and is carried out with the utilization of State employees, facilities and equipment.  The Athletics Program is subject to the same policies and procedures as other IRA and State-funded activities, as applicable.   There are, however, a number of aspects that are unique to Intercollegiate Athletics, including the following:

All gate receipts, guarantees, and other Program-generated revenues, are included as a part of the IRA athletics budget and are deposited to the credit of the IRA athletics trust accounts through the University Cashiers Office.

Athletics income such as gifts from individuals who support the Athletics Program, Annual Giving funds, or support raised by special team or sports fundraisers will be deposited to the appropriate University trust or Foundation account.  The distribution of funds raised through the Mustang Athletic Fund will be detailed in the annual Athletics budget presented to the Athletics Governing Board and approved by the President (see Section 260.10).  Special fundraising activities in support of individual sport operating budgets will be approved on a case-by-case basis, in advance, by the Director of Athletics. 

Insurance coverage (medical and accidental death) as required by the State for all athletes in intercollegiate competition shall be included as part of the IRA budget.

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Academic Standards and Eligibility


The NCAA, league, and University rules and regulations will govern the academic eligibility of student-athletes.

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Athletic Scholarship Program


NCAA, conference, and University rules/regulations and limitations shall govern the Athletic Scholarship Program.  All financial aid awards shall be processed and recorded by the Financial Aid Office.  These records must be available for audit at the request of duly authorized individuals.  Regardless of source, grants/scholarship funds must be deposited to the athletic scholarship account of the University and be administered by officials charged by the University President with that responsibility.

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Requirements and Terms for Financial Aid


NCAA, conference, and University minimum academic standards for athletic eligibility are required for athletically-related financial aid.  Grants or other financial assistance are normally awarded on an annual basis subject to proof of academic enrollment and eligibility.  At the beginning of the term for which the aid is offered, students must meet NCAA and institutional academic requirements and be enrolled in at least 12 units.  Student athletes are subject to the terms and conditions of the athletic grant-in-aid as stated on the contract.

The Financial Aid Office is responsible for the administration, processing, and monitoring of awards for athletic grants and financial assistance in accordance with the provisions of the Policies and Procedures of Administration of the Athletic Scholarship Program, and in accordance with NCAA financial aid regulations. 

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Alumni and Community Relations


NCAA and University regulations govern financial support for Cal Poly athletic teams from sources outside the University.  Funds collected to assist Cal Poly athletic teams must be transmitted to the Vice President for University Advancement for acceptance and must be placed into the appropriate trust accounts.  The acceptance of in-kind gifts is subject to University policies and procedures.  Alumni and outside groups are required to comply in all attempts to assist the athletic program financially with NCAA and University regulations, as set forth above.  All Athletics fundraising activities shall be coordinated through the Director of Athletics, or his/her assigned representative, in cooperation with the office of Vice President for University Advancement.

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Medical Coverage and Services


In addition to the regular University health services, it is required that students participating in Intercollegiate Athletics provide medical insurance that covers athletic injuries.  The Director of Athletics must clear any exception.  The Department will purchase and provide secondary athletic injury insurance for all student athletes.  In addition, the student athletes are covered by the NCAA Catastrophic Injury Insurance Program.

Prior to initial practices or competition in intercollegiate athletics, athletes must be examined and cleared for participation by a licensed medical physician.  Athletes participating in the sport of football must have a physical prior to the start of each season.   If a coach, trainer, or physician deems necessary, the athlete may be subject to reexamination.  A physician must be in attendance at those events where the Head of Medical Services, within the campus Health Center, and the Director of Athletics believe it necessary. 

The University must provide a safe environment for athletes during authorized practices and events.   All injuries or illnesses incurred as a result of practice or competition shall be referred to the Athletic Training Office for appropriate action.   If the services of the Athletic Training Office and the Health Center are not available, the services of a private physician may be utilized, and the Head of Medical Services, within the campus Health Center, notified of the action as soon as feasible.  Any athlete seeking medical services off campus, must file a notification of injury form in the Athletic Training Office.  Any bills and explanation of benefits must be turned into the Athletic Training Office for costs to be covered.  All students certified as participating on intercollegiate teams by the Director of Athletics are covered by insurance as set forth herein.  The insurance policy is a secondary policy which only covers athletic injury due to participation with the individual’s team.  The notification to athletes and relatives regarding insurance coverage and insurance availability is regularly sent as required.

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Drug Testing Policy


Policy in Development


Program Planning and Review


In order to provide direction to the athletic program, a statement of long-range athletic program goals and the proposed resources required will be prepared by the Director of Athletics and submitted to the Athletics Governing Board (AGB) for review and for recommendation to the President.   This statement of long-range goals shall be revised as appropriate every three years.  In addition to the long-range plan, an annual program proposal and budget proposal are prepared initially by the Director of Athletics and submitted through the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to the AGB.   Following approval by the (AGB), the annual program proposal and IRA budget allocation will be submitted to the IRA advisory board.  The budget proposal for Athletics shall follow the format prescribed by the AGB and other funding entities.

In addition, the Intercollegiate Athletics program is also subject to the NCAA certification program which reviews athletic programs for full certification every ten years, with an interim report filed at the five-year mark.

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Team Competition Schedules


The Director of Athletics is responsible for developing an intercollegiate sports schedule.  It will be the responsibility of the Director of Athletics to recommend schedules through established channels of the University administration for all intercollegiate sports which accurately reflect University policies regarding level of competition, athletic budget, available staff and facilities, and travel regulations.

The proposed final schedule for each sport, with firm dates for each event, must have received final approval by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or his/her designee prior to the date of the first contest on the schedule.   Whenever possible, final schedule approval should not be made prior to the approval of the IRA athletic budget.   However, if all of the contests in the schedule involve approved contracts, the schedule may be approved prior to that action.

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Absence from Class


Faculty members should give student athletes, and every other student involved in University-sponsored co-curricular activities, a reasonable opportunity to make up any work missed (take tests earlier or later, etc.) when trips or any other sports-related activity, conflict with examination dates, etc.   The student athlete is responsible for giving the individual instructor adequate and timely notice that special arrangements to make up work need to be made.  (Also see

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Team Travel


All trips must be planned and budgeted according to University and State procedures with appropriations for such travel set forth as part of the budget for that activity.  All contests must be covered by contractual agreements approved by the Director of Athletics and a University contracting officer.

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Method of Travel


With the safety of all travelers being of paramount importance, the most cost-effective form of transportation generally will be used.   All non-commercial air travel (e.g. air charters) will be contracted through the appropriate University office. 

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The Director of Athletics is authorized to approve publicity of a tentative athletics schedule, or of specific events within a tentative schedule, prior to final schedule approval if it is deemed necessary in the best interest of the University.

Any publicity concerning Intercollegiate Athletics personnel decisions (e.g., appointments, promotions, reassignments, etc.) shall be approved by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to release.

The Sports Information Director (SID) shall work under the direction of the Director of Athletics and in coordination and cooperation with the Director of Public Affairs.   This individual shall provide information for the media which will best promote the good name of the University, which will encourage maximum spectator participation at all athletic events, and which will provide recognition for outstanding athletic achievement in all sports.  In addition, the SID will work with the press, radio, and television media to promote all sports.

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Post-season Competition, Championship Play-offs, Regional or National Championship Competition


Realizing that post-season competition cannot be accurately predicted, the athletic IRA budget is to contain a fund for general NCAA post-season travel.  Participants in post-season championship competition must have the approval of the Director of Athletics, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, or a designee, the Faculty Athletics Representative, and meet the academic and eligibility standards required by the NCAA, or appropriate athletics conferences, and the University.

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Review and Revisions


The Athletics Policies and Procedure Manual should be reviewed by the Athletics Governing Board at least every third year and revised, if necessary.  Any rules, regulations, or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy, NCAA Division 1 Manual

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  • Date approved by the President:  April 26, 2007
  • Office responsible for implementation:  Office of Director of Athletics
  • Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy:  NCAA Division I Manual, Athletics Policies and Procedures Manual.