CHAPTER 200 Academic Affairs

250 Intercollegiate Athletics

250.1 Mission of the Intercollegiate Athletics Program

Intercollegiate Athletics is an integral part of the educational program of the University and is guided by the same principles and objectives set forth for curricular and co-curricular programs of the University. Cal Poly will provide a high quality, competitive NCAA Division I athletic program that affords studentathletes 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, commitment to excellence and sportsmanship acquired by active participants. Intercollegiate Athletics strives to ensure the educational objectives and academic progress of student-athletes are supported. The department will seek to provide opportunities to involve students in meaningful learning experiences related to their academic disciplines wherever possible.

All dimensions of Intercollegiate Athletics must follow 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 that promotes the positive values of physical activity, learned skills, dedication to excellence and sportsmanship acquired through participation.

Cal Poly shall operate its athletics 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 within the guidelines of amateur athletics.

Intercollegiate Athletics shall try to safeguard the physical welfare of studentathletes. Whenever possible, competition should be sought with institutions whose athletic programs are comparable to those of the University for competitive resources (i.e., scholarships, coaching staff) in the sport being contested.

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

The athletics program shall provide a form of educational activity 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 shall 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 these responsibilities may require sacrifices which might not be necessary were they not student-athletes.

Back to top

250.2 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 provost delegates authority for the administration of the program 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 University, Cal Poly Corporation, Cal Poly Foundation, and the Associated Students, Inc.

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

250.2.1 Organization

The director of Athletics administers the Intercollegiate Athletics program under this policy. The director shall report to the provost or designee on matters requiring line authority decisions.

The director shall coordinate matters concerning budget with the Office of the Provost in consultation with the vice president for Administration and Finance.

The director shall supervise coaches and other departmental staff members in all activities related to intercollegiate athletics.

The director, or designee(s), shall be voting member(s) of any athletic conference(s) to which the University belongs under the conference regulations.

The director shall assemble a team of senior department administrators and staff to provide input and advice concerning all issues involving the athletics program. The senior management team shall report directly to the director and may include the senior women’s administrator (SWA), senior associate athletics director, and associate and assistant athletics directors.

Typically, this input includes advising the director about the appointment, reappointment and evaluation of personnel, NCAA compliance issues, the allocation and expenditure of all resources and budgets, the establishment and implementation of academic policies and procedures, the establishment and implementation of personnel policies, external development, and all aspects of student-athlete success, safety and well-being.

Back to top

250.2.2 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 Intercollegiate Athletics 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, within Intercollegiate Athletics, has a “dotted line” reporting relationship to the FAR. The FAR shall periodically review the department of Athletics’ academic support program and review progress and recommendations with the director of Athletics and the provost.

Institutional control of the Intercollegiate Athletics program and assurance of compliance with NCAA and conference rules and regulations is a Campuswide 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 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.

Back to top

250.2.3 Athletics Advisory Board

The Athletics Advisory Board, chaired by the provost, is a University standing committee and serves as an advisory body to the President. The Board shall ensure that the goals of the Intercollegiate Athletics program follow the educational objectives of the University, the educational pursuits of studentathletes maintain priority over their involvement in intercollegiate sports, and that budgets for the athletics programs reflect sound fiscal planning. The Board shall inform the President annually of the state of the athletics programs and shall submit recommendations regarding any needed revisions in policies as they pertain to the program.

Other functions of the Board shall follow charges from the University President and the Campus Administrative Policies. (See CAP 120, Organization.)

Back to top

250.3 Association and Conference Affiliations

The Intercollegiate Athletics program shall conform to the constitution and bylaws of the NCAA and any athletic conference to which the University may belong. The director of Athletics, SWA or designee and the FAR shall attend official meetings of these bodies, when feasible, and act as voting representatives of the University.

Back to top

250.4 Funding the Intercollegiate Athletics Program

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

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, Corporation or Foundation account. Distributing funds raised through the Mustang Athletic Fund shall be detailed in the annual Athletics budget presented to the Athletics Advisory Board and approved by the President. Special fundraising activities to support individual sport operating budgets shall be coordinated through Athletics Advancement and 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 of California and the CSU for all student-athletes in intercollegiate competition shall be included as part of the IRA budget.

Back to top

250.5 Academic Standards and Eligibility

NCAA, conference, and University rules and regulations shall govern the academic eligibility of student-athletes.

Back to top

250.6 Athletic Scholarship Program

NCAA, conference, and University rules, regulations and limitations shall govern the Athletics 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.

250.6.1 Requirements and Terms for Financial Aid

Athletically-related financial aid requires NCAA, conference, and University minimum academic standards for athletic eligibility. Grants or other financial assistance are normally awarded annually subject to proof of academic enrollment and eligibility. Students must meet NCAA and institutional academic requirements and be enrolled in at least 12 units (unless enrolled in final units required for graduation) at the beginning of the term for which the aid is offered. Student-athletes are subject to the terms and conditions of athletics grant-in-aid regulations as stated on the contract.

The Financial Aid Office is responsible for the administration, processing, and monitoring of awards for athletics grants and financial assistance under the Policies and Procedures of Administration of the Athletic Scholarship program, and under NCAA financial aid regulations.

Back to top

250.7 Alumni and Community Relations

NCAA and University regulations govern financial support for Cal Poly athletics teams from sources outside the University. Donated funds collected to assist Cal Poly’s Intercollegiate Athletics program shall be processed and recorded by University Advancement for acceptance. All external support generated to assist Intercollegiate Athletics, including but not limited to donations and amounts from fundraising activities of any nature, shall be placed into the appropriate University or Auxiliary Organization accounts and administered by the University authority. The acceptance of in-kind gifts is subject to University policies and procedures. Alumni and outside groups must comply with NCAA and University regulations in all attempts to assist the athletics program financially. All Athletics fundraising activities shall be coordinated through the director of Athletics or designee, in cooperation with the office of the vice president for University Advancement.

Back to top

250.8 Medical Coverage and Services

Besides the regular University health services, student-athletes participating in Intercollegiate Athletics must provide personal medical insurance that covers athletic injuries. The director of Athletics must approve any exception. The department shall purchase and provide secondary athletic injury insurance for all student-athletes secured through the CSU Risk Management Authority’s Athletic Injury Medical Expense (AIME) program. 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. Student-athletes participating in 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 student-athletes during authorized practices and events. All injuries or illnesses incurred because of practice or competition shall be referred to the Athletic Training Room (ATR) for appropriate action. If the services of the ATR and the Health Center are not available, the services of a private physician may be utilized. The head of medical services, within the campus Health Center, must be notified of the action when feasible. Any athlete seeking medical services off campus must file a notification of injury form in the ATR. Any bills and explanation of benefits must be turned into the ATR 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. 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 (under federal regulations) regarding insurance coverage and insurance availability is regularly sent as required.

Back to top

250.9 Drug Testing Policy

Under approval of the University President, the “Cal Poly Intercollegiate Athletics Drug Testing and Education Program” has been implemented. Under appropriate authority, the policy is periodically reviewed and updated as needed. All student-athletes are subject to the conditions of the program and are required annually to sign an Acknowledgement and Consent Form prior to participating in the intercollegiate athletic program.

Back to top

250.10 Program Planning and Review

To provide direction to the athletics program, a statement of long-range athletic program goals and the proposed resources required shall be prepared by the director of Athletics and submitted to the Athletics Advisory Board (AAB) for review and for recommendation to the President. This statement of long-range goals shall be revised every three years. Besides the long-range plan, an annual program proposal and budget proposal are prepared initially by the director of Athletics and submitted through the provost to the AAB. Upon the recommendation of the AAB, the annual program proposal and budget shall be submitted to the President for final approval. The budget proposal for Athletics shall follow the format prescribed by the AAB and other funding entities.

As stipulated by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors (effective Fall 2014), Intercollegiate Athletics shall be subject to and participate in the NCAA Division I Institutional Performance Program (IPP). The IPP replaces the NCAA Certification Program.

The University shall prepare and submit financial data detailing operating revenues, expenses and capital related to the Intercollegiate Athletics Program to the NCAA annually under the financial reporting policies and procedures commonly known as “NCAA Agreed Upon Procedures.” The report shall be subject to annual agreed upon verification conducted by a qualified independent accountant (not a member of the institution), prior to submission of the report to the NCAA by the University President.

Back to top

250.11 Team Competition Schedules

The director of Athletics develops an intercollegiate sports schedule in consultation with appropriate coaching staff. It shall be the responsibility of the Director of Athletics to recommend schedules through established channels of the University administration for all intercollegiate sports that accurately reflect University policies regarding level of competition, academic schedule, 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 or designee prior to the first contest on the schedule. Whenever possible, final schedule approval should not be made prior to approving the athletic budget. However, if all of the contests in the schedule involve approved contracts, the schedule may be approved prior to that action.

All contests must be covered by contractual agreements approved by the director of Athletics.

Back to top

250.12 Absence from Class

Faculty members are strongly urged to give student-athletes, and every other student involved in University sponsored co-curricular activities, a reasonable opportunity to make up coursework missed (take tests earlier or later, etc.) when trips or any other sports-related activity results in a conflict with examination dates, etc. It is the responsibility of the student-athlete to give the individual instructor adequate and timely notice that special arrangements to make up work must be arranged. See

Back to top

250.13 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.

Back to top

250.14 Method of Travel

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

Back to top

250.15 Publicity

The director of Athletics may 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 and 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 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 to disseminate information that will promote the best interests of the department and the University.

Back to top

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

Realizing post-season competition cannot be accurately predicted, the athletic budget contains a fund for general NCAA post-season travel. Participation in post-season championship competition must have approval of the director of Athletics, the provost or designee, the FAR and meet the academic and eligibility standards required by the NCAA, or appropriate athletics conferences, and the University.

Back to top

250.17 Review and Revisions

The Athletics Policies and Procedure Manual should be reviewed by the Athletics Advisory Board at least every third year and revised accordingly.

Back to top

References for CAP 250:

  1. Date approved by the President: September 20, 2013
  2. Effective Date: September 20, 2013
  3. Responsible Department/Office: Intercollegiate Athletics
  4. Revision History: April 26, 2007
  5. Related University Policies, Procedures, Manuals and/or Documents:
    1. Cal Poly Drug Testing Policy,
    2. Cal Poly Class Attendance Policy,
    3. Academic Senate Resolution 592-03, Resolution on Class Attendance (CAM 485.2)
  6. Laws, Regulations and/or Codes of practice referred to herein or related to this policy:
    1. NCAA Division I Manual,