UNLV Holds Fourth Annual Presidential Welcome Breakfast
Sept. 8, 1998
LAS VEGAS - UNLV President Dr. Carol C. Harter addressed the UNLV Athletic Department at the Fourth Annual Presidential Welcome Breakfast on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the Barron Hilton Auditorium in the Lied Athletic Complex.
"Im very proud of our athletic department. The graduation rate is still not where we need to be. I care and the faculty deeply care about the NCAA graduation rate. The graduation rate is important because first these students are students and then theyre athletes. I dont care what anyone says, very few of them are going to play professional athletics. They need to have a degree so that they can go on and do what they need to do. The graduation rate for athletes should be very high, 90 percent is what I like to see. Our athletes have great support (for resources). We want UNLV to be an outstanding institution in terms of graduation rates of our athletes as well as a wonderfully competitive institution. Weve had our moments in that regard. To Billy (Bayno) who won the WAC and Dwaine Knight for that wonderful NCAA Championship (golf), we are deeply grateful for that, the institution and the city."
She also spoke of how important it was to enter the new conference. The presidents wanted to take the best eight schools in terms of not only athletic programs but integrity and academic strength. By joining the new conference, its a positive move for national prominence and the integrity of the other members of the conference. She was delighted that they saw us (UNLV) as one of the institutions to choose from both athletically, academically and most important in terms of integrity.
The NCAA and the Complexity of the System:
"Im ultimatley responsible for everything in athletics, Harter added. The number one principle of institutional governing of athletics is that the chief operating officer is in charge. FROM THE NCAA MANUEL: 'The member institution CEO has ultimate responsibility and final authority for the conduct of the intercollegiate athletics programs and the actions of any board in control of that program."
Dr. Harter also discussed ethical conduct and gambling, which has become a most critical issue, and sportsmanship. Unethical conduct by any employee and athlete will not be tolerated. She discussed sports agents and how the athletes must be educated up front in the complex world of agents. Nevada, in relation to gambling, has the strictest gaming regulations in the world. A 1997 NCAA rule stated that no student or staff member are allowed to gamble in any way involving intercollegiate or professional games, which includes parlay cards or any other method employed by organized gambling. Finally, regarding sportsmanship, she has very high standards.
"Please remember, that you represent UNLV, you represent me, I am responsible for everyone of you for what you do. I want you to finally know that intercollegiate athletics is a key and important and wonderful part of University life. Its fun and great and its a part of life that makes a University whole," Harter concluded.
UNLV Athletic Director Charles Cavagnaros opening remarks involved the fact that the NCAA rules and regulations are involved with the University and its leadership which will provide an environment to not only be successful but to acknowledge the rules and the spirit of the rules in competition in its highest order.
Cavagnaro also stated that UNLV has been going through the NCAA Certification Process. He explained the four subcommittees (Commitment to Equity, Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance, Academic Integrity, Fiscal Integrity), which were established to complete the certification process. The process is chaired by Dr. Myrlene LaManacusa, UNLVs NCAA Faculty Representative. The certification process began last October and will conclude in the first week of December when a team of NCAA representatives will come to Las Vegas and verify the report of the certification process.
Also, a press release regarding the new conference that UNLV will be joining in the 1999-2000 season was dispersed to all employees. Cavagnaro noted the new conference has received positive feedback by the local media.