Ohio State's Support System

Ohio State's Support System to Protect The Academic Integrity of Athletics

Ohio State's Support System to Protect

The Academic Integrity of Athletics

The 1,000 student-athletes at The Ohio State University are clearly aware of the expectation that they will perform to their potential both in the classroom and on the playing field. We support these expectations with a comprehensive and award-winning Student Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO). It is important to note, however, that there are strict regulations in place to ensure the separation of athletics and academics and to protect academic integrity.

The Ohio State University recently successfully completed the NCAA certification process and also conducted a thorough self-study of its academic and athletic policies and procedures.

One of the charges of the Department of Athletics Compliance Office is to vigorously investigate each and every charge of impropriety that is brought to our attention.


The Division I-A Athletics Director Association recognized SASSO'S C.H.A.M.P.S. (Challenging Athletes Minds For Personal Success Program) as an inaugural program of excellence for implementing innovative and comprehensive support services for student-athletes. The Ohio State University has twice won the Degree Completion Award from the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (most recently this year). One of SASSO's missions is to lead student-athletes from academic dependence to self-reliance.

Our Programs Include:

*At least one academic counselor is assigned to each sports team, ensuring individualized attention for each student-athlete as needed.

*Ohio State's academic mentoring program pairs student-athletes one-on-one with academic mentors who are graduate students in higher education and/or counselor education. All are masters or Ph.D. candidates.

*Tutors are carefully screened and rigorously trained before they begin their work. Their training fully introduces them to our ethics and academic integrity policy, and every tutor meets with a member of the Compliance Office and signs an ethics statement quarterly.

*The Department of Athletics requests on a voluntary basis progress reports on our student-athletes twice per quarter. Our purpose is to monitor the student-athletes' progress in order to provide individualized attention if it is warranted.

*Ohio State's academic-eligibility standards are stricter than either the Big Ten's or the NCAA's.

*All tutoring takes place in the Younkin Success Center.

*All freshmen are required to attend Study Table on a daily basis.

*We have a written policy that the only athletic department personnel permitted to contact professors about the performance of an athlete are the athletics counselors. Coaches and other athletics department staff members are not permitted to contact professors.

*We also have a policy that once grades have been determined, there is to be no communication by any member of the Department of Athletics with a member of the faculty about grades.

*The Department of Athletics works closely with the University's learning support offices, including: The Office of Disability Services, the Academic Learning Lab, the Mathematics Counseling Office, The Learning Center and the Office of Minority Affairs.

*The Student Athlete Handbook makes very clear the university's expectations of appropriate student conduct, and is available at <http://ohiostatebuckeyes.ocsn.com/genrel/handbook-toc.html>.


The university's oversight of athletic-academic performance is a coordinated effort of the Office of Academic Affairs and the Department of Athletics. SASSO reports on academic matters through an academic liaison, a member of the regular faculty, who in turn reports to the Office of Academic Affairs and the Provost.

This method of monitoring academic standards is more rigorous than that required by the NCAA and The Big Ten Conference. High standards begin with the admissions process itself, overseen by a faculty committee not connected with the Department of Athletics.

Among our oversight strategies are the following:

*The Academic Liaison meets with the Athletics Director and the Director of SASSO weekly to oversee the tutoring and academic support systems.

*The Academic Liaison reports to the Office of Academic Affairs (without the intervention of the Athletics Department) to review the academic performances of all student athletes.

*The Athletic Council is a Senate Committee made up of 15 members, eight of whom are members of the regular faculty. Its subcommittee on Academic Progress and Eligibility reviews team and individual progress quarterly and proposes changes in policy to enhance academic progress and accountability. Ohio State has higher standards of academic progress than those required by the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference.

*The Faculty Rules require anyone who suspects a case of academic dishonesty to report it to the Committee on Academic Misconduct, which investigates the allegations. The Provost annually reminds faculty of their responsibility in this regard. Additionally, these rules are posted on the faculty website.


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