Chancellor Zimpher appointed vice chair of NCAA working group

State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has been appointed vice chair of Collegiate Model Enforcement, a National Collegiate Athletic Association working group assigned with the task of presenting policy changes for Division I athletics.

The group will be comprised of administrators and representatives of Division I institutions, collaborating to define shared responsibility as it relates to violation and penalty policy within the NCAA. Recommendations will be given to the NCAA Division I Board of Directors in April 2012.

Zimpher was previously involved in an investigation of ethical misconduct by athletic faculty at Binghamton University in 2009. According to Geneseo Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Michael Mooney, the incident at Binghamton, along with similar ones at Ohio State University among others, has contributed to a climate in which such a committee is necessary.

Mooney said that while Zimpher's position on this committee could be beneficial to the SUNY institution as a whole, it is unlikely to affect any change that will influence Geneseo athletics, as Geneseo is part of the SUNYAC conference on the Division III level.  

"I think that any time there's someone who is part of our system involved on that level, there's a benefit," Mooney said. "People will see that SUNY is involved athletically, but I'm not so sure that it has a direct influence on [Geneseo]."

In addition to the differences in rules and regulations, Mooney said that there are attitudinal differences between Divisions I and III, contributing to a different athletic culture. The four SUNY schools competing at the Division I level are the University at Albany, Binghamton, the University at Buffalo and Stony Brook University.

"This is the fact that we live with at Division III," Mooney said. "Most of these institutional control issues are happening at Division I, but people assume that they're happening at all levels."

Mooney went on to say that the differences between the divisions are largely attributed to an increased pressure to win at the higher levels.

"Some [individuals involved in Division I athletics] may look the other way because there's more of a pressure to win," he said. "I don't see that at Division III. It's an opportunity to work with students, help them excel at an academic level and give them a great athletic experience."