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Central Washington University

Consulting Firm to Review Athletic Programs at Central Washington University

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (November 5, 2012) — Central Washington University has hired Ice Miller LLP to review the university’s intercollegiate athletic program. The Indianapolis, Indiana-based firm’s Sports and Entertainment Group (SEG) has performed similar reviews at other universities as well as compliance reviews for NCAA Division II.

“With the announcement by Jack Bishop, our athletic director, of his intent to retire after this academic year, this is an appropriate time for us to conduct a comprehensive review like this,” said CWU President James L. Gaudino. “It will also help provide the framework as we begin the recruitment process for the new athletic director.”

The review will involve identifying the strengths and weaknesses of CWU’s athletics and sports-related programs—including reviewing the organizational structure, compliance with National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) regulations, finance and budget, facilities, and fundraising—and comparing Central’s programs with those offered by peer NCAA Division II institutions.

The group will also make recommendations about the CWU athletic director job and provide strategies for filling the position, ahead of a search that will begin early next year. In addition, the firm will review the university’s club sports and intramural programs, and identify the potential for further integration between the programs. 

The SEG team will visit the Ellensburg campus this month to interview key stakeholders, including university and athletic department administrators, coaches, administrative support personnel, student athletes, and members of the club sports staff.

CWU expects to receive the Ice Miller recommendations at the end of December. 

CWU now sponsors 13 intercollegiate athletic teams: football, soccer, volleyball, cross country, men’s and women’s basketball, indoor and outdoor track and field, baseball, and softball, with about 400 participating student-athletes. The program provides additional educational benefits, in such areas as decision-making skills, citizenship, a sense of self-worth, team affiliation, and emotional growth. Additionally, CWU student athletes typically earn higher grade point averages overall than their peers.

In addition, CWU currently has 24 Collegiate Sport Clubs, with more than 500 students on club rosters, from archery to lacrosse, and from rodeo to wrestling, including the nationally recognized men’s rugby club, which was the university’s first sport club, founded in 1972.  Leadership development is a key component as each Sport Club is formed, developed, governed, and administered by its own student membership. The four pillars for CWU Collegiate Sport Clubs are opportunity, participation, leadership, and competition.

And Central’s Intramural Sports program provides diverse, fun, and competitive activities that serve as recreational outlets of CWU students. About 20 different sports are routinely offered throughout the academic year, from basketball to inner tube water polo, drawing participation from about 2,500 CWU students annually.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, loweryr@cwu.edu