The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday September 29th

Fall 2012 sports facilities reforms aimed to mitigate legal risk

Changes to policies regarding sports facilities are among the more than 70 post-scandal reforms listed at carolinacommitment.unc.edu — but these reforms were not necessarily related to the academic-athletic scandal.

The website was established to inform faculty and students about reforms enacted in the aftermath of UNC’s athletic-academic scandal.

But UNC spokesperson Jim Gregory said some of the policy changes listed were preemptive, aiming to address potential problems.

“I think if you look at (the website’s) definition, policy changes don’t need to necessarily be related to the former academic irregularities,” he said.

Sports facilities experienced preemptive policy change in fall 2012, prior to the release of the Wainstein report.

The new policies were introduced in an attempt to streamline rules, said Paul Pogge, the associate athletic director. Some of the new policies include fees, facility use agreements and scheduling.

Pogge said he was involved in creating and implementing the new policies.

“The new policies are significantly enhanced. There are provisions in place to help us understand who uses the facilities to mitigate legal risk,” he said.

Pogge also said the policies are in place in order to actively follow NCAA rules and to determine who has access to the facilities.

“This involves an active effort by our facility staff, who do a great job,” he said.

All athletic facilities on campus are subject to the policies.

“We want to be consistent in how we handle all facilities,” Pogge said. “We’ve adjusted things to fit facilities across the board.”

Pogge said he does believe the Department of Athletics is moving in the right direction.

“We’ve made big steps in many areas,” he said. “We need to stay on top going forward.”

The Department of Public Safety plays a role in enforcing the policies.

“There are certain complexes where we employ security officers,” said Randy Young, spokesperson for DPS.

Young said these facilities include Fetzer Hall, Woollen Gym, and the Smith Center.

“In some other areas — the open-air facilities — police swing by in normal patrols,” he said.

Jay Smith, a professor in the history department, has been active in calling for answers in regard to general policy reform.

“I think the University owes the campus community a sound explanation,” he said.

Smith said the Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group announced a report would be released in the spring, but nothing has been released so far.

“We’re still waiting to hear back. Two years of work has disappeared down a tunnel,” he said.

“I look forward to a detailed report.”

university@dailytarheel.com



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