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Re-print of Compliance

Back Issues vol 1:
Back Issue vol2issue1

We have had a lot of questions about UH's compliance office, so we are posting a re-print of a article from the new AKA Magazine.

 

Hidden Heroes

Compliance Keeps UH Playing by the Rules

BY SARAH PACHECO

 

Think of them as the linesman or umpires for UH athletics,
keeping everyone in line and abreast of the rules that govern
college student-athletes. They are Amanda Paterson and Christal
Cuadra, your friendly UH Compliance Office staff.

These ladies are the ones responsible for ensuring coaches,
administration staff, student-athletes and supporters of the
University of Hawaii Athletics (including professors, financial
aid officers, admissions and housing) are up-to-date on the
numerous rules and regulations set forth by the National
Collegiate Athletic Association.

In short, Paterson and Cuadra make sure the entire UH system
plays within the rules. "One of the NCAA's most important
principles is one of institutional control. (Hence) every
athletic department has a compliance department so that it
shows this institutional control," explains Paterson, the
director of compliance.

"I'm commonly called the police but I don't feel like my job
is to bust people, more give them education on what NCAA rules
are actually about," she adds. "The NCAA manual is my bible
and it's about 450 pages of rules. But on top of those rules
there are interpretations of the rules. If you were to put
all of the interpretations and all of the rules together,
you wouldn't have enough paper in the world to make the manual."

Both Paterson and Cuadra are responsible for knowing the ins
and outs of the NCAA bylaws, and how best to interpret those
complexities for all those within the UH athletic community
to ensure the athletic program functions properly, effectively
and efficiently.

The rules are so complex and not user-friendly, and the book is
big," says Cuadra, who joined the UH compliance team in November
as eligibility and compliance assistant.

"There are tons of bylaws and rules: it's very difficult for a
coach to know them all," she adds. "And that's kind of our role,
to know the rules so the coaches won't be in violation and suffer
the repercussions."

 

                "The common Cliche is to ask
              before toy act, but a lot of people
                   do not know what to ask"

          Amanda Paterson, Director of Compliance

 

Among their duties are administering the National Letter of Intent
Program; conduction drug testing for both NCAA and the UH athletic
department; ensuring eligibility for all student; overseeing official
and unofficial campus visits and recruiting; providing rules education
interpretations; monitoring coaches logs, transfer students,
graduation rates and the Academic Progress Rate, coaches camps and
clinics; counting playing and practice time, complimentary admissions
to events for prospects, agents, community service, student-athlete
employment, awards and benefits ; and upgrading to a paperless,
online documentation system.

But their most important role right now is getting information
together for NCAA certification.

"The national office sends representatives (to the school) every
10 years to make sure we are doing things right," Paterson explains.
It's a huge job with a lot of people involved."

In day-to-day operations, however, the UH compliance office runs
with a staff of only two, which brings a whole new set of challenges
to the game. Which is why, according to Paterson, education is
the greatest component of any compliance program.

"education is the single most important thing I can do," she says.
"The common cliché is to ask before you act, but a lot of people
don't know what to ask, and that is where I can help with a
comprehensive educational component. I have made some headway
by building the website, making brochures, going out into the
community a little more than was done previously. But I am
still committed to doing more."

"The more we can get everyone on the same page as far as educating
them on the policy we're developing and the NCAA rules, the more we
can have a streamlined process and have everyone working together," Cuadra adds.