The following statement from Dan Guerrero has been sent out to the greater UCLA community from the UCLA Athletic Department. It addresses the Student-Athlete Admissions Process and mentions that the process is being reviewed in the wake of the college admissions scandal.
Message from Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero
Since the news of the Department of Justice investigation broke last week, I know there have been a number of questions and significant speculation concerning the involvement of UCLA Athletics. An internal review is underway, and while it would be premature to address specifics of the matter at this time, I do want to provide clarity where I can.
First and foremost, I understand and share the outrage that this news has sparked. The behavior described in the allegations is disturbing and unacceptable. As an athletic department, we pride ourselves on conducting our business with the utmost integrity. As I have said throughout my career, how we do things is just as important as the results we produce. Representing this university with character and integrity is paramount, not just for me, but for every coach, staff member and student-athlete.
We have received many questions about the student-athlete admissions process at UCLA, so let me explain how the process works.
All prospective scholarship and recruited non-scholarship student-athletes are vetted via a multi-step evaluation process. This process includes an evaluation of athletic ability, and academic preparation and engagement. Coaches submit a list of candidates for admissions consideration in their respective sports to athletic administration officials, who then review the candidates. Inherent in the process is a level of trust that the administration places in the coaches and their evaluations of the abilities and talent levels of prospective student-athletes. Athletic administration officials then present the candidates to the University’s Student-Athlete Admissions Committee (the “SAAC”). The SAAC is comprised of eight individuals, including admissions administrators and faculty members from varying disciplines across campus. Athletic administration officials present candidates, but do not have a vote in admission decisions.
Prospective student-athletes will be admitted only if, in the judgment of the SAAC, the prospective student-athlete can succeed academically and graduate from UCLA. Prospective student-athletes must be certified as NCAA-eligible in order to be approved for student-athlete admission. No prospective student-athlete will be offered admission, or be given any verbal indication of likely admission, prior to review and admission approval by the SAAC. Equally, National Letters of Intent or Grant-in-Aid contracts will not be offered to prospects until admission approval is granted by the SAAC.
We believe that our process is among the most demanding and thorough in collegiate athletics but, as the recent news illustrates, it is not foolproof. Despite the fact that we have confidence in the existing process, a breach of the system can obviously occur when individuals choose to act unethically, and contrary to the level of integrity that we expect. In collaboration with the University, we are currently reviewing every aspect of the student-athlete admissions process. We will use this opportunity to identify areas that can be strengthened, and we will take the appropriate steps to do so. Once those steps are identified, we will share them openly.
UCLA Athletics takes pride in what it means to be a Bruin and we owe it to all students to ensure that fairness and integrity in the admissions process is maintained.
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