Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Hire Boosts IU’s Commitment to Excellence, Compliance

When it comes to following NCAA rules, Indiana takes no chances. Case in point -- athletic director Fred Glass has turned to the NCAA for his new compliance director.

Yes, hiring Julie Cromer away from the NCAA isn’t as glamorous as getting the nation’s No. 1 ranked basketball or football player, but don’t underestimate the importance. You can bet Glass didn’t. He wants to make sure the mess that all but wiped out the basketball program courtesy of former coach Kelvin Sampson and failure-to-monitor glitches won’t be repeated.

So he brought in Cromer to replace the retiring Mary Ann Rohleder as senior associate athletics director for compliance and administration. She also will be the senior woman administrator and the sport administrator for men’s and women’s soccer.

If that sounds like a lot to do for one person, well, it is. Cromer won’t be bored.

“We are thrilled to have lured Julie from the NCAA,” Glass said in a university release. “Beyond her nationally recognized expertise in compliance, governance, certification and many other areas, she is smart, thoughtful and has great judgment. She will be an integral part of our team.”

Cromer has been with the NCAA since 1999 and dealt with compliance, financial aid, recruiting and eligibility since 2003. She managed the Academic Progress Rate (APR) programs that were part of recent academic reforms.

“During the last decade academic reform has been a focus of our organization,” NCAA interim president Jim Isch said. “Julie Cromer has played a major roll in that effort.”

Cromer also worked as an assistant athletic director at Wright State and was the director of compliance for the Horizon League. She beat out nearly 50 applicants and two other finalists.

Rohleder was originally set to retire earlier, but stayed around to ensure the department was in good compliance shape and to help Glass adjust to his job as athletic director. She will leave in July after 17 years at IU.

“I can’t thank Mary Ann enough for delaying her retirement to help us get off to a good start,” Glass said. “She is the consummate professional. I have relied greatly on her counsel.”

Added Cromer: “As I observed Mary Ann Rohleder’s leadership of the compliance office, I have been impressed with the department’s commitment to integrity.”

Cromer’s duties will include ensuring IU follows all the rules, plus supervising strength and conditioning, sports medicine and recruiting, as well as overseeing the soccer programs.

Her No. 1 priority, of course, will be to keep the Hoosiers far, far away from any more sanctions, phone call irregularities and anything else that will reflect badly on the athletic department and the university.

Let’s face it. Her NCAA background is a huge plus for a university that now boasts the Big Ten’s second-largest compliance department. If Glass has to spend more money on compliance and less on athlete development (academically and athletically), well, this, too, shall pass.

In the end, IU wants to return to its roots -– winning the right way.

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