Sports

Xavier takes home multiple awards for compliance

Greg Christopher, Xavier compliance department, win NAAC annual awards

Xavier Athletic Director Greg Christopher took home the Mike Cleary Organizational Leadership Award from the NAAC, while Xavier’s compliance staff won the Creative Education Award thanks to their “Stranger Things” parody.

On April 30, the National Association of Athletic Compliance (NAAC) announced their 2020 award winners, and Xavier took home two awards.

Xavier Vice President for Administration and Director of Athletics Greg Christopher won the Mike Cleary Organizational Leadership Award, which is given to an organizational leader “who has demonstrated NCAA compliance leadership and a strong commitment to fostering a culture of compliance to NCAA rules within their organization.” 

Xavier’s compliance staff of Leslie Fields and Jeff Poulard also won the Creative Education Award, which is a new award in 2020. The Creative Education Award is “given to an athletics compliance department for their commitment to creativity and ingenuity in rules education throughout the academic year.”

Xavier’s compliance staff won the inaugural Creative Education Award thanks to their video that parodied the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things” into a video called “Compliance Things,” which was shown to student-athletes with the goal of avoiding the upside-down of ineligibility. To win the award, the athletic department must be able to demonstrate how their chosen academic document is creative and helpful in explaining pertinent NCAA rules education to their intended group. Christopher congragulated the compliance staff on their award, saying “This is a new award from NAAC and its purpose is to highlight a compliance department for their commitment to creativity and ingenuity in rules education. As important as rules compliance is, we can all admit that it’s not always as interesting as what we find on Netflix – which is exactly what Leslie and Jeff took care of last year, by theming their rules education around the show ‘Stranger Things’.” 

“So now that Leslie has set a high bar, we look forward to seeing the sequel to last year’s ‘Compliance Things,” Christopher continued

Christopher was a logical choice for the Mike Cleary Award as he serves on Father Graham’s leadership cabinet, along with overseeing the Human Resources and Intercollegiate Athletics divisons at Xavier.  Christopher also oversees Marketing and Communications divisions at the university and he is the chair of the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

The NAAC wrote that “While at Xavier, Christopher has worked with partners across campus to improve compliance education and processes related to athletics within the offices of financial aid, registrar, bursar and admissions. He also campaigned for and added a second full-time compliance staff person in 2018.”

All award winners this year will be honored virtually as the annual NAAC convention was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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