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New NCAA Regulations Will Help Protect Student Athletes By Raising Coaching Certification Standards

Division 1 colleges and universities must employ accredited strength and conditioning coaches by August 2015.

May 1, 2014, The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has passed new legislation requiring Division 1 colleges and universities to employ nationally certified strength and conditioning coaches by August 1, 2015. This move to raise certification standards in college athletics is in response to heightened concerns about student-athlete safety around the country. There have been more than 20 deaths during conditioning since 2000.

“Having a certification that is accredited guarantees that the strength coach has demonstrated a certain set of skills and abilities to meet the performance needs of their sport teams and athletes,” says National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Founder Boyd Epley. The NSCA’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification is recognized as the worldwide leading industry standard. It is the longest standing accredited program with more than 21 years of credibility.

The NSCA is actively communicating with all Division 1 athletic directors to educate them to the new rules, and offer its assistance. Current strength coaches who do not have a nationally accredited credential will have until the August 2015 deadline to obtain their certification without jeopardizing their current employment.

About the NSCA’s strength and conditioning certification program
The NSCA established its CSCS credential in 1985, setting the standard in the strength and conditioning industry in the U.S. and around the world. In 1993, the credential became the first to be accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

Attaining CSCS certification requires coaches to pass the industry’s most rigorous and comprehensive exams. “These question sets require an intimate and robust knowledge of the coaching profession,” says Epley. “This ensures that those who pass the exam have truly developed the educational knowledge and practical expertise to be leaders in the field of strength coaching.” The NSCA’s accredited certification also requires a continuing education component, enabling coaches to stay on top of the latest effective and safest training standards for student athletes.

Epley adds that Major League Baseball at the MLB, AAA and AA levels requires all of its strength and conditioning coaches to hold the CSCS credential and the Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach distinction.

The NSCA is the only organization that provides cutting-edge information from the laboratory, and translates this knowledge into application so that all athletes who are trained by registered strength and conditioning coaches receive the best training practices and advice.

Details about the CSCS can be found in the Certification Handbook available online.

For additional information about the NSCA and its programs, visit

Media Note: For additional information or to schedule and interview, please contact Greg Nockleby at 719-632-6722.

About the National Strength & Conditioning Association

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an international nonprofit educational association founded in 1978. Evolving from a membership of 76, the association now serves nearly 30,000 members in 52 countries. Drawing upon its vast network of members, the NSCA develops and presents the most advanced information regarding strength training and conditioning practices, injury prevention, and research findings.

Unlike any other organization, the NSCA brings together a diverse group of professionals from the sport science, athletic, allied health, and fitness industries. These individuals are all in pursuit of achieving a common goal—the utilization of proper strength training and conditioning to improve athletic performance and fitness.

Central to its mission, the NSCA provides a bridge between the scientist in the laboratory and the practitioner in the field. By working to find practical applications for new research findings in the strength and conditioning field, the association fosters the development of strength training and conditioning as a discipline and as a profession.

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the NSCA serves as a valuable resource for its members, the fitness industry, general public, and the media. The association provides a wide variety of resources and opportunities designed to strengthen, build, advance, and unify.

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