January 18, 2008




Rhode Island College Selected to Participate in National Risk Management Certification for Sports Events Program Development




Providence, RI—Rhode Island College Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Donald E. Tencher, Providence Fire Department Deputy Chief Michael Dillon (Regional Hazmat Coordinator), RIC Director of Campus Security Cy Cote, Rhode Island State Police Trooper Scott Raynes and Amy Grzybowski of the R.I. Emergency Management Agency, as well as officials from five other institutions, will convene next week in Chicago to discuss the development of a National Risk Management Certification for Sports Events curriculum designed to train intercollegiate sports security personnel across the nation.




Officials from The University of Southern Mississippi Center for Spectator Sports Security Management and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) will host the first National Risk Management Certification Focus Group conference Jan. 20-22 at the Hyatt Rosemont Hotel in Chicago. Athletics and security administrators from Penn State University, Rhode Island College, Richard Stockton College, the University of Oklahoma, Grand Valley State University and Delta State University will share ideas and expertise for the development of a curriculum offered through the center to train sports security personnel for intercollegiate athletic events.


"We're bringing security experts and field-based professionals together in helping us identify critical components of the certification curriculum," said Dr. Stacey Hall, the center's associate director. "The certification will be delivered to 1,055 institutions nationwide via regional workshops."


Subject matter experts from a variety of fields such as campus police, emergency medical services and athletic operations will share their knowledge with the universities and the center. Expert observers from the FBI, NASCAR and Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies will evaluate the overall process.


“This has been a long time coming,” said Southern Miss Police Chief Bob Hopkins, a subject matter expert. “We’ve been working with Dr. Marciani for several years; and I’m looking forward to meeting other experts in their fields and finally getting a curriculum together that will hopefully better prepare other universities and entities in providing safety for their venues.”


Larry Naifeh, executive associate athletics director at the University of Oklahoma, said officials will bring ideas exclusive to each of their institutions.


"We all have unique issues because we are all somewhat different in where we are located and how we do things," Naifeh said. "Our team is looking forward to being on the ground floor of the development through the discussion of common issues and practices that can be helpful and applicable to all of us. We are thinking about how we can prepare and train folks in our profession and what we should look for when we plan to bring this number of people onto our campuses for these events.”


Curriculum development for the center is in conjunction with NACDA, which will play a role in assisting the center to train member institutions on sports security management. Developing such training is possible through a $3.5 million grant, awarded last year by the United States Department of Homeland Security to train an estimated 5,370 intercollegiate sport security personnel nationwide.


"In short, we want to extend our congratulations to Lou Marciani and The University of Southern Mississippi for their efforts in securing the grant," said NACDA President Kevin White, who also serves as athletics director at the University of Notre Dame. "Once again, NACDA will be at the forefront of an important initiative. This grant underscores the need to continue to educate our members on issues that have the potential to impact their institutions."


The center, in partnership with NACDA, will soon schedule regional athletics conference workshops for universities to form security management teams that will eventually train with the center and be audited for a Sports Event Security Aware Seal of Approval.


For more information about the Center for Spectator Sports Security Management at Southern Miss, call 601.266.6183 or log on to


About the Center for Spectator Sports Security Management

The Center for Spectator Sports Security Management at the Southern Miss School of Human Performance and Recreation was established in 2005. It was developed to provide an interdisciplinary environment to further increase sports security awareness; improve sport security policies and procedures; and enhance emergency response through evacuation, recovery operations, natural disasters and crowd management training. The certification process for the Sports Event Security Aware Seal of Approval demonstrates that universities have met the requirements for effective security and safety management systems related to preparation, prevention, response and recovery.