Administrative policy and procedures regarding rights and responsibilities of student athletes
(1) Every student who participates in intercollegiate athletics becomes thereby a member of a team. By accepting this privilege of team membership, student-athletes are responsible for conducting themselves so as to bring credit to the university, the department of intercollegiate athletics, their teammates or themselves. To that end student-athletes must conduct themselves in a manner befitting a representative of the university.
(2) Each student-athlete must comply with:
(a) Rules governing academic eligibility as established by the university, the NCAA, the MAC, or other appropriate governing body.
(b) All other rules and regulations for student-athletic conduct as established by the university, the NCAA, the MAC, or other appropriate governing body.
(c) Training and discipline rules established by the head coach and the department of intercollegiate athletics for the sport in which the student-athlete participates.
(3) By declaring themselves as a candidate for a team membership, they assume the following responsibilities, in addition to their regular responsibilities as students.
(B) Academic discipline.
(1) The student-athlete is subject to all rules for academic eligibility as required by the NCAA, MAC, and the university. These rules are on file in the offices of the director of intercollegiate athletics and of each head coach.
(2) The department of intercollegiate athletics does not view the student-athlete as an athlete. Their major purpose at the university is to obtain an academic degree. The athletic department has a great interest in the general welfare and academic achievement of every student-athlete. Because of this concern, the department has designated individual coaches to follow the academic progress of each student-athlete. In addition, the athletic department strongly recommends that each student-athlete establish communication with their faculty adviser within the student-athlete's area of academic major. The athletic department expects that each athlete attend all classes and perform all assignments, unless illness or other extreme emergencies arise. Further, the student-athlete is encouraged to consult with instructors on an individual basis concerning academic problems.
(C) Conduct discipline.
(1) The student-athlete is subject to all rules regarding student conduct established by the university. These rules are contained in the university policy register, and are also available in the office of the director of intercollegiate athletics.
(2) As a highly visible member of the university community, the student-athlete should strive to set an example for their fellow students in complying with the standards of behavior established by the university.
(3) As ambassadors of the university to the public, team members accept a higher standard of conduct than other students. Actions off-campus, including but not limited to violations of local, state, and federal laws, will subject the student-athlete to review for possible discipline and sanctions of this policy.
(D) Athletic discipline.
(1) The student-athlete is subject to the athletic disciplinary and training rules pertaining to their particular sport(s), as established by the head coach and the athletic department. Each head coach will inform the student-athlete involved on their squad of expectations relating to training rules. The coach and team members should come to an understanding about any issues relating to training rules.
(2) Each student-athlete is responsible for having read and being familiar with the rules outlined in this rule. The rules referred to regarding the NCAA, MAC or other appropriate governing body, are on file and available in the office of the director of intercollegiate athletics and may also be obtained from the head coach of each sport. The rules regarding training and discipline will be posted for the student-athlete to read at the time they try out for a sport.
(3) The establishment and recitation of the above rules do not set the limits as to the coach's authority to "coach a student-athlete." "Coaching a student-athlete" necessarily involves the coach's establishment of standards, expectations and goals; giving directions, guidance and orders; and the student-athlete's accepting and following them. The student-athlete is therefore expected to comply with the directives of their coach.
(4) A student-athlete is a public figure and their conduct, both on and off the field/court, reflects on themselves, their teammates, their coaches, and the institution. They are expected to conduct themselves so as to bring credit on the above.
(E) Infractions of rules.
(1) Failure to comply with any rules regarding academic or conduct discipline will subject the student-athlete to those sanctions contained in the general university policies including those which affect the privilege of participating in athletics. Such failure will also cause the student-athlete to be subject to all sanctions which may be imposed by the coach, the athletic director or designee, or the president or designee, when such failure is deemed to be detrimental to the team or the athletic program.
(2) Throughout the remainder of this rule, the phrase "university official" includes the athletic director or designee or the president or designee.
(3) Failure to comply with any rules regarding athletic discipline will subject the student-athlete to suspension or dismissal from the team.
(F) Procedure for appealing sanctions.
(1) Academic and conduct appeals. If the student-athlete alleges a violation of student rights in an academic, conduct, or financial aid sanction, they may seek redress under the procedures set forth in the general university policy under which they were sanctioned.
(2) Athletic appeals. The student-athlete is encouraged to maintain a continuing dialogue with their coaches in order to aid in the informal resolution of problems involving discipline or sanctions. However, only the following discipline or sanctions may be appealed beyond the coach:
(a) Suspension from the team;
(b) Dismissal from the team;
(c) Any discipline or sanctions in retaliation for use of the appeals process; or
(d) Systematic use of discipline in an unreasonable or discriminatory manner.
(G) Athletic appeal procedures.
(1) The student-athlete and coach should make every effort to resolve the issue prior to instituting the formal appeals process. The student-athlete shall contact the coach within fourteen days after they knew or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known of the issue.
(2) The first recourse for the student-athlete is to appeal in writing to the head coach or university official imposing the sanction. The written appeal shall be filed within thirty days after the coach was contacted as defined in paragraph (G)(1) of this rule, or in the case of a university official, within thirty days after the student-athlete knew of the sanction or through the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known of the sanction. Such notice shall state the events upon which the appeal is based, the reason for the appeal, and the specific relief or remedy sought.
(3) The student athlete shall receive a written response within four working days after receipt of the appeal by the coach or university official.
(4) If no agreement is reached, the student-athlete may appeal to the athletic director. The athletic director shall give the student-athlete a written statement of their decision regarding the student-athlete's appeal within four working days following receipt of the appeal.
(5) If the sanction has been imposed by a university vice president or the university president, the student-athlete may bypass the level in paragraph (G)(4) of this rule and appeal directly to the ad hoc appeals committee.
(6) If no agreement is reached after the student-athlete has appealed to the athletic director, the student-athlete may make a written notice of appeal to the chair of the athletic committee within thirty days after receipt of the written response from the athletic director. The chair of the athletic committee shall notify the faculty representative for intercollegiate athletics, who shall establish the ad hoc appeals committee within five working days of the written notice of appeal by the student-athlete.
(7) The composition of this committee shall be as follows:
(a) Faculty representative for intercollegiate athletics as chairperson;
(b) One faculty member of the athletic committee to be determined by the committee chair. The individual should not be a member of the sport involved;
(c) One student member of the athletic committee to be determined by the committee chair. The individual should not be a member of the sport involved;
(d) One member of the intercollegiate athletic coaching staff not representing the sport of the student-athlete making the appeal, selected by the athletic director, and;
(e) One faculty member selected by the student making the appeal.
(H) Committee procedure.
(1) A hearing shall be held on the matter within five working days following the establishment of the appeals committee.
(2) The hearing shall be guided by the following procedures:
(a) The hearing shall be closed unless mutually agreed to be open by the student athlete bringing the appeal and the coach or university official imposing the sanction.
(b) The coach university official imposing the sanction shall make a statement, in writing, orally, or both, of the facts and the basis for imposing the sanction or discipline.
(c) The student athlete may make a statement in writing, orally, or both.
(d) Both the coach or university official and student athlete may ask questions of the other at an appropriate time during the hearing.
(e) Both may present witnesses.
(f) Both have the right to hear all testimony and examine all evidence.
(g) The student athlete may be accompanied by one other person of their choice. That person may act as an adviser to the student athlete, but may not participate in the hearing procedure in any manner. No party may be represented by legal counsel.
(h) All matters pertaining to the conduct of the hearing shall be under the sole authority of the chairperson of the appeals committee.
(3) Appeals committee decision.
(a) The appeals committee shall hear all the statements and have all the documents which support the claim.
(b) Following the hearing, the appeals committee shall prepare a short statement in writing of the facts as they are judged to be true.
(c) The appeals committee shall, within ten working days make the decision and, in writing, provide a summary of the reasons for upholding, reducing, or dismissing the sanction.
(d) The chairperson of the appeals committee shall provide the student athlete with the statement of facts, decision and summary of the reasons.
(4) The decision of the appeals committee shall be final and not subject to further appeal.
Effective: March 1, 2015
Prior Effective Dates: 6/10/1991, 10/18/1982, 12/28/1984, 9/20/2000, 6/1/2007