Student-Athlete Code of Conduct
I. CONDUCT POLICY STATEMENT
Student-athletes at the University of Minnesota are expected to represent themselves, their team and the University with honesty, integrity, and character whether it be academically, athletically or socially. Participation on an intercollegiate team is a privilege and should be treated as such. It has many benefits and brings with it a responsibility to be positive and effective members of the team, department, campus and broader communities.
The athletics department is a window to the University and student-athletes often are in the spotlight. For better or worse, their behavior is subject to scrutiny by many including peers, campus, local and national communities and media. The actions of one student-athlete may result in a generalization to all student-athletes and reflects on the individual, team, department and University. It is expected that all student-athletes abide by team, department and University policies. Team guidelines and the Intercollegiate Athletics student-athlete code of conduct will be available to all student-athletes.
Student-athletes who do not conform to this code may be subject to consequences for their actions that may include but are not limited to: a warning, dismissal from the team, reduction or withdrawal of athletically related financial aid, and dismissal from the University. In addition to all University policies, student-athletes are responsible for following the standards in the NCAA student-athlete behavior statement and the Big Ten sports-like conduct statement as well as all city, state and federal laws.
II. CONDUCT GUIDELINES
A. Student-Athletes Are Expected To:
- Be respectful of all others and to treat people as they would want to be treated.
- Communicate with their teammates, coaches, faculty, and other members of the campus community with honesty and timeliness.
- Follow all Team, Intercollegiate Athletics, University, Big Ten, WCHA and NCAA rules and guidelines.
- Attend all classes as scheduled unless absences are approved.
- Complete their academic coursework in a timely fashion and make progress towards a degree each semester.
- Give their best effort academically, athletically and in life.
B. Alcohol/Drug Consumption
The use of alcohol or drugs by student-athletes while involved in any team-related practices, competitions, banquets, travel or other activities is prohibited, regardless of age. Student-athletes under the legal age to consume (21 years of age) in Minnesota are expected to abide by city, state and federal laws. Consequences for violating this policy may include treating the incident as a first positive drug test under the University of Minnesota athletics department Alcohol and Drug Education policy. Additional consequences may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Verbal and written warning
- Participation in educational sessions
- Required chemical dependency assessment and/or treatment
- Suspension from the team
- Loss of eligibility and dismissal from the team
- Loss of athletics related scholarship aid
- Dismissal from the University
Additionally, it is expected that the consumption of alcohol by student-athletes who are of legal age will be within the parameters of team, department and University policies and will be handled responsibly. Consequences for underage alcohol use, inappropriate alcohol use by student-athletes of legal age to consume, or illegal drug use will be determined on a case by case basis. The head coach, Alcohol and Drug Education Review Board and the Athletics Director (or his/her designee) may be involved in determining the sanctions for violating this policy. The Athletics Director has final approval for all decisions.
See the Student-Athlete Alcohol and Drug Education and Drug Testing Program policy for more specific and complete guidelines.
C. Local, State and Federal Laws
Student-athletes who are alleged (including arrested or charged) to have broken local, state and federal laws will be subject to team and department sanctions upon a case by case review. Violations involving physical and/or sexual violence, use of illegal weapons, or driving while under the influence will be subject to immediate suspension from team activity pending further investigation. The head coach, in consultation with the athletics director (or his/her designee), will impose sanctions.
Team or Athletics Department disciplinary sanctions may be imposed in advance of any campus disciplinary and/or criminal actions. Disciplinary sanctions may include, but are not limited to: verbal or written reprimand; suspension from the team; reduction, cancellation or non-renewal of athletics scholarship aid; and dismissal from the team. Additional sanctions may be imposed by the broader University, including probation, suspension from school, or expulsion.
For the purposes of this code of conduct, suspension from the team means that student-athletes may not practice, compete or travel with any University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics team. However, suspended student-athletes may, with the approval of the coach and designated sport administrator, attend team meetings and retain privileges to access training table, the athletic training room, academic support services and individual use of weight training. Exceptions to any of these terms may be made by the Athletics Director or his/her designee.
D. Sexual Harassment Policy
The Athletics Department is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all of its student-athletes. Sexual harassment is unethical and unlawful and may result in department, University and legal sanctions. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, sex-based conduct that is intimidating, hostile or offensive, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is prohibited by the University. Complaints of sexual harassment by a student-athlete will be promptly addressed and should be reported to the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. Consequences for harassment may include:
- Verbal and written warning and participation in educational sessions
- Suspension from the team
- Loss of eligibility and dismissal from the team
- Loss of athletics related scholarship aid
- Dismissal from the University
Examples of prohibited conduct:
a. Unwelcome sexual flirtation, advances or propositions
b. Continued or repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature
c. Sexually degrading language to describe an individual
d. Unwelcome remarks of a sexual nature to describe a person’s body or clothing
e. Display of sexually demeaning objects or pictures
f. Offensive physical contact, such as unwelcome touching
g. Coerced sexual intercourse
h. Sexual assault
i. Rape, date or acquaintance rape, or other sex offenses either forcible or non-forcible
E. Hazing Policy
Hazing by any member of the University community is prohibited at the University of Minnesota. Hazing is prohibited whenever it occurs on University premises or in connection with any University-affiliated group or activity. Student-athletes who violate the prohibition against hazing are subject to discipline. Any criminal complaints will be reported to law enforcement.
Hazing is an act that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of an individual (including, without limitation, an act intended to cause personal degradation or humiliation), or that destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation in, admission to, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. Such activities and situations include but are not limited to:
- Physical punishment, contact, exercise, or sleep deprivation that causes excessive fatigue and/or physical or psychological shock
- Forced or coerced consumption of food, drink, alcohol, tobacco, and/or illegal drugs
- Forced or coerced transportation of individuals
- Public humiliation, ridicule, indecent exposure or ordeal
- Coercing or forcing illegal acts
- Coercing or forcing acts that are immoral or unethical
- Blocking an individual’s academic, athletic, health or person success
- Personal servitude
- Mental harassment
- Sexual harassment
- Threat of social exclusion
- Any activity that involves the use of alcohol or any controlled substance;
- Any activity that is not in accordance with the University’s established policies.
A person commits a hazing offense if the person:
- Engages in hazing;
- Solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in hazing activities;
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly permits hazing to occur;
- Has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student and fails to report the plan to the athletics department to prevent the hazing;
- Has firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly fails to report it to the Athletics Director or other appropriate official of the institution.
Typically, hazing has occurred in connection with initiation activities. Even if an initiation activity is optional, an individual may not feel empowered to refuse participation. Individuals involved in any form of hazing (including prospects on campus for an official visit) will be held accountable for their actions and will be subject to disciplinary action by the Athletics Department as well as the University. Disciplinary action may include immediate suspension from the team, withdrawal or cancellation of financial aid, permanent dismissal from the team, or dismissal from the University.
If a student-athlete chooses to file a hazing grievance against an individual or group, it should be reported to the Athletics Director or a sport administrator. If requested, every effort will be made to protect the identity of the person reporting the grievance, where permissible under the law. It is possible that a student-athlete may initially voluntarily agree to participate in an initiation activity, and that he or she may later decide within a reasonable period of time that it was an unacceptable hazing activity. A grievance need not be filed for a disciplinary action to occur.
F. Gambling Policy
Student-athletes are expected to abide by the NCAA rule (Bylaw 10.3) which prohibits student-athletes from knowingly:
a. Providing information to individuals involved in organized gambling activities concerning intercollegiate athletics competition;
b. Soliciting a bet on any intercollegiate team;
c. Accepting a bet on any team representing the institution;
d. Soliciting or accepting a bet on any intercollegiate competition for any item (e.g., cash, shirt, dinner) that has tangible value; or
e. Participating in any gambling activity that involves intercollegiate athletics or professional athletics, through a bookmaker, a parlay card or any other method employed by organized gambling.
Furthermore, a student-athlete who is involved in any activity designed to influence the outcome of an intercollegiate contest or participates in a wager involving a University of Minnesota contest, the student-athlete shall lose all remaining regular and post-season eligibility in all sports.
III. STUDENT HEARING & APPEAL PROCESS
The Athletics Director has final approval regarding a student-athlete’s dismissal from the team. This decision is not appealable. Student-athletes may appeal department decisions in the following areas:
- reduction or cancellation of aid during the period of the award;
- non-renewal of financial aid;
- denial of permission to contact for transfer;
- denial of one-time transfer exception.
A student-athlete may appeal the decisions related to #’s 1-4 above and is entitled to a review by a hearing panel. The three-member panel is composed of the following individuals: 1) the respective NCAA Faculty Representative (will serve as Chair), 2) a member of the Faculty Oversight Committee and/or Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, and 3) a representative from the Office of the President. The decision of the hearing panel is final.
The procedures for the hearings in items # 1 through 4 above are available through the Athletics Compliance Office, but will basically follow this timeline:
- The athletics department makes the decision that is going to be appealed.
- The athletics department issues a letter of such decision to the student-athlete.
- The letter notifies the student-athlete that s/he has a right to a hearing on the decision and must make such a request within two weeks.
- Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, a hearing panel will be appointed and a hearing convened as soon as possible.
- The hearing panel will issue a written decision within two weeks of the hearing.
IV. BIG TEN CONFERENCE SPORTSLIKE CONDUCT POLICY AND STATEMENT
Student-athletes are expected to:
- Treat opponents with respect.
- Play hard but within the rules.
- Exercise self-control at all times setting the example for others to follow.
- Respect officials and accept their decisions without gesture or argument.
- Win without boasting, lose without excuses and never quit.
- Always remember that it is a privilege to represent the school and community.
- Striking or attempting to strike or otherwise physically abusing an official, opposing coach, spectator or athlete. Any person committing such an act shall be subject to a public reprimand and suspended for up to 50% of the scheduled contests in the sport as deemed appropriate for the first offense, and publicly reprimanded and suspended for such number of additional contests as deemed appropriate for an additional similar offense.
- Intentionally, or with careless disregard for one’s conduct, inciting participants or spectators to violent or abusive action. Violators shall be subject to a public reprimand and a suspension for up to 20% of the scheduled contests in the sport for the first offense, and a public reprimand and a suspension for such number of additional contests as deemed appropriate for an additional similar offense.
- Using obscene gestures or profane or unduly provocative language or action toward an official, student, coach or spectator. Violators shall be subject to a public reprimand for the first offense, and a public reprimand and a suspension for up to 20% of the scheduled contests for an additional similar offense.
V. RULES VIOLATION REPORTING POLICY
The University of Minnesota is committed to operating its athletics programs in a manner consistent with the letter and the spirit of NCAA, Big Ten Conference, WCHA and University rules and regulations. Toward that end, our compliance program combines the training and education of coaches, staff and students; the review and modification of athletics department and University operating procedures to ensure compliance with those rules; and prompt institutional response when rule violations do occur.
Our goals are to educate coaches, staff and students in their responsibilities under the rules, to develop operating systems within the Athletics Department and the University that guide staff and students in their efforts to work within the rules, and to respond to each rule violation so that we can correct the situation that led to the problem.
We affirm that staff members and student-athletes of the University of Minnesota Athletics Department have an obligation to report any violations or potential violations of NCAA or Big Ten Conference rules of which they are aware.
ACIA Policy (Adopted Dec. 1989)
The Intercollegiate Athletics Student-Athlete Code of Conduct is in addition to, and does not replace, the Student Conduct Code of the University of Minnesota. It is applicable to all student-athletes on the current team squad list for actions that occur while matriculated at the University of Minnesota or that are prosecuted while enrolled as a student-athlete at the University.
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