Athletics Code of Conduct
Statement Of Principles on the Conduct of Participants
in Student Athletic Programs

1. Introduction

Student athletic programs are a longstanding and integral part of Indiana University. Participants in the University's athletic programs-students, coaches, and other faculty and staff (collectively "participants")-are covered by the laws, regulations, policies, and procedures applicable to other members of the University community. In addition, these participants and the University itself are subject to a wide variety of requirements promulgated by Indiana University, the National Collegiate Athletic Association or the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the Big Ten Conference or other applicable conferences, professional coaches' and sports' organizations, and federal and state government authorities (collectively "requirements") designed to protect student athletes, ensure the integrity of the University's athletic programs, and promote fair competition. Indiana University is committed to full compliance with all of these requirements, and engages in extensive oversight, education, and training to ensure that all participants in student athletic programs understand and comply with them.

The University's approach, however, reflects a deeper commitment to the spirit of fair, honest, skillful, and civil competition that these requirements are designed to facilitate. This statement articulates the fundamental principles of conduct for all participants in student athletic programs and for those members of the University community responsible for overseeing that conduct. This statement does not in any way replace the specific standards to which participants in student athletic programs are held. Nor does it replace or modify the terms of the Code of Student Conduct, which apply to the conduct of all Indiana University students.

Instead, it reaffirms the foundational values of those programs, and reminds members of the University community that conduct inconsistent with those values is inappropriate and cannot be tolerated.

This statement is divided into five sections. Following the initial introductory section is section two which articulates principles applicable to all participants-including students, coaches, and other faculty and staff-in student athletic programs. Section three contains corollary principles specifically applicable to coaches and coaching staff (collectively "coaches"). Section four summarizes the obligations of University administrators and others who hold positions or serve on committees with responsibility for student athletic programs and the conduct of their participants. The final section identifies principles applicable to enforcement of this statement and other requirements applicable to participants in student athletic programs.

2. Principles Applicable to all Participants

2.1. Participants shall treat one another and all others with dignity and respect. They shall behave according to the rules of their sport(s) and of the University, and shall avoid conduct that demeans, harasses, or threatens any one person. Understandably the applicability of this principle is dependent upon the context of the behavior in question. For example, physical contact that is common on the playing field would likely be disrespectful in the classroom or if directed toward an official, umpire, or fan. The intent of and force of this principle is to prevent any participant at any time from physically or verbally abusing another person; from using excessive profane language or vulgar gestures; from demeaning or belittling another person or making derogatory comments about his or her race, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation; and from engaging in conduct intended, or so reckless as to be likely, to cause harm to another.

2.2. Participants shall strive for honesty and integrity in their statements and actions. This requires participants to tell the truth when asked, and also calls upon them to avoid knowingly: (a) obscuring the truth by their actions or statements (i.e. giving incomplete answers or failing to give answers when required) and (b) assisting any other person in a dishonest act or statement related to student athletic programs and determinations regarding compliance with this policy.

2.3. The conduct of participants shall reflect the fact that student athletic programs are primarily an educational experience. Because of this, coaches and athletes shall strive to develop skill, experience, prowess, and character. Athletes shall not, and shall not be encouraged or allow their participation in student athletic programs to interfere with their academic responsibilities, such as fulfilling class requirements.

2.3.1. Student-athletes are expected to attend classes, complete all assignments, take all exams, and act appropriately in class.

2.3.2. Student-athletes are responsible for informing their professors of upcoming excused class absences and arranging to make-up and exams or assignments missed.

2.3.3. Individual coaches may impose stricter standards for class attendance as well as any other policies listed in the Statement of Principle on the Conduct of Participants in Student Athletic Programs. Coaches are responsible for providing written documentation of their policies to the Associate Athletic Director for Student Athlete Services. (Or Athletic Director at Regional Campus)

2.4. Participants' conduct shall reflect the fact that, by virtue of their participation in student athletic programs sponsored by Indiana University, they are public representatives of the University. Accordingly, they are expected to exhibit a higher standard of behavior and maturity than might be displayed by other students, staff, and faculty. They should always avoid conduct that could be perceived as improper or unfitting of a University representative.

2.5. Participants shall be advised of, understand, and comply fully with the rules, standards, and requirements to which they are subject. These include the principles in this Statement; applicable laws; the requirements of the NCAA or the NAIA, the Big Ten Conference and/or other applicable conferences; the policies of Indiana University, Indiana University Athletics, and any additional policies specified by their coach.

2.6. In cases of student-athlete misconduct, which is not minor in nature, coaches have an obligation to inform, in writing the Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Welfare of such actions. Additionally, any violation of the following must be immediately reported in writing to the administrator who oversees that sport (Or Athletic Director at Regional Campus):
  1. Violation of principles in this section. (Section 2)
  2. Violation of the Drug or Alcohol Policy as set forth in the Indiana University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Alcohol and Drug Policies and Program.
  3. Violation of the Gambling policy as set forth in NCAA Bylaw 10.3.
  4. Violation of the Big Ten Sports like Conduct agreement as set forth in the Big Ten Conference Handbook, Agreement 10, Section 10.01.
  5. Violation of the NCAA Ethical Conduct Bylaw as set forth in the NCAA manual, Bylaw 10.
  6. Violation of any NCAA or Big Ten legislation.
  7. Any arrest on- or off-campus.

2.7. Big Ten Fair Play and Ethical Conduct - Student-athletes of Indiana University are expected to follow the Big Ten policies on fair play and ethical conduct. It is to be the responsibility of each member university to ensure that all of its students and employees conduct themselves in a sportsman-like manner when representing the university, especially at intercollegiate athletic contests.

According to the General Principles of the Big Ten **, acts of unsportslike conduct shall include, but are not limited to the following:
  1. Striking, attempting to strike, or otherwise physically abusing an official, opposing coach, spectator, or athlete.
  2. Intentionally, or with careless disregard for one's conduct, inciting participants or spectators to violent or abusive action.
  3. Using obscene gestures or profane or unduly provocative language or action toward an official, student, coach, or spectator.
  4. Publicly and unduly criticizing a game official, Conference personnel, another member university, or student-athlete or personnel of another member university.
  5. Negative recruiting by making unduly derogatory statements about another member university, any of its personnel or its athletic programs, to a prospective student-athlete, the prospect's parents, high school coach, or other person interested in the prospective athlete.
  6. Committing any act of unsportsmanlike conduct not specifically described above shall subject violators to any of the penalties in the Conference Handbook which the Commissioner or designee determines most suitably addresses the conduct involved. In addition to any penalty that may be assessed, the Commissioner or designee may take such remedial action believed to be proper to deter any future unsportsmanlike conduct.

2.8. It is recognized that not all instances of athlete misconduct are serious enough to be dealt with at a level higher than coach. In such minor cases, resolution should be immediate, will require no formal procedures, and will involve relatively minor sanctions (i.e. verbal correction). Such sanctions should be applied fairly and consistently.


3. Corollary Principles Applicable to Coaches

All of the above principles especially apply to coaches because of their influential roles: a) key mentor in the lives and careers of student-athletes b) public representative of the University. Therefore, appropriately professional conduct in dealing with student-athletes, opposing teams, officials, sports organizations, and the public is expected.

3.1. All participants shall treat one another and all others with dignity and respect.

3.1.1. Conduct that is verbally or physically threatening or abusive, belligerent, or harassing is never appropriate and shall not occur at any time. Athletic programs by definition require coaches to interact physically and vigorously with student athletes. As a result, broad latitude is given as to defining appropriate behavior in that context (i.e. athletic training and competition).

3.1.2. Coaches shall not take advantage of their relationship with and influence over student athletes for personal advantage. This principle prohibits financial and sexual relationships with student athletes, and requires coaches to avoid attempts to undue influence or control matters outside of the student athlete's participation in athletic activities (i.e. social and extracurricular activities, and personal relationships).

3.1.3. Coaches shall actively promote the good health and well-being of student- athletes, deferring to the judgment of trainers and other medical advisors regarding a student athlete's ability to participate in any athletic activity. Accordingly, coaches will uphold and enforce the recommendations of trainers and other medical advisors.

3.1.4. The obligation of coaches to treat others with dignity and respect shall apply to all participants, including other coaches, faculty, staff, and administrators; the athletes and personnel of other teams, officials and referees; members of the news media; and the public.

3.1.5. In performing their duties by coaches shall not display prejudice or bias based upon race, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation, and they shall not permit members of their staff or those under their control to do so.

3.2. All participants shall pursue honesty and integrity in their statements and actions.

3.2.1. Coaches shall actively promote honesty and forthrightness among student athletes, shall exhibit the highest standard of such behavior themselves, and shall sanction (or report for enforcement) dishonest acts or statements.

3.3. The conduct of all participants shall reflect the fact that student athletic programs are first and foremost an educational experience.

3.3.1. Coaches shall promote and enforce policies and practices that support the academic success of all student athletes and their progress toward graduation.

3.3.2. Coaches shall provide instruction in the rules, standards, policies and requirements applicable to participants, including the principles in this Statement; the policies of Indiana University; the requirements of the NCAA or the NAIA, Big Ten Conference or other applicable conferences, and other sports and academic organizations; and applicable laws.

3.3.3. Coaches shall provide instruction on the safety, good health, and well-being of student athletes.

3.4. The conduct of all participants shall reflect the fact as participant in athletic programs sponsored by Indiana University, they are representing the University and its ideas.

3.4.1. Coaches serve in a uniquely public role and therefore shall set high standards in their professional conduct. They shall conduct themselves so as to avoid improper conduct relative to their coaching responsibilities, or to their role as a University representative. Coaches shall conduct themselves as role models of both compliance with the requirements to which they are subjected as participants in student athletic programs, and the standards of behavior required by this Statement.

3.4.2. Because as well as athletic contests, and other public settings, this rule applies to interactions with the news media, coaches are presumed to be spokespersons for the University; they shall conduct themselves with respect and dignity and shall refrain from using excessive profane language or vulgar gestures, berating members of opposing teams or referees or other officials, or demeaning or belittling another person or making derogatory comments about his or her race, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, or sexual orientation.

3.4.3. If, coaches wish to speak as private individuals, in the context of public statements and settings, they shall state their intention to do so. When speaking as private individuals, coaches shall not use University logos or property without the permission of the University.

3.5. All participants shall be advised of, understand, and comply fully with the requirements to which they are subject.

3.5.1. Coaches shall comply fully and in good faith with this Statement and with other applicable requirements.

3.5.2. Coaches shall comply fully and in good faith with Athletics Department rules, policies, instructions, and procedures, requests of Athletics Department personnel.

3.5.3. Coaches shall instruct members of their staff and student athletes in the requirements of this Statement and other applicable requirements, including University policies on student athletics, conflicts of interest, and use of University resources.

3.5.4. Coaches shall actively participate in enforcing and monitoring compliance with this Statement and other applicable requirements. They shall guarantee access by University and Athletics Department personnel responsible for monitoring compliance to practices, locker rooms, and training facilities; and sanction (or report for enforcement) acts that violate this Statement or other applicable requirements.

3.5.5. Coaches may establish additional team policies, provided they are consistent with this Statement and with other applicable requirements supplemental team policies shall be in writing, approved by the Athletics Director, and provided to each team member by the first day of practice upon a new member's joining the team.

3.5.6. Coaches shall conduct themselves fairly showing preferential treatment in the enforcement of student athletic rules.

4. Additional Principles Applicable to Administrators

University administrators, faculty, and others who hold positions or serve on committees with responsibility for student athletic programs and the conduct of their participants, bear significant responsibility for ensuring the responsible, vigorous, timely, and fair enforcement of the principles contained in this Statement and other requirements. The following responsibilities are in addition to others they have concerning the operation of student athletic programs.

4.1. Ensuring the integrity of athletic programs, compliance with this Statement and other applicable requirements, and public enhancing confidence in the integrity of all participants in those programs. The quality, fairness, compliance, and integrity of all student athletic programs are in the best interest of the state legislature, state residents, fans and the media.

4.1.2. Protecting the rights of all participants in student athletic programs.

4.1.3. Informing and educating all participants in student athletic programs of their rights and responsibilities; the requirements they are subject to as participants; the possible sanctions noncompliance requirements; procedure for monitoring, enforcing, and reporting noncompliance; and the resources available to them to facilitate their knowledge of their rights.

4.1.4. Ensuring that there is a clear chain of command of responsibility for monitoring compliance, reporting noncompliance, and enforcing this Statement and other applicable requirements.

4.2. While the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the adherence of these policies rests with the President and the Trustees of Indiana University, it is important that specific responsibility for day-to-day enforcement of these policies be clearly assigned. A clear chain of responsibility must exist, as that the people in that chain carry out their duties fully, and that all participants in student athletic programs know and follow that chain of responsibility. Without written instruction from the President to the contrary, primary responsibility for implementation of this Statement, including ensuring the successful completion of each of the tasks identified above, rests:
  • In the case of student athletes, with their coaches, the Director of Athletics, and the Compliance Coordinator;
  • In the case of coaches, with the Director of Athletics and the Compliance Coordinator;
  • In the case of staff and student employees, with their immediate supervisors and the Director of Athletics;
  • In the case of the University Director of Athletics, with the President and the Compliance Coordinator, and in the case of other Athletics Directors, with the Chancellor of the campus on which they are located;
  • In the case of faculty or others serving on committees with athletics oversight responsibilities, with the Chair of the committee, the person(s) or body(ies) that appointed them, and to the person(s) or body(ies) to whom the committee reports;
  • In the case of administrators outside of the Athletics Department, with their immediate supervisors and the President of the University;
  • In the case of the President, with the Trustees of Indiana University.
4.3. The University shall specify publicly the person(s) or body(ies) to which noncompliance should be reported. Unless specified to the contrary, suspected noncompliance shall be reported to the person(s) identified above as having primary responsibility for implementation of this Statement.

4.4. Exceptions regarding those responsible for implementing this Statement and for receiving allegations of noncompliance shall be in writing and publicly available.

4.5. The University Athletics Coordinating Council, campus athletics committees, faculty representatives, student athletics boards, the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, and the Athletics Department CORE committee all play an important role relative to student athletic programs and especially to protecting student welfare. These bodies provide valuable resources for participants in student athletic programs, and may exercise significant responsibility in many areas covered by this Statement. This Statement is not intended in any way to expand or reduce those responsibilities, but rather to highlight the important continuing role of these bodies in guaranteeing the implementation of this Statement and compliance with the principles it contains.

5. Principles Concerning Enforcement

The principles in this Statement serve the interests of all participants in student athletic programs and of the broader University community. Therefore, the University expects that all participants will comply. Nevertheless, the quality of any code of conduct is no greater than the rigor with which it is enforced. The purpose of enforcement is not the detection and punishment of noncompliance for its punishment's, but instead to encourage compliance with this Statement and applicable requirements by all participants.

Of course, not all noncompliance acts are of equal severity or warrant similar sanctions. In addition, the process by which an alleged offense is investigated and adjudicated will also depend in large part on the nature of it and the severity of the potential sanction. Many acts of noncompliance with this Statement or other applicable requirements of participants in student athletic programs will and should be resolved immediately and informally, and will result in comparatively minor sanctions, such as verbal correction. Such sanctions should be applied fairly and consistently.

At the other end of the spectrum, some noncompliant acts will be so serious, frequent, or deliberate, that existing University policies on faculty, staff, and student conduct and other applicable requirements provide for potentially severe sanctions and formal processes and standards of review. This Statement in no way alters the application of those policies or processes.

There are likely to be noncompliant acts that fall between these two extremes, involving offenses or behavior at least moderately serious in the nature that warrants more complete investigation than immediate judgment would allow, but still that may not necessarily fit within existing procedural guidelines. The following enforcement principles provide general guidance that may prove useful, but that are designed specifically to guide investigations, adjudications, and the imposition of sanctions in this broad intermediate part of the spectrum.

5.1. Enforcement shall be accessible, swift, fair, consistent, certain, appropriate, and accountable.

5.1.1. The University shall investigate credible reports of noncompliance with this Statement or other applicable requirements. The determination of a report's credibility necessarily involves many factors. However, except in unusual circumstances, a report shall be considered credible only if it is made by a person who has personally witnessed or experienced the allegedly noncomplying act, or by a coach or administrator with oversight responsibilities for participants in student athletic programs.

5.1.2. Acts of noncompliance shall be reported as swiftly as possible after the person making the report becomes aware of them. Delays in reporting a violation may significantly impair the University's ability to investigate the complaint and interfere with the alleged perpetrators due process rights. Delays may also raise questions about the credibility of the complainant. Exceptional delay may, therefore, based upon the known circumstances, necessitate that the University decline to investigate a complaint.

5.1.3. Anonymous allegations will not be formally acted upon by the University, except to the extent required by law. Any person making an allegation concerning a participant shall be informed that his or her identity may be disclosed to that participant.

5.1.4. The participant shall be given the opportunity to receive and provide information regarding the alleged noncompliance.

5.1.5. Allegations shall be investigated and resolved as speedily, informally, and confidentially as is possible and consistent with University policies and procedures and other applicable requirements.

5.1.6. Allegations of noncompliance shall be received, investigated, and adjudicated. Sanctions, if determined to be appropriate, shall be imposed consistently. This does not require that all procedures or sanctions be identical, but that similarly situated participants be treated consistently and that there be a general consistency among the treatment of all participants.

5.1.7. The method of investigation and adjudication should be appropriate to the alleged offense. While all processes should be as swift as possible, the resources devoted to an investigation or adjudication, their extent, and the priority given to them should reflect the nature of the alleged offense.

5.1.8. Sanctions should also be appropriate to the alleged offense, taking into account the circumstances and context of the offense, the perpetrator's University status, whether a pattern of improper conduct exists, the magnitude of the violation, and the effect the conduct has had on others. A single offense, particularly where the act of noncompliance is found to be unintentional and resulted in little or no harm to another person, might result in a minor sanction such as:
  • A warning
  • Increased monitoring
  • Probation
  • University or community service
5.1.9. On the other hand, repeated or deliberate noncompliance, or noncompliance that threatens or results in physical harm to another person or other demonstrable injury, should be subject to significant sanction, such as:
  • Suspension from one or more games or leave without pay
  • Dismissal from a team
  • Suspension or expulsion from the University
  • Termination of employment
  • Referral for criminal prosecution[The following procedures apply to student-athletes enrolled on the Bloomington campus. It is expected that other campuses with intercollegiate athletics programs will develop procedures that follow the spirit of this section while reflecting the administrative structure of their campus.]

In unusual cases where there is compelling evidence of serious criminal misconduct by a student-athlete (e.g. potential or actual felonious crime), investigation of these cases, enforcement of the student athlete code of conduct, and assessment of penalties shall be made by an independent panel referred to as the Student-Athlete Misconduct Panel. This panel would include:
  • The Athletics department administrator responsible for student- athlete welfare who shall chair the panel
  • The compliance coordinator for the Athletics Department
  • The sport administrator
  • A faculty member from the University Athletics Committee designated by its chair
  • A faculty member experienced in student disciplinary procedures designated by the Dean of Students Office
  • A student designated by the student body president from the pool of students with experience in campus grievance hearings.
In these serious cases, if the prosecuting attorney finds probably cause to file formal charges, and/or there is compelling evidence available to the athletics administrator for student welfare, the student-athlete will initially be suspended from competition pending the resolution of the case. At this time, the athletics director (or his/her designee) will immediately refer the matter to the Student-Athlete Misconduct Panel, which this person chairs. This administrator will also inform at this time, in writing, the President, Athletics Director, coach, and player of the referral of the case to the panel. The panel will be convened as soon as possible (particularly during the playing season for the affected sport) to conduct a hearing.

At least five members of the panel must be present at the hearing. The student-athlete will be invited to attend the hearing and may bring resource person or others if desired. The student or resource people may provide supporting material to the panel prior to the hearing. The student-athlete (or the resource persons when designated by the student) may present arguments during the hearing. However, resource persons will be allowed to speak only upon request by either the student or the panel. After testimony, the panel will undertake closed deliberations and render its initial judgment within two business days. This will be either to (1) lift the suspension or, alternatively, (2) continue the suspension pending outcome in the judicial system. In case (2), if the panel obtains additional information to indicate a substantial likelihood that (1) there will not be a conviction, (2) the conviction will be for a lesser offense, or (3) there will be an inordinate delay in the judicial process, then the panel has the authority to lift the suspension pending the final outcome of the court proceedings.

If the student is subsequently found innocent, the suspension will be lifted. If the student is convicted, the panel will reconvene to determine the duration of the suspension based upon the seriousness of the crime, the circumstances, and the past conduct of the student. Status of athletic tender will be determined according to policy set forth under "Tender (Scholarship) Renewal, Reduction, or Revocation" described in the Indiana University Student-Athlete Handbook. The student-athlete will be placed on a probationary status for the remainder of his/her athletic career. Decisions of the misconduct panel shall be final and will be reported in writing to the President, Athletics Director, coach, and player.

5.1.10.As noted above, sanctions are intended to facilitate compliance by all participants. Therefore, when considering the imposition of sanctions, the University shall take into account the impact on Indiana University, other participants, other members of the University community, other constituencies of the University, and the public, and the extent to which the conduct clearly constituted noncompliance and was known to constitute noncompliance, as well as fairness to the noncomplying party and to other participants.

5.1.11. The University shall, to the extent permitted by law, make reports of enforcement activities publicly available. Names and other identifying information shall be withheld as required by law, University policy, or other applicable requirements, or as necessary to protect the privacy of the persons involved.

5.2. Appeals

5.2.1. Student-athletes have a right to appeal disciplinary decisions or express grievances in response to actions made by their coaches. The process follows: the student-athlete must make an appointment to see the Sport Administrator. At this time, the student- athlete will explain the basis of the appeal, including any mitigating factors that may not have been taken into consideration by the coach. The Sport Administrator, Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Welfare, and/or the Athletic Director will then determine the appropriate action.

5.2.2. If a sanction that is imposed for an act of noncompliance would give rise to an opportunity for review under an applicable University policy or other applicable policies, then that review shall be governed by the policy giving rise to it. This Statement does not create any independent right of review or appeal.

5.2.3. In the event that a contract with a participant in student athletic programs contains terms concerning rights of review that are inconsistent with this Statement, the contract shall govern.
5.2.4. Nothing in this Statement shall limit the right of the University to take immediate action regarding a participant in student athletic programs to protect the interests of the University community.

Adopted by the Athletic Code of Conduct Commission on September 6, 2000. Section added by action of the University Athletics Committee, May 9, 2001. Revised on January 23, 2003 as per Faculty Athletics Committee.

Athletic Code of Conduct Commission

Ken Beckley, Indiana University alumnus
Fred H. Cate, Professor of Law, School of Law, IUB
Clarence Doninger, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics (Chair)
Bruce Jaffee, Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy and Associate Dean of Academics, Kelley School of Business
Julie Knost, Director, Affirmative Action
Dan Maki, Professor and Chair of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences, IUB
Tony Mobley, Dean, School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, IUB
Ernest Neal, Former Director of Athletics, IU Southeast
Charlie Nelms, Vice President for Student Development and Diversity
Amanda Noblet, Student Athlete, IUB
Bill Perkins, Professor of Information Systems, Kelley School of Business
Becky Porter, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy School of Medicine-School of Allied Health Sciences, IUPUI
Jim Sherman, Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, IUB
James Wimbush, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Kelley School of Business, and Associate Dean of the Faculties
Jerry Yeagley, Head Coach, Men's Soccer, IUB


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